Our student-athletes reported in post-season interviews the positive use of Metrifit that enabled their own reflection about their bodies and also found value providing information to coaches for our strategic planning purposes. On more than one occasion, we recognized deviations from norms and were able to step-in with a quick chat to help a player get back on track or refer her to the proper support personnel for further assistance.
The data collated on a daily basis greatly informs Management Teams while the educational aspect of the system really appeals to modern day athletes who are constantly looking for that extra edge. I have found it enjoyable and think that it is beneficial to professional golfers and athletes in sport. Robert Karlsson , Professional Golfer. Thus the professional authentic relationships created through the casual conversations, reflection process and application provided is priceless.
Over the year the data has proven instrumental in our critical decision making. Metrifit is a excellent monitoring tool however the unsung additional aspect is the fantastic and tireless customer support. I highly recommend Metrifit. Tino Fusco, B. Not only to monitor daily wellness, readiness to train and training load within the squad, but also to monitor training load externally with additional external squads. We have intimately been utilizing both the subjective wellness questionnaire along with player training load data to drive professional conversation and actionable tasks to enhance the sporting results and quality of life for our student-athletes with unparalleled success.
Being athlete driven, we're able to get buy-in from the athlete, and drive individual or team wide conversations regarding lifestyle and performance education in the direction needed. Seeing acute and chronic stress on a real-time basis has greatly improved the way we schedule workouts and arrange travel during the season. I highly recommend Metrifit for any coach looking to begin implementing technology into their program".
It has been greatly beneficial for us to have our wellness and load management data on one easy to access system. We have found this invaluable over the past season whereby Coaches, Physios and Strength and conditioning coaches can monitor both the psychological and physiological load of our athletes on a daily basis. The data collected daily on the individual players is critical to the decision making of the backroom team including, managers, trainers, selectors, physiotherapist and indeed myself. Yvonne Treacy Nutritionist, Wexford Camogie.
Having a one-stop shop for collating all relevant information across a holistic picture of the player allows us to help prevent burnout, injury and provide timely feedback and communication to all. These components comprise the training modalities used at the elite level and the monitoring of such a vast range of modalities is central to peak performance. The athlete monitoring tool Metrifit allows us to do this and can keep us one step ahead of our competitors. The elite athletes we work with are able track and monitor their situations and states daily, in order to maximize their performance loads and recovery practices.
Category: General Sports Psychology
Edgar K. It assists us in helping them get the balance right between their sporting activities and academic studies. It enables coaches and athletes to track and sift through all the variables that underpin well being and performance on a day to day basis and to address an issue or potential issue in real time.
A simply wonderful product. Metrifit has a very strong educational component. With the information we get, I am able to clearly understand the habits and behaviors of our athletes, and how they may be impacting performance. I recommend it to anyone who wants an easy to use monitoring system. In our space with developing athletes…Metrifit is a godsend and is the most important tool in this space. They found that a significant and positive relationship existed between the dimensions of relevance and concentration.
The higher the level of success by an athlete the more use of imagery that takes place. A national class athlete will spend more time each week on mental imagery then a recreational athlete. A coach could explain the importance of imagery to less skilled athletes.
Mental Toughness: The Psychological Skills (Techniques) USTFCCCA
Elite athletes tend to find imagery highly relevant to improving their performance, requiring a great deal of concentration and being enjoyable to perform. Imagery can lead to a more positive interpretation of an upcoming athletic situation. If an athlete is in a positive emotional state then they should perform better and have more positive outcomes.
An example given by Jones is about a climber. After using imagery the climber, rather than feeling anxious prior to a difficult ascent, experiences excitement in that he now believes that he has the skill to climb well and he will indeed climb well. An example in running would be using imagery to run through a race in your head.
When you go through your strategy a few times then there is a greater chance you will stick to your race plan once the going gets tough. Mentally tough athletes believe imagery as being highly relevant improving performance. When an athlete is learning a new task there is typically high level of arousal. There is extensive cortical activity. The athlete usually tries too hard not to make a mistake.
