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Mental Skills For Multisport Athletes
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ed_m




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 8069
Location: coventry

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

welcome steve.. do you have a textbook definition of association & dis-association?
do these terms have a wider meaining in general psychology?

i can't decide which focussing on breathing counts as!
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Captain Fat




Joined: 05 Jan 2004
Posts: 4477
Location: Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve sorry mate but i have not about turned (stoped that when i left the Army 5 year ago)

But I live in the X-File genaration I trust no one

Have not read your post's fully yet but will get round to over the weekend and try to make my mind up (big pun intended)

But hey welcome any way Very Happy
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Sue




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 6269
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Steve,
I read your comments before my race today and I tried to turn all my negative thougths around during my x-country --I usually do tell myself that I've done it before, things have been worse and I've got through, this stitch usually dissappears, etc --but tried to "mean" it today Smile --that must be a big thing, to actually believe what you tell yourself?
What I was wondering is if the positive thoughts have to be related to the negative ones --since in a long race I tend to (what i would call) "daydream" about nice things Embarassed I know that this is not toooo focused but doing 20miles upwards its difficult for me to stay so for the length of time it takes me (some of you others dont have as much time Rolling Eyes ) Should I be thinking "running" things Question
And the nerves side --although there arnt specific negative thougths that I am aware of, it must be from nagative thougths -yes, so should I just start thinking positive or decide why I feel nervous and tackle it from that Rolling Eyes
Opening up in front of TT folk -- Embarassed
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Steve Ward




Joined: 04 Feb 2004
Posts: 17
Location: Dorset, UK

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed,

Ed, I can't lay my hands on a text book definition of association/disociation, however, technically, breathing is associated as it is connected to the self functioning and not external factors. Thinking about a holidayetc would be dissociated. For me, focussing on controlling my breathing distracts from negative thoughts as it provides a focus. Hope that makes sense.

Sue,

Glad you tried the ideas out! Your 'new' positive thoughts should be short and simple. There main role is to break the neagtive thought pattern, and to allow you to see new opportunities/access positive thoughts. The positives do not have to be related. What you are doing is breaking the pattern, and changing your thinking, which affects your feelings, and then your performance. This takes practice. Stick with it! I like to have some positive phrases pre-planned for possible distractions e.g. stitch, bad start, feeling tired etc.

On a long run it is very difficult, and not always necessary to 'be focussed'. Allowing the mind to wander is a common strategy. Often we think about nothing - which is great! Paula Radcliffe counts her strides as a way of keeping focussed, other count breaths, etc. Experiment and see what is best for you. It is often said about concentration to not to try and make it happen, but to let it happen. A single thought or focus is generally best - it is often hard to think of nothing.

Nerves are result of feeling some pressure. Pressure is good for us, it helps us to perform more effectively. What you need to do is not to get rid of the butterflies, but to get them to fly in formation! To control nerves the following points are useful:

1. Focus on WHAT you need to do to perform well (the process), and not HOW well you want to do (the outcome)

2. Focus on yourself (not others)

3. Use positive self talk

4. Be aware of and control your breathing/muscle tension

5. Use visualisation to see yourself performing well

These will help.

Remember, all skills take time to develop. The more you use them, the faster you learn them.

Steve
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AndyS




Joined: 05 Jan 2004
Posts: 9970

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Ward wrote:
What you need to do is not to get rid of the butterflies, but to get them to fly in formation!


Hehehe, I like that idea.

What do you do Steve, I hear you talk about training but what's your sport? If it's tri, what's your distance? Maybe you've already told us but I can't remember! Very Happy
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Captain Fat




Joined: 05 Jan 2004
Posts: 4477
Location: Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok Steve, you could have another convert (still refuse to about turn though...to much like army talk.. Laughing )

Read your post's and articals and they seem souns enough, was not able to get your website up, so will keep trying.

but i think i wil put some of your sugestion's to the test during next weeks training, as i see Sue already has Very Happy
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Sue




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 6269
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve
I enjoyed "Are You Tough Enough Mentally" on www.sleepmonsters.com
(----I did get a bit side tracked when saw about watching porn movies for relaxation Embarassed )
but when is the next "episode" Confused ( article not porn ) Just enough to get the interest going then stopped Crying or Very sad
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Steve Ward




Joined: 04 Feb 2004
Posts: 17
Location: Dorset, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Guys

I see you are beginning to warm to the idea of training your brain abit - afterall it is the control centre; every movement starts there!

Andy, I was a triathlete/cyclist/runner in my school and college days 1986-1993, then when I moved and started teaching I was tight for time so ran recreationally and played a bit of footie, before getting into rowing and marathon canoe racing. Returned to multisport in Feb 2002 through duathlon and made the GB Age Group Squad for Worlds in USA. Have been injured and unable to train from Feb 2003 until now - going to docs on Thursday to hopefully get OK after undergoing surgery. Also play a bit of golf, and enjoy sailing and windsurfing. Short answer is my main sport is duathlon - whatever distance is going. Want to race long course ideally as it is my preference, but need to take it easy this year, so targets are Nationals at Milton Keynes in September, and perhaps Europeans (Age Group) also in September.

Connor, glad that you are beginning to see the benefits of mental training. You may not have turned, but you have changed direction!

Sue, glad you enjoyed the article - not sure where that porn part came from, but it will probably boost the read numbers! It was designed to whet the appetite, and obviosly worked! I am writing for Sleepmonsters on a monthly basis, so the next article will be there at start of March. Duathlon.com articles are being posted every 2 months - next one due also at start of March. Keep them bookmarked!

Have a great week everybody.

See...Believe...Achieve!


