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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

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

                METHODS & TECHNIQUES
 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
   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
- Enabling mental practice during rehabilitation

                METHODS & TECHNIQUES
Types of Imagery
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

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
 The image you create must show the desired
  outcome of the performance eg serving an ace,
  perfect dive, scoring the goal

                METHODS & TECHNIQUES
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
3. Self-hypnosis
Used to block out –ve thoughts & replace them with
   +ve ones

                MENTAL SKILLS - TRAINING
                 METHODS & TECHNIQUES
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
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
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
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

   SMARTER                              SCCAMP

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

                      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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