Yesterday I attended a webinar ”Stress and coping unpacked- exploring the myths, mysteries, and magic of coping” held by Dr. Tracey Devonport. She is a sport and exercise psychologist working at the University of Wolverhampton. It was one of the many great free webinars organized by Bases and Human Kinetics.
I will not go into too many details, I'll just recap a few of points:
1. Myth: Stress is always negative and should be eliminated
Stress is needed for growth. Changes happen when stress is paired with adequate recovery. There are several types of stress, namely distress and eustress (positive). Distress can be acute or chronic, while eustress is only experienced in short-term intervals.
2. Where there is stress, there are emotions
This is important to recall when planning ahead to deal with stressful situations- it is highly unlikely that you will be in a calm state of mind, so prepare for that!
3. There are no bad coping strategies
The appropriateness of a coping strategy is dependent on the individual and the situation. Seemingly "bad" strategies can do the trick for some people, in a specific situation.
A lot more was discussed. Feel free to ask if you’d like more information on the topic.
I am currently in Germany working at Ruhr University Bochum and writing my Phd dissertation around the topics of stress and recovery in sport. Since I'm gaining some more expertise in this field, I thought I'd try to blog a bit about the topics. The focus of this first post will be an introduction to what I'm doing on a daily basis.
"Stress and recovery" as a topic is very VERY broad and both concepts are very complex- so there is no way I could come even close to covering everything. My focus is on measuring and monitoring recovery and stress states in athletes. Naturally, I place greater emphasis on psychological markers of stress and recovery. One of the easiest ways of doing this is by using self-report questionnaires. I'm in the process of validating two such questionnaires, and I'll be sure to post a link when I finally get something published. In short, my days are spent either writing, reading/researching + taking notes, analysing data and looking for participants.
In the next post, I'll go over the importance of monitoring the recovery stress state.
Mun koneelta löytyy aivan loistava kokoelma hauskoja kuvia jotka liittyy jollain tavalla urheilupsykologiaan ja ajattelin, että olisi kivaa jakaa niitä Twitterin kautta. Mini-Mind Zone joulukalenteri, eli yksi uusi kuva joka päivä. Kuvat löytyvät täältä: @MindZone_fi , ja näkyvät myös etusivulla :)
I have a great collection of various comics/pictures that somehow relate to sport psychology, and I'd like to share some of them via a Mind Zone advent calendar :) I'll post one pic a day through Twitter. You can find the pictures here: @MindZone_fi and they're also visible on the front page of the website.
Here's a simple method to help improve concentration (lopussa kertaus suomeksi - Finnish summary at the end).
Use Cue words - it's that simple ;)
Cue words are used to trigger a particular response. They can be instructional (follow through, watch the puck), motivational or emotional (strong, move, relax, hang in there, get tough). Keep the cue word(s) simple and let it automatically trigger a desired response. Be sure to use these cue words during practices and competitions.
Cue words are only effective if you use them, so I'd recommend using some simple visual reminders. Here are some examples:
Personal experience: I am not the most confident cross-country skier, so when I’m faced with a steep downhill, I repeat the word “steady” over and over again. I’ve used this for years with great success ("Don't fall" was not effective). Sometimes I’ll simply repeat the one word, other times I’ll start repeating the chorus of the song Steady as she goes by the Raconteurs. I also use this strategy in some other situations. For example, when going up a slope using a T-bar ski lift on my snowboard (I used to fall off a lot as a kid) or when biking in tricky winter conditions.
Feel free to share your own experiences below!
Keskittymistä voi tehostaa käyttämällä mantraa/hokemaa. Näitten tarkoitus on tuoda huomio oleelliseen asiaan ja samalla se vie huomion pois haitallisista ajatuksista (esim. tuloksen turha pohtiminen). Hyvä mantra on lyhyt ja liittyy suorituksen kannalta oleelliseen asiaan.
Aina et välttämättä muista toistaa näitä asioita kun niille olisi tarvetta, eli muista harjoitella tätä käytäntöä treeneissä ja kisoissa. Muistilaput voivat auttaa (alla pari esimerkkiä):
The blog will cover topics in the field of sport, exercise and performance psychology!
Suomen Urheilupsykologinen Yhdistys ry (SUPY):
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Leppa.fi : urheiluammuntaa käsittelevä sivusto, ajankohtaista tietoa!
ENYSSP - European Network of Young Specialists in Sport Psychology
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Laura Rautanen, Personal Trainer: