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psychological skills training

-a program or intervention that entails a structured and consistent practice of psychological skills
1. education: see the value of physiological skills, connect to performance
2. acquisition: learn application of physiological skills
3. practice: automaticity


performance profiling

assessment tool (flexible) that helps to identify:
-what gets in the way
individual and team level, involve coach
foundation for physiological skills training


performance profiling steps

-identify a model
-rate importance
-rate yourself


psychological skills

-goal setting
-self talk
-arousal regulation
-attention control


goal setting

a target or objective that one strives to achieve
-performance: improvement and performance standards
-process: specific behaviors; the how
-outcome: results; elements outside an athlete control



direct attention, mobilize effort, promote learning/adaptation and foster persistence, self-confidence/satisfaction. manage stress, promote optimism
-why goals work


goal setting guidelines

-set smart goals
-set goals for practice and competition
-make goals public
-state goals positively vs neg
-consider the four types of team goals
-review goals regularly


smart goals

-specific, measurable, adjustable (modifiable), realistic (moderately difficult), timely (deadline, timeline)


goal setting examples

sidney crosby's goals
1. better nutrition- pack lunch the night before
2. better faceoffs- be calm on faceoff, practice breathing between drills



a mental experience that mimics real experience
-activates similar brain areas as real experience
-includes multiple senses


2 types of imagery

1) general:
physiological arousal: strategies, game plans, routines
mastery: (in control, confident)
-is more based on energy levels
2) specific: goals: specific skills
-is more based on mastering situation, feeling in control


imagery in exercise

-self-efficacy targeted imagery: task, coping and scheduling
-showed that imagery impacted these variables diferentially



physical: how do you want to feel in your image
environment: include many features
task: perspective may vary, form: external perspective
timing: match task
learning: evolve image to match your learning level
emotion: attach meaning or emotion, allow yourself to feel
perspective: internal and external


what makes good imagery

-practice: integrate into training
-match function to desired outcome
-use multiple senses
-be in a good mood
-use imagery in "low season"
-go slow for skill acquisition/refinement



-verbalizations or statements that are addressed to the self, are multidimensional in nature and somewhat dynamic, have interpretive elements, associated with the content of the self-statements employed, and serve to instruct or motivate
-what we say to ourselves
-your mind is very powerful
-consistent finding that positive thinking facilitates optimal performance


functions of self-talk

2 types:
1) instructional: skill development and execution, strategy, general performance enhancement (que performance) ex) knees for a figure skater to focus on keeping knees relaxed
2) motivational: mastery (confidence, focus, readiness, coping) arousal (calm, psyching up) drive (effort, persistence) ex) challenge accepted, calm


recommendations for self-talk

valence: positive > negative (greater than)
verbalization: use both (out loud - shared and privately)
self determination: assigned vs freely chosen (mixed findings)
directional interpretation: motivational interpretation (motivating or demotivating)
directional intensity: motivational interpretation (how motivating or not)
frequency: how often (more is better) (brief simple, relevant to task)


arousal regulation

-the ability to control and regulate energy levels
-foundational to performance: when we are calm, we ca make better decisions and can better discern what is helpful vs not helpful, can focus better
-arousal regulation is positively correlated with performance


arousal regulation 2 types

up regulate: peptalks, bulletin boards, pre-competitive workouts, breathing, imagery, music
down regulate: breathing, (1;2; diaphragm) progressive relaxation (tense/release), meditation (passive, uncritical paying attention), autogenic training, biofeedback



-monitors bodily systems associated with arousal (ex: heart rate, skin conductance, muscle tension, temp, heart rate variability)
-provides instant, precise info about how these responses change to various stimuli (ex: at rest, under stress, recovery)
-promotes awareness in the body's responses
-learn to manage arousal responses (with direct feedback) and attain desired state on demand + optimize recovery


attentional control

attention: limited and selective but modifiable
control: being able to pay attention to task-relevant info at the appropriate time


attentional control strategies

attention stimulation training: practicing two tasks that are preformed together in a competitive setting (ex: taking a shot with multiple players in front of the net)
preformance routines: a set sequence of thoughts and actions before the performance of key skills (prior to skill execution or competition)
-bring focus to present moment (vs distraction, sorry, ruminating)
-promote automaticity vs thinking too much
attentional cues: words, actions, or physical cues
imagery prepare for distractions, "parking"/letting go