Sinclair uses the example of learning a lay-up shot in basketball. When first learning the skill the ball is often thrown-up of the backboard and not laid-up softly. The ball is thrown because the athlete is too tense because this is a new situation.
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Another example that I have seen in distance running is learning the steeplechase. The meter steeple chase takes runners out of their optimal level of arousal when they are first learning the event. The runners have a very hard time staying relaxed when running over hurdles and a water jump. There is considerably more tension when they are faced with getting over a inch barrier that will not move if they hit it.
Once a runner learns to relax when hurdling they become more efficient and use less energy both mentally and physically. There is an optimal amount arousal needed to steeplechase and if they are too aroused they will perform sub-optimally. Patrick and Hrycaiko stated that relaxation involved learning a three-step approach. The first step required the participants to practice progressive muscle relaxation training. The second focused on centering while stretching before competition.
The final step consisted of practicing techniques related to relaxing during competition. The participants monitored their tension levels before and after relaxation sessions Patrick and Hrycaiko Participants were at more of an optimal level to compete when they had learned the relaxation techniques.
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A way to maintain self-confidence which is needed to be mentally tough is through positive self-talk. Positive self-talk is nearly a universal practice among champions. Self-talk can be broken down into three types; motivational desire to achieve , mastery based to enhance confidence , and instructional reaffirming competition goals, using other mental skills. If a runner is doing intervals and getting tired a good coach may ask the athlete what they are thinking on the rest period between intervals.
Thelwell and Greenlees explained that using motivational self-talk helped endurance athletes maintain and increase their drive to do well. It helped them get psyched up and relaxed for a good performance. When an athlete had mastered self-talk there were high levels of focus, self-confidence and an ability to cope in difficult situations. They could focus on task relevant factors not task-irrelevant factors. Positive self-talk will be found in all mentally tough athletes. High levels of motivation and unusual talent are the two influences that lead to high attainment.
Ericison et al. This paper looked at what scientific research believes it takes to be a mentally tough athlete. It was found that to be mentally tough, athletes have four essential traits: 1 An unshakable self-belief to achieve goals. Without these beliefs it is difficult to reach full potential in sport. The way to establish these beliefs is difficult but they can be attained by practicing key psychological skills which include goal setting, imagery, relaxation and self-talk.
Coogan was a member of the U. Olympic team in competing in the marathon. Abbott, A. Eliminating the dichotomy between theory and practice in talent identification and development: considering the role of psychology. Journal of Sports Sciences , 22 5 , Cumming, J. Deliberate imagery practice: the development of imagery skills in competitive athletes. Journal of Sports Sciences , 20 2 , Dension, J. Sporting Stories-Junctures, De Swardt, A. Top Elite Performance. Track Coach , , Ericsson, K. Psychological Review, , Farb, S. Your week and my week contain exactly this number of hours each.
The most successful athletes and the ones trying to knock them off their perch all are blessed with hours per calendar week. You can not control guarantee your outcomes and achievements. Nor can anyone else. Both of these concepts are fascinating for similar reasons. Furthermore, future effort and actions for example, what you plan to do by way of meditation when the season starts next month are only influenceable.
So this leaves us with the conclusion that only our efforts and actions of the present moment are genuinely controllable. This makes complete sense if you think about it. Whilst you are reading this you could easily decide to do a couple of quick hand stretching exercises for example. With this in mind, one of the best places to start from a time management point of view is to spend a whole week simply recording your actions.
A basic 24 x 7 table is just fine. Ideally, leave judgment words off the page or file so that it purely states what you were doing during that time. Also, try and record the start and end times of the actions and do so as you go rather than at the end of each day where your memory will limit you. This exercise typically has a major benefit right off the bat. It will increase your awareness and therefore start to help you in becoming more purposeful.
Being more aware and purposeful might well be two of the most underrated secrets of performance excellence. But you can use this data for a lot more than simply increasing the awareness and intentionality of your current time. You can use it to influence your future time too. The best way to do this is via an analysis of the quantity and quality of your current time — the time you recorded. It is essential that you consider quantity and quality as separate — because they are.
