“So what is this sport psychology thing, this mental training thing about anyway!?”
I was talking with a coach yesterday about my personal development service and how the first ‘stop’ in the program will be mental training.
“I just wanna know if this is gonna make my kids better players, period!?”
I think that is an important question to answer for coaches because I find that coaches have different perspectives on mental training. So I bring my answer to this blog post today to clarify some things.
Will mental training make an athlete better at their sport? Indirectly, Yes.
The direct result that athletes get from mental training is increased personal control over their attention.
Why would that be important? First off, no one can respond to that which is not in their attention. G’head and try to respond accurately in a game you aren’t paying attention to. Secondly, all coaches try to grab their kids attention in order to teach plays or for them to be more engaged in practice. And isn’t true that if coaches find a team not paying attention that that team will be running sprints or have some sort of physical consequence because of the lack of attention? Why is that? Because coaches intuitively know that without focus no great performance happens.
Coaches are trying to get athletes to pay attention! Attention is where excellence, championships, and success resides.
The prevalent problem of student-athlete’s lack of personal control over attention is why I offer this personal development service. If, for the entirety of an athlete’s career, the only way that they can pay attention is through the external actions of a coach, then all that that athletic program has done for the athlete is train them to need things outside of their control to get them to sustain attention.
How is that helpful in the long run for that athlete’s life? Sports is/should be the place where athletes personally develop strengths that will help them as they enter the world of work. How productive can someone be who can work hard but gets distracted easily?
Every mind uses reinforcements and/or incentives to help corral attention but the person who can do that for themselves are the ones who are future leaders. The ones who understand how their mind works have more options to help themselves than those who wait for a coach to get them locked-in.
Is having those options something that is important and essential for the goals that you’re moving towards? Is developing this strength something that intrigues you? click #JOC #PushForward