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Showing posts from March, 2018

Technique

The rules of the game, specifications of the court, equipment, and the techniques needed to execute skills are what distinguishes one sport from another. It can be argued that a coach’s main job is to teach the techniques of a sport. The mechanics of how you hit the ball, throw, catch, and run all influence your performance. There are many different techniques that can lead to success. But generally, there are certain techniques that are more effective than others. The techniques that are said to be “proper” are usually the ones that are most efficient. Efficiency has 2 definitions: getting the most out of what you have, or using the minimal effort to produce a certain result. A technique that allows you to serve as fast as your body allows is efficient. Putting a golf ball using only the necessary muscles and strength is efficient. Proper technique not only gives an athlete efficient power, but it also improves the accuracy, precision, and consistency of your skills. Efficient techni…

The Four Components of Sports and Holistic Training

I know this is a sport psychology blog but I like to also talk about the other components of sports and how they interact with the mental component of sports. The four components of sports are the technical component, fitness component (including nutrition), strategic component, and the mental/emotional component (sport psychology). Experts in these components like to claim that their component is the most important, however, I believe they are all roughly equal. Athletes often become too prideful in one component and focus mainly on it while ignoring others. But in order to be a complete athlete and reach your potential, you need to focus on all of the components of sports. Therefore it is good to be aware of which component you are underdeveloped in and add more emphasis on it to make sure you are a well-balanced athlete with no obvious weaknesses.
I like to call this focus on all components of sports holistic training, where you attack your athletic development from all angles. Inc…

Routines, Rituals, and Superstitions

Many athletes are known for their routines, rituals, and superstitions. Some of them seem strange and irrational to outside observers, but for athletes, they can be very important.
A superstition is defined as a belief in supernatural causality. Wearing the same underwear for every game may be considered a superstition. There is no logical reason why wearing a certain pair of underwear helps performance, but an athlete may still believe in it. Mainly, since these athletes love winning so much, they are afraid to make any changes that could hurt them. Wearing the same underwear may not add any practical value, but they give the athlete a sense of control (one less thing to worry about), which improves their confidence and therefore performance. So that’s the benefit of superstitions. They provide a sense of control, focus the mind, and improve confidence. But why have illogical superstitions when you could have more practical routines and rituals? Superstitions can sometimes be very ha…

Music

Music has always went well with sports. It’s just fun to exercise and play sports with music playing. Music can be a powerful arousal control tool and pre-game routine. Some songs are motivating while others are calming. The right song at the right moment can spark an emotional response. You should take advantage of music by creating playlists for different situations. Fun, uptempo songs are great to exercise/play along to. Serious, motivating songs can get you focused before a game. And calm, soothing songs can help ease your nerves before a game. Don’t just hit shuffle and hope that an appropriate song plays. Take the time to create playlists.
The same thing can be said for movies and reading. You can purposely watch a specific movie the night before a game to trigger specific thoughts and emotions. A sports movie can be inspiring while a drama can get you thinking about the bigger picture in life, calming your nerves. Reading inspirational quotes can be a great daily habit. Coach P…