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Sport management is an integral part of our culture and is a significant part of the leisure services sector. Sport management can be defined as

any combination of skills related to planning, organizing, controlling, budgeting, leading and evaluating within the context of an organization, whose primary product is related to sport and/or physical activity. Sport is organized, promoted and managed by a broad spectrum of formal organizations including not-for-profit community-based voluntary

associations, provincial and national organizations as well as the private and commercial (for-profit) sectors. Volunteers are an essential part of the sport delivery system and fulfill many roles (e.g., board/committee positions, coaching, officials). Sports management is simply defined as any combination of skills related to planning, organizing, controlling, budgeting, leading and

evaluating within the context of an organization, whose primary product is related to sport and/or physical activity.



Performing Under Pressure The article considers what is pressure, how athletes experience it and how to manage pressure. When you understand "how" and "when" you feel pressure, you can use it to help you instead of work against you. Psychological Skills Training A review of psychological skills training and the factors that can influence the benefits of such a program for an athlete

It's all in the mind A review of the techniques that will allow an athlete to relax and to focus their attention in a positive manner on the task of preparing for and participating in competition

How your athletes can avoid stress If you are in a stressful situation then your athletic performance, whether this be in competition or in training, will be effected. Here are some tips on how to manage stress.

When you can manage your emotions, you can perform at your best We know from countless studies that mental skills are acquirable and you can, with practice, learn to perform mentally. You can improve your confidence, concentration, motivation and anxiety levels if you chose to

Mental Models - Noticing distinctions How Jonny Wilkinson uses an imaginary girl to stay focused on the rugby pitch and how we might acquire similar mental skills

Time and its influence on motivation How an athlete's psychological relationship to time will influence their motivation Is "Achievement Goal Theory" reality or just a myth A resume of a MSc thesis, which investigates if achievement goal theory is based on fact or fiction

What is the stimulus that gives rise to a specific response? How to build simple, powerful anchors for mental focus

The psychological side of injury The emotional stages an athlete goes through when injured

Wishing yourself a speedy recovery - the value of the mind in

body healing It is clearly important to speed the recovery process as much as possible, and the evidence drawn on above suggests that hypnosis may be utilised as part of treatment during a recovery period

Zen Mind, Sports Mind How to achieve a state of peak performance where actions are automatic, intuitive and unconscious and where bursts of 'spontaneous excellence' occur naturally and effortlessly

Taoist standing practice - for health, strength and athletic

development A review of the Taoist standing practice and how it helps to strengthen the bones and tendons, increase core stability and develop a powerful competitive spirit

Taoist standing practice - core stability A explanation of the advanced standing posture and its benefits for developing core stability, as well as a more competitive mindset Minding the injury The four stages an injured athlete will go though on the road to recovery. Sports Psychology and Performance Enhancement How you and your team may benefit from the application of sports psychology How to be a champion in sport and life

Three key points that will boost your workouts to Olympic training status Sports psychology guidelines for sports parents How parents can help make sport a successful and fun experience for young athletes Which sports seem to produce low self-esteem? Athletes who develop eating disorders are female, and these athletes are usually found in a fairly small number of sports, including gymnastics, cross-country, swimming, and track and field The power of thoughts There is scientific proof that negative thinking does play a role in producing negative outcomes. If you do not believe it then try this experiment: Self-esteem in the athlete Why athletes must learn to separate self-esteem from their level of performance in sports

Golf - it's all in the swing and the mind How to prepare your annual golf training program and the benefits of including psychology training into the program Running Buddhas: Ultra-endurance and the spiritual athlete

A look at the training the Japanese Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei undertake to perform such a feat of ultra-endurance and how you can apply some of their training to your own sport The Way of Energy and the Future of Performance Enhancement A review of how the Eastern energy arts such as Chi Kung and T'ai Chi can have a positive impact on the four main areas of Sports Science - namely biomechanics, strength and conditioning, endurance and the mental game.


Over the past few years, Performance Profiling has become a new tool in the athlete & coach's armoury. Performance Profiling has three major purposes:

To aid in identifying an appropriate intervention To maximise the athlete's motivation and adherence to the program To monitor any changes over time To imbibe in the hearts and minds of the students that sport is a potent factor in making a person mentally alert, physically healthy and emotionally stable. A sport is also a very important social asset.

To create awareness among teachers, coaches, trainers, and sports officials that impressive sports management brings about success that has tremendous impact on the students. Athletes interest,

involvement and performance, as well as adult managers and officials.

To further elevate the status of sports in the region and in the country and to contribute to the realization of the national objective.


Acquiring mental skills The good news is that just like their physical counterparts, mental skills can be developed and perfected. The acquisition of physical skills can be thought of as a three-phase process (Fitts and Posner 1967 [3]):

Cognitive (focusing on the nature of the task) Associative (develops proprioception learning to feel if our

movements are correct)

Autonomous (making this an unconscious process)

Mental skills can be thought of as developing in the same way. Skill acquisition essentially begins in the cognitive stage with the process of modeling the skill required. This is a straightforward matter when this skill is physical and can be observed and taught. In particular the use of videotapes and computer software can assist is establishing the finer nuances, which perhaps the performer did not even know about. Yet when the skill has mental components, or is a purely mental skill, you can only achieve so much by observation, the way to really understand the

breakdown of the strategy is to ask. And of course you have to ask the right questions.


1 - Understanding the system Billy's goals were to perform well in the trial, to get into the team and to have a bearable life leading up to the trial. He complained of being so nervous during the weeks and days before a trial that he would stop eating and sleeping and become incredibly anxious. Billy was a talented and consistent performer outside the trial situation. Everyone expected him to get into the trial on this occasion and this was making him feel even more nervous. Billy's main concern was scoring high enough on the fitness test. As a 14-year-old he had been labeled as lazy and unfit by a school coach and had dreaded fitness tests ever since. Billy also tended to think a lot about what other people said about him and during trials would let his colleagues performances, especially if they were good, affect his own. Billy needed to improve his self-confidence and reduce his pre- trial anxiety in order to perform at his best.


2 - Strategy Billy's main constraints were:

his self-perception of his fitness the exaggerated emphasis he was placing on the fitness test his tendency to judge his own performance by the standards of his peers

the priority he was attaching to the physical and technical aspects of his game at the expense of the mental side

the critical way he spoke to himself during his performances (which was draining his confidence)

Supporting him was his commitment, his technical and physical skills, his experience of being in the trial situations and the supportive resources he had around him (parents, club and peers). Working together, we minimised his constraints. By conducting a self-assessment of the most important criteria required for trial success (physical, technical and mental) we developed a training strategy which realigned his training time more appropriately. This also served to put his fitness test into perspective, as it was only one of 17 criteria he had to satisfy. By increasing his fitness preparation Billy was able to improve his self-confidence.


By visually re editing past fitness failures with pictures of him performing well in the test, Billy was also able to increase his fitness confidence. By mentally rehearsing the whole trial performance, Billy was able to increase his general levels of confidence. Together we conducted the gestalt therapy technique of the 'empty chair', which involved literally having a conversation with himself As a result, Billy increased his self- awareness, becoming more conscious of his internal dialogue. Practicing giving descriptive feedback in the moment (saying only how he was feeling or what he could see or hear), allowed him to move from imagining the future (which usually made him feel anxious) to paying attention to the present and with it what he needed to do in the moment (thereby increasing his effectiveness). Billy also recorded insights and learning experiences in a journal, which further increased his self-awareness. Billy began to maximise his resources by choosing to spend his time only with people who were supportive of him, and by channeling his drive and energy into our mental skill programme. 3 - Support Billy saw me six times and worked extremely hard in between our sessions. I gave him encouragement to persevere with the programme as well as challenging him whenever appropriate. For example, when he said things like "everyone else is so relaxed and confident" I would say, "you imagine they are confident, but what exactly do you see or hear which

suggests that they are?" Billy soon began to recognise the difference between reality and his interpretation of reality. With this followed a different emotional response and with it a different, more supportive behavioural response. Outcome Billy's ratings in seven out of his 17 criteria improved, with none decreasing. He reported feeling less anxious about his trial and more confident in his ability to perform well. At the trial itself he did exactly that. He even put himself forward to demonstrate a few skills, which is something he has never done before. Ultimately Billy was successful in getting through to a core England team for the first time ever.


Brian Mackenzie provides some tips on how to manage stress. Stress is experienced when an individual feels that they cannot cope with a situation with which they are presented. If an athlete is in a stressful situation then their athletic performance, whether this be in competition or in training, will be effected. The coach can limit the effect on performance of competitive anxiety by assisting the athlete to identify an appropriate coping strategy. CONCEPT OF SPORTS MANAGEMENT

Sports management is the application of management science to the creation and development of sporting events. In recent years, sports management has emerged as a field of education and vocation concerning the business aspects of sports. It has

become a degree program that many consider to be the ultimate way to enjoy their career. The success or failure of any sports program depends on how it is planned, executed, evaluated, and corrected. No program can be assured of success in all places at all times even when executed by the three Ms such as materials resources, manpower and method used. The intervening variables and the internal as well as the external factors greatly influence the result of the program. This chapter will be the discussion of the organization and

management of sports, which will include the planning of school intramurals and actual implementation of the management of sports.






This company profile offers a comprehensive analysis of the organization, its busi ness segments, and competitors. It analyzes the business and marketing strategies adopted by the company, to


gain a competitive edge in the industry. The profile also evaluates the strength s of the company and the opportunities present in the market.

This profile is of immense help to management consultants, analysts, ma rket research organizations and corporate advisors.

The objective and scope of various sections of our company profile has been di scussed below.

Company Summary This section presents the key facts & figures, business description, product s & services offered and corporate timeline of the company.

Company Analysis It involves analysis of the company at three levels segments, organizati onal structure and ownership composition. Both business and geographic segments are analyzed alongwith their recent financial performance. It

further discusses the recent merger & acquisitions.

Business Developments

This section examines the significant developments that have taken place in the company. It is a

form of news analysis where the most critical company news is discussed.

Discussion of Business Strategies This section talks about the current and future strategies of the company . All business, marketing, financial and organizational strategies are discussed here.

SWOT Our SWOT Analysis is a valuable step in assessing your companys strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It offers powerful

insight into the critical issues affecting a business.

Financial Performance It discusses the most recent financials of the company and also compares the historical sales & income figures with the current and projected figures. The objective is to evalu ate the financial

health of the company. The analyst opinion and stock performance help us in evaluating the performance of the company from an investors viewpoint.




