The main learning points from this session are:
- Psychological skills in sport can be refined by practising them as part of the development path in sport. Coaching towards elite levels in sport might therefore be considered as a balance between challenge, support and psychological skills.
- Fear and anxiety are a natural reaction to demanding situations in which the primitive parts of the brain respond to threat. The rational part of the brain can be used to interpret and control heightened emotions.
- The use of imagery as a psychological skill helps athletes reinforce their control, block out distractions and focus on their own performance.
- Controlling emotions can be developed by viewing challenges as active choices and not obstacles, and taking responsibility for thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
- Self-talk is used to help focus thoughts towards relevant aspects of performance and can have a process, motivational, emotional control or instructional focus.
- Pre-performance routines build familiarity and control into pressurised situations and might draw on habits, imagery and self-talk to help achieve this.
In the next session, you will be seeing how the science of learning and teaching can have an important influence on how coaches design effective training sessions. It is connected to coaching and athlete creativity and you may be surprised at how the evidence points towards a fresh look at coaching.
You can now go to Session 7.