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  • Emma

Why bother with sport science support?

Updated: Mar 5

I get asked a lot about what is the point of accessing sport science support to increase mental performance, why is this important its just common sense most of the time! For me, yes the concepts of sport science are nothing new, there's no magic wand where all your answers and problems are resolved in a day but its how the concepts are applied and utilised which makes sport science support effective and beneficial.


The main aim for support is to use mental skills training and develop those skills so that coaches, athletes, support staff can work towards optimal performance and well-being of athletes/staff/officials, developmental and social aspects of sports participation, and look at systemic issues associated with being involved in a sport and exercise environment and/or organisations.


The services offered through Exploring Attitudes and Thoughts is targeted towards the mental components that can have an effect on an individual or teams performance. The support that's offered can have a positive impact on performance both in and out of competition, this is through learning, improving and developing aspects such as:

​Concentration

Motivation

Confidence/Self Esteem

Ability to cope with negative emotions or difficult situations

Emotional control


These aspects can be learnt by engaging in a number of psychological skills, for example:

Imagery

Relaxation / Breathing

Pre, during and post preparation

Performance review

Goal setting

Developing specific focuses

Understanding the meaning and use of self talk


When reading this, you may think how can looking at those psychological skills benefit me? The answer is through listening to your needs and looking at new ways to push through barriers that you might be facing and find solutions to help you develop, improve or learn new skills that will enhance performance in any environment.


When working with athletes and clubs in the past, some of the benefits they have found is that my support can help them:-


* Find ways to focus on the task at hand and deal with distractions (actual, internal, external, perceived)


* Develop confidence when athletes have doubted their abilities


* Develop coping skills that work for them to deal with setbacks and errors and for these to be tried and tested in training before taking into the competitive field


* Find the right zone of intensity for your sport, to help teams and individuals to perform at their optimum level


* Helped teams develop communication skills and cohesion, identify what makes the team work and iron out any issues before a major tournament and/or start of the season


You may be reading this, and think I have read for a few minutes but I still can't see how this support will work for me or my club/team. The way I would look at it, if you have an injury you would seek support from a medical professional/physio to get you back playing as soon as possible and to keep you strong, if you are having difficulties in winning games you may seek support from a performance analysis to analyse games and talk to the coaches about gaps that they may not have identified themselves... so why is mental skills never a priority? There is a cliche used that sport is 90% mental, so why do we put 100% into the physical aspect of the sport?


If you would like to see how sport science support will benefit your club:-


* I am offering the first 5 sports clubs who get in touch, a free introduction to mental skills training workshop to identify fundamental skills and to provide the club and the individuals and opportunity to understand what sport science can do for you


* I am offering the first 5 individuals who get in touch, a free consultation to discuss what support can be offered for you and to identify what needs you may have (because sometimes this is not always clear until you look into it)


If you have any questions or would like to discuss this more, please feel free to get in touch and I will get back to you.

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