A video from the Economist
For top-level sports people it’s not just skill and athleticism they count. So often, it’s mind over matter. Psychology is now seen as increasingly vital to winning. In elite sport the difference between success and failure is often the finest of margins. The annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge universities is one of the oldest and most prestigious events in the sporting calendar. For the competitors, it’s 20 minutes of pure pain but also pure pressure. How the rowers cope with that intense pressure can make the difference between glory and failure. The Cambridge women’s team have won the last two races and this woman has been one of the secrets of their success. Sports psychologist Helen Davis has worked on specific techniques to help the team at the most mentally testing moments in the race. As training for the 2019 race intensifies, just trying to keep up with teammates is mentally grueling.