Performance Profiling comprises of four steps:

Step 1 - Coach outlines the Performance Profiling process Step 2 - Athlete identifies the characteristics of an elite athlete for his/her sport/event

Step 3 - Athlete rates each in terms of level of importance and self assessment

Step 4 - Athlete and Coach analyse the results and agree a way forward

Step 1 The first step is for the coach to introduce to the athlete the idea of Performance Profiling and how it can help to direct training to areas of specific need. This process can be aided by a sense of mutual trust, and it should be made clear that any information gained about the athlete will remain strictly confidential. Coaches should stress that there are no right or

wrong answers involved in the process but that honest appraisal will facilitate a more productive outcome. The coach needs to explain that the process will focus on the athlete's current feelings regarding their preparation for competition. Step 2 The athlete becomes actively involved in this step of the process, and the following question should be directed to the athlete: The increased stress of competitions can cause athletes to react both physically and mentally in a manner that can negatively affect their performance abilities. They may become tense, their heart rates race, they break into a cold sweat, they worry about the outcome of the competition, they find it hard to concentrate on the task in hand. This has led coaches to take an increasing interest in the field of sport psychology and in particular in the area of competitive anxiety. That interest has focused on techniques that athletes can use in the competitive situation to maintain control and optimise their performance. Once learned, these techniques allow the athlete to relax and to focus his/her attention in a positive manner on the task of preparing for and participating in competition. Psychology is another weapon in the athlete's armoury in gaining the winning edge. The 4C's

Concentration, confidence, control and commitment (the 4C's) are generally considered the main mental qualities that are important for successful performance in most sports.

Concentration - ability to maintain focus Confidence - believe in one's abilities Control - ability to maintain emotional control regardless of distraction Commitment - ability to continue working to agreed goals

The techniques of relaxation, centering and mental imagery can assist an athlete to achieve the 4C's.

Concentration This is the mental quality to focus on the task in hand. If the athlete lacks concentration then their athletic abilities will not be effectively or efficiently applied to the task. Research has identified the following types of attention focus:

Broad Narrow continuum - the athlete focuses on a large or small number of stimuli

Internal External continuum - the athlete focuses on internal stimuli (feelings) or external stimuli (ball)

The demand for concentration varies with the sport:

Sustained concentration - distance running, cycling, tennis, squash Short bursts of concentration - cricket, golf, shooting, athletic field events

Intense concentration - sprinting events, bobsleigh, skiing

Common distractions are: anxiety, mistakes, fatigue, weather, public announcements, coach, manager, opponent, negative thoughts etc. Strategies to improve concentration are very personal. One way to maintain focus is to set process goals for each session or competition. The athlete will have an overall goal for which the athlete will identify a number of process goals that help focus on specific aspects of the task. For each of these goals the athlete can use a trigger word (a word which instantly refocuses the athlete's concentration to the goal) e.g. sprinting technique requires the athlete to focus on being tall, relaxed, smooth and to drive with the elbows - trigger word could be "technique" Athletes will develop a routine for competition that may include the night before, the morning, pre competition, competition and post

competition routines. If these routines are appropriately structured then they can prove a useful aid to concentration. Confidence

Confidence results from the comparison an athlete makes between the goal and their ability. The athlete will have self-confidence if they believe they can achieve their goal. (Comes back to a quote of mine - "You only achieve what you believe"). When an athlete has self confidence they will tend to: persevere even when things are not going to plan, show enthusiasm, be positive in their approach and take their share of the responsibility in success and fail. To improve their self confidence, an athlete can use mental imagery to:

visualise previous good performance to remind them of the look and feel

imagine various scenarios and how they will cope with them

Good goal setting (challenging yet realistic) can bring feelings of success. If athletes can see that they are achieving their short term goals and moving towards their long term goals then confidence grows. Confidence is a positive state of mind and a belief that you can meet the challenge ahead - a feeling of being in control. It is not the situation that directly affects confidence; thoughts, assumptions and expectations can build or destroy confidence. High self confidence

Thoughts - positive thoughts of success


Feelings - excited, anticipation, calm, elation, prepared Focus - on self, on the task Behaviour - give maximum effort and commitment, willing to take chances, positive reaction to set backs, open to learning, take responsibility for outcomes

Low self confidence

Thoughts - negative, defeat or failure, doubt Feelings - tense, dread, fear. not wanting to take part Focus - on others, on less relevant factors (coach, umpire, conditions) Behaviour - lack of effort, likely to give up, unwilling to take risks (rather play safe), blame others or conditions for outcome

Control Identifying when an athlete feels a particular emotion and

understanding the reason for the feelings is an important stage of helping an athlete gain emotional control. An athlete's ability to maintain control of their emotions in the face of adversity and remain positive is essential to successful performance. Two emotions that are often associated with poor performance are anxiety and anger.


Anxiety comes in two forms - Physical (butterflies, sweating, nausea, needing the toilet) and Mental (worry, negative thoughts, confusion, lack of concentration). Relaxation is a technique that can be used to reduce anxiety. When an athlete becomes angry, the cause of the anger often becomes the focus of attention. This then leads to a lack of concentration on the task, performance deteriorates and confidence in ability is lost which fuels the anger - a slippery slope to failure. Commitment Sports performance depends on the athlete being fully committed to numerous goals over many years. In competition with these goals the athlete will have many aspects of daily life to manage. The many competing interests and commitments include work, studies, family/partner, friends, social life and other hobbies/sports Within the athlete's sport, commitment can be undermined by:

a perceived lack of progress or improvement not being sufficiently involved in developing the training program not understanding the objectives of the training program injury lack of enjoyment

anxiety about performance - competition becoming bored coach athlete not working as a team lack of commitment by other athletes

Setting goals with the athlete will raise their feelings of value, give them joint ownership of the goals and therefore become more committed to achieving them. All goals should be SMARTER. Many people (coach, medical support team, manager, friends, etc) can contribute to an athlete's levels of commitment with appropriate levels of support and positive feedback, especially during times of injury, illness and poor performance. Successful emotional states The following are emotional states experienced with successful performance:

Happy - felt that this was my opportunity to demonstrate an excellent performance. Felt I could beat anybody.

Calm and nervous - Felt nervous but really at ease with these feelings. I accepted and expected to be nervous but felt ready to start.

Anxious but excited - Felt so ready to compete but a little nervous. Nerves and excitement come together

Confident - I remembered all the successful training sessions and previous best performances

Psychology Skills Training Training for the athlete should aim to improve their mental skills, such as self-confidence, motivation, the ability to relax under great pressure, and the ability to concentrate and usually has three phases:

Education phase, during which athletes learn about the importance of psychological skills and how they affect performance

Acquisition phase, during which athletes learn about the strategies and techniques to improve the specific psychological skills that they require

Practice phase, during which athletes develop their psychological skills through repeated practice, simulations, and actual competition.

Competitive Anxiety Competition can cause athletes to react both physically (somatic) and mentally (cognitive) in a manner which can negatively affect their


performance abilities. Stress, arousal and anxiety are terms used to describe this condition. The major problem in competition is letting your mind work against you rather than for you. You must accept anxiety symptoms as part and parcel of the competition experience; only then will anxiety begin to facilitate your performance.

Anxiety - Performance Relationship Theory Drive Theory According to the Drive Theory [Clark Hull 1943] if an athlete is appropriately skilled then it will help them to perform well if their drive to compete is aroused - they are "psyched up". Inverted-U hypothesis An alternative approach to Drive Theory is known as the Inverted-U hypothesis [Yerkes and Dodson, 1908] that predicts a relationship between arousal and performance approximates to an inverted U shape. The theory is that as arousal is increased then performance improves but only up to a


certain point (top of the inverted U). If the athlete's arousal is increased beyond this point then performance diminishes. Multi-dimensional Anxiety Theory Multi-dimensional Anxiety Theory [Martens et al., 1990] is based on the distinction between cognitive anxiety and somatic anxiety. The theory makes a series of predictions:

There will be a negative but linear relationship between cognitive anxiety and performance

There will be an inverted U relationship between somatic anxiety and performance

Somatic anxiety should decline once performance begins but cognitive anxiety may remain high if confidence is low

Catastrophe Theory Catastrophe Theory [Hardy & Fazey 1987] suggests that:

stress and anxiety will influence performance each athlete will respond in a unique way to competitive anxiety performance will be effected in a unique way which may be difficult to predict using general rules


Optimum Arousal Theory According to the Optimum Arousal Theory [Yuri Hanin] each athlete will perform at their best if their level of arousal or competitive anxiety falls within their optimum functioning zone. The challenge for the coach is to determine the athlete's zone and identify the techniques that will place the athlete in this zone prior to competition. How do you measure Anxiety? A range of psychometric tests or sport anxiety questionnaires (SAQ) have been used by sports psychologists to understand and measure this condition. In 1966 Charles Spiel berger argued that it was necessary to make a distinction between momentary states and more permanent traits.

Anxiety states (A-state) is our response to a particular situation (i.e. sky diving)

Anxiety traits (A-trait) are the characteristics of our personality, our general anxiety level

Marten developed anxiety traits (A-trait) questionnaires that were tailored specially to sport known as the Sport Competition Anxiety Test (SCAT). Marten recognised that any measure of sport anxiety must take into consideration cognitive anxiety (negative thoughts, worry) and somatic anxiety (physiological response). The Competitive State Anxiety Inventory or CSAI-2 takes into account the difference between A-state and A-trait and

distinguishes between cognitive and somatic anxiety. [Martens, R., Burton, D., Vealey, R. Bump, L. & Smith, D. (1990). The Development of the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2)] Symptoms of Anxiety Anxiety can be recognised on three levels:

Cognitive - by particular thought process Somatic - by physical response Behavioural - by patterns of behaviour Somatic Increased blood pressure Pounding heart Increased respiration rate Sweating Clammy hands and feet Butterflies in the stomach Adrenaline surge Dry mouth Need to urinate Muscular tension Tightness in neck and shoulders Trembling Incessant talking

Cognitive Indecision Sense of confusion Feeling heavy Negative thoughts Poor concentration Irritability Fear Forgetfulness Loss of confidence Images of failure Defeatist self-talk Feeling rushed Feeling weak Constant dissatisfaction Unable to take instructions

Behavioural Biting fingernails Lethargic movements Inhibited posture Playing safe Going through the motions Introversion Uncharacteristic displays of extroversion Fidgeting Avoidance of eye contact Covering face with hand

Thoughts of avoidance

Blushing Pacing up and down Distorted vision Twitching Yawning Voice distortion Nausea Vomiting Diarrhoea Loss of appetite Sleeplessness Loss of libido

How can we control Anxiety? As we can see anxiety includes state and trait dimensions both of which can show themselves as cognitive and somatic symptoms. An athlete with high anxiety trait (A-trait) is likely to be more anxious in stressful situations. To help the athlete control competitive anxiety somatic

techniques (relaxation) and cognitive techniques (mental imagery) can be used. The five breath technique This exercise can be performed while you are standing up, lying down or sitting upright. You should inhale slowly, deeply and evenly through your nose, and exhale gently through your mouth as though flickering, but not extinguishing, the flame of a candle:


Take a deep breath and allow your face and neck to relax as you breathe out

Take a second deep breath and allow your shoulders and arms to relax as you breathe out

Take a third deep breath and allow your chest, stomach and back to relax as you breathe out

Take a fourth deep breath and allow your legs and feet to relax as you breathe out

Take a fifth deep breath and allow your whole body to relax as you breathe out

Continue to breathe deeply for as long as you need to, and each time you breathe out say the word 'relax' in your mind's ear

[Reference: Dr Karageorghis, Competition anxiety needn't get you down, Peak Performance Issue 243] Benson's relaxation response Benson's technique is a form of meditation that can be used to attain quite a deep sense of relaxation and can be ideal for staying calm in between rounds of a competition. It can be mastered with just a few weeks' practice and comprises of seven easy steps: 1. Sit in a comfortable position and adopt a relaxed posture

2. Pick a short focus word that has significant meaning for you and that you associate with relaxation (e.g. relax, smooth, calm, easy, float, etc.) 3. Slowly close your eyes 4. Relax all the muscles in your body 5. Breathe smoothly and naturally, repeating the focus word 6. Be passive so that if other thoughts enter your mind, dismiss them with, 'Oh well' and calmly return to the focus word - do not concern yourself with how the process is going 7. Continue this for 10 to 15 minutes as required.

