Who doesn’t love life hacks? You’ve probably seen some YouTube videos or Facebook articles that have made the rounds with quick tips and tricks meant to make your life easier. This week we’ll share a few scientifically proven life hack’s for athletes.
If you’re an athlete or a coach for a team, these life hacks could make a difference in that next championship match.
Clench Your Fists Under Pressure
If it’s a close game and you’re feeling the pressure, the worst thing you can do is let the pressure get to you and affect your performance. This hack says clenching your left fist will help to calm those jittery nerves. Sounds weird? Well there is a scientific explanation for why this works:
Clenching your left fist helps to activate the right side of your brain—the part that controls your innate and automatic behaviours. This means all those movements and skills that you’re able to do without consciously thinking will be able to happen without any interference from that pesky left side of your brain. Neat!
The Winning Colour is Red
Ever notice that the red team seems to win more often than other colors? No, it’s not an anecdotal observation, there is actual scientific backing that supports the idea that players wearing red will outperform their opponent.
The effect only seems to work with males, and other studies have shown that a red stimuli increases male dominance in several non-human species. For humans, it looks like wearing red increases the probability of winning across a wide range of sports.
So until red uniforms are banned, you may want to update the look of your soccer team’s kit.
Grunting to Throw Your Opponent Off
This hack seems to be well known on the tennis court, but grunting loudly while swinging your racket or kicking a soccer ball could give you an edge. Not because grunting makes you hit harder (as some athletes think) but because it might unnerve your opponent and hurt their concentration.
This study explains that a loud grunt can throw off your opponents perception of what is happening around them. It can startle them into making a mistake and open up an opportunity for you.
Singing to Calm Your Nerves
You shouldn’t only be grunting away during a match. If you are under a heavy pressure situation that’s giving you the jitters, this hack could bring you back down to earth. If you’re in a tied shootout and you start to feel yourself lock up, try singing a song.
It doesn’t need to be out loud (you might get some funny stares if it was), but humming a song under your breath could help you to concentrate. Researchers surmise that by singing, you turn off the part of the brain that is overloaded from stress. Singing helps you to focus on what you need to do, without worrying about whether you’ll fail or succeed.
Some of these life hacks may seem silly, but they’re all scientifically proven to give an edge during a game or match. Most of them are simple and easy to do, so why not try them during your next game of indoor soccer or tennis?