Sports and exercise

The best way to continue the Olympic feel good factor is to get involved with a group activity.
When athletes decide to retire, one of the most commonly suggested career paths is coaching.  Someone who has spent most of their life training for a sport and becoming an expert in it may feel that they want to give something back as a coach. 
Sport psychology research helps athletes and teams perform better in their sport and win gold medals, but the intensity of training and the commitment that athletes often make to achieve success can also have negative consequences.
Yesterday’s ceremony marked the end of the London 2012 Olympic Games. But what long-term effect will the success of British athletes and the Games as a whole have on the country?
Music has been integral to London 2012, throughout the opening ceremony and all Olympic events. It also promises to play a key role in Sunday’s closing ceremony.
‘The Wall’ is the term used to describe the point (usually after 20 miles) in a marathon when an athlete experiences a severe drop in pace. Usually, this is thought to coincide with an athlete running out of fuel in the form of glycogen. However, it is quite possible that there is also a psychological component to the Wall. 
As the demands associated with high-performance sport have increased over the years, so has the interest in the skills developed by athletes during their sporting careers.
Body language – gestures, facial expressions, eye movement, breathing patterns, skin colour changes, muscle tone, interpersonal distance, and posture – is thought to play a key role in sport, as the majority of communication there is done through the body.
Team GB's athletes are being assisted in their bids for Olympic glory by the support of the home crowd.
"I feel like I've let myself down, let my coaches down, let everybody I've ever trained with down, let my mum and dad and brother down."
A sports psychologist has played an important part in Britain's rowing success in the Olympics.
The Premiership rugby union club London Waps and the mental health chairty Mind have announced that they are to work in partnership.
Top athletes, including Team GB's gold medalist Greg Searle, have come out of retirement especially to compete in London 2012.
“Perfectionism is an unwillingness to accept any standards or condition that is other than absolutely faultless and free from defects” says Ellis Cashmore in Sport and Exercise Psychology: The Key Concepts. (Picture of Nadia Comaneci. Credit: Dave Gilbert)
The winning streak from the rest of the Great British team assisted Andy Murray in his efforts to win Olympic gold.
As the whole country shares in the elation of athletes enjoying Olympic success, people understand that these achievements represent the culmination of years of training.
As previously reported, the UK Anti-doping (UKAD) hopes that Squeaky the Duck will discourage athletes from using drugs at this year's Olympics.
With Team GB, today (1 August 2012), winning its first gold medals of the Games, Great Britain appears to be gaining momentum. (Photo of London 2012 Olympic medals. Photo credit: London 2012)
University of Portsmouth, Loughborough University and Cardiff Metropolitan University have jointly launched a campaign to ensure athletes from Team GB have the psychological strengths to deal with the pressures of competing at the Olympic Games.  (Photo from the Olympic and Paralympic Village. Photo credit: London 2012)
A leading American sports psychologist has said that athletes need to understand that winning and losing are part of the same experience, it has been claimed.
"East, west, home’s best."  Great Britain’s Olympians might well take comfort from this proverb when they consider the merits and demerits of performing on home soil (or sea), writes Dr Paul McCarthy, a
Professor Jan Burns from Canterbury Christ Church University is head of eligibility at INAS (the International Federation for sport for para-athletes with an intellectual disability).
A project launched by Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy to improve mental health through exercise has been hailed as a success by the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), reports
When considering what it takes to be a top Olympic slalom canoeist few people would draw parallels with chess. However, studies have found that the skills needed for these activities aren’t so different after all.
Success at this Summer’s Olympic and Paralympic games may be determined by the first impressions created by the competing athletes. (Photo of Louis Smith, Team GB Gymnast. Photo credit: Adidas)
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