Mental Imagery Mental imagery involves the athletes imagining themselves in a specific environment or performing a specific activity. The images should have the athlete performing these items very well and successfully. They should see themselves enjoying the activity and feeling satisfied with their performance. They should attempt to enter fully into the image with all their senses. Sight, hear, feel, touch, smell and perform, as they would like to perform in real life.


When an athlete is in a fully relaxed state, he/she is particularly receptive to mental imagery. The next stage is then to learn how to develop and apply mental imagery skills. What can mental imagery be used for? Mental Imagery can be used:

To see success. Many athletes "see" themselves achieving their goals on a regular basis, both performing skills at a high level and seeing the desired performance outcomes

To motivate. Before or during training sessions, calling up images of your goals for that session, or of a past or future competition or competitor can serve a motivational purpose. It can vividly remind you of your objective, which can result in increased intensity in training.

To perfect skills. Mental imagery is often used to facilitate the learning and refinement of skills or skill sequences. The best athletes "see" and "feel" themselves performing perfect skills, programs, routines, or plays on a very regular basis.

To familiarise. Mental imagery can be effectively used to familiarize yourself with all kinds of things, such as a competition site, a race course, a complex play pattern or routine, a pre-competition plan, an event focus plan, a media interview plan, a refocusing plan, or the strategy you plan to follow

To set the stage for performance . Mental imagery is often an integral part of the pre-competition plan, which helps set the mental stage for a good performance. Athletes do a complete mental run through of the key elements of their performance. This helps draw out their desired pre-competition feelings and focus. It also helps keep negative thoughts from interfering with a positive pre-game focus.

To refocus. Mental imagery can be useful in helping you to re focus when the need arises. For example, if a warm-up is feeling sluggish, imagery of a previous best performance or previous best event focus can help get things back on track. You can also use imagery as a means of refocusing within the event, by imagining what you should focus on and feeling that focus.

Mental imagery should not focus on the outcome but on the actions to achieve the desired outcome. How do I apply mental imagery? Golfing great Jack Nicklaus used mental imagery. In describing how he images his performance, he wrote: "I never hit a shot even in practice without having a sharp in-focus picture of it in my head. It's like a colour movie. First, I "see" the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes, and I "see" the ball going there: its path,

trajectory, and shape, even its behaviour on landing. Then there's a sort of fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality only at the end of this short private Hollywood spectacular do I select a club and step up to the ball." When should mental imagery be used? To become highly proficient at the constructive use of imagery, you have to use it ever day, on your way to training, during training, after training, and in the evenings before sleeping. If you want to perfect and use mental imagery to your fullest advantage, you can start by doing two things. In every training session, before you execute any skill or combination of skills, first do it in imagery as perfectly and precisely as possible. See, feel, and experience yourself moving through the actions in your mind, as you would like them actually to unfold. In competitions, before the event starts, mentally recall the event focus plan, significant plays, skills, movements, reactions, or feelings that you want to carry into the event. How can I stay focused? I expect you have seen an athlete become angry at their performance (throw a tantrum, throw the racket on the floor, argue with the judge etc.). The problem here is that the athlete is focusing on the mistake (the past), something than cannot be changed, and not on the future (the next point). In


young athletes, this can be hard to overcome not only because they are inexperienced but also because of peer pressure or the fear of losing. In sports psychology "pattern breaking" routines are used to help prevent the athlete falling into this negative attitude. A "pattern breaker" can be a word or phrase shouted within the brain (not vocally) or something physical (pinging an elastic band on the wrist). The coach can use the "pattern breaker" in training or competition to refocus the athlete. This approach may not be suitable for a young athlete as it is specialised and will take time for them to master. Many young athletes have their idol (role model) who they would like to emulate. You may see the athlete attempt to assume the identity and hallmarks of the role model when they perform. This is beneficial provided the role model is a suitable one. Watching the role model in action (video, television, live) will help the athlete see how their idol stays focused and how they react to their mistakes. The role model's name could become the "pattern breaker" phrase for the coach to use when their young protge falls into the negative thoughts trap. On hearing their role model's name the athlete will shift their focus to how their role model would react and assume a positive (calm, composed and motivated) approach. What are the benefits? Mental Imagery itself can be useful in a number of circumstances including:

developing self confidence developing pre-competition and competition strategies which teach athletes to cope with new situations before they actually encounter them

helping the athlete to focus his/her attention or concentrate on a particular skill he/she is trying to learn or develop. This can take place both in or away from the training session

the competition situation

When combined with relaxation it is useful in:

the promotion of rest, recovery and recuperation the removal of stress related reactions, e.g. increased muscular tension, etc.

the establishing of a physical and mental state which has an increased receptivity to positive mental imagery

the establishing of a set level of physical and mental arousal prior to warming up for competition

The "Quick Set" routine


Psychologist Jeff Simons developed a routine that would allow an athlete to achieve an appropriate mental arousal in the last 30 seconds before a competition. The "Quick Set" routine, which involves physical, emotional and focus cues, can also be used as a means of refocusing quickly following a distraction. An example of this routine for a sprinter could be:

Close your eyes, clear your mind and maintain deep rhythmical breathing, in through your nose and out through your mouth (physical cue)

Imagine a previous race win, see yourself crossing the line in first place and recreate those emotional feelings of success (emotional cue)

Return your focus to the sprint start, think of blasting off on the 'B' of the bang with the appropriate limb action (focus cue)

"You only achieve what you believe" I use this quotation when I hear an athlete make a negative statement about their ability. I also use it to focus the athlete's attention when assisting them to develop mental imagery skills.


Performance Profiling If a 1500 metre runner appeared to lack speed towards the end of a race, an effective coach would observe this and design a training program to address this situation. Similarly, if psychological factors require attention, the intervention must be tailored to specific needs. However, where as speed, or lack of it, can be directly observed, psychological factors are often hidden. A key problem for coaches seeking to address such issues is how to work out what the problem is when they cannot observe what is going on in their athlete's mind. A direct question does not always provide the full facts since athletes can be reluctant, at least initially, to discuss such things. An approach that is becoming popular in sport is Performance Profiling.










characteristics of an elite athlete in your sport/event? Spend five to ten minutes listing the qualities or characteristics that the athlete feels are important. If an athlete finds this difficult, the coach can use prompts, but it is for the athlete to decide on what characteristics are chosen. The coach should try to get the athlete to list the key psychological factors, but the same process can be applied to technical skills or physical attributes, such as strength, speed, agility, balance etc. In this step, the athlete should try to identify 15 to 20 characteristics.

Step 3 The next step is for the athlete to rate each of the identified characteristics.

On a scale of zero (not at all important) to 10 (extremely important), the athlete rates the perceived importance of each characteristic for an elite performer in their particular sport/event.

The athlete uses the same zero to 10 scale to rate their current perception of themselves in relation to an ideal state of 10.

A calculation is then carried out to determine the 'Discrepancy' value. The higher discrepancies indicate areas that may need to be addressed through training or other intervention.

Step 4 The table below provides an example of these calculations for part of an athlete's performance profile. Characteristics Athlete's Athlete's self Discrepancy (10-ASA) API

identified by the perceived level of assessment athlete Confidence Concentration Control Commitment importance (API) 10 9 10 9 (ASA) 8 6 7 8

20 36 30 18

Refocusing errors Enjoyment

after 9 8

5 8

45 16

For this particular athlete refocusing after errors and concentration are key concerns that could be addressed. This can be via intervention strategies such as self-talk or a quick set routine, depending on the exact

circumstances and preferences of the athlete. Reassessment should always relate to the same characteristics identified in the initial profiling process and be conducted every four to eight weeks. Alternative approach

Coach outlines the Performance Profiling process The athlete identifies a set of characteristics The athlete assesses his/her performance against each characteristic (self assessment)

The coach assesses and rates the athlete against each characteristic The athlete and coach analyse the results and agree a way forward

The coach-athlete relationship is much stronger when goals and targets are shared and agreed in this way.


The figure below illustrates a tennis player's self-assessment (yellow) and the coach's assessment (red) in relation to the athlete's backhand strokes on a scale of 0 (very poor) to 10 (excellent). This shows that the coach and athlete are in general agreement over most of the relevant characteristics but in major disagreement over the backhand volley. In such circumstances, video analysis of the player's performance might be a good way to resolve such differences and produce agreement on how to proceed.





Benefits Performance Profiling can help coaches develop a better understanding of their athletes by:

Highlighting perceived strengths and weaknesses Clarifying the athlete's and coach's vision of the key characteristics of elite performance, and highlighting any differences








assessment of performance

Providing a means of monitoring progress

Training Articles - Psychology

Controlling the Raging Monster Within To control your emotions during competition you must do two tasks have an accepting mindset before competition, and arm yourself with mental strategies to cope with errors or mishaps.

What influence will sports psychology have on rehabilitation of injuries and the improvement of performance of sports skills? It is important to realize that there is not one specific psychological skill that assists in rehabilitation. Each psychological skill obtained must be individualized based on the psychological state of the individual and the sport that the individual is a participant. A few examples of psychological skills include mental imagery, goal setting, and positive self-talk. These psychological skills may be used during sport injury rehabilitation to motivate athletes to adhere to


How hypnosis can help your athletes to produce their top performance Hypnosis is an ergogenic aid used by many top athletes and teams that has been around for many years and is now making a comeback perhaps due to the recent increased publicity that hypnotherapy is receiving.


Psychology Controlling the Raging Monster Within Patrick J Cohn PhD explains how recover from errors and mishaps when playing your sport will hinge on your ability to let it go and remain composed. To be a consistent performer you must slay the raging monster within (control your emotions during competition). I am sure at one time (or two), you have became upset, frustrated, or angry with yourself and it cost you the game or match. Many talented athletes who do not know how to control their negative emotions fail to reach their potential because they get hot-headed, angry, or just crawl into their negative mental shell and do not return. You know the type - the perfectionistic athlete who is prone to emotional outbursts after errors or when not performing up to his or her expectations. Emotional control is when you stay even-tempered, level-headed, or poised even when you are challenged by mishaps or adversity. Even the top athletes, such as Tiger Woods, get upset, but they are able to gain control quickly and get back to business. Recovering quickly from mistakes separates champions from athletes who crack under adversity and are cooked mentally for the rest of the competition.

