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The Emotional Intelligence in sport?

What is emotional intelligence?

Popularized by Daniel Goleman in 1995, emotional intelligence, or EI, is defined by the ability to manage his own emotions and deal with those of others.

Therefore, it can be split into two parts:

  1. The Cold Blood or the relation to oneself;

  2. Empathy or the relationship to the Other.

Cold Blood:

It is the relationship to oneself.

How to successfully manage your own emotions, as soon as they appear, when they are used.

In short: "keep your presence of mind".

Self-control is divided into 2 parts: self-awareness and self-management.

  • Self-awareness is, first of all, recognizing the appearance of emotion, then understanding it, and finally using it for a specific purpose.

A situation: the Athlete has missed an important action even though he has a perfect command of the execution of it.

He feels anger rising in him. He feels it because he wants to explode, to strike something: Apparition.

He knows he is angry. His score is negatively impacted and he moves away from the top of the rankings: Comprehension.

Knowing that anger generates a surge of adrenaline, he plays more aggressively, takes more risks, tries to move up the rankings: Use.

  • Self-management is the ability to control yourself and adapt to the situation.

The same situation: The Athlete is angry.

Either it overwhelms him and he is no longer behaving rationally.

Either he masters it, he continues to play rather calmly: Control.

If the situation requires, he can use the adrenaline rush generated to increase his intensity of play, his fighting spirit.

If the situation requires serenity, appeasement, he will have to find a way to calm down: Adaptation.


It's the relationship with others.

How to discern the different emotions of others, understand them and finally manage them.

Empathy is divided into 2 parts: awareness of others (interpersonal intelligence) and management of others.

  • The Consciousness of others is the ability to detect emotion in another, to understand what generated it, and to have the right reaction to it.

A situation: I am playing with my partner.

Suddenly, his voice intonation is more aggressive, his flow of words quickens.

There is an emotion of nervousness: Detection.

I know where this nervousness comes from; we have just linked several bad actions that put us in difficulty: Understanding.

My teammate attacks me orally,

Either I respond in the same tone of nervousness, the mood quickly deteriorates because irrational words arise and the speech can break down.

Either I try to calm the situation and find the solution to move forward: Reaction.

  • Managing others is what you do or say to first inspire new emotions and potentially influence the other. The aim is to promote its development or to manage the conflict intelligently.

The situation of my pissed-off teammate.

I answer him with a calmer tone, with serenity, I will communicate to him, instilling in him feelings of appeasement: Inspiration.

It allows him to have influence on his emotions, he will go from anger to annoyance in a situation that becomes manageable: Influence.

At this moment, the teammate can hear a rational speech, he can now see the solutions and move intelligently: Foster the development of the other / Manage a conflict.

What about emotional intelligence in sport ?

Whether the format is individual or collective, our emotions are omnipresent in sport. They are necessary for us to perform.

Mastering the different states allows you to always be able to situate yourself, always prioritize the right issues and stay on rational terms.

On the Mental level:

Manage frustration, know how to motivate yourself, work in a team ...

Create a constructive environment bubble for yourself.

Knowing the emotions that make me perform well.

Knowing the people who make me perform well by generating positive/constructive emotions.

On the Technical level :

Understand my opponent's intentions so that I can adapt to them.

Know my shape from the moment to the precise moment?

What am I capable of achieving right now?

What emotion am I capable of generating to succeed in my actions?

On the Strategic level:

Understand how the game works.

Anticipate the actions of my opponents to best respond to the given situation.

Anticipate the actions of my teammate to best respond to the given situation.

On the Physical level:

How do I manage my time to get enough restful sleep?

How do I develop good eating habits?

How do I achieve good personal hygiene?

How does my body feel during my different behaviors?

By answering these questions:

You create healthy environments, relevant life routines that allow you to be the best you can be and get the results you deserve.

To act intelligently, we must know ourselves, understand ourselves and learn to know, therefore better understand those around us.

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