In a nonanxious or relaxed state, the level of arousal is under the control of the athlete, and it can be elevated or lowered, as the situation requires. The athlete who is psychologically well-prepared knows the appropriate zone for optimal performance and can manage it accordingly. In an anxious or nervous state, arousal level becomes relatively uncontrolled: the heart is racing, the muscles are tense, and negative thoughts intrude. This lack of physical and psychological efficiency is typically initiated by uncertainty about a present or anticipated competition situation. There is a perceived discrepancy between the athlete’s ability and the demands for athletic success, as well as a fear of the consequences of failure.
Emotion can alter the neural programming involved in initiating and controlling voluntary movement. Emotion can change the order in which the brain organizes and executes commands to the working muscles. The frustration that results from an athlete's inability to block distractions can bring a subcortically controlled movement to a conscious level (the athlete starts forcing the movement). As the brain changes its programming sequence, the timing and force of the agonistic, antagonistic, and synergistic muscles involved in a particular movement are also altered. This phenomenon is particularly relevant to sports involving fine motor skills
Tangible physical processes occur in the brain and body as a result of the athlete’s thought processes. These changes influence neuromuscular activation, coordination, autonomic arousal, and metabolism, which can further cause changes in motor performance. The resulting changes may be beneficial, detrimental, or neutral, depending on the nature of the task, the athlete's skill level, and the complexity of the task in terms of decision making. The ideal performance state that BMT seeks to achieve for our athletes is characterized by a quiet mind that results in less cortical interference with the motor control centers (subcortical) and in consistent and efficient execution of motor skills. This state of mental and psychological efficiency results in the fluid, graceful movements of superior performers, which is now physically efficient.
We employ several physical techniques to help athletes control their psychological processes through relaxation. Relaxation techniques are designed to reduce physiological arousal and increase task-relevant focus. These techniques are important when executing complex tasks or learning new ones. These include: diaphragmatic breathing; progressive muscle relaxation (P.M.R.); autogenic training; mental imagery; hypnosis; and systematic desensitization.
BMT is also on the forefront of the field of Nootropics, which are substances that boost human cognitive abilities. These substances enhance mental performance by a number of mechanisms: bolstering cognition, lucidity, memory, and mood; enhancing oxygen and glucose utilization; increasing blood circulation in the brain; changing neurotransmitter chemistry; normalizing physical stress and increasing mental stamina; enhancing alpha wave production (associated with states of alert relaxation); and blocking out pain (burning in lungs, muscle fatigue) when exercising above the lactate threshold.