Sport psychology – inside the mind of champion athletes: Martin Hagger at TEDxPerth

Sport psychology – inside the mind of champion athletes: Martin Hagger at TEDxPerth

Martin Hagger is Professor of Psychology at Curtin University. His areas of expertise are social, health, sport and exercise psychology. He is involved in numerous research projects nationally and internationally with a focus on motivation and behaviour change. He is currently leading projects in drugs in sport, promoting physical activity and healthy diet, understanding the mechanisms of willpower and self-control, and reducing binge drinking and the prevalence of smoking.

At the highest level, athletes are well-matched in terms of their physical abilities, conditioning, and skill level. But often that is not enough to win and perform on the biggest of stages like the Olympic games. Developing strategies and techniques to get athletes minds in the best possible condition for optimal performance is increasingly important for sports teams and coaches.

Martin will provide an overview of the kinds of techniques that elite athletes use to prepare psychologically for their sport, give details of the scientific research into these techniques and how they work, and how the techniques might be used by competitive athetes and coaches to maximise performance.


TEDxPerth 2012 took place on Saturday 8 December 2012 at the Octagon Theatre at the University of Western Australia. Over 500 people attended in person and listeners all over the country enjoyed the day by tuning in to the live broadcast on digital radio.

About TEDx, x = independently organised event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organised events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organised TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organised.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)


January 23, 2013 / 23 Comments / by / in
  • "Sometimes being anxious can undermine an athlete's performance."  Thank you Captain Obvious!   Who is this stiff?  It seems like he's reading an outline that someone else wrote.  They're really scraping the bottom of the barrel for these TED TALKS these days.

  • I have no idea what the point of this talk was. Boring.

  • James

  • Fucking stupid

  • Boa

    Anyone count how many times he voice cracked?

  • lit

  • 3:01 really breaks down the whole video in about 12 seconds. your welcome.

  • hi

  • let me shorten this video: some people are great at sports, some are just good. They all approach their match/game in their own way.

  • What are all that things in his pocket?

  • It's missing a most key component, the spiritual well being of an athlete. Speaker borrowed and incorporated a lot of Buddhist religious practices to compensate. However there is a superior means of addressing the spiritual well being and this presentation didn't address it directly.
    This presentation was very much lacking in my opinion, which once again brings into question if psychology is even a science. Take away behavioral science and neurology from psychology and what do you have? Seems like in this case you have yoga. 
    Take home message – want to be the best according to the speaker, then incorporate yoga. He was promoting Buddhist mysticism achieved through yoga and rebranded it to sound legitimate science, by calling it psychology. 
    It was also misleading because Phelps doesn't practice yoga and is a devote Christian. So if you're going to represent Buddhist sympathizing athletes, then accurately convey those who in this case are Christian and use a different method. 
    And further more instead of approaching this in an atheistic stand point recognize that yoga is a religious practice, because it is. Don't smuggle religious practices into the presentation and pretend they are a-religious.

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  • bla bla bla…. boring and not valuable as information that i can use! Eat shit mr Hagger

  • Lol the voice cracks tho😆😆😆😆😆

  • Boring

  • Great man great video thanks

  • bello

  • Sport psychology is a science that draws on knowledge from many related fields including biomechanics, physiology, kinesiology and psychology. It involves the study of how psychological factors affect performance and how participation in sport and exercise affect psychological and physical factors. Proper instruction and training of psychological skills for performance improvement, applied sport psychology may include work with athletes, coaches, and parents regarding injury, rehabilitation, communication, team building, and career transitions. Performance routines, Imagery or Self-talk are most used techniques that psychologists teach to athletes for improving their performance. i.e.- Michael Phelps (an American former competitive swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time) listens music before any competition which helps him to focus.

  • This guy is soo boring….I was distracted the entire time

  • He should be renamed captain obvious.

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