Coaching Athletes Involves
Physical, mental, and Emotion Issues
The key to succeeding in
any sport is the combination of effective communication skills of
coaches and listening on the part of the athlete.
In order to be a
communicator, the speaker must understand the audience their interests:
In order to be a good
listener, one must:
Is this a willing audience or one that is forced to attend?
What is the temperature of the room?
Is the audience sitting or standing?
Will there be tables to allow comfortable note taking?
Is the audience a group of your peers?
Does the topic require note taking?
Will you distribute prepared handouts?
Is this topic inspirational/motivational?
If the topic presentation is longer than 50 minutes, will
their be a rest room break and refreshments?
Will there be time for
Attention is the cardinal rule for good listening. Hear the
words, and let their meaning in. If your mind wanders, simply re-focus your attention on the
Being Open Minded - If
you show up with an agenda, you are not going to be available to fully
hear what the other person is
Clarification - You might
be surprised at how much you are missing. Verify your understanding. If
you are unclear, ask for
Focus on the speaker's body
language - Does a person's body language, tone of voice, and
speaking confirm the truthfullness of the speaker. Do you sense there
is a hidden adgenda beneath the spoken words?
Bored and distracted?
Reconnect to the speaker by maintaining eye contact, uncross your arms,
and ask questions
that take the conversation deeper.
Don't attempt to speak over someone who is talking. Be careful not to
to conclusions or assume you know what the speaker is going to say and
"complete their sentence!"
Don't prejudge the speaker's
message. Don't allow your need to be right or your strong
convictions on a topic preclude paying attention and listening to what
other people have to say.
listening helps the development of empathy for
understanding another's persons experience. Simple as paying attention
can lead to insights and new opportunities.
The art of
communication is a two-way process. The listener play role
in the communication
process that is equal to the speaker's role. Real
communication is the connection that occurs
when the speaker and
listener participate equally in the process.
Retaining what we have heard
Paying attention must be
augmented by the retention of the information so it can be implemented
when the opportunity arises. Retaining information involves short and
long term storage (memory) that can be accessed through a retrival
Memory retrieval is involved in
every aspect of daily living.
There are many factors associated with how memories are retrieved
from long-term memory. There are four basic ways in which information
is accessed from
There are different agents of
memory retrieval that can trigger the retrieval of long-term
Recall: Ability to access the information without
Recollection: Reconstructing memory, often
utilizing logical structures, partial
memories, narratives or clues.
Recognition: Identifying information after
experiencing it again.
Relearning: Involves relearning information that
has been previously learned.
How do we improve our memory?
centuries different memory techniques
have been used and currently still are in use.
Learning of ideas by association.
These historic ways have been found to be
insufficient unless used with modern memory training techniques.
Observation - people
are able to retain short lists much easier than longer lists,
The method of loci technique was used by
ancient orators to remember speeches. Itt combines the
use of organization, visual memory, and association. Using this
technique requires a commonality or familiarity. For example,
start with walking between two points. It is essential to have a vivid
memory of the path being taken and the surrounding objects. Imagine
walking or driving this route.
and that people tend to very quickly forgot what they learned.
Start identifing specific landmarks that are
on both sides of the route. These landmarks are what you want to
remember. Mentally associate pieces of
information that you want to remember with specific landmarks.
This list becomes an acronym of asociated information that is recalled
Practicing the technique of a *loci
mnemonic will sharpen your skills. Consult the following references:
*The word 'loci', commonly pronounced as
'LOW sigh', comes from the
Latin word meaning place or location. The Loci mnemonic system uses
locations as memory aids.
This technique involves associating items
that you have to remember with places that
are well known to you such
as your house, neighborhood, or parts of your body.
Sigmund Freud suggested that people
information if they were filled with negativity. People would purposely
forget or “repressed” memories that were upsetting.
The modern view is that different factors that effect brain and memory
are searching for better techniques to effect memory by:
- Changing sleep patterns,
- Exercising both the mind and the
- Positive environments,
- Social interaction.
