We’ve all had times when we’re feeling a bit tired and lacking motivation, when we don’t really feel like practicing or training, or when something we usually enjoy doing seems like a bit of a chore. More often than not, once we remind ourselves that we actually love what we do, or even take a few days off, we can get on with it and get back to enjoying our sport.
Ok, so this is an easy one. A while ago, the news at large announced that Roy Hodgson, (at the time, manager of the England football) team was considering using a Sport Psychologist ahead of the World Cup to boost England’s chances of not bowing out of yet another tournament on penalties.
Most… probably all athletes who’ve achieved anything approaching success will have set goals along the way, but why do we ordinary mortals find it so tough to set and stick to the goals we set for ourselves.
If you’re a basketball fan like me, you’ll be eagerly awaiting the return of the Chicago Bulls’ explosive point guard, Derrick Rose. Rose missed the whole of the 2012-13 NBA season after suffering a torn ACL the previous year, and a few months ago, I wrote a piece about him and some of the psychological factors that should be taken into account during an athlete’s return to play following injury. You can read it here if you like. It’s not bad.
Derrick Rose sitting on the Chicago Bulls’ bench in a suit and tie became a familiar sight towards the end of the 2012-13 NBA season.
One-time league MVP, Rose, underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in May, 2012, after getting injured in that year’s playoffs. But after several weeks of “will he/won’t he” speculation, Rose did not make his much anticipated return to the Bulls’ line-up, despite being delared medically fit to play.
The undergraduate degree. The postgraduate degree. Supervised practice. Attending conferences and presenting research. ‘Networking’ and making contacts. Trying to gain voluntary work while trying to earn a living. The path to becoming a Sport Psychologist isn’t an easy one, but Rory Mack is making his way down that path, and is just about to start his BPS Stage 2 training.
Lionel Messi….. Roger Federer….. Tiger Woods….. LeBron James…..
Some of the world’s most recognisable faces. Recognisable because they’re really, really, really good at kicking or throwing a ball, or very, very good at hitting a ball with a stick.
Many of these people have been kicking, throwing and hitting balls since they were very young and have got so good at it that millionaires are willing to pay them lots of money to continue doing it, and we, the people, are willing to pay sometimes extraordinary amounts to watch them.
The hot hand is described as “a belief that the performance of a player during a particular period is significantly better than expected on the basis of the player’s overall record”.¹ In other words, if a player hits a couple of shots in a row, people tend to think that he’ll make his next shot too. But in actual fact, it seems as though there’s no such thing as the hot hand.
So I’ve been doing some consultancy work in boxing for a while now, and it’s safe to say that it’s a sport that’s unlike any of the sports that I’ve worked in before. It’s a brutal sport, there’s no getting away from it. The aim is to punch your opponent until he/she can’t punch you back any more.
However, it’s also a sport that requires not only immense physical strength and stamina, but also discipline and control, and the ability to think tactically and strategically while under pressure. So in some ways, I suppose it’s not that dissimilar to other sports after all.
It is well established that coaching can be a stressful occupation and that coaches should really be considered as performers in their own right. In part one, of this blog post, I questioned the availability and accessibility of coaching/psychology research for the coaches that could benefit from it. I also discussed what stress actually is and how the stress process works.