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Risk And Extreme Sport-luge Tragedy At 2010 Olympics-rhonda Cohen-www.sportpsych.co.uk
Rhonda Cohen is Head of the London Sport Institute at Middlesex University. She is also a guest lecturer in Sport Psychology at UCL. She has featured in international print and broadcast media discussing the psychology behind extreme sports.
By: Rhonda Cohen
Extreme sport obviously involves risk. Risk isn’t unusual in sport though it is particularly identifiable in extreme sport. The concept of risk in extreme sport is however not, as many think, about wanting to do oneself harm. It is instead more about a sense of achievement and accomplishment felt after undertaking an extreme experience and having pushed oneself beyond the normal limits.
For those who engage in extreme sport, the activity is thrilling. Extreme sport participants can be identified as sensation seekers who crave thrills and adrenalin rousing activities. However thrill seeking it is not about sacrificing risk.
Participants of extreme sports are aware of the importance of minimizing risk through comprehensive preparation, technical knowledge and understanding one’s own limits. The aim is always to avoid injury. The focus on minimizing risk sets extreme sports participants apart from pure thrill seekers.
Extreme sport is thrilling and there is an adrenalin rush that comes from participating in the winter Olympic sports. Every competitor knows that there is also a degree of danger. However, the thrill, the risk and the challenge are all a part of what makes extreme sports exciting to participate in and exciting to watch. Competitors take a calculated risk and accidents and injuries are usual avoided by use of the right equipment, through training and experience as well as employing good mental strategies.
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Rhonda Cohen is Head of the London Sport Institute at Middlesex University. Her most recent media appearance was on the BBC’s Inside Sport programme where she was interviewed by the legendary athlete Michael Johnson on the psychology of downhill skiers. As part of her work, Rhonda looks at the motivation behind the actions of those who take such risks. A Registered and Chartered Psychologist (licensed to practice), she is also an expert on the psychology of enhancing performance. Rhonda is a member of several professional bodies. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, a member of the British Psychological Society, and the American Psychological Association amongst others. She has written and published on the subjects of sport addiction, the psychology of injury, NLP in Sport and her current research includes personality in extreme sport, profiling participants in high risk sport and sensation seeking extreme sport. Her own experiences are unsurprisingly adventurous.