Scientists have determined that
poor or physical
health is not conducive to memory training. They also have found that
without strategies for
the use of external memory aids these techniques will not produce the
desired effect. A person's overall psychology can affect memory in
positive and negative ways.
Cognitive training can help
people become better athletes.
training’s influence on a wide variety of sports and athletic pursuits.
Scientists at the University of Calgary studied how training elements
of visual attention could improve free-throw performance on the
basketball court, and researchers at the University of Central Oklahoma
looked into visual training’s ability to improve volleyball
There are dozens of studies
devoted to cognitive
training and sports performance that target everything from soccer and
cricket to golf and tennis.
Scientists have been studing
how exercising on a treadmill at high rates* subsequent have a negative
affect cognitive on functions. Research has demonstrated that the best
time for learning new skills, particularly where verbal
tuition forms part of the process, is when the athletes are in a
well-rested state, not after high-intensity
training sessions or competitions.
exercise group performed a 15-minute incremental treadmill run
right up to the limit of their maximum oxygen uptake (i.e. to
physical skills requires short to long term memory conversion
Skill learning techniques can
the acquisition and retention process of acquiring memory and motor
are a number of steps you can take to improve your
memory and retrieval capacity.
Principles for learning motor
skills are based on
psychology principles that are applied to learning physical movements
of all sports.
techniques can facilitate sport skill memory and retention:
- Ideally every learner should acquire skills correctly
the first time. Coaches should monitor and guide
athletes as much as possible in the early stages of learning. A skill
learned incorrectly is often difficult to repattern/retrain.
- Skills that have specific rhythms are easier to
learn and rhythmic recall than
- Chunking movements.
It is well known that such sequential skills involve chaining a number
of primitive actions together. A robust representation of skills can be
formed by chunking together several elements of a sequence. Coaches can
use this concept to
express concepts that are easy to learn and recall as “chunks” that are
a compressed representation of a complex concept.
- Provide a reason to acquire the skill.
Explain and demonstrate new
skills so that the athlete understands what the skill requires and why
it is executed that way. Also make clear how the skill will enhance
- Associate new skills and concepts with previous acquired
skills. Skaters will learn new skills quickly if the
component is based on a skill they understand.
- Establish specific cues that help focus the
athlete's attention. A cue alerts the skater and
associated aspects of a specific learned skill.
- Over learning is a necessary part of the process of
undoing, followed by relearning
the correct technique. Over training means
practicing skills beyond what was first necessary to learn them. It is
an effective approach when incorrect movement patterns are deeply
The techniques below can
help you to develop a flexible, customized memory system that is
suitable for your learning style and the skills required in your
sport. The techniques are divided into four categories,
each which represents a general principle for improving memory.
- Be selective.
The challenge is to selecting what to
remember. Make choices about what is most important to
learn. Imagine that you are going to create a test on the
consider the questions you would ask.
- Make it meaningful. Begin the
learning process by starting from the general and narrow your focus to
the specific. Even random ideas - care be organized in a way to
make them easier to remember.
- Create associations.
The encoded data in your neural networks is arranged according
to a scheme that makes sense to you. The introduction of new data
can be more effectively accomplished if you associate the new with
related data that you already know something about.
Association of physical muscle/nerve memory with
mental conscious and unconscious
- Learn it once, actively. Remembering
an idea requires going beyond just thinking about it. Do
it. Physical action is a great memory enhancer. The same
energy, determination, and single mindedness that you use for academics
should be applied to pursuing a competitive sport. Learning takes
energy. When you
learn effectively, you are burning calories when you are sitting at
a desk reading a textbook or running an under 4 minute mile.
- Relax. When
you're relaxed, you absorb new information quickly and recall it with
greater ease and accuracy. Students who can't recall information
stress of a final exam can often recite the same facts later when they
are relaxed. Relaxation is a state of alertness, free of tension,
during which your
mind can play with new information and apply memory techniques.
- Create mental pictures.
The key is the use your imagination. Use images to connect facts and
illustrate relationships. Associations within and among abstract
concepts that can be "seen" are much easier to recall when they are
- Recite and repeat. When
you repeat something out loud, you anchor the concept in two different
senses. First, you get physical sensation in your throat, tongue,
lips when voicing the concept. Second, you hear it. The
result is synergistic, just as it is when you create pictures.
is, the effect of using two different senses is greater than the sum of
their individual effects.
