I will disclose new issues of preparation in the office of a psychologist - Katarzyna Selwant.
PeSzy: Armwrestler comes to the doctor ...
Katarzyna Selwant: Not to the doctor, but to the mental trainer - a certified sports psychologist. And training this time happens in the gym for ... mind and character.
PeSzy: You surprised me.
Katarzyna Selwant: Obviously, athletes have coaches. They determine the training plan. Athletes and coaches "gain" strength, work on stamina, sharpen technique. And I - as a sports psychologist - I invite you to brain training!
Usually, I suggest starting with finding information about sports psychology and mental preparation. It's all in order to understand "what's all this" and to see that psychological training "does not bite".
All coaches and many athletes know how muscles work, how to build strength, endurance and other characteristics. But understanding the work of the brain is not all. I do not invite to my office immediately, at first I need to consider the feasibility of preparing a "head", whether it will be useful for us. But I also know that it is very necessary to achieve a high level of skill.
PeSzy: I hope this applies to our athletes as well. It's not difficult to find suitable materials.
Katarzyna Selwant: Usually in modern sports, a sports psychologist is part of a team.
PeSzy: Okay, how does this work in the training process?
Katarzyna Selwant: An athlete comes to a sports psychologist for training. No biceps or triceps, but "brain", "head". I emphasize - for training. And this training requires the same dedication as the usual one.
I "do" special exercises with athletes, sometimes we read an inspiring article or watch a motivational video. We are training before the competitions, in order to know how to psychologically prepare ourselves already during the starts.
PeSzy: Is it possible that someone doesn’t fit to the definite kind of sport, and a he should finish with it?
Katarzyna Selwant: This can not be! We are not born confident. But there is nothing wrong with that. We can train this confidence. We are born with a certain character, but the personality is formed throughout life. Many mental faculties, such as concentration or coping with stress, we can easily train.
Half is genetics, half is the environment, but there is still a very important element - working on yourself. Same as in the gym!
PeSzy: For the first time I talk to a psychologist and hear the word "training". I think that this will appeal to many athletes. But I will continue to ask - how to train self-confidence?
Katarzyna Selwant: Self-confidence is only an element of the whole. We can and must train other abilities, for example, concentration. In particular, the kind of concentration that is necessary in our sport. In football, we focus on the "broad picture", we want to "see" the whole field - and our, and rivals. But archery does not need a wide concentration, we do not know what others are doing, we need to narrow the field of concentration. In the fight at the table in armwrestling, we are worried only by the opponent...
PeSzy: I will add that also at the referee, as we react to his command.
Katarzyna Selwant: Yes, and on this basis we are developing the way of concentration that we need.
PeSzy: I understand that the effect will not appear after a normal conversation, but after performing specific exercises?
Katarzyna Selwant: Before you start training with a sports psychologist, you need to understand that we have different categories of goals that we set for ourselves.
For example, there are goals for the result: I want to win a medal and be on the podium. In sports psychology, they are called "champion’s goal".
Here it is worth remembering the interview given by one Polish athlete. Almost every question about chances and rivals, he answered: "I want to make two good jumps, two straight jumps". In fact, only two qualitative jumps concentrate the athlete on the result. Good technical performance gives an excellent result and a medal.
How it works? Concentration on a victory in this case, for example, or on what happens after receiving a medal, causes a lot of pressure. In contrast, concentration on the task - what you need to do to win - helps you do the work correctly. And the result is a positive consequence.
In fact, amateurs are concentrated on the victory. Professionals think about good technical performance. It is necessary to understand that in our sport these "two good jumps" mean.
PeSzy: I will take, if you do not mind, this like the "homework" for the athletes. What could be the purpose of the arm wrestling championship? The answer "to win two fights" - is it appropriate?
Katarzyna Selwant: We must take into account that the concentration on the fight in the category "win-lose" already implies a certain result. And our task is the answer to the question "What exactly do I need to do in this fight?"
PeSzy: So, the athlete needs to understand what to think about, so that he can fight as best as possible?
Katarzyna Selwant: Yes. For example, how to deal with negative thoughts? Because you can not completely prevent negative thoughts. But after training, we know that there are different ways of negative thinking and how to apply them.
PeSzy: A few?
Katarzyna Selwant: Yes!
PeSzy: So after the appropriate mental training, I will not be nervous?
Katarzyna Selwant: Not really. Stress will always be, but the fact is that it should be a positive stress, that mobilizes to fight, and with negative stress we have to fight. The important thing is how quickly we can cope with it.
PeSzy: So, we have to imagine a situation in which the opponent runs up to the table, makes a horrible face, yells at the whole hall, presses on us... Do we need to anticipate this behavior and prepare for it? Or that the whole public will be against us?
Katarzyna Selwant: That's right!
PeSzy: I will return to the question at the beginning of our conversation. Can it be that someone just does not fit for a tough fight, and someone - for sailing regatta alone?
Katarzyna Selwant: There is no ideal "type" or model or personality of champion. Studies done around the world show that any person can become a champion, only in a different way. Sensitive people can achieve the championship as tough people. He just must find his own way to success.
We perceive each athlete separately, because there is no universal recipe. One runs, another listens to music, the third hides in the locker room. The only important thing is that it should be of use.
PeSzy: I'll try to sum up. We need to read something about sports psychology and draw personal conclusions.
Katarzyna Selwant: Yes, but such materials should be written in clear language, not academic textbooks. We are interested in training the psyche.
PeSzy: Thank you for your time. I think readers will draw the right conclusions!
Katarzyna Selwant: Thank you, greetings to all athletes in arm-wrestling!
There are still questions, the answers to which can affect the training process and the results - for example, breathing, surroundings. If you think the topics are worth exploring - please write in the comments and we will prepare the materials.