To get control of the raging monster within, you must do two tasks have an accepting mindset before competition, and arm yourself with mental strategies to cope with errors or mishaps. My students are taught two top strategies for regaining emotional control quickly: 1. How to have a positive pre game mindset for competition 2. How to let go of errors before emotions snowball out of control For example, your very first step is to identify strict expectations that cause you to become upset when you do not achieve your own expectations. Here is a baseball example to highlight the mental game dangers of expectations. One of my students, a college pitcher, expected to throw a nohitter every game. What do you think happened when he gave up his first hit? He got frustrated and negative with his game because the perfect game was no longer obtainable. It took him several innings to get his emotional balance back and by the time he did recover, it was too late. Some expectations that can lead to feelings of frustration include:

I must play perfectly to be successful today I expect to perform perfectly today and if I do not, I am failing


I cannot make any mistakes if I want to win To play my best, I must have an error-free performance I cannot stand making stupid errors and should be upset with them

If you carry these expectations into competition, you set yourself up for feeling like you are failing. In reality, you leave yourself no room for success. How hypnosis can help your athletes to produce their top

performance Gordon Manning explores how hypnosis can help to give

sportspeople the competitive edge. In the quest for improved performance most athletes and sports people turn to ergogenic aids of one sort or another. Athletes use all kinds of scientific technology in their endeavour to improve, including equipment, training advances, nutrition and even applied sports psychology, which will usually include focusing and visualisation techniques for improvement. Hypnosis is an ergogenic aid used by many top athletes and teams that has been around for many years and is now making a comeback perhaps due to the recent increased publicity that hypnotherapy is receiving.


'The fact that the mind rules the body is, in spite of its neglect by biology and medicine, the most fundamental fact which we know about the process of life'. Franz Alexander, MD. Hypnosis in sport Hypnosis in sport has a long history and was often used under different names, mental or autogenic training being two. According to Les

Cunningham in his book, 'hypnosport', In the 1978/79 tour of Australia, England cricket captain, Mike Brearley consulted a medical Hypnotherapist. Also in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, the Russian team took no less than 11 hypnotists. You do not need to look too far in any sport to find great champions using hypnotic techniques to improve performance. The reason most of them do not like to talk about it is because of the age-old myth that hypnosis is a magical power to make you do things, plus there is the unfounded fear of having ones 'power' taken away. This is in fact untrue; all subjects have total control over their minds and bodies. The subject is consciously giving their approval to the hypnotist's suggestions. A huge element in this perception of mind control regarding hypnosis grows from 'Stage Hypnotists'. Some Hypnotherapists claim that stage hypnotists do the image of hypnosis more harm than good and that the perceptions created by stage hypnosis sometimes generates fear and misunderstanding in the minds of the general public.


On the other hand it is good that they create awareness of clinical hypnosis and some of the benefits it has. Incidentally if the hypnotist suggests something that is fundamentally against an individual's morals then he or she will rapidly become consciously aware again and come out of hypnosis. Suggestion is not a phenomenon that works only on the unconscious mind; its use can be just as effective at a conscious level. Countless experiments by psychologists and physiologists have proven that the human being can change his or her own beliefs significantly enough to alter the body in some astounding ways. Pain is eased or physical ailments cleared up in situations where drugs were unable to assist. Likewise athletic and sporting performance can be increased dramatically in many areas; style correction, technique, speed and strength enhancements are particularly effective. Firstly we need to look briefly at what hypnosis is before we can understand what it can do for the athlete/sportsperson and how coaches may use a Hypnotherapist to help with the improvement of their athletes. In simple terms hypnosis is the word used to describe a state in which a person's mind remains calm, concentrated and aware whilst their body becomes completely relaxed. They experience a tremendous sense of wellbeing and peace of mind, sometimes even euphoria or bliss. In this state the mind is more receptive to positive suggestions and it is possible to access


areas of the mind that are beyond the normal level of conscious awareness i.e. the subconscious Every person in this world goes into hypnosis at least twice a day, when you go to sleep at night and when you awaken in the morning. You have to go through this level of hypnosis, to get from being awake and conscious to being asleep and unconscious, that is hypnosis. Other time in our lives, when hypnosis naturally occurs is during daydreaming which is a type of visualisation. In this case, one is becoming more focused on a given subject and less aware of their outer experiences, although in hypnosis one is more aware at a subconscious level. This brings with it-increased awareness of the body's senses. If you did not have the ability to go into some state of hypnosis you would not be able to do many other everyday tasks. Such a task would be mathematics, you would not be able to visualise in your mind sums or calculate them to any degree. Watching television would be a problem as it would be difficult to become associated with characters and plots, without imagining yourself in those rolls. We will discover later how this type of association is very powerful in 'sporting behaviour change'. Modern research has found that hypnotisability is directly related to intelligence and concentration. We have all, at some time in our lives set an alarm clock to wake us up in the morning only to find that we awake a few minutes before the alarm

goes off. So how or why does this happen. When we set the alarm, say to wake up at 6:00am, we also program our subconscious to wake us up at that time. By looking at the clock whilst setting the alarm we also synchronise our own body clocks with the clock. Most people's body clocks run slightly faster than a normal 24-hour clock so our subconscious wakes us up those few minutes before the alarm goes off. You can easily do without an alarm clock by repeating to yourself a few times over that you will wake at a certain time or after so many hours sleep. The important thing is when you do this, as it works best when you are passing through a state of hypnosis on your way to sleep. So the time to do it is when you are settled in bed, turned the lights off and are starting to drift off to sleep. We will come back to this method later and use it in other ways. In therapy, hypnosis is used to bypass the critical consciousness to gain access to the powerful subconscious mind. It is then that either Psychotherapy is undertaken to release undesirable subconscious neurotic behaviour or suggestions are used to alter thoughts, feelings and

behaviours. In suggestion therapy Post Hypnotic suggestions are used, they act after the therapy is discontinued, usually in the form of positive affirmations to assist in self-esteem, performance enhancement etc. Remember hypnosis is a state of altered awareness, it is not sleep, or even unconsciousness, but a state where the consciousness is more focused and said to be altered from normal waking states. The effects of suggestions are greatly increased in these states, what psychologists' term 'hyper55

suggestibility'. It is this state that athletes and sports people, with the help of a hypnotist, can use suggestion to help improve performance, style, posture, confidence etc. This state is also used when using hypnosis to help speed recovery, remove negative feelings, self-doubt, stress and other hindrances to peak performance. Let us now take a known concept from coaching and see how we can improve on this using hypnosis Visualisation or Mental Imagery Most coaches at some time or other will introduce visualisation to their athletes. Visualisation involves the athlete seeing and experiencing success in their mind, often they are asked to imagine doing something - typically something related to his or her performance, style, start, finish or the like. Now the results from this will very much depend on whether the person doing the visualisation is a visual person or not - in other words can they actually see themselves performing or not. A visual person will be able to close their eyes and actually see themselves performing the task correctly. Others find it difficult to actually see the image in the minds eye. This inability to 'see' themselves makes it more difficult for the person to achieve the desired result. It may prove more beneficial for these people to rather imagine another person doing the tasks - this sometimes helps as it dissociates the individual yet allows the mind to observe correct

performance, style, etc.


However this is still not the ideal, as it requires, at times, tremendous effort to maintain concentration during visualisation. Taking this to the next level and introducing a Hypnotist specialising in Sport Hypnosis we could achieve far greater results, as the hypnotist can help the athlete achieve a state of hypnosis and thus a state of higher awareness, thereby enabling far greater concentration and also improving the ability to visualise. Under hypnosis a person would be able to better 'see' themselves performing the tasks with the advantage of the correct expected result being placed into the subconscious where it would form part of the individuals 'programming'. Take as an example, top Dance Sport International competition Ballroom Dancers. They have to maintain perfect style and posture whilst executing the correct technique for each step they take during their routines and being aware of where the other competitors are on the floor so that they do not collide. All this whilst dancing as a couple completely in harmony, in time to the music and making it look flowing relaxed and as if they are enjoying the experience. It take approximately 2mins 30 sec to 3mins per dance and they typically do 4 to 5 dances per round sometimes 6 to 8 rounds before getting to the final. A great deal of effort and concentration is required during a competition. During training vast amounts of time is spent perfecting technique, sometimes hours and hours on just a few steps. This is so that it becomes 'habit' - a good habit to perform the technique correctly.


There are far too many aspects to worry about during the actual competition so the more that can become second nature or habit, the better. This process could benefit greatly from visualisation especially if done correctly and 'felt 'during the visualisation. Hypnosis can help with this by enhancing the visualisation experience, making it more 'real', therefore helping with muscle memory and entrenching the 'habit'. This process can be used not only with technique but also with all aspects of the performance, for example style, breathing and posture amongst others. Whole dance routines are 'practiced' in the mind along with 'what if' scenarios - such as what to do if another couple is blocking your intended path. Now take hypnosis and apply it to lets say a track or field athlete and we can see the benefits that can be obtained. A Javelin thrower instinctively knows when the throw is a good throw as it just 'feels right' - so how do we get the athlete to perform like that most of the time instead of some of the time. Coaches will have the athlete practice and practice; correcting style, posture and technique along the way. Hopefully with feedback from the athlete on how it felt especially when the throw was a good one. Then asking the athlete to try and repeat the 'good throw' feeling on the next throw and have them try and remember that feeling so that it could be produced again in the future. Through hypnosis an athlete can be taken back to that good throw and all the elements of the throw replayed in the subconscious, this would entrench the feeling in the mind. Further to this the

athlete would be given the required suggestions so that during practice and competitions it would be far easier to produce good throws. Following on from this any underlying doubts the athlete may have of reproducing 'good throws' repeatedly could be removed. It is known that self-doubt is one of the contributors to poor performance on the day of an event - even when everything else is done correctly personal doubt can foil the best athlete. Remember imagination is powerful and can override reason. Similarly self doubt or negative thoughts can bring about an injury or cramp just at the crucial moment. Let us go back to our dancers. During a competition a couple performing in a major competition with other top performers have the ability to perform exceptionally well. They have put in months and months of training, their technique is excellent they look really good on the dance floor; in fact they could easily place in the top three, except the man does not believe that he is capable of even getting to the final. He doubts his ability, in fact he is not really a confident person deep down and although he portrays being confident and assured it is all a show. So how is this going to affect them during the competition, the early rounds are not a problem they sail through those, in fact looking like podium finishers. During the semi-final he starts to feel cramp in his calf - this has never happened before so why now.


