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					Mental Skills
Training methods & Techniques


Year 12 PE Studies
Unit 2A / 2B
Training Methods & Techniqes

   Mental skills are not only a crucial aspect
    of performance, but also very specific to
    each individual athlete, and the
    competitive situation in which they must
    perform

   There are several methods and
    techniques which can be used by athletes
    to enhance their mental skills and
    improve their performance

               MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                METHODS & TECHNIQUES
  1. IMAGERY
 The process of using the senses to create
  pictures of your performance in your mind.

There are 5 main categories:
 1. Motivational-specific: involves seeing yourself
  winning an event, receiving a medal etc
 2. Motivational general-mastery: seeing yourself
  coping in difficult circumstances
 3. Motivational general-arousal: imagery that
  reflects feelings of relaxation, stress, anxiety or
  arousal in relation to sports competitions. Can be
  used as a ‘psych-up’ strategy

                MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                 METHODS & TECHNIQUES
   4. Cognitive specific: involves seeing yourself
    perform specific skills eg tennis serve or spike.
    The most effective choice for learning and
    performance
   5. Cognitive general: involves imagery of strategy
    and game plans related to a competitive event eg
    performing a fast break in basketball

Imagery should involve as many of your senses as
  possible – kinaesthetic, visual, auditory & tactile.


                 MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                  METHODS & TECHNIQUES
Imagery & Performance
Imagery can enhance performance by:
- Improving neural pathways b/w brain & muscles

- Focussing attention on task at hand

- Enabling athlete to prepare for situations they
  are likely to encounter during competition
- Enabling athletes to review their performance

- Managing stress through imagining a relaxing
  envirionment
- Enabling mental practice during rehabilitation



               MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                METHODS & TECHNIQUES
Types of Imagery
 INTERNAL
Imagining the execution of a skill from w/in your
  own body. For eg if serving a volleyball you would
  see only the things in your normal range of vision


   EXTERNAL
Viewing yourself from the perspective of an
  external observer, as if watching yourself on
  video replay.

                MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                 METHODS & TECHNIQUES
Effective Imagery
To be effective the following must be considered:
 You must have vivid image of the skill or
  situation in mind
 Imagine the entire performance associated with
  the skill
 You should be in a relaxed state when using
  imagery
 The image you create must show the desired
  outcome of the performance eg serving an ace,
  perfect dive, scoring the goal

               MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                METHODS & TECHNIQUES
   2. RELAXATION
Effective for athletes who experience high
   levels of anxiety and tension to the
   detriment of their performance.
There are 3 methods of relaxation:

2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)
-   Involves a series of exercises that lead to the
    progressive relaxation of muscle groups and
    eventually total body relaxation
-   Tense one muscle gp at a time for 10 secs,
    followed by release of tension
-   Assists in achieving state of mental calmness
                 MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                  METHODS & TECHNIQUES
2. Meditation
A form of relaxation based on selective attention –
   focusing on certain cues & blocking out others.
You focus on a single thought, sound or object
   relaxation response of the body.
Widely used as a method of controlling pre-comp
   anxiety and focussing attention prior to event or
   game.
3. Self-hypnosis
Used to block out –ve thoughts & replace them with
   +ve ones

                MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                 METHODS & TECHNIQUES
  3. SELF-TALK
Self-talk is about talking/thinking to yourself.

There are 2 types:
 Positive self-talk: can be motivational (eg “I can
  do this”) or instructional to remind you about a
  technique or tactic (eg “bend your knees”)
 Negative self-talk: is self-critical or demeaning
  (eg “my backhand’s useless”), or recalls past
  failures (eg “I’ve missed my last 2 shots”), or is
  pessimistic about the situation (eg I’ll never get
  into the top team”)

                 MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                  METHODS & TECHNIQUES
Uses of self-talk
+ve self-talk can enhance performance in a number
  of ways, including:
 Skill learning

 Changing bad habits

 Motivation

 Building self-confidence

 Focussing attention


When –ve thoughts creep into self-talk they need to be
  stopped. This is achieved through thought stopping (using a
  trigger cue & then concentrating on a +ve thought
                   MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                    METHODS & TECHNIQUES
  4. PERFORMANCE ROUTINES
An excellent aid to mental preparation. 3 types:

1. Pre-performance routines: take place just before
     initiating a performance. For eg, before free
     throw in basketball – step up to line, 2 bounces,
     deep breath, shoot etc. Helps to take attention
     from irrelevant thoughts to the task. Reduces
     anxiety and enhances self-confidence.

2. In-play routines: take place during breaks in the
    action of games. For eg, in tennis a player may
    sit and have drink, imagine next move and use
    cue words to refocus during change of ends.
    Keeps athlete mentally focussed
                   MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                    METHODS & TECHNIQUES
3. Post-performance routines: take place
   immediately after the execution of a skill. There
   is a natural tendency to focus on –ve aspects of
   performance – post-performance routine can
   include a strategy to clear the mind for the next
   skill execution.

•  Performance routines can vary greatly
* It is important that the routine is comfortable
   for you, effectively focuses your attention and
   regulates arousal in order to perform


                MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                 METHODS & TECHNIQUES
  5. GOAL SETTING
Goal setting improves performance by focusing the
  athlete’s attention, increasing their effort and
  persistence and motivating them to learn new
  techniques and skills.

3 basic types of goals:
Outcome goals – focus on outcomes of
  performance/competition eg. To win the game,
  finish on top of the ladder etc
Performance goals – specify a result of the
  performance that will be achieved by the athlete
  independently of the team eg take 10 rebounds in
  a game
                MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                 METHODS & TECHNIQUES
A conflict can arise if an athlete places their
  personal goals above the team goals.
Process goals – focus on specific behaviours
  demonstrated throughout the performance eg
  keeping head down while executing golf drive

Setting effective goals
 Short-term: can be achieved in a limited period of
  time. Stepping stones to achieving long-term
  goals
Long-term: can be achieved only over a long period
  of time

                MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                 METHODS & TECHNIQUES
Goals should be set according to the ability, confidence & motivation
of the performer. 2 acronyms have been developed to guide goal
setting.


   SMARTER                              SCCAMP

   Specific                             Specific
   Measurable                           Controllable
   Action-orientated                    Challenging
   Realistic                            Attainable
   Timely                               Measurable
   Effective                            Personal
   Reviewed

                      MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                       METHODS & TECHNIQUES
Important points when setting goals
- short-term goals important as they provide
  opportunity for immediate feedback & mortivation
- Goals need to be set at correct level – not too easy
  but achievable
- Goals should be written down to facilitate
  measuring and monitoring
- You should reward yourself when a goal is achieved
  and then reflect on the process used to achieve it
- Team as well as individual goals should be set
- You should include a mix of process, performance
  and outcome goals

                 MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                  METHODS & TECHNIQUES

				
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