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Training the Mind

Mental Training is Essential in Academic Subjects and Sports
        Meditation is often mentioned as a method of training the mind. Some people advocate drugs as a solution, but what will discussed does not involve either of this approaches. What many parents complain about, excessive playing of computer games can be converted into a force for good.

        Our military has been very successful in developing games and simulation software to train our troops. Considering the high probability of serious injury and even death when errors are made in combat, it is not surprising that they could channel funds into developing this technology when our schools can not afford to implement similar technology.

       The games theory is a valuable tool in instructional design. The concept of using computer games  coordinated with specific physical exercises is a fairly recent innovation.

       Computer games and physical exercises can be used motivate and strengthen the subject's brain in much the same way athletes strengthen their muscles. Research has shown there is a direct relationship between gross and fine muscle skills and the same neural networks that are used in computer games. This is an extension of cross-training used in sports. 

       This concept can be used to diagnose learners of all levels of abilities from those with various learning disabilities to gifted students with modifications to tailor the materials for various age groups to insure there is relevant content that applies to the learner.

The instruction is delivered in Phases. Each Phase targets a different task or topic.
Phase Sessions Results Delivered

Initial Assessment

Sessions 1 - 8
(typically 2-3 weeks)

Administer Integrated National Institute of Health (NIH) assessment tests to provide initial insight into basic cognitive abilities of students

Student Performance

Sessions 9 - 14
(typically 2 weeks)

Early computer game performance reveals students with special gifts and special cognition needs that may not be apparent from conventional school tests

Cognition Profiles

Sessions 15 - 24
(typically 3 weeks)

Individualized profiles of the students Core Cognitive Capacities.

Brain Training I

Sessions 25 - 36
(typically 4 weeks)

Measure cognition gains by administering a battery of NIH tests to provide and independent measure of progress.

Brain Training II

Sessions 37 - 72
(additional 9-12 weeks)

Second term of daily individualized progress measures, particularly valuable for under performing students.  Administer a third battery of NIH at Session 54. Administer the fourth and final NIH tests at Session 72.


Source - c8sciences

       Mental training is an essential part of preparing an athlete for the demanding schedule of practices and competition. The successful athlete is one who is highly motivated, focused, and self confident. This attitude increases the likelihood they will achieve a peak performance when it counts.

       Some athletes have difficulty learning the correct technical skills, focusing on training strategies, or developing mental toughness as an alternative to enhancing their ability to focus and exclude extraneous external "noise".

       There are tools that can strengthen a coach's ability to devise alternate instructional approaches that take into considerations their strengths and weakness, thus accelerating an athletes' learning curves.

       Not all coaches have acquired the necessary training to use psychological skills in their physical sports training programs. Athletes can harness their mental skills are able to tap into primal forces that drive physical performance. They need to learn how to enhance their focus, speed up their reaction/response time, and use positive imagery as a training tool.

Editors Note: Guided imagery is a stress management technique, where you use your imagination to picture a person, place, or time that makes you feel relaxed, peaceful
and happy. Imagery is slightly different from other stress management techniques, in
that it relies on the use of all of your senses.

No Pain - No Gain!
       Many coaches advocate their athletes play through the pain. They stress Mental toughness as the ability to think and feel strong and determined even in the face of setbacks, pain, failures and self-doubt. They maintain that athletes who deal with these challenges, especially physical pain, the more they can push themselves to train and compete at their high level.

       Sport psychology is the broad field that studies how an individual's mental and emotional state function in sports. Learning motor skills and mastering their control part of the psychology investigation how athletes can learn sport skills more quickly.

       Key principles from sport psychology can be used to accelerate skill learning as well as mental preparation for peak sport performance. Psychological tips and techniques are transferable from other sports to figure skating.
 
       As a parent, would you prefer for your child to perform their best in a sport than academic studies?  Do you stress academic success and preparing for entrance into a college degree program.  Will a scholarship be essential for your child to attend a prestigious university?  Is it possible to finance both the child's education and fund a training program in figure skating at an elite level?

       As a parent, does your child:
  • Get nervous testing?
  • Become nervous or anxious when he or she competes?
  • Do great in practice, but has performance anxiety when stressed?
  • Lose interest because of the pressure?
  • Seem to be stuck on a skills learning plateau?
  • Experience a periodic slumps when preparing to test or compete?
  • Suffer from anger episodes when he/she competes?
  • Recover quickly from a setback?
  • Frustrate, you, or your spouse and siblings as a result of their involvement in skating?

Recommended reading:

Concentration Exercises for Training and Focusing the Mind Concentration exercises for focusing and controlling the mind. How to develop, exercise and strengthen your concentration ability.

PDF Training the Mind - CrossFit Training the Mind. By Andréa Maria Cecil. October 2011. Andréa Maria Cecil looks at how three elite CrossFit athletes prepare their minds for competition.

Sport and Exercise Psychology: Applied Mental Training Skills  June 13, 2007. Review of “Sport/Performance” Psychology.  Mental “Toughness” Definition/ Attributes.  Mental Training Skills Overview.

Mental Training and Sports Performance
Mental training is being increasingly recognized as an integral component of an athlete's training. Relying solely on skills and dedication has become inadequate in the field of competitive sports.

The Inner Champion: A Mental Toughness Training Manual for Figure Skaters  by Choeleen Loundagin. The book's goal is to help skaters prepare psychologically for training and competition.  Choeleen Loundagin is a former competitive figure skater with a Master Degree in Sport Psychology.  The Inner Champion is clearly written, easy to understand, and organized in a fill-in-the-blank workbook fashion designed to help the skater work through and keep track of his or her goals and progress.

Imagery, Stress Reduction and Mental Stress  Mind Tools features tips on Imagery, a potent method of stress reduction. ... Guided imagery is a stress management technique, where you use your imagination to control physical responses.

Guided Imagery, Guided Meditation, Inner Journey Top athletes use guided imagery to link their mental abilities to train themselves to win. And doctors have begun using guided imagery to train the body to heal itself to curing diseases.

References:
  • Mental Training For Athletes   Nov. 8, 2011 ... So whether we are just starting out or whether we are seasoned athletes, adding mental training to the game can be a great benefit to overall.
  • Navy SEAL Mental Training For Sports They are good athletes, but they are the toughest people mentally you will ever find who overcome incredible physical pain during their training.
  • Mental Training For Athletic Success Aug. 11, 2011 ... Mental Training For Athletic Success. Physical training is only one facet of the training that successful athletes undergo.
Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Fitness Training Considerations
Kirkpatrick's Evaluating Training Programs
Skating Training Environment
Training Figure Skaters
Group Classes
Fitness Training
Personal Training Plan
Daily Training Plan
Seasonal Training
Training for Junior & Senior Athletes
Age Guidelines for Training
Developing a Plan for Training
Developing Skating Skills
Group Training Stages
Training Priorities
Strategies of Sports Training
Training Task Analysis
Value of Annual Planning
Competitive Training Strategies
Verbal and Nonverbal Communications
PDF  Core Body Training
PDF  Endurance Training Plan

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.


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