August/September 2021 - 15

Mental Training
into motion. Importantly, a threat
can be either positive or negative.
A negative threat is caused by
destructive fear and anxiety and
yields an " I can't " conclusion. A
positive threat is caused by possibly
a similar set of circumstances but
ends with an " I will " conclusion.
Once the body perceives a threat,
the Adrenal Cortex declares a red
alert which is sent out to both
the Sympathetic Nervous System
(SNS) and to the athlete's dopamine
neurotransmitters. Both can create
momentum in order to overcome
the threat.
A. The Sympathetic Nervous
System:
Anytime a threat interrupts the
status quo, the SNS turns on the
autonomic nervous system to deal
with the alert, and the body gears
up for war. Instantaneously, it
goes into a " fight or flight " mode
to handle the sudden change and
commands the adrenal gland to
produce adrenaline which will be
used to produce energy to propel
the athlete to accomplish what
he/she might have thought to be
impossible. In a negative sense, that
same adrenaline rush could propel
an athlete to act with excessive
aggression which will disqualify that
person from the competition.
When a high dose of adrenaline is
released, the upside is that the athlete
gets quick, immediate energy, but the
downside includes the heart rate and
blood pressure becoming elevated;
fingers and toes becoming cold,
making it harder to perform. Cognition
decreases and spiked energy is
inevitably followed by fatigue.
So, for the athlete, is momentum
gained via the SNS and adrenaline
rushes the best route to pursue
in order to get into the zone? The
answer is NO if that athlete desires
consistency in his/her play. For every
adrenaline high, there must be an
equal low. Thus, a player who is
hooked on adrenaline might exceed
the normal production rate for a short
time, but fatigue will eventually set in
eliminating any gains that had been
made. Therefore, the momentum
gained via the dopamine route seems
to be the better option.
B. The Dopamine Pathway to
Positive Momentum:
When most athletes think of
momentum, their view is usually
focused on the adrenaline rush
needed. However, momentum
activated by relaxation (the dopamine
effect) can keep the player in the zone
for a longer period of time. When
the dopamine neurotransmitters
are activated it allows the athlete to
logically assess the threat. If there is
a genuine threat, the SNS will take
over and run its course. If, however,
dopamine neurotransmitters conclude
that the threat is merely a handleable
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August/September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of August/September 2021

August/September 2021 - 1
August/September 2021 - 2
August/September 2021 - 3
August/September 2021 - 4
August/September 2021 - 5
August/September 2021 - 6
August/September 2021 - 7
August/September 2021 - 8
August/September 2021 - 9
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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/october-november-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/august-september
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/2023-video-playbook
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/june-july
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/tc-april-may
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/february-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/october-november
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/august-september-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/june-july-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/training-conditioning-video-playbook-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/april-may-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/february-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/october-november-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/august-september-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/june-july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/april-may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/october-november-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/august-september-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/may-june-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/april-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/march-april-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/february-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/october-november-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/Training-and-Conditioning/august-september-2019
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