Using categories such as sleeping, physical preparation, mental preparation, for example, calculate the amount of time you spent on each according to your data collection not memory.
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If you do this properly then the total of this calculation will be exactly hours. If the number comes out to less than hours you have missed something. Some of my sporting clients when I have asked them to do this have enjoyed converting these time tallies into percentages by dividing the number of hours by 1.
The simplest way to question the quality of time is by considering how many things you were trying to do as once with one being the ideal more than one being the biggest indicator of poor quality time. Multitasking or being a multitasker is seriously overrated. The science is clear now, the best way to do a poor job of a task is to combine it with another task or tasks. You can also have a think about how present you were during the activities. The more present and engaged the higher the quality is likely to be.
Every parent will know this full and well. Being with your kids whilst also trying to reply to some emails is just never going to have the same quality as really being with them with the laptop closed and out the way. Finally, consider if the blocks of time were on purpose or by accident. For example, watching some television intentionally would be regarded as a much higher quality activity compared with doing the same thing by accident — because there was nothing else to do.
The final part is to really ask the hard question — do I want my time moving forward to be the same as it is at the moment in terms of quality and quantity? And if not, try and adjust accordingly. If there is no real plan on how to spend an hour training the mind then shoot us an email at info condorperformance. For many of my clients and myself included the future plan is enough. This typically prevents the ugly side of time management taking place whereby the plan becomes a major source of guilt and frustration.
Are sporting coaches and competitive athletes amongst the more likely to benefit from the principles of positive psychology? Recently I was cleaning out my filing cabinet and I came across an email from a previous coach of mine which outlined some feedback on what he felt I needed to improve on after a recent tournament. I scanned through the email and felt a heaviness settle in my stomach. The feelings and emotions came back from the time I first received the email many years ago. None of the feedback was given to me during the tournament, it was all put in an email and sent when we got back and with no follow-up.
What I noticed most was that there was no positive feedback, not one bit! After reading his email, I felt unmotivated and deflated. Is this type of feedback going to make them better athletes and competitors? A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Happiness and Its Causes conference in Perth, and I was curious, engaged, and fascinated by the content and the vibe of the conference.
I was introduced to Positive Psychology , the science of flourishing. As a performance psychologist, I have always had a passion for helping people thrive in their work and life, so this theory sat well with me and aligned with my goals. I started introducing positive psychology initiatives into my work in organisations and as my sporting clients grew I felt that those striving for high performance also benefitted and that positive psychology has a lot to offer sport. Athletes, coaches and sporting organisations generally have the goal of excellence, both on and off the field, and by using positive psychology strategies, performance psychologists are able to support athletes, staff and families develop resilience and coping skills in order to deal with setbacks, focus on strengths to achieve their goals, and to strive to increase grit the combination of perseverance and passion for long term goals.
These mental skills are just as vital to success as being able to hit a hockey ball, run fast, or shoot a basket.
Top sportspeople swear by these habits.
Talent and technical ability is not enough. Whilst it is very important, we all can name truly gifted athletes that never make it. What sets most athletes apart is their mental toughness: their character, their grit, their positive mindset, and their belief that their ability can be developed through dedication and hard work, most recently introduced as a growth-mindset according to Carol Dweck.
Research has demonstrated that it is easier to promote a strength than it is to develop a weakness, and that our areas of greatest potential are our greatest strengths. Research shows that those who use their strengths are more likely to have higher levels of confidence, vitality and energy, are likely to be more resilient, have higher self-esteem, and to perform better. Coaches and athletes are encouraged to know their strengths and the focus of development should be around their strengths.
Many coaches have a negativity bias and need to train their brains to focus on the good things their athletes are doing. Spotting the energy is crucial to distinguishing the real strengths from learned behaviours. So how do you know what your strengths are? Ask yourself these questions:. In , Carol Dweck introduced us to the notion of growth and fixed mindset.