He tries to ignore the cramp however it starts to affect his style and eventually all he can think about is the cramp and that he must stop and pull out of the competition, after all he has an excuse cramp got the better of him. Later during another competition at a high level, remember he is good enough to get through the early stages in fact very easily; he time and again pulls out due to cramp. Their coaches and fans cannot understand why he always get cramp in the semi-final, usually one or two dances before the end of the round therefore not allowing enough points to get through to the final. They look so good during the early rounds, they are both supremely fit and it is not due to the amount of dances during the competition as they train for hours on end with no problems whatsoever. So what is actually causing the problem? Let us call our male dancer John. John we have said is not a confident person deep down and more importantly does not believe that he is good enough. John's subconscious has been programmed with this belief and this manifests itself in a way to compound the belief hence the cramp. Now this in turn feeds the belief so that John now has self-doubt about ever reaching a final. All their fellow competitors give encouragement and tell them how good they are and that if it not for the cramps they would definitely be in the final with a chance at a top three finish. Subconsciously John does not believe this and so the cycle continues. However Johns dance partner believes the coaches and other competitors and puts more pressure on John,


adding more stress. Left to continue they would eventually split up and never reach their true potential. Through hypnosis two approaches could be taken, one approach could be to address the cramp by programming the subconscious to relax the cramping muscle as soon as it starts to tighten, thereby avoiding the cramp and allowing them to continue. This would work fine for the competitions however depending on how the process was done; it could result in the belief manifesting itself in other ways. If after the hypnosis sessions they went into a competition and placed in the top three this may give such a boost and help to change the old belief into a new belief, a more positive belief that they can win and that John is good at dancing. This would be fine for John as a dancer but would not address the underlying belief of lack of confidence and self worth. The second approach would be to address the underlying problem thereby removing the self-doubt and reprogramming the subconscious so that moving forward, John becomes more confident and believes in himself not only as an athlete but also as a person. Incidentally there would be no harm in using both approaches one after the other, thereby using the improved performances in competitions to reinforce the reprogramming of the subconscious. After all mental edge is often the difference between great and truly great and Hypnotherapy will enable people to use any and all of the best methods of actualising the natural potential latent in all of us.

To finish off, I mentioned earlier the alarm clock and how we do not really need it to wake up - we simply need to tell ourselves that we want to wake at a certain time and provided we truly believed that we would wake up at that time, we then would. This is self-hypnosis in its basic form. Exactly the same process can be used in other areas including sporting performance. The main principals to remember is when we tell ourselves what it is we want to achieve, making the desire realistic (a realistic goal) and truly and sincerely believing in what we are telling ourselves. As an example we could repeat to ourselves - just as we are dropping off to sleep - the following:

During my 100m sprint I will concentrate on the finish line and not look at my fellow competitors during the closing stages.

Repeating this 6 times to ourselves and applying the principals above could help to improve our performance by stopping us habitually looking around during the latter stages of the sprints. Many other affirmations can be used to the same effect. Hypnosis can help sports performance; you do not have to be a champion to use hypnosis. Simple self-hypnosis techniques can be learnt and perfected by anyone and can be used for:

Visualisation/Mental imagery and rehearsal of future success Focusing on success and strategy tools to get in the 'zone' when you need to

Overcoming mental blocks and barriers and phobias Reinforcing self-belief, motivation and positive thinking

Belief Success is achieved when the mind TRULY believes and sincerely EXPECTS the imagined result to happen.





Performing Under Pressure Patrick J Cohn PhD identifies the pressures that athletes place upon themselves and how to cope with them. Do you ever get "butterflies" in your stomach (pre game jitters) before you compete? Do you get really nervous before the start of a big match or

game and cannot relax after the game starts? Most athletes have felt the negative effects of pressure during their athletic careers. Even the best athletes feel pressure before a big game, but they know how to channel the pressure into positive intensity to boost performance. What is pressure and how do athletes experience it? Pressure is a perceived expectation of the need to perform well under challenging situations. Fear of failure and expectation are tied to pressure. When an athletes worries about disappointing others, for example, he or she is putting pressure on him or herself to not fail or look silly. The first step is to understand that pressure starts inside you with your thoughts about the big game or meeting others' expectations, for example. High expectations - from yourself and others - turn into pressure. However, pressure is not some external force that grips you by the neck and strangles you. Some athletes thrive on the feeling of pressure, whereas others crumble mentally and choke their brains out. Why? Experience, confidence, and beliefs play a vital role in how well an athlete will perform under pressure. Pressure comes in many forms depending on the person and how an athlete "thinks" about the competition. Some sources of internal, selfinflicted pressure include:

1. Expectations you place on yourself about winning 2. Pressure to live up to the expectations from others (coach, parents, fans) to succeed 3. Thoughts underlying the fear of failure, such as having your hard work not pay off 4. Pressure to perform well or lose your place on the team 5. Pressure not to blow the game and not feel embarrassed 6. Pressure to perform perfectly and not make any mistakes When you can manage your emotions, you can perform at your best George Karseras explains how managing your anxiety in a

competition situation will improve your confidence to perform well. At the top level it is not your physical or technical expertise, which separates you from the competition but your mental toughness. To be outstanding you have to hold your nerve, perform under the most intense pressure, and consistently turn it on even when you do not feel at your best. Mental toughness is what made Michael Jordan and Pete Sampras so special. These athletes knew their real battle was not so much on the court, but inside their heads. You absolutely must manage your mental side if you want to be the best.


Given that mental strength is so vital, then why is it so neglected in training routines? If you are one of those athletes who spends all your training time on technique and fitness while paying no attention to your mental side, you are doing yourself a serious disservice. We know from countless studies that mental skills are acquirable and you can, with practice, learn to perform mentally. You can improve your confidence, concentration, motivation and anxiety levels if you chose to. Four important principles Feelings affect your performance. Whether you are aware of them or not, how you feel affects how you perform. Feelings are based on what you imagine or interpret from an event and not from the event itself. Two players appearing in the Wimbledon final for the first time will imagine different things about the match. One might imagine she would be unable to play well in such a big final. This player is likely to feel nervous and uncertain and her performance will be poor. The other might imagine it as the experience of a lifetime for her to go out and enjoy. She might feel liberated and relaxed and her play is likely to reflect these emotions. The same event evokes two different responses, which result in two very different performances. The message here is very simple, learn how to change your interpretations and you learn how to manage your emotions. When you can manage your emotions you can perform at your best.

The mind and the body are inextricable linked, how you feel physically affects how you feel emotionally. This means that we can improve our mental performance using physical interventions (relaxation exercises) and vice versa. You operate within a system and your performance is just a symptom or outcome of how your system operates. The parts of your system are all interrelated. A cricket player's confidence may be affected by his technique, which may be affected by his fitness, which may be affected by his lifestyle which may be affected by his time management. It is always more potent to look to remedy the underlying causes of a problem than the symptom itself. If Alan Shearer is not scoring goals, the problem might lie not with him but with the midfield who are not creating chances for him. You can divide mental skills training into two approaches, individual work and group work. A standard programme for both may last for a minimum of six weeks with sessions of 60 to 90 minutes. Individual work In the first phase the objectives are to gain as much of an understanding as possible of your situation. We need to know your goals, skills, experience, resources, background, any factors, which are

constraining you, and any factors, which are supporting you. The aim is to increase your self-awareness during this process, so that wherever possible you find the solutions and suggest changes yourself. The second phase is the strategy or intervention stage. Here the objective is to formulate a strategy

to reduce your constraints and increase your resources. Without buying into a programme you would be far less likely to stick to it. The interventions would fall into two types, associative and analytic. Associative interventions, such as visualisations and relaxation exercises, use the right-hand side of the brain. Analytic interventions, such as goal setting and self-talk exercises, use the left-hand side of the brain. Particular attention is paid to associative exercises because more right brain activity has been recorded in athletes during peak performances. The final phase is to provide you with support as you progress through your programme. Team approach We start a team workshop with a "warm-up". We ask the team members to arrange themselves so that their "place" suits the purpose of our meeting. Usually we ask the team to sit in a circle of chairs so that the whole team can see each other, rather than focusing on the coach or us. Before discussing the purpose and agenda, team members would pay attention to themselves, then another person in the team, and then the team would perform some kind of team activity. At the end of the warm-up, the team has tuned into its team identity (what it is and what it can be) and is ready to achieve its potential. Our approach to team building is based on our early work with Tottenham Football Club during the early 80's. We focus on the relationships, which exist within the team system. A football team of 11


players has 55 different relationships. Any one of these relationships can affect someone else's performance. Our work increases team members' understanding of what they need from each other to perform at their best. We aim to increase team member's self-awareness, their awareness of others, their awareness of how other members are different to them and their appreciation of these differences. Only when they have gone through these phases can they see their team colleagues as they really are and not as they imagine them to be. Communication and change then become easier. We also teach team members the communication skills, which enhance trust and respect. These are typically speaking, listening, questioning and feedback skills. The latter are probably the most important. We teach descriptive rather than evaluative feedback. This means that instead of saying something like, "you are a selfish player, you never pass the ball to me", we would ask Garth Crooks to say to Steve Archibald "during the last game I was in a scoring situation three times and each time you failed to pass to me. I get really frustrated when that happens". We encourage the latter way of talking because descriptions provide far more information than opinions. Also, Steve Archibald could not have argued that he did not pass the ball three times, but he could have argued that he was not a selfish player. Nor could he argue with the impact of frustration he had on his team-mate. Both events really happened. After

receiving this type of feedback, Steve was more likely to change his behaviour. Whether you compete as an individual or as part of a team, your performance can be improved by practicing your mental skills. If you do not work on your mental side, it is about time you started. Case study Billy was a junior county rugby player who had tried several times to get into the England team without success. He came to see me with six weeks to go before a trial for the Under 18 team. Mental Models - Noticing distinctions Adam Vile explains how Jonny Wilkinson uses an imaginary girl to stay focused on the rugby pitch and how we might acquire similar mental skills There is no denying it; some people are just much better at some things than others. No matter how much effort you put in, no matter how much practice, there just seems to be an insurmountable gap between them and us. In general if someone is a professional sportsperson they have the luxury of time and resources that amateurs do not have, but even then there are vast differences between the skills even of world-class athletes. It cannot just be practice, although this clearly has a major impact, perhaps it is talent? Yet some may argue that it is talent that gets you noticed, and gives


you the opportunity. You have to somehow turn that talent into enhanced skill. So what is the difference that makes the difference? Consistency One of the key attributes of world-class athletes is consistency, the ability to perform at a top level of skill in every situation. Milton Erickson, a psychiatrist who was a pioneer in the use of Hypnotherapeutic methods in sport, worked with a number of world-class athletes (including the US Olympic Rifle squad and the shot putter Donald Lawrence). In one story relating to a tournament golfer (Rossi 1988) Erickson is asked to assist in improving the golfer's consistency across all holes throughout a round. He seemed to always play the first hole perfectly, and then deteriorate. The question, for Erickson was: if you can play the first hole perfectly, then can you do as well on the next? He put the golfer in a trance and told him "You will play only the first hole, that is all you will remember, and you will be alone on the golf course". The golfer, needless to say, played an excellent round in his next tournament. The secret to Jonny's conversions This is one of the things that set Jonny Wilkinson above his peers, consistency. He is feared by opposing teams for his ability to turn pressure into points, and he is able to do it under the most stressful conditions. How does he do this? In fact his approach is not too dissimilar from that taken by

