Mental training interventions are designed to enhance athletic performance in practices and competitions. Mental skills are the set of skills you learn during the mental training intervention. To understand how it works, think about the sport psychology professional as the personal trainer for your mind in sports, and mental training is the strength and conditioning training of your mind in sports.
You will learn and practice mental skills to develop the mental toughness (strength) needed to deal with whatever the competition brings and stay focused on your goal. Also, you will learn and practice skills to develop the resilience (conditioning) required to deal with challenges and pressure associated with the demands of an athletic career and recover from failures. Goal Setting, Performance Routines, Imagery, Self-Talk, and Time Management are examples of skills inside the toolbox called Psychological Skills Training. However, we also use skills from Stress Management and Biofeedback.
Biofeedback is just biological feedback. It is about attaching sensors to your body to measure brain waves, respiration rate, heart rate, muscle tension, skin conductance, and peripheral temperature. And it may seem awkward to have a bunch of sensors from your body connecting to a box (encoder), and a computer software shows a bunch of lines going up and down! It might look senseless, but when you are exposed to minor stressors such as a math task and/or recalling a negative experience in sport, there is a system you use more often to respond to Stress. If we look at those responses, we can develop a holistic picture of your mind/body reactions and help you train responses that maximize performance and optimize health. For example, if you respond with increased muscle tension, it can influence reaction time, coordination, and interfere with the execution of motor skills. So, when the pressure is on, you make mistakes that usually do not happen in practice.
“Mental Training is about teaching you skills to help you perform to the best of your abilities when it matters most.”
KEY BENEFITS OF MENTAL TRAINING
WHO THIS MENTAL TRAINING IS FOR
High school, college, professional, and recreational athletes. Often athletes from 12 to 80 years old. Any other profession where “stress” can interfere with performance (business and healthcare profession).