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Achievement drive
Goal setting
intuition and emotional intelligence in sport  

What intuition means

Intuition refers to your inner sense, gut instincts, hunches and feelings and emotions. High performing intuitive/emotionally intelligent athletes are able to read their own and other people’s feelings and emotions.

They are able to manage their feelings and emotions when under pressure and they are able to use feelings and emotions to help solve problems, make decisions and act quickly and confidently.

Intuition and emotional intelligence help athletes to relax, focus, stay in the present and perform confidently and aggressively.


Intuitive performance comes from a combination of self-awareness, consistent deliberate practice, analysis and review and reflection in training and in competition.

A highly analytical approach can encourage doubt, anxiety and your inner critic to distract you and slow you down. Under-performing athletes often say that too many thoughts interfere with their performance.

Keys to using intuition

Here are some keys to developing your emotional abilities and sixth sense to help you perform well.

  Learn to read your own and other people's feelings and emotions and what they tell you about the situation you find yourself in.  
  Trust your instincts and intuition when you are facing a situation or challenge that you have rehearsed and practiced many times before.  
  Don't act impulsively-listen to your feelings alongside information and advice from your coach and team mates.  
  Practice your ability to identify early cues or changes in the game which indicate what your opponents are going to do.  
  Don't ignore bad feelings/anxiety about a problem or issue until you have information to refute it.  
  Actively learn from training and competition in order to gradually improve your perception, expertise and sixth sense over time.  


Watch this video

To develop your understanding of the role of intuition and emotional intelligence in sport, watch this video about Christiano Ronaldo's intuitive abilities.


Read this book

Read The Intuitive Way: The Definitive Guide to Increasing Your Awareness by Penney Peirce.