Erickson. You only have to watch him prepare for a kick; he uses the same ritual every time." He places the ball carefully, the same way that he has so many times before. Shutting out the cheers and jeers of the crowd, he stands up, and walks just the right amount of paces backwards. Then takes a single sidestep. But he is not yet ready. Standing with his feet a shoulder width apart, he clasps his hands in front of himself, staring at them for what seems like an age. Finally looking towards the posts, tilting slightly upwards, he pulls his head back just a little, as if the target somehow magnifies in his vision. He focuses, and there he sees her, sitting right in the middle, in the crowd, between the posts. Then he feels it; he knows that he is ready. And the rest is history". (Vile and Biggs (in Press) p.44 [8]) By following this series of steps, the same steps each time, he is able to get himself in the zone and shut himself away from all the pressure and noise. He has a single focus of attention, the process of kicking a rugby ball over the bar and between the posts, he is alone and it seems that for him, this is the only kick that matters. If you have a chance to watch him, you may also notice the defocusing of his eyes, and the flattening of his face, as he stares at his hands, the way looks up at the posts, bringing them closer in his mind, visualising the ball going up, and then down between them.


OK, so who exactly is Doris? However Jonny attributes his success to one fact above all, that he is able to visualise a woman sitting in the crowd behind the posts, directly inbetween them. He has named her Doris. He aims for Doris, and invariably collects the three points on offer. Essentially, Jonny Wilkinson hallucinates during his kicking process. Hallucination, along with a number of other phenomena that Jonny exhibits - single focus of attention, defocusing of the eyes, disassociation - are signs of trance. When he is at his most accurate, most elegant and most efficient, Jonny is in a brief, specifically directed trance. If we wish to replicate Jonny's consistency we not only have to practice constantly (even on Christmas day apparently), modeling his style and specific movements, we have to understand his mental processes as well. As Annett 1995 [1] suggests, "The key to cognitive motor learning lies in elucidating the way in which learned skills are represented in memory". Often it is the mental processes that are the difference that makes the difference. These processes are skills, and skills can be learnt. Think big and slow it down. Bandler 1982 [2] tells of a time that he was asked to assist a Baseball player raise his game. Not knowing much about baseball, he watched a lot of videos of the top hitters and observed a pattern of behaviour that could only

be attributed to mental processes. He interviewed a number of them and found out that as the ball was thrown towards them they were using a mental process of slowing down the ball, and making it much bigger. This made it, for them, easier to hit. Now of course the ball did not actually slow down or increase in size, and equally they did not go through this process consciously. But this process did exist and it did seem to be the difference between the top hitters and the player that wanted to improve. In real terms, these players were exhibiting the signs of trance: time distortion and hallucination, being two indicators. So Bandler taught this player to go into trance, and make the ball bigger, and go slower. He connected this to standing on the plate. The player improved his game and became a top hitter. The difference that makes the difference Not all mental strategies are connected with trance, but many are. Hypnosis has, for a long time, been utilised in improving sports performance, and research is now catching up (Liggit, 2000). Alternative models (Robazza 1994 [6]) are suggesting that (alert) hypnosis should be induced before or during performance. The suggestion, which I fully support and want to argue here, is that self-hypnosis should be part of the skill set of an athlete. Practically, of course, we are not all hypnotists and inducing trance does require special skill and training. Anyone can learn self hypnosis, and we have seen that some sportsmen use alert trance as part of their mental

strategy for success. We need not focus on trance in our modeling of mental processes however, as it will come as a by-product, if we get it right. The key elements of such modeling concerns the way in which we represent skills internally. What you hear, see and feel is important We may make the assumption that experience is stored internally in the three main sense systems (Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic), and that by modeling and replicating this structure, we can have access to the same experiences as someone else. In this way we have more chance of developing the same mental skills. Understanding how someone represents skills internally then is essentially a case of asking the following two questions repeatedly:

What do you See, Hear and Feel, inside, when you are about to (perform whatever physical skill)?

What do you do then?

These questions address two aspects of internal strategy, the key representations associated with the skill, and the order in which things happen. For example Jonny sees Doris, he hears nothing (shutting out the crowd) and he feels that it is right (I would be interested in asking him how that feeling starts and where it moves to). Then he kicks. For some athletes

it may be that having a thumping soundtrack playing in their head gives them just that extra push (after all many of us listen to music as we run), but it may not start until they hear the gun or get a specific feeling in their stomach of excitement. If these strategies are successful, then they constitute part of the whole that makes up a specific skill, and such mental strategies may tip a performer into the world-class arena. The key to modeling the mental structure and process is to notice finer and finer distinctions. For example, when Jonny sees Doris, is she in focus or out of focus, does he wait until she is in focus and then he knows that it is the right time? Without asking, we will not know, but if we can find a successful performer in our sport, and understand the order, structure and distinctions in their mental strategy, then we will have a model of the psychological underpinning of whatever skill we are working on. Try this with your athletes By way of example you may like to try the following exercise on yourself, or with your athletes. Pick a time in the past when you were highly motivated. Go back and see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. Imagine you have a control panel in which you can adjust the representation. It has the following controls: Volume, Brightness, Contrast, and Focus. Adjust them up and down until you feel totally motivated and utterly compelled. Write down the numbers on each control knob. Now think of something that you do not want to do (the washing up always gets me)

and make a representation of you doing it. Set all the controls to those of your most compelling motivation. How does that make you feel? The key to modeling internal process is to understand not only at the general level of what it is that the expert sees, hears and feels internally, but also the fine distinctions that they make in these representations. It may be that you can take these basic building blocks and subtly modify the distinctions to suit your own representations, improving perhaps at the micro level, whilst adopting at the macro level the winning strategy. Towards Autonomous installation Having broken the mental processes of the expert on a specific skill down into a number of representations in a specific order we then need to install it in ourselves and in our athletes. This is the process of Association. It is important to remember the aim of our modeling, to learn a whole skill. So the mental processes that we have elicited must be connected with the physical aspects of the skill, and should go hand in hand with the practice of that skill. During coaching sessions the mental and the physical aspects must be practiced and seen as two sides of the same skill. We do have an additional advantage in the learning of mental skills: they can be practiced and refined almost anywhere. Even on the bus. There is enormous value in repetition (of course assuming that the correct components are repeated), and mental skills can be repeated far more and

much more quickly. There is a view (Bandler 1982 [2]) that the brain learns quickly, not slowly (how long, for example, does it take you to learn a phobia?). We can take advantage of this by repeating and practicing the skill mentally at a much faster rate than we would perform it in practice. Practice makes permanent By constant repetition, these mental skills and strategies will become unconsciously installed. Additionally in moving to the autonomous stage, we can benefit from hypnosis, which can quickly install processes directly in the unconscious. Accelerated learning works in this way, and many sportsmen can see immediate benefits in their game after just one or two sessions of hypnosis (Holdevici 1989 [4]). Understanding mental processes is just as relevant for the occasional squash player as for an international sportsman. My challenge to you is to go out, and notice distinctions. Start with the way you represent success yourself, and replicate that the next time you are competing. Turn up the brightness, pump up the volume and if you want to, play to win!!






To be a champion in sport and life Jeremy Boone provides three key points that will boost your workouts to Olympic training status Do you ever get that feeling deep down that you should be able to accomplish much more than you are at present? Are you looking for a bigger challenge to overcome because your daily workouts are just too easy? Or are you training for a specific goal but feel like something is still missing in your workout program? Future stars There is a good chance that there are a few Olympic hopefuls close to where you live. These are young men and women loaded with talent that is laced by hard work. In fact, you too are loaded with talent and that I am sure has been laced with a lot of hard work. And while these future Olympians are presented with the opportunity of a lifetime, this does not mean that their journey is for the elite only. The true meaning of the Olympics is about the process or journey of an amateur athlete, an individual who is devoted to continual improvement of oneself. Ultimately, through daily struggle, frustration, and hardship, this athlete experiences personal success and public victories. How about your

journey? What do you dream of in your effort to win your gold medal? The exciting truth is that with a little hard work, smart training, and the right supportive environment, you can win your gold. It is like John Maxwell said, "Dreams do not work unless you do." It would have been too easy to just write an article on physical training with a few sample exercises, but for Olympic athletes training is much more than this. It is about pushing life's limits and having the courage to reach your potential. While it is unlikely that most of us will never compete in the actual Olympic Games, everyone has the ability to be an Everyday Champion[1]. Apply the following principles of championship athletes and elevate your workouts to Olympic training status. Turn your ability into achievement Discipline is what turns your ability into achievement. Without it, your goals will always be daydreams at best. Working out two days last week, five days this week, and three days next week will prevent you from ever reaching your podium. What is missing or what are you tolerating in your life that is preventing you from establishing discipline? Gold Medal Tip: Athletes are made daily, not in a day. Don't let your competition define who you are


Does this scenario sound familiar? You are right in the middle of your workout at the gym and feeling great, only to look over across the room and see your nemesis, the individual who has everything you are trying to attain. Maybe you want that perfect looking body, blazing speed, or the lungs of Lance Armstrong. Too often we are guilty of comparing ourselves to our team mates, a training partner, or another individual that we do not even know. If you want to win your game, you first have to win your inner game. The competition is not you versus them. It is about you versus you. How much better can you make yourself in your pursuit of athletic excellence? Gold Medal Tip: Only focus on what you can controlYOU! Monitor Your Training Just because you are active does not mean that you are actually accomplishing anything. In fact, this approach actually could be detrimental to your body. How many people do you know workout four or five days a week but do not actually have a goal in mind? Better yet, if you were to ask them what they did two weeks ago they probably could not tell you. Many athletes keep a journal, but most of the time they only log physical qualities of training. Unfortunately this does not give a complete picture of what is going on in your body. Olympic athletes know their bodies inside and out as well as every facet of their training program. They can tell you their daily training volume, how much weight was lifted today versus last week, and even if they feel signs of overtraining from the previous day.

Gold Medal Tip: Keep a detailed training log and include hours of sleep, desire to train, appetite, morning heart rate, and quality of sleep in your journal. So, what is the good news? You too can elevate yourself to Olympic training status. How? Play a bigger game simply by incorporating these principles into your workout program.

