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Condor Performance Blog - Mental


Thursday, April 08, 2010

Plumbers, electricians and handymen

One of the Condor Performance team drafted an exellent letter recently and it’s too good NOT to be shared. Here it is, with all clues regarding who is was sent to removed. Enjoy and comment below. GJM

When sporting teams underperform a large number of well intentioned people come out of the woodwork to present ‘the solution’. They may be fans, former players, members of the media, board members, family and friends of the players and so on.

Few, in fact close to none of them, have the expertise to offer a solution as they have no idea what goes on at the club during the week; they only see what happens on the weekend. Their ‘solutions’ often include: sack the coach; pay the players less; train them harder; punish them for poor performances; drop players; work harder on technical and physical areas and so on.

To answer the question ‘How can a team play so poorly, then so well, then so poorly again?’ there are only three areas to look at: Physical, Technical and Mental. Physical and technical abilities don’t change overnight so inconsistency must be a menal issue. Poor execution of technical skills under pressure falls within the mental element, as does motivation, concentration, feeling nervous, expectations, pressure and so on.

We spend 6 days a week working on these with athletes at all levels. So, it must be asked: Who has the necessary expertise in this area? We do, as sport psychologists. We work with the technical and physical experts (in a wide range of sports) to make sure that the mental element is properly covered. Anything less is guess work, and we don’t guess.

Quite often, having a technical coach work on the mental side is like having a plumber or handyman do the electrical work in your house.

SD

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