Psychological Skills Training

1838 WordsJul 15, 20188 Pages
Psychological Skills Training What exactly is Psychological Skills Training and for a coach or instructor, what advantage is gained by its implementation? In other words, why bother? Psychological Skills Training (PST) is typically more comprehensive than a few short sessions with a few simple interventions that a coach or instructor might suggest. PST usually integrates cognitive and relaxation techniques in a more encompassing approach to mental training and as a complement to physical training. Individualism is a hallmark of most PST programs. (Gill, 2000) The Importance of Mental Skills Why are mental skills so important to performance and why are they often neglected by coaches and athletes? Yogi Berra has been quoted as…show more content…
It is likely that the thinking of specific, detailed technique features that control physical movements would cause performance to worsen. This is because of the phenomenon known as "cognitive interference" (when one thinks of what they are doing when performing a highly skilled activity in a non-fatigued state, the thoughts interfere with the efficiency of automated skilled performance). When an athlete is fresh, task-relevant thinking should be limited to tactical and decision-making content (e.g., anticipation, recognition of relevant cues) and general capacity features such as smoothness, length, evenness, rhythm, etc. The detailed technique features of physical actions should be left to the automatic neuromuscular patterns that have been developed through training. However, at the onset of the next performance stage, which is usually signaled by the first hint of fatigue, it is necessary to begin to concentrate on specific, detailed technique thoughts along with other task-relevant items. This is required to avoid any accumulated fatigue causing a loss in technique efficiency. The transfer of control to conscious thinking about skilled activities should maintain performance efficiency and form. As a competition progresses and fatigue increases, task-relevant thinking should gradually include increasing amounts of specific technique content so that performance efficiency is sustained. PST – The Development Phase Coaches must assist the
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