Tag Archive for 'Terry Orlick'

Mental imagery

Let’s not forget the best mentors there have been in sport psychology. One of these, Terry Orlick, passed away recently.

Below are his thoughts on visualization.

Terry Orlick tribute

We are saddened to hear of Dr. Terry Orlick’s passing today. Terry, as he was commonly referred to by his friends, colleagues, and students, was a true leader in the field of sport and exercise psychology. Terry was known for his professional practice, where he worked with many successful Canadian and international athletes spanning Summer and Winter sports over several decades. Terry Orlick was also known as a renowned and respected internationally acclaimed author. His books spanned the many editions of In Pursuit of Excellence, a world-recognized favorite, translated into many languages, and a long list of profound contributions, authored and co-authored.
Terry also wrote books where he supported children’s identities, and in his earliest work was about cooperative, non-competitive sport, a topic pertinent today across many cultures in several hemispheres. As a reader of these novel contributions, it can be said his vision reflected and affirmed a person with an expansive vision and a care for the field and the people it touches.
Dr. Terry Orlick was also a renowned scholar and graduate supervisor. To this day, his scholarship in the field of elite athlete excellence, and particularly, athlete career termination, co-written with younger colleagues, leaves its contributive mark on our field. The scholarship was thematically acclaimed, and in addition, methodologically innovative, well beyond its time. Terry was a qualitative researcher, and the scientific work he authored and co-authored was rigorous, rich, and as a result, heavily cited and readily applied.
I was fortunate enough to have taken several graduate courses with Terry and experienced him on my supervisory committee, while studying a master’s degree at the University of Ottawa. His courses were my favorite, spanning my graduate and post-graduate years, in part due to his grasp of subject matter, and partly based on his pedagogical and inclusive approach to intellectual exchanges with younger colleagues and aspiring students. He was perhaps the best of listeners in a field known for listening and empathy.
On behalf of the International Society of Sport Psychology, there is reason to celebrate Dr. Terry Orlick’s life and contribution to the people and field he touched, who were many. Regrets are to his family, friends, and close colleagues, as this world will truly miss a remarkable person and professional – one of the International Society of Sport Psychology’s International Distinguished Scholars.
Robert Schinke, President of the International Society of Sport Psychology
Terry Orlick Quotes - IdleHearts

The use of meditation in sport

The use of mindfulness seems to be one of the new strategies and techniques to train mentally athletes to stay focused on the present and on their performances, rather than be dominated by competitive stress. It want to remember that 40 years ago transcendental meditation and zen were already described as modes suitable to sports. At this regard, I report what had written at that time  two of the sports psychologists who have provided significant contributions in term of innovation and efficiency of their approach.

Robert Nideffer (1976) in the book “The inner athlete”:

“Trascendental meditation (TM) procedures can be helpful in improving an athlete’s general feeling of well-being as well as increasing his energy level and his ability to concentrate … they are very useful to athletes who engage in endurance events which require little in the way of external attention … keeps him from becoming locked into negative, self-defeating thoughts and feelings … most applicable in those competitive situations where an athlete’s responses require non thought, where movements have been learned so well that they have become automatic … complicated gymnastics routines or dives are often practiced to the point where they are almost reflexive” (p.179).

Terry Orlick (1980) in the book “In pursuit of excellence”:

“Thinking is useful in many ways, but there some occasions when thinking interferes with the task and you have to leave it behind …

In such cases, you cease to be your own conscious master but become an instrument in the hands of the unknown. The unknown has no ego-consciousness and consequently no thought of winning the contest … it is for this reason that sword moves where it ought to move and makes the contest end victoriously. This is the practical application of the Lao-tzuan doctrine of doing by not doing” (p.146, corsivo è di Daisetz Suzuki, Zen and Japanese Culture).