Sports Psychology

Being selected to the Modern Pentathlon World Class Programme is a significant step towards achieving your potential as a successful senior elite international. Taking full advantage of the opportunity you now have will involve working to enhance your technical, tactical, physical and mental abilities. An important aspect of getting the most from yourself will be about how well you work with the team around you. You will be responsible for taking action along with coaches and support services to maximise your potential as an athlete. Sport psychology is one of the support services available to help you maximise your potential.

Sport psychology support is the applied use of psychology principles in a sport setting. It employs a systematic approach which aims to help athletes use their thoughts, feelings and behaviour to maximum advantage in training and competition environments. Sport psychology support is a process ideally involving the athlete, coach and sport psychologist working in partnership to enhance performance. Successful use of mental skills and strategies will be your responsibility and achieved by committing the time and effort necessary to fully benefit from the support you receive.

Applied sport psychology support helps coaches and athletes to answer the following types of questions:

  • What can I do to improve my mental toughness?
  • How can I use mental relaxation exercises to maximise recovery?
  • How can I prepare more effectively for major events?
  • How do I maintain concentration or focus during training or at critical times?
  • Why do I under perform in competition when training is going well?
  • How do I control my nerves when they affect me negatively?
  • What can I do to improve my confidence?

Using sport psychology support to achieve goals :

  • Provides a resource within your programme to help you and your coach enhance performance and achieve potential
  • Will develop your awareness enabling you to know and understand what does and doesn't work when performing at your best
  • Aims to help you use your strengths consistently and effectively when it matters most
  • Will support you in meeting the challenges you face
  • Can help you to learn from the highs and cope positively with the lows of competitive sport
  • Is about developing habits which enable you to be effective before, during and after training and competition
  • In conjunction with Performance Lifestyle, is about effective self management where you have a healthy balance between your sport, your education/ work and personal life

What you can expect from sport psychology:

You can expect sport psychology to provide you with a service tailored to your needs either as an individual or as part of a squad or team. Becoming better (developing) is a process which will involve a series of steps.

  • The key steps in the support process are:
  • Finding out what is going to be most helpful to you (Needs analysis)
  • Being clear about what you want to achieve with sport psychology (Identifying aims and objectives)
  • Understanding how much time will be needed and how long the plan will take (Identifying a time frame)
  • Identifying what you will be doing (Negotiating support programme content)
  • Assessing how the plan is going (Monitoring/ evaluating progress)

You have an exciting opportunity to make the most of your ability and potential. Ultimately you are responsible for your success. Your mental game, whether you chose to use a sport psychologist or not will play a significant role in meeting and exceeding your sporting expectations and goals, be in control and use sport psychology to work for you.