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Case Study: Developing a Mental Skills Training Programme for elite level athletes

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Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Candidate Number: Z0 948612 Applied Sport Psychology Case Study: Developing a mental skills training programme for an elite level athlete Word Count: 3297+Appendicies Anonymous code: Z0 948612 Degree Course: Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity Date of Submission: 22nd January 2016 Content page: Introduction * Defining needs assessment * Defining mental skills training/ mental skills training programme * Defining framework and identifying its use within sport psychology Using framework to inform practice (Weinberg & Williams, 2001) * Phase 1 * Phase 2 * Phase 3 Assessment of an elite athlete * Phase 4 Performance Profile Short Interview Test of performance strategies The development of a mental skills training package * Phase 5 Consultation with athlete to identify appropriate areas to target Skill selection and package development * Phase 6 Consideration of package implementation and adherence Personal reflection * Reflection on programme development * Personal reflection on the process Appendices * A, performance profiling * B, TOPS * C, Short interview * D, Techniques which could be useful to the administration of MST * E, informed consent from your athlete Introduction The primary objective of this study is to undertake a needs assessment for an elite level athlete, providing focus on psychological factors which could be inhibiting optimal performance. Using results identified in a needs assessment, the study continues to develop a mental skills training programme (MST) based on framework used by Weinberg and Williams? (2001). Following the completion of the MST programme, a personal reflection is undertaken which considers the process of programme development and offers wider view-points on the practice in general. Sullivan and Nashman (1998) suggest that despite prevailing ideologies, athletes are the same as other people, they face a range of problems which can result sub-optimal performance. Psychological factors are widely considered when attempting to understand why athletes often do not always perform to the best of their abilities (Singer and Ashnel, 2006). ...read more.

Middle

Beyond this, mechanism are identified which aim to explain why self-talk can have positive impacts on task performance. As issue?s concerning self-confidence, anxiety and emotional control were identified within the needs assessment, a range of mechanisms will be triggered if self-talk is administered correctly. Ferneyhough and Fradley (2005) support the theoretical proposition of Vygotsky?s (1963), which proposes many of the benefits observed from self-talk, are relatable to the idea that self-talk can work as a regulatory function. If the client is able to regulate effectors such as negative thinking and anxiety more effectively it is possible they could improve their performance (Nleuwenhuys and Oudejans, 2011). Cognitive reconstruction is the label often given to the process of implementing self-talk (Greenspan and Feltz, 1989). This process requires the performer/ practitioner to identify potential effectors, create alternate processes and practice their adoption. Providing the clients performance effectors have been adequately identified in the needs assessment, Greenspan and Feltz (1989) propose cognitive restructuring is capable of greater effect size than goal setting, mental rehearsal and relaxation. Rogerson and Hrycaiko (2002) propose the use of worksheets to provide clarity and structure to the implementation of self-talk, something similar could improve the immediate MST programme. Adherence When designing a MST programme it is important to consider the athlete?s adherence, as ultimately this will affect how strictly they follow the MST programme. Coolican and Hassidy (2007) propose regular interactions with the client to promote programme adherence. Providing the client with consistent feedback will help deal with problems which can arise in the midst of the programme. Regular meetings provide the client with an extended education process, which can be extremely beneficial to the programmes implementation. Continuously rationalising and explaining the programme has been show to increase an individual?s belief in the programme, which can further promote its success (Hemmings and Holder, 2013). As the client scored highly in goal-setting during the TOPS, it seemed appropriate to utilise this feature to benefit the programme. ...read more.

Conclusion

This research seeks to develop a MST programme based on information collected during the needs assessment. As I am not a qualified practitioner the programme will not actually be undertaken however some information will be given back to the client. What is your role as a participant? As a participant you are asked to meet for two consultations and be subjected to a performance profile, test of performance strategies and a short interview, all of which are described in detail before they occur. Advantages of taking part * Increase awareness of performance effectors * Gain an insight into MST Possible drawbacks of taking part * Time consuming * Potentially tedious What will the data be used for? The data will be used to develop a MST programme which holds a good degree of specificity. How will the data be stored? In secure digital/ physical files on either university property or on the researcher?s laptop. Who is the researcher? A 3rd year Durham university undergraduate student completing a Case study. How can they be contacted: Joshua.wilson@durham.ac.uk 07468452517 How can you withdraw from the process? The right to withdraw from the research will be made explicitly clear throughout the process, specifically at the start of each needs assessment. Is all of the information which is kept confidential? All information collected during this case study is anonymised INFORMED CONSENT FORM Project Title: Developing a mental skills training programme for an elite level athlete Principal Investigator (Student name(s)): Joshua Wilson Participant Number/Pseudonym: Athlete 1 Please tick where applicable: ? I have read and understood the Participant Information Sheet. ( ) ? I have had an opportunity to ask questions and discuss this study and have received satisfactory answers. ( ) ? I understand that I am free to withdraw from the study at any time, without having to give a reason for withdrawing, and without prejudice. ( ) ? I agree to take part in this study. ( ) Signature of participant............................................................................. Date.....??????.. (NAME IN BLOCK LETTERS)....................................................???.. Signature of student researcher(s)...................................................Date.....??? (NAME(S) IN BLOCK LETTERS)....................................................??? ...read more.

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