SPORTS TRAINING 2
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Integrated Periodization of Mental Training For the XVI Commonwealth Games

By Michel Gagne
Consultant for the National Sports Council of Malaysia



Mitchell Introduction
Individualization Of Mental
  Training
Periodized Annual Training
  Programme
Conclusion
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Introduction

The following is a recommendation for an integrated periodization of mental training in the final phase of preparation for the XVI Commonwealth Games to be held in Kuala Lumpur from September 11 to 21, 1998.

Considering the fact that all the athletes are on a periodized training programme, it should be easy for the mental trainers and the coaches to adapt the mental training programme to peak at the Games. The periodized planning guidelines outlined in this document should be appropriate for most of the athletes in all the sports. These guidelines are a follow-up to the guidelines given to the coaches and the mental trainers involved in the 1997 Operation Medal Storms Programme. It illustrates how mental training should be integrated as a parallel component to the physical, technical and tactical component for the final phase of preparation for the XVI Commonwealth Games.

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Individualization Of Mental Training

There is a need to individualize mental training because the personality and needs of each athlete is unique. Not all the mental skills will assist in improving the performance of every athlete.

This individualization principle is based on research done by Seabourne, Weinberg, Jackson and Suinn (1985). Athletes who were able to select and choose their own mental techniques improved as much as athletes who had a designed programme (periodized or sequential). It is then useful to offer athletes a variety of mental skills and to let them choose those which work the best for them.

The design of the integrated periodized mental training programme should be parallel to the physical, technical and tactical components of the periodized annual training programme. In this regard, mental training should be smoothly integrated into the regular training programme of the athletes.

Based on experience and according to Dirkin and Burton (1987), if the Mental Training Programmes are not consistent with the annual training programme, this can have a lowering effect on motivation and self-confidence, it can increase anxiety and possibly lower competitive performance.

The major objective of this integrated periodized mental training programme is to bring the athlete to the most important competition of the year and to peak at the XVI Commonwealth Games. The periodized programme described in this document is for a single peaking. If there is more than one peaking period during the year 1998, then the plan should be adjusted based on the same planning principles.

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Periodized Annual Training Programme

The objectives of each component, including the integrated periodization of mental training, should follow the general objectives of each phase:

PERIODIZED ANNUAL TRAINING PROGRAMME
Main Objective : Peaking at the Commonwealth Games

PREPARATORY PHASE

OBJECTIVES

General

Develop basic technical skills and general fitness (volume).

Specific

Perfect technique and basic tactic, and develop sport specific fitness.

COMPETITIVE PHASE

OBJECTIVES

Pre-competitive

Raise intensity (reduce volume), make training specific to competition requirement.

Competitive

Maximize competitive performance, high intensity.

(Unloading)

To regenerate in preparation for the main competition (Peaking at the Games).

TRANSITION PHASE

Active rest, maintenance of training gains.



The athletes should have learnt at this stage the basic mental skills such as breathing, progressive muscular relaxation, visualization and imagery.

The athletes should now learn how to adapt it to the sport specific situation, at the beginning during regular training sessions and progressively in competition.

Mental trainers and coaches should remember that the learning of a mental skill can take from seven to nine weeks, if practised three to five times per week, at 15 to 30 minutes per session.

It is recommended that athletes should be introduced to all the mental skills, but considering the time required to master them, it is advisable to concentrate on the mental skills that are most related to the personal goals of the athletes.

The sport psychology consultants and mental trainers will know how to maximize the different mental skills and their effectiveness according to the periodized training programme.

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Conclusion

The importance of mental training has been clearly demonstrated by the results of a survey of 235 Canadian athletes who competed at the 1984 Olympic Games. It was also confirmed in a similar survey done with 202 Malaysian medal winners in the 1989 SEA Games. More than 90 per cent of these athletes reported using mental training to assist them in preparation for competition (Orlick and Partington 1988, Gagne 1989).

