When you think of any sport, there are always fundamentals and strategy that come into play. There are roles and responsibilities, specific skills, things to focus on, adrenaline spikes, fatigue, ups and downs, and these are just the demands that occur during one performance. We spend so much of our training and efforts around learning how to do the task, that we forget to consider the demands we face while performing under pressure. At Premier Sport Psychology, we teach coaches and athletes how to implement processes around training for BOTH the tasks and demands of their sport. In doing so, you have a structured process for program and player development to reach an optimal level of consistent high performance.
Mental skills are designed to help athletes organize what they are learning from their coaches and cope with the demands of performing under pressure. Therefore, mental skills are either organizational or motivational in nature.
- Organizational – Organizational mental skills help athletes develop structures around their development. These skills bring attention to detail how they train for competition in order to keep their efforts in areas that they can control. Some examples of organizational mental skills include:
- Focus and Attention
- Mental Rehearsal
- Motivational – Motivational mental skills help athletes manage the demands and challenges they encounter during performances. These skills help athletes raise their awareness, problem solve, adjust and maintain motivation after mistakes are made. Some examples of motivational mental skills include:
- Mindful Behavior
At Premier Sport Psychology, we find that many athletes are in one of three stages (Defining their process, Refining their process, or Mastering their process). Use the questions below to identify which stage your child falls under in order to help your child develop a plan.
- What are the tasks you are expected to perform within your sport? (If team sport, break down the positional fundamentals/tasks)
- What are the biggest challenges or annoyances you experience that hinder your ability to perform? (During a game or over the season)
- What structures do you have in place to improve these areas?
After answering the questions above, which areas need more specific strategies? Can they be addressed by you? Or the coach? Or are the areas a bit more subjective? Leveraging a sport psychologist or mental skills coach can help you and your child fill in those gaps and identify a clear path to high level performance.