Four secrets from sports psychology you can use in everyday life

Level: B2/C1/ C2

Type of English: general, sports, everyday

Lesson activities: listening comprehension, vocabulary building, speaking practice. 

Grammar focus: phrasal verbs

Tags: sports psychology, tips and tricks, modern english 

From talking to yourself to rehearsing to your mind, here are four secrets from the world of sports psychology that you can apply to your own life to help you achieve your goals.

During the 1-hour class your teacher will take notes of your mistakes and make corrections.

These will be emailed to you after the lesson.

It is a good idea to revise the same vocabulary at the start of the next lesson.

Opening Questions:

Do you play sport?

How much psychology is involved with playing and can you think of an example?

What’s the difference between a coach and a teacher?

New Vocabulary Questions:

What does it mean to get there?

If it turns out that the world is flat, how would you react?

Is a difference between a tip and a trick?

Is a difference between being anxious and nervous?

What’s another way to say “calm down”?

Can you think of a tendency you have?

What does having butterflies in your stomach feel like?

If you hear a story and don’t buy it, what happened?

What does it mean to reframe a situation?

Do you think that anxiety can help or hamper performance?

When was the last time you felt under threat?

What do you look forward to most at the weekend?

What is a good way to become adrenalized?

What is pace and what does a pacemaker do?

Do you know a verb that means “to come along”? 

Name something that is priceless in your like?

What does visualization do?

Name something that you have rehearsed?

Do you like the smell of freshly cut grass?

gonna” is the contracted form of …………………….? 

If there is no point to do something should you do it?

What does it mean to overcome a challenge?

If I say “you got this” just before you do an interview in English, what do I mean? 

Watch the Video:

Task: Try to write down the 4 secrets

Listening Comprehension Questions:

What are the 4 secrets?

Complete the sentence – never use the words nervous or anxious, use the words …………….. and ……………….. 

What effects can mental visualisation have?(answer below)

What do negative thoughts do?

What was Mohammed Ali’s phrase?


Are these secrets useful in your life?

Do you agree that asking for support is a sign of strength? 

Do you agree that positive support is priceless?

How can you apply these secrets to a job interview or an exam? 

New Vocabulary Practice:

Earlier we looked at “to get there”, but what does “I’m getting there” mean? 

How would you use “it turns out” in a story?

Give me an example of a trick

What’s a good way to calm down after a stressful experience?

Describe a tendency that politicians have?

Describe an event when you had butterflies in your stomach 

Can you think of a song with the lyrics “I don’t buy it”? 

What can we do to reframe negative thinking?

Name 1 thing that hampers a golf swing?

Describe a threat and an existential threat?

What is a good pace to run at?

What does a pacemaker in your heart do?

How can you use “come along” as an invitation? 

Do you know the priceless advertisements?

Talk about something that you will rehearse in the future.

What smell is better than freshly cut grass?

Tell me something that there is no point in doing?

What do you have to overcome this week/ weekend?

Can you create a good context for “you got this”?

Grammar Focus:

Phrasal verbs

It turns out 

Calm down 

Look forward to 


Visualisation Technique:

Try the technique from the video and express it 

Visualise it exactly how you would like it (the event, the challenge) to go:

Think about what you expect to see, to smell, to hear, and how it will make you feel 

Identify any mental challenges and how you will overcome these 

So when you come to do it for real, you are fully prepared 


4 secrets:

1. Being nervous is good. “I’m not nervous, I’m excited”

2. Don’t do all the work yourself. Get support 

3. Mentally rehearse. Be realistic 

4. Talk to Yourself. 

Q: What effects can mental visualization have?

A: Increase motivation, build confidence, improve performance 


to get there =  to arrive / to reach an objective 

I’m getting there = I’m arriving/ I’m almost ready or finished 

turns out = used as an expression to reveal something / maybe as a surprise 

a trick = a clever/efficient way to do something 

To calm down = to relax 

a tendency = to have a habit to repeat a behavior 

butterflies in your stomach = 

don’t buy it = to not believe 

to reframe = to reshape / rethink / put in a different way 

To hamper = to slow down / to block / a negative effect 

A threat = something that is a danger to you 

to look forward to = to anticipate positively 

adrenalised = an activity that gives you energy / adrenalin / excitement 

pace = a level of speed / average speed of something 

pacemaker = someone who sets the speed 

to come along = to attend / to join 

priceless = without value / extreme importance 

visualization = to visualize a future situation in your mind 

To rehearse = to practice ( often for a performance) 

freshly cut grass = recently cut grass that is pleasant 

no point = no reason to do something 

to overcome = to beat / to win / to succeed / to achieve 

you got this = you can do it (words of encouragement in the US) 


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