Those with a growth mindset are more comfortable with failure as they see it as a learning opportunity in comparison to those with a fixed mindset who believe their success is based on innate ability and talent. Athletes with a growth mindset are more likely to see challenges as opportunities rather than barriers, and believe that they can improve, learn and get better with practice and effort.
The good news is, we can choose which mindset we want — we can choose to view our mistakes and setbacks as learning opportunities, or we can view them as limiting obstacles. Those choosing a growth mindset are more likely to persist in difficult times than those with fixed mindsets. And athletes know better than anyone, that if you want to achieve success, there are always barriers and obstacles in the way, including poor form, injury and confidence issues. Sport is emotional — for athletes, coaches, and spectators.
Many emotions are felt from elation, excitement and nervousness to fear, sadness, anger and disappointment. Emotions drive behaviour and often dictate how you perform as an athlete in competition. To become a high performing athlete, you need to understand and manage your emotions so they help rather than hinder your performances. Many people falsely believe that positive psychology only recognises positive aspects of people and their performances, and ignores the negative.
These physical effects can include increased heat rate, nausea, muscle tension, stomach aches, weakened focus, and physically drained. Positive emotions on the other hand can have the opposite effect. Happiness can relieve tension, lower your heart and blood pressure, strengthen your immune system and help to combat stress. Staying calm, focused and positive can help you attend to what you need to by minimising distractions, keeping you relaxed, and increasing your confidence.
It also has the added benefit of being a pleasant person to be around! The best way to increase your emotional intelligence in sport is to be aware of how your emotions impact your behaviour and performances, be able to manage those emotions that lead to poor performances, and create and enhance emotions that lead to good performances. Elite athletes across many sports are grittier than non-elite athletes.
Mental Toughness: The Psychological Skills (Techniques)
They also commit to their sports for a longer period of time. This concept pioneered by Dr Angela Duckworth , explains why some people achieve success without being gifted with unique intelligence or talent. So, if you are an athlete or coach who feels like you missed the talent boat, then there is hope for you. How many of you can credit your successes to your passion, commitment, resilience and perseverance? The good news is that you can develop your grit to become grittier.
Ways to do this include:. Grit cannot be developed overnight; it is an ongoing process. Understanding your strengths and how to use them, adopting a growth mindset, using your emotions strategically and developing grit all contribute to building mental toughness, optimism, motivation and resilience. I know from firsthand experience how focusing on the positive can have a much greater impact on an athlete and bring out the best in us.
Sporting comebacks are easier to understand when you look at the different areas that make up optimal sporting performances. Which of courses begs the question successful as defined by who and what? Many commentators are calling it one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time. Apologies if you already know all of this. Tiger dominated the international golf scene for just over a decade. Lance might have been a contender but we all know what happened to him! Fourteen majors in eleven years mean he was averaging more than one per year during the glory years. Only Tiger will really know what contributed to the slide in his form.
He went from more than a Major a year to none for the following 10 years. Theories-a-plenty suggests a combination of factors. Maybe ageing, injuries, improved opponents and non-golfing scandals or a combination? Between and his trophy cabinet did not continue to fill up at quite the same rate as per the previous decade. The above graph is very telling in many ways. For me, the most meaningful takeaway is this notion of success as defined by who and what — as mentioned earlier. In other words, like so much in sports psychology, comebacks are all relative.
This resulted in many of these lesser golfing achievements top 5 and top 10 finishes for example got ignored, dismissed or underplayed. With this in mind, I would suggest that athletes and coaches be very mindful of letting results influenceable play too big a role in what they regard as successful. And if you must use sporting results collect a whole bunch of them, not just the ones the tabloid journalists write about.
As you can see what he had to go through from a physical point of view would have been enough to force most athletes into retirement. This includes — amongst other factors — relationships, happiness, mental health and fun! Although there is still a lot of data missing proving the link between improved wellbeing and sporting results trust me as a performance psychologist whose team of psychologists currently assists athletes and coaches from across the English speaking world — the two are linked.
Another couple of sporting comebacks that just took place and that probably gives readers some clues about the sports that I tend to follow in my downtime were the two recent Champions League semifinals.