Archive for September, 2012

Lemon Drop

Sport psychers… when you think about introducing imagery to a team do you think about lemons?  When you consider focus, do you photocopy a concentration grid?  These things are well and good, but are they really the best ways to develop mental toughness?

Imagining biting into a lemon is a nice introduction to sensory responses, but I’m convinced there are much better ways to help athletes make the most of the dynamic cognitive-emotional benefits of mental imagery.  There aren’t many lemons in locker rooms.

The Association for Applied Sport Psychology’s (AASP) annual conference is upon us.  In recent weeks, John Silva, founding father of the organization, suggested that the “A” dropped in 2007 from Triple-A SP is currently, truly missing – advancement.  There has been some incredible psychological, kinesiological, and educational research in the past decade, has practice in the field advanced with it?

The practice of sport psychology is the artful application of science.  Both artists and scientists are creative and continuous learners.  Lemons are not terribly creative nor a progression in learning.  It will be interesting to see this week how (and if) “advancement” in practice is alive and well in the trenches where sport psychology happens.

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3 Keys for Sports Parents

by Matt Cuccaro, Ed.M.

Competitive sport is a great way for young men and women to learn about themselves and build skills that will assist them on and off the playing field. Sports can build confidence through discipline, respect, hard work, and by learning to manage stress. This process comes to fruition under the watchful eye of many people in the student-athlete’s support system. The support system plays a crucial role in the daily development of the student-athlete. When each of the pieces of this system plays their role, successful and healthy development is the result. When the system breaks down and roles become cluttered, the result is not as successful on or off the field of play. The following information is based on years of sport science research. It is meant to provide guidance to parents in order to assist and clarify their role in the development of their student-athlete.

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Open ears / Open arms – As athletes develop throughout the years, they will go through many highs and many lows along the way. Development in sport is synonymous with change. Parents who listen and display unconditional love through it all create the best environment for their child to succeed.

Values – What do you value as a family? Do the messages you send on a daily basis reflect those values? Consistent reminders of family values through thick and thin assist in maintaining a balanced life filled with perspective on and off the field.

Mastery of Skills over Results – If immediate results become more important than the long-term growth and development of your student-athlete, short-sighted reactions and habits will follow. Student-athletes who strive to consistently improve and refine their skills build effective habits. Athletes who are motivated to master skills rather than simply focus on the scoreboard establish a mindset that will endure the ups and downs of the 10 years and 10,000 hours of quality investment required to become an expert in any field.

Highly effective sports parents assist in maintaining balance within their student-athlete’s support system by taking great pride in their role and living that role to the fullest. These three fundamental ideas can help pave the road to healthier, more confident, and more secure student-athletes who will thrive on and off the field of play for years to come.

Great Rivalries are Great Friendships

Red Sox – Yankees. Dawgs – Gators. Agassi – Sampras. Celtics – Lakers. BU – BC…

@collegehockey: Rivalries live. RT @ColbyCohen36: @ImTheMoose01 None knows who you are at Agganis muse . #hasbeen@NickBonino@shattdeuces#redLightspecial

A fun Twitter exchange to play spectator to, but hate to tell the fans that there’s no Easter Bunny.  Great rivalries, yes.  Great hate, not so much.  More than a few times I have heard from a player, “I actually have some closer friends in the opposing locker room.”  Seems like a tough way play cut throat sport… actually not really.  It might be a necessity for high performance.  A while back I wrote:

Consider the broodings of Platonic philosopher Drew Hyland on the subject.  The greatest potential of sport is friendship.  He is not talking about any of this politically-correct cooperative games stuff or any sportsmanship hullabaloo.  He is talking about competitive, high level, best in the world, best of yourself sport.  A true friend pushes another towards excellence.  A true competitor wants to be pushed towards excellence by a competitor.. a partner in performance.

SEC football rivalries run deep, but watch any Bowl game and the chant “SEC, SEC, SEC,” is as loud as any other.  Sure it it is better to be a Dawg than a Gator, but they can tailgate together on a few occasions throughout the year.  It is perhaps what makes them so good.

Follow the @imthemoose01 @ColbyCohen36 Twit exchange to the end.  You’ll be amused at least and perhaps you’ll become an even bigger fan.


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