Friday, April 8, 2011

When It Comes To Competition Shouldn't We Train The Mind Like We Train The Body?

Each week on Facebook I post a "Random Question of the Day".  I have no idea where these questions come from… (My mind feels like it is going a mile a second and I guess from these idle thoughts pops a random question.. who knows?) 
Anywho, I’ve recently posted a couple of questions with regards to what makes a great athlete phenomenal….  (Incidentally, this is the premise of my dissertation.)  Not surprisingly, mental attributes such as confidence, focus, passion, resiliency and mental toughness were the responses mainly  provided.  Obviously, I’m in agreement with that, and there is strong literature support. 
However, if many people value the mental attributes of athletes why isn’t this area worked on in training as much as the physical elements are?  It seems asinine to expect psychological excellence to just exist without refinement.  Doesn’t it stand to reason that even the most advanced mentally tough athlete would benefit from working on this area in addition to the physical elements?
Often, the athletes that seek sports psychology consultation are those when their performances have gotten unbarably bad.  I’ve worked with athletes’ weeks before a major championship.  At this point, they are desperate and the balance of their season is dependent on this one day looming ahead.
I believe psychological skills training is something which should be incorporated through the course of one’s training.  In the coming weeks I’ll blog more on the various factors – such as improving one’s self-confidence, goal-setting and distraction control.  Perhaps, at the very least it may encourage people to consider a proactive approach to psychological excellence.
Supporter of Psychological Skills Training,

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