Team Mental Game Training Program
I was asked by someone on here (juniourhockey.com)
to explain what a program might look like if they were to bring me in or
another sport psychology consultant to work with their team. They viewed my
from my last post and then started asking some good questions regarding
expectations. During our conversation it was clear that a discussion regarding
a team using a mental training person, not necessarily me (though of course
that is your best choice) was in order. So what I want to do is open up a
discussion about what a team should expect in working with a sport psychology
consultant. Number one is increased performance. Winning is a team effort and
mental training can help there as part of the team.
Education comes first. Helping players and coaches understand
the process of mental training will go a long way to getting teams focused and
to understand the importance of MT. This goes along with various dry land
training methods like speed training, weight lifting, core work etc.
Goal Setting as a team and individual
Team sessions focused on team needs. Incorporating MT into
practice and play.
Integrating individual needs. Some layers need to learn to be
more aggressive while some may need to control anger.
Learning to deal with pressure, understand stress and move past
Staying focused during games and practice
Increasing self awareness
Learning how to utilize emotional intelligence
Using Imagery to improve performance
Building confidence from
the inside out
Team Building and Cohesion.
Motivation- when you need
to dig deeper
This is by no means a comprehensive program,
just some off the cuff remarks and part of what I discussed with the Junior
Hockey.com reader who asked. I've laid out a basic six session workshop for ice
hockey teams. This of course can be tailored to meet the team's individual
needs with exercised designed for team bonding and additional individual needs.
This isdevotedto helping hockey
players and coaches reach their potential. It will also teach players to enjoy
the game more. I want to help players use their passion for ice hockey.
So it should be no surprise that the
psychology of hockey is an area I have focused on for years. I've worked with
professionals, college and youth players on the mental game.
My approach as always is on both
thecognitiveandunconsciouslevel, it revolves around
what you say to yourself while playing hockey. It's a solid approach. I augment
cognitivebehavioraltherapy with hypnosis and otherprotocols.
My focus is often on increasing self awareness through emotional intelligence
and helping players understand theirunconsciousmind and the role it
plays in success or failure on the ice.
I use recorded mp3s of relaxation / imagery
sessions to reinforce what we work on and they are available to the players.
If finances allow I do an ESI- Emotional
Intelligence Assessment of individual players and coaches. This gives
individuals, coaches and myself a valuable report to help players grow. Teams
can also opt to have individual sessions to help players go beyond self imposed
With technology comes innovation. I can do
this entire program via SKYPE. Once teams had to incur the expenses of bringing
me or someone else in from out of the area; we can now use our computers to
link us together. Sure working hand and hand with the team has advantages, but
it also has costs. Programs can be run a few ways. We can do season long
programs, six week programs as outlined below or we can do the same program
over a long weekend. The long weekend is a great way to integrate mental
training into a program. The long weekend program works better with the sport
psychology consultant in house, but the expenses are limited to 3 or 4 days
rather than a season.
I've not talked about costs and it was never
my intention of making this a commercial. I simply want to give some structure
to what the bare bones of a program could look like to a team. This gives teams
some basics to use when assessing other program offers. Most programs will
differ in presentation and may focus more in other areas, but this is a comprehensive
I of course believe that mental training is
important and worth of your investment. Remember Yogi Berra has been misquoted
to have said (ok he's a baseball guy so what does he know), 90 percent of
sports performance is mental, and the other 50 percent is physical. Whatever
you want to label the mental part of sports I can tell you I have rarely come
across an athlete that didn't confirm that their best and worst performances
were all based on their mental game. I know that sport psychology can help
athletes and teams play to their potential. It's all about skills and metal
game skills are a huge part of the game. Incorporate them into your season
plans. Be glad you did. Please post other questions of contact me in the usual way The Mental-Game
|Hockey Team Training Workshop. The Game within the
Game- Mental Training for Hockey
Being here, Now
Act of Competing
it all together