Tag Archive for 'mental coaching'

Returning to sport and athletes’ needs during the coronavirus

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italiano.

Mental coaching practiced at home

In these days of lockdown, many athletes have contacted me to find out how it is possible to practice the mental training in the absence of real training.
It’s difficult to explain it in two words but I want to give a practical example of training that can be done for athletes of different sports disciplines. The example I propose concerns tennis but with the appropriate adaptations it can be done by any athlete.

It requires the competence to perform correct abdominal breathing and to know what it means to visualize a sport action.
This type of training lasts about 25 minutes and should be repeated daily. Remember that it’s one example and that over the course of the weeks it should be implemented with other exercises.

Mental preparation
Basic program to improve concentration

Billie Jean King:
“Champions keep playing until they get it right”

Exercises to be performed one after the other in sequence.

  • 5 deep breaths abdomen only, 5 chest only and 10 full deep breaths (about 5 minutes).
  • Pause 1 minute
  • Normal breathing: 2 minutes of concentration on the breath x 5 times, when the mind moves on other thoughts you have to bring it back gently on the breath (10 minutes).
  • Pause 1 minute
  • Play 1 winning game: 1st point /15 – pause 20 seconds – 2nd point /30 – pause 20 seconds – 3rd point/40 – pause 20 seconds – 4th point/game – pause 20 seconds (about 2 minutes). (Start with this winning sequence, later you can imagine a more balanced score or imagine a game you have actually played in the game). Know that professional players are able to visualize their games for many consecutive minutes without getting distracted.

This type of training is useful for:

  • concentrate on the present, excluding what just happened.
  • to know if you are in control of the competitive situation
  • re-establish control over one’s thoughts and emotions
  • energize when feeling empty or unconvinced
  • automate your game pace

To find out more, contact me.

Change your sport career with the mental coaching

Still 200 days to prepare yourself mentally for the next Olympics, a period of 6 months of mental training could optimize your psychological strengths to successfully face the Olympic challenge.

Want to know how to do it?

Write us

to find out how mental training 

can change your life & career as an athlete!

Mental coaching programs

Tell your dream. We will help you  to achieve it.

CEI Consulting collaborates with organizations and athletes who want to enhance the human factor in achieving excellent performances, because the difference between winning and losing is in the effective control of emotions, staying focused only on the  performance.

CEI Consulting helps athletes to:

  • Identify their specific concentration strengths and weaknesses with the most updated performance enhancement assessment systems.
  • Be aware of their performance profile with a 360° assessment program (technical, mental and physical).
  • Be aware of their skills when compared with those of the best athletes in the world.
  • Develop coaching programs for improving and performing at their best.

CEI Consulting uses The Athlete’s Mental Edge, an exclusive performance enhancement system used by Olympic and championship-level athletes worldwide. It is a distillation of 30 years of research made in USA and Canada, Europe and Australia with the world’s greatest athletes.

Please, for further information do not hesitate to contact us.

Free service to know the mental coaching

We are at the beginning of the Pre-Olympic year. In fact the Olympic Games begin in Rio on August 6, 2016 and the Paralympic on September 7, 2016. For most of the athletes will start a decisive period for their sporting careers: they must train and compete to qualify for the most world important sport event. Each of them will live this time in a personal way. There are those who have not participated in the Olympics that they hope to achieve this goal, and next to them there are the more experienced athletes who have already had this experience but who want to be there and be competitive again. Even the psychological preparation is now an integral part of the programs of many athletes and teams. These programs are not only popular in Europe, North America and Australia but also in many Asian countries. So much so that it was just published a book  entitled “Secrets of Asian Sport Psychology” which contains 22 experiences conducted in many nations of this continent.

Below there are the major psychological skills of Olympic medalists:

  • High motivation and commitment
  • Toughness
  • High level of confidence under pressure
  • Identification of objectives
  • Emotion self-regulation in the decisive moments
  • Having well-organized routine during competition
  • Knowing cope with distractions and unexpected events
  • Focus
  • Visualization

In the world, this approach is not diffuse every where as it should be and for this reason many athletes do not reach the level they aspire also if they are technically and physically well prepared, because they do not spend resources in the mental coaching or because they rely on low-skilled professionals with no experience in international competitions.
In addition there is not an organization recognized to ask questions on this issue or to request a contact with a counselor for information on what is a program of mental coaching.
My company, CEI Consulting, wants instead to offer this FREE SERVICE to athletes, coaches and sport managers who want to know more about this aspect of sports training and competition.

To undertake a process of mental training necessary to know what to expect from it. In particular athletes and coaches will find specific answers in relation to:

  • Timing of implementation of the program
  • Skills that will be developed and optimized
  • Utilities for the athlete and the coach
  • And his mode of training periodization
  • Frequency of participation of mental coach to practices and competitions
  • Psychological evaluation of past races

Finally, the proposed system is absolutely new in collaboration with Enhanced Performance System of San Diego related to:

  • Analysis and workout style attentional staff (team) compared with the demands attentive and speed / accuracy of the sport practiced
  • Comparison between attentional and interpersonal style and that of the coach of the athlete (strengths of the report and likely points of friction)
  • Identification of the level of Killer Instinct athlete, decisive in times of increased competitive pressure
  • Feature Comparison attentive athlete with those of athletes from many nations who hold a world record

Those interested in knowing more in relation to mental coaching applied to their sport do not hesitate to contact us on: info@ceiconsulting.it

 

The motivators are the forgers of mental coaching

The motivators and mental coaches without a degree in psychology are spreading in the sport as well as in business. They are people who are involved in these worlds by leveraging on the need for success. Winning is, today, the only thing that counts and too many athletes are duped by people who like change strategies based on the insults or make them walk on hot coals, as if it was an event needed to believe in himself. Unfortunately, some of these motivators are successful, because sport organizations (Olympic Committee, clubs and sport associations) do not do anything to help the athletes and coaches to choose. In fact, sometimes these organizations are glad to this autonomy of the athletes, because in this way they save money and they have not to face the problem of choosing a professional who should also to pay.

