“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

In sports, having mental strength is equally important as physical fitness for athletes. Sports psychology is playing an essential role in developing athletes mentally. It is a science that gives competitors emotional and mental support to deal with various aspects of their physical performance.

Three major ways in which you can mentally dominate over your opponent are:

Confidence and Cohesion in a team/player

You must have complete confidence in yourself and your teammates to dominate over your opponent. It has been proven that a team with good chemistry can beat a team with superstars. For individual sports, one should have the confidence and will power to win and should never show his/her weakness.  

“When you have it (confidence) you feel like you’re never going to lose it when you haven’t got it, you feel like you’re never going to get it.”

-Matthew Hayden



 You can dominate your opponent by doing a proper intrusive self-evaluation. Meditation is a beneficial method that aids in self-awareness. E.g., Pullela Gopichand practiced meditation every day and used to simulate and anticipate his matches in his mind. This technique helped him to do a critical evaluation of himself and the opponent, which helped him in winning the All England Championship, 2001.


Body Language

During a match, your competitors and spectators will judge you based on your body language. Body language depicts confidence, will power, anxiousness, and various other parameters.

Being aggressive also deprives the confidence of your opponent.

e.g. Carolina Marin gives us a perfect example of aggressiveness. Whether she is leading or not, she displays confidence to win the next point, which puts the opponent under pressure.

Smiling during a match releases feel-good hormone in our blood, which helps us to remain calm and composed. It helps to look confident in a pressure situation.


A player must mentally dominate over his/her opponent, without the opponent not realizing it.Practice and experience help in developing the mental toughness of an athlete. Kane Williamson is a perfect example of mental toughness. The ability to adapt and control emotion is a lesson to learn from him during the 2019 World Cup.



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