Sports 2012

The social and cultural pressures in elite sport are immense and can trump athletes’ own psychological strength, a sports psychologist has said.
Many people in the UK choose to skip work in order to watch sports, new research has found.
The owners of Cardiff City Football Club abandoned plans to change the club’s kit from blue to red after an outcry from fans.
Young men in the US find performance-enhancing drugs in sport to be highly unethical, a new study has shown.
On 21 May the organisers marked 100 days until the start of the Paralympic Games, which the organisers of the event are calling the biggest ever. To celebrate this milestone the Paralympic logo has been projected onto the white cliffs of Dover, which is likely to stir excitement and drum up interest before proceedings get underway at the end of August.
Football referees in Scotland have revealed they are turning to sport psychologists in a bid to boost their performance on the pitch. Speaking to the Daily Record, Craig Thomson - who will be officiating the Scottish Cup Final between Hearts and Hibernian at Hampden Park on Saturday (19 May) - revealed he and his assistants are doing all they can to ensure their showing is flawless.
Sports performances can suffer when the stakes are high and there is the prospect of a lucrative reward for the victor.
People could be helped to quit their smoking habits by taking up greater levels of exercise, new research has suggested.
‘If you do not know where you are going, do not be surprised if you arrive somewhere else’ (Lewis Carroll). Mental skills training and psychological support can enhance performance. One issue that has come to the fore over the past decade is the timing of those interventions. While practitioners strive to tailor their interventions to individual athletes, awareness of the concept of ‘periodisation’ is key.
A new report highlights some of ways psychological research has helped Team GB limber up for London 2012.
Canterbury Christ Church University staff and students involved in the classification of athletes with intellectual disabilities for the London 2012 Paralympics are celebrating their triumph at the Podium Awards on 3 May.
The Olympic flame can inspire and excite athletes ahead of the Games this summer and the lighting of it serves as a rallying call for people around the world.
The memory of female and younger athletes is particularly affected by concussion.
Many people in the US are failing to recognise the need for adequate exercise.
Home support could play an important role in spurring British Olympic hopefuls on to glory this summer.
The ‘runner's high’ is a term used to describe a euphoric state experienced by distance runners, although it is now thought this phenomenon is not exclusive to running.
Personality can have a significant impact on sporting performance at the highest level - and those with narcissistic tendencies often increase their effort when the pressure is on.
Sports stars who retire from their profession without making preparations beforehand may encounter difficulties and feel restricted when looking to change career.
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.
Superstition is irrational, so is religion.  It can be considered irrational to believe that God created the universe in light of the existing scientific facts….. some people go to church even though they don’t believe in God, as some athletes engage in superstitious rituals but don't believe in them.
Athletes’ experiences of being ‘in the zone’ were the subject of a video installation displayed at the 2012 Annual Conference of the Society’s Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section in London in April. The Zone, a 10-minute film, uses athletes’ own descriptions of being in a state of peak performance, voiced by actors and set against imaginative footage of sports’ venues such as gyms, running tracks and swimming pools.
Athletes who have attended previous major international sports events will have experienced similar pressure, but outside the emotional cauldron of an Olympic stadium the pressure is hard to imagine and probably impossible to replicate.
The Olympics are a tapestry of human ambition. From the 100 metres to the marathon, athletes representing countries across the world are united in a common goal: to do their best when it matters most.
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