Last year, during the NBA Final Series between the San Antonio Spurs and the then LeBronified Miami Heat, I wanted to write about some of the more mental aspects of the game that came up.
I tried to pick out an interesting story or highlight from each game, something that I thought related back to the “Psychology of the Finals” and wrote a short blog post on that topic. For example, after the air conditioning in American Airlines Arena broke in Game 1, I wrote about the need to take control of the environment, rather than letting the environment give you cramp so bad you have to be carried off the court.
In part one of this series of three blog posts, we looked at the characteristics of burnout. In part two, we explored various explanations for burnout, including stress, feeling trapped, lack of motivation, and the culture of performance sport. Here in part three, we’ll think about what we can do to reduce the chances of our young athletes burning out and maybe leaving sport behind.
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.
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.
Coaching can be stressful. While coaching manuals often talk about the different roles that coaches take on, this doesn’t really cover the complexity of the coaching role. At the end of the day, coaches are performers1.
Twitter is great. I mean, at first I thought it was an outlet for the self-indulgent, a way for people to let strangers know what they had for breakfast, or that they were annoyed at something on the TV. I kinda still think that’s what it is, but I’ve also started to realise how useful it is as a tool for sharing information. I’m constantly being directed to interesting articles that I otherwise wouldn’t normally come across or have time to look for myself.