Mental skills for triathlon
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Mental Skills for Triathlon. Iowa HEAT Workshop Cathryn Lucas-Carr. About Me!. PhD student in Health & Sports Studies Working toward AASP certification as a Sport Psychology Consultant Runner & triathlete!!!. Why Mental Skills for Triathlon?.

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Mental Skills for Triathlon

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Mental skills for triathlon

Mental Skills for Triathlon

Iowa HEAT Workshop

Cathryn Lucas-Carr


About me

About Me!

  • PhD student in Health & Sports Studies

  • Working toward AASP certification as a Sport Psychology Consultant

  • Runner & triathlete!!!


Why mental skills for triathlon

Why Mental Skills for Triathlon?

  • Triathlon – 3 sports (or 4 if you count the transitions!!!) in one

    • Do you have a discipline that you’d say is your weakness?

    • You might find that mental skills will help!

  • Lots of time out on the course stuck inside our own heads!!

    “Maintain your strengths, train your weaknesses”


Mental skills for physical activity competition

Mental Skills for Physical Activity & Competition

  • Focus & Concentration

  • Negative Thought Stoppage & Positive Self-Talk

  • Overcoming Mistakes or Setbacks

  • Relaxation, Visualization & Imagery

  • Controlling Emotions & Anxiety

  • Goal Setting

    • Training Strategies

    • Race Strategies


Focus concentration

Focus & Concentration

Internal, Narrow External, Narrow

(Rehearse)(Act/React)

Internal, Wide External, Wide

(Analyze)(Assess)


Focus concentration1

Focus & Concentration

  • Workshop Practice

    • 99s

    • Walkabout

  • Which were you able to better concentrate during?

  • During periods with “no distractions,” did you find your mind wandering?

    • What did you think about?


Focus concentration2

Focus & Concentration

  • Practice at Home

    • Counting breaths w/ and w/o distractions

    • Word searches w/ and w/o distractions

  • Practice while training

    • Think about a specific topic for 30 seconds without interruption (build from there!)

    • Bring your focus to various parts of your body, and complete “status checks”

    • Play “I spy” games while training


What happens when the workouts are just really tough

What happens when the workouts are just really tough???

  • Internal Thoughts

    • Focus specifically on how your body is feeling or technique

    • Control breathing, count strides, strokes, RPMs

  • External Thoughts

    • Turn your attention away from screaming lungs/muscles

    • Have a “go to” thinking subject

    • Play internal decorator to the houses you pass

  • Other Strategies

    • Break the workout/race into do-able sections

    • Mantras


Mantras

Mantras

  • Short, self-affirming phrases to help you stay focused and/or get you through the tough spots

    • Keep it Short & Simple

      • One sentence or less

    • Keep it Positive

      • Moving toward a goal or challenge

    • Keep it Energized

      • Use action verbs or adjectives

    • Provide Instructions for yourself

      • Get up this hill!


Negative thought stoppage positive self talk

Negative Thought Stoppage & Positive Self-Talk

  • Self-talk is a way we internalize our environment, thoughts, and behaviors.

  • Our self-talk often reflects our mood, and can often spiral out of control. This is called negative self-talk.

    • With negative self-talk, many athletes talk themselves out of a good performance.

  • We can develop positive self-talk


Negative self talk

Negative Self-Talk

  • How can we stop negative self talk?

    • We can learn to recognize our triggers and intercept negative self-talk before it begins!

    • We can create positive affirmations to reinforce our confidence!

    • We can replace our negative thoughts with positive ones!

    • Learning positive self-talk can keep us relaxed in a variety of situations!


Negative thought stoppage

Negative Thought Stoppage

  • Specific strategies for reversing negative self-talk

    • Recognizing when we are starting have negative thoughts

    • Thought stoppage w/ physical or verbal cue

    • Replacing a negative thought with a positive affirmation

    • Performance reviews and achievement reminders


Visualization imagery

Visualization & Imagery

  • What is Imagery?

    • Seeing yourself performing & rehearsing a skill

    • Imagining yourself competing in a specific situation

    • Not just seeing: Incorporate sounds, smells, tastes, & feelings

    • Reproduction of ALL sensory information that produces a skill


How do you do visualization

How do you do visualization?

  • Maintain a positive approach. Picture yourself completing the skills well, the perfect pass or shot.

  • Image in ‘real time’. Imagine yourself completing the skill at the speed you would normally complete it. Timing is a critical part of sport, and getting your body prepared for ‘real time’ situations will help you when those situations arise.

  • Feel the movements. Focus on how all the muscles involved feel during that skill, how your equipment feels. You should really feel as if you are in the situation.


Practice

Practice

  • Transition Visualization

    • 1st: visualize the set-up of your transition

    • 2nd: visualize yourself going through the transition, from the swim exit, to your transition space, and out the bike start.

  • Visualizing a problem or setback can help you stay calm and deal with it when it happens

    • Taking care of a flat tire

    • Your reaction to “dead legs” on the run


Relaxation

Relaxation

  • Staying relaxed is a good way to ensure a good performance.

    • As with the other mental skills we must PRACTICE relaxation

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is a good way to learn how to feel when your muscles are relaxed

    • Then you can do “targeted spot checks”


Mental skills for triathlon

  • Thank You!!!!


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