Sports Psychology
 Information & Resources

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Correcting Bad Habits
of Athletes

The first step in correcting a bad habit is admitting that you have one!
       Positive motivation is vital in attempting to change or modify a bad habit!  There may be parts of your personality that will defeat your efforts. Laziness and impatience are series obstacles to succeeding in making major changes.

       Everyone has bad habits and correcting them takes a lot of effort and patience. Bad habits occur because of two major factors - laziness, and “muscle memory”. Muscle memory can be good or bad. When we learn something incorrectly and it becomes a habit, that is very difficult to change. With a lot of patience and practice, it is possible to unlearn the incorrect method and relearn to do the task in correct way. Some real life habits are formed the same way, and need considerable effort to be corrected.

Undoing bad habits will take more time to undue that it took to acquire time. The best approach is to not attempt the task for an extended period of time. However, this may
not be a practical option.

       Since bad habits have a tendency reoccur under stress, it may require the extra time to return to the basic level to relearn the muscle/nerve response the end.  This may be frustrating, but we keep in mind that we are trying to fight these habits so that our productivity increases overall. Remember to be patient, and do not attempt to establish too many tasks to change at once. You have a better chance of achieving your goals if you think in longer terms of months, not weeks.

       Correcting bad habits cannot be accomplished by external forces, including a parent, coach, teacher, or a boss, forbidding the behavior or the administration of punishment. It is up to the individual to make the decision and external support by others can be a valuable asset in achieving a change in behavior, especially if the behavior is addictive.

Addictive behavior is the most difficult to change. Smoking, anorexia, bulimia, alcohol
abuse, and drug use require medical intervention.  Poor eating habits can be controlled
by the use of will power and behavioral modification techniques monitored by a physician

       Procrastinating is one of those bad habits that almost everyone has been guilty of at some point in life.  Realizing that your are a procrastinator and it is a bad habit that needs to be addressed and resolved is the first step required. Procrastination originates from complex feelings, such as being overwhelmed by the task. As with most bad habits, you have admit to the problem and seek the cause before you can hope to break the habit.

       Before we can change negative habits, we have to become aware of how others see us and be willing to alter their perceptions in order to improve our relationships. The following habits should be examined to see they apply to us:

      Are You a Person Who:

Cannot tolerate being wrong? This habit reflects one's desire to win or be right in all circumstances. Do you always have to have the last word in an argument? To determine if you have a problem try admitting that you're wrong in an argument or stopping an argument even though you're confident that you can win or that you are right.

Negates others' opinions? Do you offer unsolicited advice in every circumstance? In a discussion do you say, "let me show you a better way!" as a means of suggest your superiority
?Just being aware of this habit can help you alleviate it.

 • Do you give credit where credit is due? When people are doing a good job do you acknowledge it or do you take for granted their contributions? Do you offer an unsolicited comment such as "I really appreciate your help, I couldn't have done it without your assistance?

Use sarcasm often? Frequent use of demeaning comments like, "I rather do the job myself that have to constantly supervise you!" This type of communication discourages people from volunteering to help.  Become aware of how often you use such statements and work toward stopping the sarcasm.

Emphasize your own importance and minimizes the worth of others? Self-centeredness damages relationships. Put yourself in the position of the other person and try to appreciate their responsibilities.

Will not say you're sorry? Do you realize when you are wrong, but think you can do something to compensate for the mistake? Do you overreacted to situations and offer a gift to smooth things over instead of a heartfelt apology? 

Recommended Reading:

How to Break Bad Habits When it comes to breaking bad habits experts say it's essential to regain your ability to make a choice about that action. Read here about the simple steps you can take.

Correcting Bad Habits in Young Children - Yahoo!   Feb. 28, 2011 ... Young children develop all sorts of bad habits that give parents a nightmare. Unfortunately, they aren't the easiest things to get rid of.

Breaking Bad Habits with Hypnosis  Correcting Bad Habits Through Hypnosis. Stop biting your nails, pulling your hair, procrastinating or doing other negative compulsive behaviors.


Bad Habits You must concentrate on forming new habits, new muscle memory, so the correct way becomes automatic. Bad habits are no ones fault, but changing them is your responsibility.

Correct Bad Habits - Advanced Hypnosis Center Correcting Bad Habits Through Hypnosis. Stop biting your nails, pulling your hair, procrastinating or doing other negative compulsive behaviors.

Watching Desire While Correcting Bad Habits Sept. 30, 2009 ... In the same way we can correct bad habits by becoming more aware of them, especially as they happen. 

10 Costly Mistakes before Competing by Patrick J. Cohn

All Athletes: Improve Your Pregame Mental Preparation!

Improve your Pregame Mindset!  Hockey Players and Coaches:


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Flow/Peak Performance
Focus & Concentration
Goals and Objectives
Goal Setting
Personal Sabotage
Self Fulfilling Prophecy

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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