The starting point of this reflection came from an interview with the motivator of football player Bonucci (reported by a connoisseur of the sport and of the human soul which is Gianni Mura with the article “The garlic motivates Bonucci but the breath does not make the monk “in which he talked how he worked with him. Everything would be funny if it were not a joke but a counseling job. Of course, every individual can choose who he wants as a personal mentor or mental coach, but as psychologists we have the duty to assert that the individual improving goes through competent and qualified professionals and not by people who are appointed by themselves as motivators, mental coach or whatever just based on personal considerations. The profession of psychologist, as that of the doctor, lawyer or others is subject to strict rules and no one can exercise it without proper qualification. Not surprisingly those who have decided to do without these requirements have had to invent new words to be defined, and so  the term “motivator “and” mental coach ” were born. Anyone can be defined in this way, even the barman near our house and he will not be prosecuted by law.

It’s necessary that the Psychologist Roster as well as the Olympic Committee and sports federations are at the forefront of spreading a professionally correct  approach to mental coaching, otherwise the sports culture will be affected and only who will be more aggressive on the market will win.

The issues of the high level shooters

Today I am at a shooting international competition in Todi (Italy) and athletes of different nationalities, from Iran to Great Britain have asked me about their difficulties face in the race, here are a few:

  • What should I do first when for a while I forget what I have to do?
  • What do I do to remove the panic that sometimes comes over me?
  • What I have to do not think of breaking the target and be focused only on my performance?
  • Which are the skills of clay shooting champions?
  • How do I know I am ready before to start?
  • I have not always the same time to shoot, what I have to do to be more consistent?
  • After a mistake I get too nervous, how can I control myself better?

These questions highlight how the difficulties of international level athletes are specific and require that the sport psychologist has specific knowledge of this sport. As psychologists, we must not only provide global responses based on the idea that we must improve the confidence of these athletes, as these questions are asked by athletes who are the best in their country and are used to compete, but this in itself does not eliminate these difficulty.

What do you think?

Mental coaching program

Mental Coaching

This is the  mental coaching program I propose who really want to improve their sport performances using a system used by athletes who won 10 Olympic medals. The program is divided into 5 areas of intervention as described below:

1. Your goals 

  • How to establish goals
  • Which commitment show the tough athletes
  • The correct mental habit during the coaching sessions
  • The focus: on the performance and not on the results
  • The athlete main mental mistakes 

2. The stress management 

  • What is relaxation
  • Strategies of optimal activation pre-event
  • How to learn relaxation and reach the right activation
  • When/how to use them during the competition 

 3. The concentration 

  • Which kind of focus you need
  • Strength and weakness points of each athlete
  • The focus during the performance
  • Exercises to be focused during the coaching 

4. Which are your fears 

  • Are you worried about what?
  • Are you ready to perform, to do your best?
  • Is the fear useful?
  • How to manage the fear 

5. Planning the competition 

  • How to stay in your individual zone of optimal activation
  • One hour before the events: what to do
  • Your thoughts and feelings before the beginning and during the event
  • What to do during the competition days
For further information write to: info@ceiconsulting.it

Consciouness is the first step of mental coaching

The awareness can be defined as the “miracle that, in a heartbeat, draws our mind and reassemble it, allowing us to live every moment of our lives” (Thich Nhat Hanh). Jack Kornfield has described it as “the innate human ability to deliberately pay full attention to the situation in which we find ourselves, to our practical experiences, and learn from them.”

Awareness is the basis of mental coaching, maximize learning and improve performance requires an understanding of ourselves and the emotions that underlie it.  The consciousness of this moment  is specific to each activity and determines the condition of readiness for action: a global psycho-physical state, involving what is going to happen, that is the performance.

Kendo mental coaching for athletes

Eastern martial arts are a great teaching how to join in every movement mind and body. This concept in Kendo is expressed in a concept called with the word Shikai that highlights four mental obstacles that must be avoided. The first is the surprise – if I am surprised by my opponent means that I’m not ready to respond -. A second obstacle is the doubt – when I’m worried on what to do at a given moment, the action slows down or does not show enough conviction -. The third obstacle is the fear – the enemy becomes a giant and I feel not confident and overwhelmed by his strength -. The fourth is the confusion – I’m not focused on the here and now  but I’m distracted by my thoughts or what’s going on, I lose the fluidity of my movements - .

These mental states hold back the fighting or the performance and they are won through a psychological condition called Heigoshin , which means being present to ourselves as usual , keeping the mind quiet . This type of training is well detectable in scenes from the movie The Last Samurai .