Tom was interviewed by Squawka about how visualisation helps players to manage their emotions before a penalty.
By building vivid mental pictures of the stresses ahead within their mind’s eye, players can prepare for the real mental load to come.
They may also engage in “Self Talk”: the act of repeating positive statements back to themselves about their performances and abilities.
According to Bates this increases self-belief and concentrates players on their strengths and abilities.
“Pressure lowers the levels of happiness hormones like dopamine and cortisol,” Bates told us. “Sense receptor mechanisms in the brain cause an increase in heart rate and muscle temperature preparing for the fight or flight situation.
The emotional brain goes into overdrive but without control as the rational, logical, thinking part of the brain — the Frontal Lobe — becomes disorganised.”
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What exactly is Squawka?
Squawka is all about giving you “Stats worth Sharing”. We want you to be able to have informed discussions with other fans during matches; backing up your arguments with real-time in-depth statistics, in one simple interface. You can share your stats to Twitter and Facebook to give friends your view on the game.