A word that, when said or thought with appropriate feeling and emphasis, tends to cause a physical or emotional response. Research by sport psychologists has shown that performance can be improved when an athlete thinks of words that produce a physical and/or emotional reaction appropriate for a particular performance capacity. For example, thinking of the mood word ‘crunch’ when about to make a rugby tackle will convey a feeling of strength more than thinking of a more technical phrase such as ‘create more force’. Other mood words associated with strength include crush, might, drive and grunt; mood words associated with power include smash, snap, and heave; mood words associated with speed include explode, whip, and dash; those associated with agility include nimble, dance, and shuffle; those associated with balance include rock-hard, solid, and firm; those associated with endurance include relentless, bold, and hustle. Mood words are used as a part of task-relevant thinking. They are an important part of a coach's sport vocabulary when giving an athlete instructions because they are simple, easy to understand, and do not require translation.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.