New online test on mental preparation in sport launched

If you enjoyed our story Can you simulate the pressure of the Games? looking at how athletes prepare themselves for the unique pressures of the Olympic Games and have tried our online experiment, you might be interested in BBC Lab UK's new web based test.

Developed with the assistance of Professor Peter Totterdell, a Chartered Psychologist from the University of Sheffield's Department of Psychology, Can you compete under pressure? highlights how emotion and mental preparation can affect performance in sport.

The initiative is being fronted by Olympic legend Michael Johnson and provides participants with a personal performance analysis and advice on how best to prepare for a competition.

Professor Totterdell said: "This study provides us with an exciting opportunity to find out whether people can benefit from simple psychological techniques to help them compete under pressure and it will enable us to investigate and understand much better how emotions influence performance.

"We have also tried to design the study so that it is both fun and informative for those who take part."

Former 200-metre and 400-metre runner Johnson offers psychological training as part of the assessment before issuing a personal analysis of the performance once the evaluation is complete.

Johnson said many individuals are unaware they have the ability to train themselves to cope with the added pressure when sporting events intensify, noting the new test could go some way to correcting this.

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