Even Sport Psychology Consultants prepare
So how do sport psychology consultants prepare to go work with a team? I thought it might be instructive to talk about preparing to work with a hockey team from my perspective. I think this is important to understand because there are no cookie cutter programs. Just as one of the very principles I work with athletes is flexibility, I believe that has to be the case with any program put together for a team of any kind. I’ve worked with lots of teams and I assure you it is always different.
First step is learning about the team. People who believe that sport psychology consultants, sports performance experts, sports hypnotists or any other name you can make up do not have to understand the game are crazy. Yes this is the technical term more of less banned in psychotherapy, but it is easy enough for everyone to understand. The first rule of counseling /coaching in any field begins or ends with rapport. If I’m a poser I will turn off the very people I am trying to help. Does this mean I have to be able to skate or for that matter Pole Vault, of course not. But I should be able to intelligently discuss not only athletic behavior expected but have a pretty good understanding of what it takes for an athlete to compete in their sport. The more I understand the language of a given sport, the better I will relate to a team. I once knew a sport psychologist that was making a presentation to a football team and talked about scoring more runs. I think you understand where I’m going. So it is important to have a good understanding of the activity. I certainly believe over the years being a coach and doing work in exercise physiology has been a huge help. Having been trained to teach 20 plus activities also doesn’t hurt. But I digress.
Gather what I can about the team. Now as I am getting ready to go work with a team where I know the GM and we have had many conversations about his and his staff’s expectation, this is a great start. Learning about the league and in fact the entire program is critical. Knowledge is power and it allows you to create a baseline to work from.
Propose a program to staff for feedback. This almost always comes back as that looks great. Now the hard part; scheduling. Your program looks great, but here are your time constraints. What goes, what stays? How can I work with a moving target. Flexibility and resiliency. Same thing I would teach the athlete.
Now I’m all set. What comes next. Gather materials together for the week. Call comes in don’t forget your sport coat for the Chamber meeting, after all I’m on staff. Yes I told them I wanted to do things like this as well as do some other things in the community, but I’d planned on jeans and warm-ups. Note to self, ask more questions.
Make sure reservations are in order. Last minute (well not really but it’s happened before) I get notice I need to pick up a car instead of being picked up. No problem, I know the way even if I haven’t been there in 27 years.
Check on game results this weekend. Get intel from GM on Monday. Make sure clients know I am out of town. Check with AT&T and make sure they are not lying about 4G in Wyoming. They likely are, but not much I can do.
What else: Make sure software is working on laptop for recordings. Wow- Laptop has crashed. iphone will work. Not ideal, but usable. Glad I checked before I left. I’ll have to go with plan B. Go through list again and see what I missed. Did I ask to have some of the sessions videotaped? Nope. Need to call now.
Everything is set. It does take a lot of preparation to make something like this work best for a team. Lots of experience and always great results because of proper planning. And that is the real lesson for today. It is the lesson I teach to all the teams and athletes I work with. Never underestimate the importance of preparation. Plan to cover everything that might go wrong. If you have it covered, you’ll be in great shape. If it is something on the outside, you have taken care of the really serious issues before hand. Same as teaching players to pack their gear the night before.
I have helped literally thousands of athletes prepare this way for competition. It relieves some of the most stressful situations by planning ahead. We make it into what I call, “No big deal”. If you are a parent of a player you can and should do this in your work / business lives. Think of it this way. How often when you leave on a car trip if you check the tire pressure do you have issues with your tires. That you say is too simplistic, while I argue that those things we attend to rarely go wrong and if they do because we have paid attention, we also have at least a vague idea of a backup plan.
Well I’m through here for the week. I’ll give a general post next week on how the trip worked out. Best laid plans usually promise great results. This is pretty simple. Not all sport psychology is clouded in mystery. Now if you would like to learn a little magic….
This is some text prior to the author information. You can change this text from the admin section of WP-Gravatar Mike Margolies: Sport Psychology Consultants ; TheMental-Game.com Mike Margolies is a Sport Psychology Consultant, Certified Mental Trainer® (CMT), Author, and Professional Speaker. When you want to be the best that you can be and the one thing you might be missing is the right mental game - what can you do? Well, athletes from all over the country have been seeking out Mike Margolies for over three decades to help them reach their potential. His clients include professional, elite, colligate and youth athletes in every sport. They have sought his counsel and unique teaching style to learn about the game within the game, or what mental training can do to help them become the athlete they want to be. He has trained professional and elite athletes and helped guide many to world championships and even the Super Bowl. Mike has trained more than 2000+ athletes. He has taught at four Universities and completed research at the United States Olympic Training Center. His new book is called The Athlete within You- A Mental Approach to Sports and Business. He currently works with individual athletes, teams and businesses around the world, both in person and via SKYPE. Mike is based out of the Pacific Northwest. Let him encourage you to play the game within the game. The Athlete within You is waiting to come out play. Learn the rules to the mental game to help realize your potential. Read more from this author