- Write it down.
This technique is obvious, yet easy to forget. Writing a note to
yourself helps you remember an idea, even if you never look at the note
again. Writing engages a different kind of memory than
speaking. A written paper can reveal gaps in knowledge that would
be apparent in an oral review would. The converse is also true as oral
reviews can reveal gaps that may be missed in a written review.
Stop and Think about Actions and Reactions
- Engage your emotions.
One powerful way to enhance your memory is to make friends with your
amygdala - the area of your brain that lights up with extra
neural activity each time you feel a strong emotion. When a topic
excites love, laughter, or fear, the amygdala sends a flurry of
chemical messages that say, in effect: This information is important
and useful. Don't forget it.
You're more likely to remember an
idea or concept if you relate it to a goal you feel strongly about. The
more goals you
have and the more clearly they are defined, the more channels you
create for incoming information.
One way to fight mental fuzziness is to learn more than you need to
know about a subject simply to pass a test. You can pick a
apart, examine it, add to it, and go over it until it becomes second
- Escape the short-term memory trap.
Short-term memory is different from the kind of memory you'll need
during exam week. For example, most of us can look at an
seven-digit phone number once and remember it long enough to dial
See if you can recall the number the next day.
A short review within minutes or
hours of a study
session can move material from short-term memory into long-term memory.
- Use your times of peak energy.
Study your most difficult subjects during the times when your energy
peaks. Many people can concentrate more effectively during
hours. The early morning hours can be especially productive, even
those who hate to get up with the sun. Observe the peaks and
in your energy flow during the day and adjust study times accordingly.
- Distribute learning.
As an alternative to marathon study sessions, experiment with shorter,
spaced-out sessions. These are particularly helpful when your
in its competitive season. You might find that you can get far
done in three two-hour sessions than in one six-hour session.
- Be aware of attitudes.
If you think a subject is boring, remind yourself that everything is
related to everything else. Look for connections that relate to
- Give your "secret brain" a chance.
Sometimes the way you combine studying with other activities can affect
how well you remember information. The trick is to avoid what
psychologists call retroactive inhibition, something that happens when
a new or unrelated activity interferes with previous learning.
- Combine techniques. All of
these memory techniques can work even better in combination.
two or three techniques to use on a particular assignment and
experiment for yourself. For example, after you take a few
get an overview of a reading assignment, you could draw a quick picture
or diagram to represent the main point. Or you could over learn a
chemistry equation by singing a jingle about it all the way to work.
Positive Mental Control
- Remember something else. When you
are stuck and can't remember something that you're sure you know,
remember something else that is related to it.
- Notice when you do remember.
To develop your memory, notice when you recall information easily and
ask yourself what memory techniques you're using naturally. Also,
notice when it's difficult to recall information and adjust your
learning techniques. And remember to congratulate yourself when
- Use it before you lose it. To
remember something, access it a lot. Read it, write it, speak it,
listen to it, apply it - find some way to make contact with the
material regularly. Each time you do so, you widen the neural
to the material and make it easier to recall the next time.
External Inputs Can Drastically Lower Performance:
- Adopt the attitude that you never forget.
You might not believe that an idea or a thought never leaves your
memory. That's OK. In fact, it doesn't matter whether you
the idea or not. It can work for you
Don't consume alcohol or
take drugs not perscribed by a physican.
Don't skip breakfast - don't over consume sugar. A
high protein and high carbohydrate diet recommended. Food intake before
and during compitions can significantly affects an athlete's
performance. In particular, nutrition impacts
player’s psychological state, alertness, memory recall, and overall
physical, mental, and emotional performance.
is Muscle Memory?
Sept. 25, 2012 ... Muscle memory is a type of
movement that muscles gradually become familiar with. ... This is
extremely important in different types of training for sports.
A concussion can affect memory, judgment, reflexes,
speech, balance and muscle coordination.
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a web presence with information concerning team
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