Relaxation Relaxation itself can be useful in a number of circumstances including:

the promotion of rest, recovery and recuperation the removal of stress related reactions, e.g. increased muscular tension, etc.

the establishing of a physical and mental state which has an increased receptivity to positive mental imagery

the establishing of a set level of physical and mental arousal prior to warming up for competition

Mental Imagery When combined with positive mental imagery it is useful in:

developing self confidence developing pre-competition and competition strategies which teach athletes to cope with new situations before they actually encounter them

helping the athlete to focus his/her attention or concentrate on a particular skill he/she is trying to learn or develop. This can take place both in or away from the training session

the competition situation

How do I achieve relaxed muscles? Progressive muscular relaxation involves the active contracting and relaxing of muscles. When a muscle is tightened for 4-6 seconds and then relaxed, the muscle returns to a more relaxed state. This process should be performed for the following parts of the body in turn - feet, legs, thighs, buttocks, stomach, back, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, jaw, face and eyes. How will relaxed muscles feel?


J.H. Schultz in the 1930's noticed that patients in a relaxed state experienced one of two sensations: the feeling of warmth or the feeling of heaviness in completely relaxed limbs. During the relaxation process, concentration should be focused on one of these sensations. For the first few sessions, the athlete should alternate the focus between sessions to determine which one they prefer. Can Relaxation have a Negative Effect? In a competition situation an athlete will either be:

Under excited; low in arousal; find it hard to "get up" for the competition; disinterested; etc.

Over excited; high in arousal; over the top; nervous-anxious; scared of the competition; sick with worry; etc.

Optimally excited; nervous but in control; looking forward to the competition but apprehensive; thinking positively; feeling good; etc.

If we were to use relaxation procedures with an over excited athlete, we might be able to reduce his/her arousal level to that of the optimally excited athlete. This would have a positive effect on his/her performance. However if we asked an under-excited athlete to use relaxation procedures it would only make it harder for him/her to "get-up" for the competition. The coach therefore has to know his/her athletes and how they react in competitive situations.

Relaxation Training There are a number of relaxation techniques that have the following characteristics:

procedures for first recognising and then releasing tension in muscles concentration on breathing control and regulation concentration on sensations such as heaviness, warmth mental imagery

Regardless of which technique is used, the following two conditions need to exist if the technique is to be learned:

the athlete must believe that relaxation will help a quiet, dimly lit and warm room which is free from interruption

Centering The Centering technique was developed by the Tibetan Monks over 2000 years ago. Centering requires you to focus your attention on the centre of your body, the area just behind your naval button. The technique has a calming and controlling effect, providing an effective way to manage anxiety.


Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, arms hanging loosely by your side

Close your eyes and breath evenly - try to keep the tension in the upper body to a minimum as you breath

Inhale deeply from your abdomen (your stomach will extend) and be aware of the tension in your face, neck, shoulders and chest. As you exhale let the tension fall away and focus on the feeling of heaviness in your stomach

Continue to breath evenly and deeply and focus your attention on the centre of your body, the area just behind your naval button

Maintain your attention on that spot and continue to breath evenly and deeply, feeling controlled, heavy and calm

As you breath out think of a word that encapsulates the physical feeling and mental focus you want e.g. "relax", "calm"

Self Hypnosis This is one of the most popular self-hypnosis techniques employed by athletes. It aims to help you distance your mind from the here and now and place you in a setting that you associate with relaxation and inner calm. This script could be recorded as an MP3 file - where there are 3 full stops (...) leave a pause for a few seconds and remember to speak clearly and slowly.


The following script is an adaptation of a script published by the London College of Clinical Hypnosis. Firstly you need to relax, put on some very relaxing music or sounds of nature, sit or lie down in a position that you find comfortable in a place where you are unlikely to be disturbed. Look up at your eyebrows and begin to concentrate on the sounds around you... maybe the distant sound of a car driving by or the hustle and bustle outside on the street... then concentrate on the sounds of the music, feel it flowing over you as if it were the tide going in and out, in and out... now begin to pay attention to the sound of your thoughts... concentrate on your breathing. Take deep breaths in and out... in and out... listen to your heart beat... become aware of your eyelids and feel them blinking quickly and notice that you have a strong desire to close your eyes... allow your eyes to close and feel a deep sensation of relaxation. In a few seconds, you will imagine your favourite place of relaxation... maybe somewhere you have been before, a beautiful garden, a deserted beach, a summer meadow or somewhere you can imagine you would feel relaxed... and now... just imagine that you are standing on a balcony... and there is a long set of stairs in front of you... leading down from this balcony... there are strong stairs... with wide steps... and a handrail on each side... the stairs are well lit... and you can see them clearly... In a few seconds' time... you can count down from 10 to one... and with each descending number between 10 and one...

you will take a single step down the stairs... and with each descending number you will become more and more calm, more and more relaxed... each step down from the balcony will take you deeper and deeper... into your wonderful state of relaxation... and as you slowly descend these stairs... you are going to experience a sense of ever-deepening relaxation... throughout your entire body... You will feel the stairs under your feet and when you eventually reach step one, you can pause and wonder where you might go next... again you feel very tranquil and this tranquility is accompanied by a sense of anticipation... you will then step off... and when you do so... you will find yourself in your favorite place of relaxation... and enjoy... this beautiful place... Provide yourself with only positive and beneficial suggestions. For example, relating to increasing your selfconfidence, attaining peak performance in an upcoming competition, or mastering a specific sports skill that has perhaps proved elusive to you. If, at any time, for any reason, for example in case of emergency or any situation where full attention is required, by opening your eyes, you will be fully alert. To take yourself out of your relaxing place in a gradual manner, simply count up slowly from one to ten, on reaching the number eight, open your eyes, and at the number 10 you will be fully awake and alert. As you stand up, have a stretch and notice how good you feel. Meditation for Relaxation


A number of people involved in sports psychology believe that meditation can be useful in getting maximum performance from an athlete (Syer & Connolly, 1984). Engaging in meditation helps reduce stress before an event and with experience the athlete can learn to relax different muscle groups and appreciate subtle differences in muscle tension. The technique includes the following steps:

Lie down on your back in a comfortable position and close your eyes Relax all your muscles, beginning at your feet and progressing to your face

Breathe through your nose and become aware of your breathing. As you breathe out, say the word "won" silently to yourself. For example, breathe in . . . out, "won"; in . . . out, "won"; and so on. Continue for 20 minutes. You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm. When you finish, lie quietly for several minutes at first with closed eyes and later with opened eyes.

Maintain a passive attitude, permit relaxation to occur at its own pace and expect other thoughts. When distracting thoughts occur, return your concentration to your breathing. Try to practice a relaxation technique once a day.


Relaxation Techniques This page contains a program to help you relax. Each session should begin with "Getting Loose" and then followed with "Breathing Easy". It is best to use the relaxation program prior to commencing the warm up and then to use the warm up to achieve optimal level of arousal.

Getting Loose Begin each session as follows

Loosen your clothing and remove your shoes Lie down with a pillow under your head (on a bed or on the floor) Lie flat on your back, feet about 12 to 18 inches apart and your arms at your sides

Go as limp as you can from head to foot Let your shoulder blades go slightly flat Waggle your feet Settle in with your legs


Shake your arms gently, rolling the backs of your hands against the floor

Roll your head back and forth

Now begin the "Getting Loose" exercise for each part of your body, as follows


Flex the muscles of your left leg by raising it 6 to 10 inches above the floor Point your toes slightly back toward your head. Hold this position of tension for as long as you can, about 10 seconds or so, until you begin to feel the muscles start to tremble. Then, say to yourself 'Leg, let go'. At this point, stop flexing it and let the leg drop. Let the leg rest for another 10 seconds or so, saying to yourself 'I feel the tension flowing out of my leg feels relaxed, warm, heavy... completely relaxed'

Repeat the flex-let go-rest procedure for that leg. Run through the entire procedure again for your right leg.

Buttocks and thighs


Tighten your buttock and thigh muscles, as tightly as you can. Hold them as long as you can - longer than 10 seconds - until you have to let go. Then release them, saying 'Let go', to yourself.


Pause for 10 seconds or so and focus your attention on the relaxed feeling in those muscles, on the tension flowing out.

Repeat the exercise.


Do the same procedure twice for your abdominal muscles

Back and Neck


Arch your spine, tightening all along it from your tailbone to your neck, and finish by telling it 'Let go'.

Repeat the exercise

Arms and Shoulders


Imagine there is a bar suspended above you that you want to use to pull yourself up. Raise your hands, palms upward, above your chest. Grab the imaginary bar and clench your fists around it as hard as you can. Flex the muscles in your arms and shoulders. Hunch your shoulders up as tightly as you can. Hold as long as possible and then say 'Let go. ' Rest for 10 seconds or so, soaking up the warm, relaxed feelings, letting the tension flow out.

Repeat the exercise



I tighten your jaw muscles, clamping down on you back teeth. Say 'Let go' and relax.

Repeat the exercise.


Tighten your facial muscles into a strong grimace. Say 'Let go'. Rest and focus on the relaxing feeling.

Repeat the exercise.


Focus on a point on the ceiling. Without moving your head slowly roll your eyes to the right as far as they will go, then to the centre, then to the left, then back to the centre.

Rub the palms of your hands together until you feel heat. Close your eyes and cover them with your hands. Let the heat warm them. Rest, and tell your eyes 'Let go' and feel the tension flow out as you feel the warmth.

Entire body


Clench your feet and fists. Pull your shoulders up. Tighten your jaw and face. Now simultaneously flex your entire body, arching yourself as much as you can from your heels to the back of your head. Hold it for as long as you can until you feel your body tremble. Then say 'Let go' - and just let yourself go... all the way, as much as you can.

Lie there and feel the tension drain away.

Get totally relaxed


Close your eyes. Let your attention wander slowly over each part of your body, from legs to face, as you did in the exercise. If any area seems to have some residual tension, tense it. Let you. Feel the tension draining out of you, but do not worry if there is still a little left. Keeping your eyes closed, stay in this relaxed state for the rest of the 10 minute session. Think of a very pleasant, peaceful place. Think of floating in a small boat on a peaceful lake with a soft breeze gently rocking you back and forth, back and forth. Alternatively think of floating in space, lighter than air, weightless. Observe the pleasant, calm feelings. Tell yourself 'I am relaxed now... My legs feel relaxed... My buttocks, thighs, and abdomen feel relaxed... My back arms, shoulders, jaws, face and eyes feel relaxed... The tension has been let go. '


Breathing Easy Having completed the "Getting Loose" exercises remain lying on your back. Carry out the "Breathing Easy" exercise for 10 minutes, as follows


Inhale slowly and deeply, filling your chest with air, counting four seconds to yourself 'One and two and three and four'. The count is to give you a nice and easy, even pace. Try to breathe as fully as you can without discomfort. Imagine your chest slowly filling with air, from your diaphragm to your collar.

Hold breath

When you have inhaled fully, hold your breath for another four seconds, again counting to yourself 'One and two and three and four'. This should be just a comfortable pause. Do not do it until you are blue in the face.