This was also confirmed at the XIX SEA Games in Jakarta last year. Altogether, over 90 per cent of the gold medals were won by athletes using some form of mental training or other and 76 per cent of the gold medals were won by athletes involved in a regular periodized or sequential mental training programme (Gagne 1997).

Mental training involves the development of high-achiever habits and the mastering of many related mental skills:

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TEN HABITS OF A HIGH ACHIEVER

POSITIVE SELF-IMAGE
POSITIVE SELF-CONTROL
POSITIVE SELF-ESTEEM
POSITIVE SELF-AWARENESS
POSITIVE SELF-MOTIVATION
POSITIVE SELF-DIRECTION
POSITIVE SELF-DISCIPLINE
POSITIVE SELF-DIMENSION
POSITIVE SELF-PROJECTION
POSITIVE SELF-EXPECTANCY


Personal success in any sport depends mostly on these habits and the mastery of associated mental skills.


"DAY BY DAY IN EVERY WAY,
I BECOME BETTER AND BETTER!"


An organized and systematic approach using an integrated periodized mental training programme is strongly recommended, and coaches and team managers must remember to:
  1. START NOW, TOMORROW WILL BE TOO LATE.
  2. REFINE BASIC MENTAL SKILLS FIRST.
  3. ADAPT MENTAL SKILLS TO SPORT SPECIFIC SITUATION.
  4. INDIVIDUALIZE MENTAL TRAINING EVEN IN TEAM SPORTS.
  5. INTEGRATE MENTAL TRAINING INTO DAILY TRAINING.


FAILING TO PLAN IS PLANNING TO FAIL!
" JUST DO IT "


References
Bompa, T.O. 1983. Theory and methodology of training: The key to athletic performance. Dubuque, IO: Kendall and Hunt.

Bompa, T.O. 1997. Modern elements regarding training and coaching. Paper presented at the 19th SEA Games Scientific Seminar, 8-9 October 1997, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Boutcher, S.H., and R.J. Rotella. 1987. A psychological skills programme for closed-skill performance enhancement. The Sport Psychologist 1:12-137.

Dirkin, G., and D. Burton. 1987. Periodized training models: Implications for the sport psychologist. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology, Newport Beach, CA.

Gagne, M., 1989. Lessons on quality mental training/sophrology at the XV SEA Games. National Sports Council of Malaysia and the Coaching Association of Canada. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Gagne, M., 1990. Mental Training - Sophrology for the XI Asian Games. National Sports Council of Malaysia and the Coaching Association of Canada. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Orlick, T. and J. Partington. 1988. Mental links to excellence. The Sport Psychologist 2:105-130.

Seabourne, T.G., R.S. Weinberg, A. Jackson, and R.M. Suinn. 1985. Effect of individualized, non-individualized, and packaged intervention strategies on karate performance. Journal of Sport Psychology 7:40-50.


INTEGRATED PERIODIZATION OF MENTAL TRAINING FOR THE KUALA LUMPUR 98 - XVI COMMONWEALTH GAMES
MONTHS JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT
TRAINING PHASES GENERAL PREPARATORY SPECIFIC PRE-COMPETITION COMPETITION TRANS
MENTAL TRAINING PERIODIZATION Evaluation of Mental Skills

Goal Setting (Re-assessment)

Learning New Mental Skills

Introduction to Floatation Tank

Creation of Positive Environment

Team Building Reinforcement

Mental Skills to Attain Training Objectives

Maintain Basic Skills

Visualization

Imagery

Relaxation (PMR)

Energy Management

Mental Rehearsal

Energize

Positive Self-Talk

Vision Making

Focus Plan

Pre-Competition Plan

Competition Plan

Simulation

Distraction Management

Coping Strategies

Maintain Basic Skills

Mental Skills to Cope with Specific Opponents

Stress Management

Relaxation

Energize

Focus Plan

Mental Rehearsal

Motivation

Positive Thinking

Distraction Management

Coping Strategies

 

  Sports Training 1


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