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What is Mental Skills Coaching?

If you imagine Olympic athletes preparing for competition, you might imagine that they are doing typical athletes.

In tokyoMany athletes on the US team have added another routine to their pre-game checklist. This is a virtual or face-to-face check-in by an on-call mental skills coach.

Colleen Hacker, a psychological consultant who has been teaching top American athletes for over 25 years, is always in a hurry to contact us via zoom, text, and email from Olympic clients. From my home in Tacoma, Washington, I’m counseling on how to prevent pressure choking, how to adjust media chattering, and how to calm butterflies in the stomach.

In regular coaching, major athletes may repeatedly drill and scrim seriously, but mental skill coaches have a series of instilling ideas of victory, such as sharpening field focus, increasing self-confidence, and distracting. Provides athletes with psychological tips and tricks.

Mental skills training is a “combination of counseling, support and coaching,” said Brian Alexander, a San Diego-based mental skills coach who also works with Olympic athletes in Tokyo. “It teaches the basic skills to train your brain to run under pressure.”

And many of the best translators are skilled translators, weeding out the latest research on ideas and communicating them directly to clients in a memorable way. Jean Williams, an Arizona-based sports psychologist who has worked as a mental skills consultant, said: “But we also need individuality to be able to provide them.”

Mental skills coaching has existed since the early 20th century.One of its pioneers, a sports psychologist Coleman GriffithHelped boost the mental readiness of the Chicago Cubs in the 1930s.But in recent years, as scientific research has demonstrated, this area has gained more recognition. Its advantages..

Today, hundreds of elite-level athletes and teams, from swimmers to field hockey players NFL stuff — Work with a mental skills coach.And many Olympic athletes Honoring their success..

Here are some of the strategies that mental skills trainers teach and how to apply them to your own life.

One of the most popular mental skill techniques is image training. In this training, athletes should keep in mind the sounds, smells, and competitive atmosphere hours, days, weeks, and months before large-scale competitions.

When Dr. Hacker collaborated with the 2018 Women’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team, she repeatedly made them imagine the specific movements they needed to perform in the competition. To make this mental rehearsal more realistic, Dr. Hacker sometimes asked players to do it in the arena, wearing uniforms, squeezing sticks, and smelling ice rinks, but not necessarily the body. No need to move.

Regular practice of this type of sensory-based imaging technology, Some studies suggestIn some cases, you can improve your sporting performance as much as the same amount of physical exercise without straining your body.

If you have a future task, such as giving a speech, you can use this strategy by incorporating as many sensory details as possible and imagining the story going from start to finish. How do you feel when you stand on the podium? What kind of sound do you hear in the auditorium?

Mental skills coaches also saidPressure trainingA regimen that provokes the anxiety that athletes face in competition. “I’ve worked with a team that sends this chaotic music during practice,” said Alexander. “They need to understand how to work together when they can’t hear the coach.” Similarly, Dr. Hacker sometimes asks soccer players to kick a drill in an impossiblely small field square and tough. Assign to make you feel mentally ready for ball handling on match days.

small University student golfer researchFor example, those who practiced placing under higher pressure conditions during filming performed better than those who practiced without pressure.

To create your own pressure training plan, find a way to increase your stress level while preparing. Want to nail a presentation of an important piece? Do some practice runs in front of a group of colleagues. Are you preparing for a tense chat with your family? You can role-play chats with your friends in advance, have them make provocative remarks, and hone your response.

If the athletes need to perform advanced skills, such as rushing the defender to the basket, their minds can start the competition. Instead of relying on their muscle memory to propel them through golf swings and double somersaults, some athletes consciously cling to shuffles or twists in the air.It can leave them There is a risk of tripping or freezing..

To counter this kind of overthinking, Dr. Hacker may ask athletes to perform fun, loose dance steps and other physical movements on the sidelines just before a performance. Otherwise, it will make you joking and laugh. This helps free their minds from high pressure situations and confuses the spiral of negative thoughts. “It’s a way to be fluid, resilient and adaptable again,” said Dr. Hacker.

Whether you’re playing a round of golf or preparing for a job interview, do something physical just before a crucial moment in your life. Grasp and release the handle of the putter or crank out some pirouettes in the parking lot. Or watch a funny YouTube comedy sketch or send a text message with a funny friend.

but also Laughter signals your body to produce endorphinsA soothing chemical that can induce calm, it’s a spiritual icebreaker that stops you from ruminating in previous challenges.

“I’m not going to sit there and start dissecting,” said Julie Faudi, an Olympic soccer gold medalist who trained with Dr. Hacker. “It’s OK, come on, it’s like laughing about it. And let’s go win.”

What is Mental Skills Coaching?

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