In sports psychology it is about improving your attitude and mental game skills to help you to perform your best by identifying you are limiting beliefs and gaining a healthier philosophy about your sport.
Through Mental Performance Coaching it concentrates on helping athletes break through the mental barriers that are keeping them from focusing on their performance and to reach their ultimate potential.
By focusing on the mental skills needed to be successful in any sport, mental game coaching seeks to achieve the overall goal of performance improvement.
Below are what we feel are the Top 10 ways that will benefit the athlete from the coaching of Mental Performance Coaching.
- Grow Confidence in athletes who have doubts. Having confidence allows you no doubt, it is the opposite. If you have doubt this indicates a low self-confidence which will only hurt, you through competition. Confidence is what we call a Core Mental Game Skill because of the relationship to other mental skills.
- Developing coping skills to deal with setbacks and errors. To get into the zone you must learn emotion control. As an athlete who may have high and strict expectations must know how to deal with minor errors which are natural parts of sports. You must address these expectations so you may stay composed under pressure if or when errors occur.
- Improve Your Focus and dealing with distractions. As an elite athlete you could concentrate but often the focus is displaced onto the wrong areas of the game. When a hockey player thinks, ‘I have to score’ while he sits on the bench waiting for his shift, he is thinking of a ‘result’ oriented focus. With our instruction on focus we deal with helping the athlete to stay focused on the present moment and just let go of any result thinking.
- How to identify and enter the zone more often. By building a foundation of training side of mental skills we can help the athlete to enter the zone more often. Some feel it is impossible to play in the zone every day, but we feel with the right guidance and maintenance of the athlete this can be accomplished.
- Finding the right zone of your intensity for your sport. This is a broad statement as we focus on finding the proper level of arousal or mental activity that is needed for each person to perform at their very best. This will vary from athlete to athlete and from sport to sport. The athlete who is ‘up’ and in a positive state is very critical but as well they need to know how to calm themselves and not get to ‘over-excited’ There is a fine line between the two and we help the athlete realize that point.
- Develop strategies for the athlete game plans and deal with game-specific strategies to help the athlete prepare for competition. In this area of sports, it goes beyond the basics of mental skills for the athlete. This is very important in sports such as golf, racing and team sports.
- For optimal performance in sports an athlete needs balance. We look at the athlete’s reason for playing their sport, what motivates them to be the best. Some motivators are better in the long term than others. Athletes who are extra motivated often are playing for the wrong reasons, such as an athlete who is playing in a sport because of a parent. We help this type of athlete work towards having a healthier level of motivation and play for the right reasons.
- The belief system of an athlete is very crucial to their performance and development. A thought pattern such as believing in positive attitude and recognizing the ineffective beliefs that he/she may have needs to be worked upon on a regular basis. Having ineffective beliefs will destroy an athlete’s performance at any time no matter how much practice is put in.
- Help develop confidence post-injury. Athletes can be prepared physically to return to play but sometimes there is mental ‘scars’ left to be repaired. Injury can hurt confidence and give doubt during play which can cause loss of focus. We can help the athlete heal themselves mentally from their injury and help deal with the fear of re-injury.
- Team communications. We also can help with what we call ‘Team Oneness’. We help teams improve on their team cohesion and communication. The more a team works on as a unit, the better the results for all will be. This is a major part of sports psychology and healthy mental training in which helps just not the athlete alone but the team itself.
Happy positive thinking!
Warren ‘Coach’ Nye
This article may contain advice, opinions and statements from the writer and the information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the opinion of the author, David Cole of RRi Sports Advisors International dba the RRi Hockey Agency and not necessarily the views of the RRi Sports Advisors International dba the RRi Hockey Agency. The article does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, or other information provided in the article, or from any other member of RRi Sports Advisors International dba the RRi Hockey Agency.
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