Exhale - but do not blow. Just let the air out through your mouth slowly saying to yourself 'Easy...easy... easy... easy.' Let out as much air as you can, down to the lower part of the lungs. Feel yourself relaxing as you do. Feel your shoulders, chest and diaphragm letting go. As you exhale, think of the tension flowing out of you.

Do not worry if the sequence is not exact or the cadence perfect. It may seem a bit difficult to stay with at first, but just keep going. The important thing is to establish the slow relaxed breathing rate. After the ten cycles, your breathing rate will be automatically slower and you can dispense with the "one and two and three and four" cadence. Now do as follows

Inhale - Breathe in fully. Hold breath - Hold it very briefly. Exhale - Let the air out slowly (do not blow), saying mentally 'Easy... easy... easy... easy ' with each exhalation.

Repeat this cycle ten times.

You will soon begin to feel a calm, thoroughly pleasurable feeling - some say a warmth radiating from your chest throughout your body Now let yourself breathe normally and tell yourself relaxing phrases 'I feel very relaxed... All the tension is going out of me as I exhale and good feelings are coming into me as I inhale... When I am playing my sport, I will be able to take a few deep breaths and by saying, "Easy " will be able to tell myself to relax whenever I feel overly tense... When I am playing, I will recall the good feelings I am experiencing now and they will automatically return to me. Imagine all this happening as you say it to yourself.

Now do as follows

Inhale - Breathe in slowly Hold breath - Hold it very briefly Exhale - Let the air out slowly while mentally saying to yourself 'Easy... easy... easy... easy.'

Repeat this cycle ten times.

Now let your breathing go naturally, and pay attention to the pleasant feelings in your body. Repeat the same encouraging phrases to yourself that you did earlier. Listen to the sound of your own breath coming in and out. You will notice that the breathing is slow and deep without you having to make it that way. The exhaling will last longer - as long as an eight-count, perhaps. Continue to do the breathing exercises for the rest of the session, each time alternating the ten cycles of inhale-hold-exhale with the mental encouragement. After the last cycle of ten, just let yourself enjoy the feeling for a minute. Focus your relaxed feelings Now begin to focus this relaxation on your event. Tell yourself 'When I am running and I begin to feel tension gripping some muscles, I will be able


to tell those muscles "Let go", saying "Let go" will recall the relaxed feelings I feel now and will release the tension from those muscles.'

Stress Management Stress is experienced when an individual feels that they cannot cope with a situation with which they are presented. If an athlete is in a stressful situation then their athletic performance, whether this be in competition or in training, will be effected. The coach can limit the effect on performance of competitive anxiety by assisting the athlete to identify an appropriate coping strategy. Accessing and Managing Stress There are many aspects of an athlete's life that can be stressful at certain times. This may arise because of commitments in the areas of work, study, sport or family/social life. When commitments in a number of areas coincide then the effect can be stressful which may result in commitments being compromised or in worse case situation their health being affected. As a coach, we need to consider these areas when planning the annual training program with the athlete. By planning we can reduce the level of stress that the athlete and perhaps the coach will encounter. Work with your athlete to assess each of the areas (work, study, sport or family/social life) and identify those times in the year where the athlete

will be busy, events have a high priority and tasks that will require a high degree of focus. For each of these times rate the level of stress for each area on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 is "low", 3 is "medium" and 5 is "high") that the athlete feels he/she could potentially be under. The information can then be plotted on a year planner to provide an indication where potential stressful times could occur and the identification of stress relieving strategies are required. In the example table above: "A" is a project delivery, "B" an exam, "C" an indoor athletics championships meeting and "D" in week 9 a family holiday. The stress levels around weeks 6 and 7 are accumulating so priorities will need to be determined.

In the example table above: "A" is a project delivery, "B" an exam, "C" an indoor athletics championships meeting and "D" in week 9 a family holiday. The stress levels around weeks 6 and 7 are accumulating so priorities will need to be determined

Tips to avoid stress Aim to exercise regularly. Exercise dissipates the adrenaline that builds up in stressful situations and leaves us feeling with a sense of achievement and control. Eat healthily. Ensure you are getting adequate vitamins and minerals in your diet. One recommendation that very few of us manage is to eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily. Make sure you are getting enough sleep. People need varying amounts ranging from 5 or 6 hours to 10 hours a night. By trial and error, you will know how much sleep YOU need to perform at your best. Learn to think clearly and set yourself realistic goals and objectives. Work through one problem at a time in a logical way. If you feel a panic or anxiety attack coming on, think through the problem by breaking it down. Imagine the worst that can happen. Nine times out of ten, it then appears less serious. Say NO to tasks and projects you cannot take on. People will not think any less of you. After all, they have not got ESP. Remember that you are human and mistakes are inevitable. Learn to view mistakes as learning opportunities and problems as challenges.


Practice positive visualisation. Think about a time or a place when you were relaxed and at peace. It could have been on a holiday or a day off. Try to recreate the situation again in your mind, thinking about the sights, sounds and smells you experienced. Visualise yourself back into the scene. You will find that after 5 to 10 minutes you feel much more relaxed as your brain does not know the difference between imagining a situation and actually being there. Some people call it day dreaming but visualisation is a very powerful tool in reducing stress and anxiety. Take time out for yourself. Make sure you are doing some things in your life because they are important to you, rather than because you ought to or should do. You deserve to take a break occasionally, do not feel guilty enjoy it. Accept your strengths and weakness and like yourself anyway. If you do not like yourself, you cannot expect anyone else to. Understand also that you cannot change anybody else - only yourself. Practice physical relaxation techniques. Progressive relaxation

contracting and relaxing all the body parts is a very effective way of reducing tension. Sports Massage is an alternative method of helping to relieve tension and to relax you.


INTRAMURAL PROGRAM This is a phase of the school physical education program which belong to extra-class or recreational program. Every one is encouraged playing to the best of their abilities and making an effort to win within the spirit of the rules. Win-at-all cost attitudes are inappropriate and strongly discouraged in Intramural Sports. Participants are expected to behave in a courteous and responsible manner on victory and defeat. The value of Intramural sports comes from playing, not winning.

Sports activities can teach a lot about life, such as setting goals, teamwork and cooperation; but these positive values can only be learned when the sport is enjoyable and played fairly. The foundation of the intramural competition will be based on the fair play principles of integrity, fairness and respect. Specifically, these principles are:

Respect the rules; Respect the officials and their decisions; Respect your opponent; Maintain your self-control at all times.


PURPOSE OF INTRAMURAL To provide a safe, enjoyable environment for students of any skill level to participate in a variety of recreational activities; To provide exercise, recreation, and fun to participants in a relaxed and structured environment; To encourage physical fitness by offering quality sports and

recreational activities in order to promote healthy lifestyles, personal health fitness, and sportsmanship. Activities that are offered are based on student interests and the facilities that are available for use; To provide opportunities to students compete against other students.

HOW TO ORGANIZE AND MANAGE SPORTS ACTIVITIES A well planned program should necessitate effective procedures for its management. Whether it is basketball, volleyball, softball, sepak takraw or any individual or dual sports, the following ways could be considered: 1. Organizing Units for Competition In organizing teams for competition varies among schools depending on the suitability to the local situation.


2. Types of Competitions or Tournament There are numerous ways where a team or individual can compete with one another. Scheduling of games is needed in order to determine the team to compete in the elimination round up to the championship round. BYE is needed is in case the participating team is odd number. A bye is assigned to one or more teams who do not play during the first round, so it is a rest for the team. To determine the number of byes is to subtract the number of teams from the next power of 2. An example is shown in figure . The following are ways to be considered in the selection of the type of elimination or tournament: a. Type of activity b. Number of competitors c. Venue d. Time

SINGLE ELIMINATION This type of elimination may be used when time is limited. It is the easiest to organize and the quickest way to declare a winner. N 1 is the formula to determine the number of games to be played.

A 1 E B C W5 C D W4 D 2 F W2 4 5 CHAMPION 3 W3 W1

DOUBLE ELIMINATION This type of tournament elimination requires the team to have two defeats before being eliminated. The losers in all rounds continue to play

a losers tournament. Losers in the championship bracket drops down and play the winner in the losers bracket. Thius type al;lows every team to play two games regardless of whether he plays in the winners bracket or in losers bracket. 2(N-1) is the formula to determine the number of games to be played.

ROUNDS ROBIN Round robin is a type of tournament which generally used for team competition. It is the most popular tournament elimination because it provides an opportunity for each team to play other teams in competition. The winner is determined by the number of wins made in the round. This type of tournament elimination is not advisable for more than eight teams because of the great deal of time involved. N(N-1)/2 is the formula used in determining the number of games to be played. Art sports Work of art, or is it a game? For sports fans, having an art sports piece in their house would be a matter of pride. They would proudly show off their art sports items and some might even display it on their mantle piece which would be the focal point in that room. Some of the sports fanatics go to an extent of preserving things like a worn jersey that belonged to a player that they had got at an auction or a bandana they found in the stadium. Anything and everything that

reminds them of a memorable moment is considered worthy of being shown off. After a point this becomes a topic of conversation and anyone who comes home is told the story of how the person got the jersey or piece of art. Art sports pieces are always considered to be precious and preserved by the people who have it in their homes or offices. Sometimes they might pick up a fancy photo frame and put in a picture taken during a match or a catch that they managed to capture in their camera. Anything that happened during a memorable match will be remembered and pictures and posters are a way of remembering and cherishing those priceless moments. This term is at times used to talk about creative sports activities such as gymnastics and such. Off late, they have also been gaining a lot of importance and part of the Olympic sports events. More than sports players, its the fans and family members who get all excited and love talking about the sport. The games played by the players will be described in detail and every action will be recorded. There are some players who apart from playing also endorse some products or services and appear in commercials. These players are almost worshipped by some and one would find their posters and pictures pasted all over the walls. There have been many movies where this has been depicted. In some cases, again it is because the person enjoys the sport that they pick up art sports pieces whereas in others it is merely as a way of showing off the person they look upto or worship.

If a famous player is associated with a charitable organization, they might give away their personal belongings through auctions to raise money for the organization. At such times, people who enjoy that sport or worship that player will bid for the product, purchase it just so they can have possession of a shirt worn by Tiger woods during his previous tournament. Or they are now the proud owners of a racket that Andre Agassi used in the French open. Art sports are all about collecting products or objects associated with a sports person or a personality that one admires the most. These art sports pieces will become decorative or pieces that get passed down from generations preserved for future members of the family. Such is the beauty of these items that are considered collectibles and are even insured against theft.




Performance Profiling appears to be a tool that is particularly useful for aiding in the design of specific mental, physical and technical training programs. The central involvement of the athlete in the process is a key strength that may boost motivation and promote adherence to any intervention strategies devised. It may also facilitate the coach-athlete relationship by promoting dialogue and addressing any perceived

discrepancies. Additionally, the profile can be used as a monitoring device to assess the effectiveness of any interventions and highlight areas of good and poor progress.