A Brief Insight into Sport Psychology.


As the last six nations matches are today (the Wales v England match in particular) I thought I would have a look at Sport Psychology. In this article, posted in www.rookierugbyclub.com, Tim Goodenough outlined what he believes to be the crucial points for coaches to learn deeper mental skills and understanding of their sport.

Goal setting:
Goal setting is common for every team or athlete; however some goals create more pressure than focus, and some goals set up the team for failure. There is a way to do goal setting in a more effective way that creates buy-in from the players and creates a positive energy in the team. This style is interactive, fun and high energy.
Developing a high performance culture:
once your team goals are in place, what is the best way to ensure that the team gives itself the best chance of success whilst enjoying the process? What do you do with those who break the team’s rules or struggle to fit into the culture?

Learning how players learn:
As a coach one of your primary jobs is to teach, unfortunately telling or even showing an athlete something doesn’t mean that they have learnt it. Have they learnt it effectively enough to perform under pressure or apply the lessons to a related context? Sometimes you need to adapt your style to get more value.

Introduction to Mental Toughness 101:
What do you need to know about mental toughness to ensure that you are developing mentally strong athletes on purpose with your style of coaching, rather than accidently or not at all?

Mental tools:
Teach your players the fundamental skills of letting go of mistakes and mentally warming up so that they are ready to play well more often.

The Being of Coaching:
The impact of who you are as a person has on your side’s performance and what to do about it. Do you understand what a significant impact your ability to be honest, be consistent and handle set-backs well has on your team? Understand how your character influences performance and what to do about it.

The Doing of Coaching:
Understanding the impacts of different communication and coaching styles and finding the right fit for you and your context. How much positive feedback versus negative feedback do you give – is your ratio effective for the age and maturity of your athletes? Do you have a high quality feedback technique and what is the impact of your style? Do you manage your energy (and touchline demeanor) well as a coach? If no, how do you shift this and why would you want to?

Jumping categories:
Teams often perform to their seeding or expectation, regardless of their talent or potential. “Small” schools lose against “big” schools. Teams in the middle of the log stay there, and teams that don’t win the trophy may make the final but seldom win it. We have developed category jump techniques and critical lessons that have played a part in the successes of the teams we have coached.

Managing parents:
Parents support and commitment is a vital ingredient to a successful youth side. However sometimes their involvement can become too much which is to the detriment of the team. Find out more about how to engage parents and pre-empt a lot of the challenges that may occur in a season.”

Written by: Tim Goodenough – rugbyIQ.com Mental Toughness Specialist
Original Artical.
Photograph Source.