As I understand "Mindgame" is something something can play with one another to trick him. But in what I am more interested in, is the meaning of the mental attitude before a sports event for instance.

Where an athlete prepares himself in his head to deliver his A game. Does this work in this context like "Give it your all, it's just a mindgame"

Thank you!

2 Answers 2


I'd make it two words, mind game. A mind game in a sports context would be an attempt to break the concentration or confidence of an opposing player, perhaps by taunting or insulting. There is a line to be observed with respect to such "trash talk" and poor sportsmanship.

An athlete preparing him- or herself mentally for an event is just that -- psychological preparation (visualization of success, etc), not a mind game.

  • Thank you! So would you rather call it e.g mental game? Would that fit better?
    – Marc Ster
    Jun 19, 2016 at 9:58
  • 1
    Yes, an athlete's "mental game" is his or her ability to maintain focus and concentration despite distractions. It's distinct from the "physical game." Jun 19, 2016 at 10:27

It's usually two words: mind game.

"Mental game" doesn't quite work because it could imply a SPORT that is essentially played with the mind, i.e. Chess.

In the context of English football, media outlets frequently comment on the mind games played by club managers prior to upcoming matches, which take the form of insults or misinformation which are meant to unnerve or confuse rival managers.

Alex Ferguson (former manager of Manchester United) has often been hailed as the King of Mind Games.


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