Sports and exercise

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)
(Photo credit: London 2012) The briefest mention of home invokes images of comfort, familiarity and security. So it is not surprising that research consistently shows sports teams and athletes typically perform better at home.
On 27 July in London a lone torch will light a giant cauldron that will burn the Olympic flame during the greatest psychological show on earth.
In a wide range of sport events like Premiership football, world championship boxing, Olympic ice skating and gymnastics – the talking point at the end of competition often focuses the skill of the officials and not that of the contestants.
The segment devoted to London in the closing ceremony of the 2008 Peking Games presented a gritty, urban view of the city – complete with hoodies and graffiti.
As Bradley Wiggins becomes the first British winner of the Tour de France, Dr Victor Thompson, a Chartered Psychologist, describes the challenges in one of the world's toughest sporting events. Following the historic results for British cycling in the 2012 Tour, take another look at the article we ran earlier this summer.
Basketball players are required to be strong emotionally when performing at the top level.
On 28 July, the day after the opening ceremony, the Olympic basketball tournament commences at the London Olympic Park.
In essence, moving up from juniors and becoming a professional athlete represents the contrast between; participating mainly for enjoyment, and delivering the results associated with senior status.
Parents have been advised not to replace physically and socially interacting with their sons and daughters with gadgets, because neglecting this activity can impact on their child's development.
Winning gold at the London 2012 Olympics will be the pinnacle of success for many athletes around the world. 
A former footballer has talked publically about depression - which may encourage others to be more open about mental illness.
The UK's high-performance sport agency UK Sport has confirmed its goal to be in the top four on the Olympic medal table. This means the nation's overall target is to receive at least 48 medals from a minimum of 12 different events.
Controversy about doping has plagued the Tour de France for years, which given that it is one of the toughest sporting events, isn't surprising. As the competition enters its third and final week we look at emerging areas of research into knowledge production, use and co-production in the field of doping in sport being carried out at the Carnegie Research Institute at Leeds Metropolitan University.
A dressage test requires the horse and rider to execute a pattern of gymnastic movements, in walk, trot, and canter at specific positions around an arena.
Sports that stretch across a full season appeal to women less than the Olympics, new research suggests.
An injured Liverpool footballer must overcome a psychological hurdle if he is to return to the level of performance he achieved prior to damaging his knee.
A new initiative is aiming to provide positive reinforcement for drug-free athletes at this year's London Olympic Games.
The poor habits displayed by unfit parents may be discouraging their children from leading healthier lifestyles, new research has found.
Top Olympic athletes are using a new sports psychology mobile app developed by US Track and Field Sports Psychologist Dr Steve Portenga.
England's footballers need a sports psychologist to help them succeed in penalty shoot-outs, it has been claimed.
Experiencing an injury prior to or during the ‘Biggest Show on Earth’ can be understandably devastating. 
Psychological skills training – mastering distraction, conquering nerves, overcoming fears and instilling confidence – has become an accepted and valued part of an elite athlete’s preparation for competition, with the likes of Jessica Ennis and Ha
Footballers need to prepare themselves mentally before taking part in penalty kicks, it has been claimed.
Heather Watson, who has become the first British woman to make it through to the third round of Wimbledon for a decade, puts her success down to having  the same breakfast every day – smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toast. She also has a ritual of running to pass the ballboy her towel each time she changes ends. Perhaps salmon is good for you, but superstition has an important role in sport.
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