Steve
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Captain Fat




Joined: 05 Jan 2004
Posts: 4477
Location: Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve don't worry about Sue and her Porn adiction, you get use to it Laughing Laughing

Steve i have alweays belived that as long as you think you can, you will always find away to do it. i have had a few occasions in my life were i just wated to drop but I never did because i refused to belive i would fail. my only problem is i have the over powering drive that say's as long as you finish thats ok, I can never seem to get myself to think i could be in the top flight.
thats why the Austarlians and New Zelanders have it so well they are trained from a early age that winning is the only way, and no one remembers who was second or even cares.
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AndyS




Joined: 05 Jan 2004
Posts: 9970

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a belief that there's nothing I can't do, what ever it is I can do it. If there's something I haven't done, for instance made it into F1 (to take an extreme example), it's because I wasn't exposed to motor sport at the right time in my life. That doesn't mean I can't do it, it means I didn't get the opportunity that F1 drivers get, probably because my family arenít wealthy. Thatís just an example of course, I donít want to go into how Montoya made it by riding on a cargo plane full of flowers to get into the American scene and is from a poor background etc.

However, many people find that attitude really annoying. Iíve had so many arguments at work because I always say ďyeah, I can do itĒ. They think Iím being dismissive but I believe I really can do it. I mean, Iím fit, able bodied and keen, why shouldnít I be able to do it? What ever Ďití is.

We all travel a random road, affected by a million random things happening around us. Iíd have to think I turned the wrong way because I said ďI canítĒ.
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Sue




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 6269
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ooeerrrr sorry Steve
Quote:
not sure where that porn part came from

--didnt mean the porn bit was in your article, it was in one of the other ones that was next and the word just caught my eye Embarassed

(but if I got people to read yours I'm sure they werent toooo disappointed Wink )
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Steve Ward




Joined: 04 Feb 2004
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Location: Dorset, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What we believe about ourself and what we can achieve is very important because our beliefs affect our self-image and our performance. The human mind is a natural goal seeking mechanism, and has a device called te Reticular Activating System (RAS) which helps to filter the millions of bits of information that the mind recieves every second. It filters according to our beliefs and goals i.e. it filters the information which will support our beliefs, and help us to achieve our goals.

This is the background theory to the importance of seeing (visualising) what you want to happen, believeing that it can/will happen and then setting a goal for it to happen. Your mind will then filter the important info to help you with this, and the subconscious creative mind will help to find ways to achieve it.

Think about when you have been looking for a new car, and you suddenly become more aware of the car dealerships, adverts, and even start spotting more of that car on the road. This is the RAS in action.

I believe that we all have within us the resources that we need, and that if one person can do it then anyone can. As Andy says, alot of it is about opportunity and that can be waited for, or created. It is easy to find barriers to success. You need to look for opportunities!

Connor, where would you like to finish in a DREAM race? If everything went to plan, and training was perfect what is the best that you could do?

Now think about a realistic but challenging finishing position for this year - a medium term goal. What would you need to do performance wise? Swim time, bike time, run time, transitions? Make these performance targets your goals, as they are more under your control than a finishing position which depends on the performances of every other competitor. Work out a plan of action which will enable you to achieve those performance times - get advice from coaches/friends etc. This plan will consist of lots of little short term goals. Now based on this what is possible in 2-4 years time - your long term goal.

See yourself achieving it...believe you can achieve it...achieve it!

Good luck everyone!

Sue, I will forgive you!

Have a great week. Train brain and body for total performance!

Steve
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Robert




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 9238
Location: Back from outer space

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry if it's too heavy for a Monday morn but modern society seems to focussed on negativity to define its parameters. We're always told we can't do x, y and z but never that we can do a, b and c if we put our minds to it. If I've done something in life and say "I've done x" people consider that as showing off or bragging. Most will say "I wish I could..." or "I can't do that because..." when there's nothing really stopping us doing what we want (apart from maybe the law and a sense of decency! Twisted Evil )

In my Zen-type eradings, I came across a Russian guy (forget his name - Sigorski or something like that) who said that we can attain more goals if we write a list of 100 things we want to achieve. As we tick them off, they get replaced by new ones. But they must ALWAYS be positive, e.g., "I will get higher than last in the race" rather than "Avoid coming last". Works for me - I've ticked off about 40 so far and got loads more itching to get onto the list!

Now, does anyone know where I can find a pink tutu and a feather duster.... Confused Wink
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ed_m




Joined: 15 May 2003
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Location: coventry

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

any last minute hints for my 35mile ultra next sunday steve ? Very Happy
(other than.. don't stop)
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Steve Ward




Joined: 04 Feb 2004
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Location: Dorset, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great advice from Robert. What is really important about what he says is that the goals are written down, positive and reviewed!

Ed, first bit of advice - change 'dont stop' to 'keep going!' - the subconscious mind does not process negatives; take the negative command out of your statement and see what the subconscious is left with to focus on!!!

With one week to go here are a few ideas:

This week spend time relaxing and regaining mental and physical energy. Pick two sessions of about 15-20 minutes where after relaxing for a few minutes you will visuialise your best training runs so far, noticing how strong you felt, and then visualise yourself running the race well, feeling good, technique good etc. Use a shorter version (5-10 minutes) of this the night before the race, the morning of, and before you warm-up.

Make sure that you have a goal for the race, and focus on HOW to achieve it e.g. pacing strategy, mental strategy, technique, feeding etc.

Make a short list of motivational/positive statements that could be used if needed e.g. very tired, ache/pain, outside schedule etc. Keep them short and snappy. Think about situations where you would want a boost and create an appropriate saying. Have a mantra e.g. 'feeling good' 'relaxed and smooth' etc

Towards the end of the race when you really need a boost you can use visualisation to:
1. imagine recharging your body with energy; feel it flowing through your muscles; feel the difference (some people see it a s a white light)
2. imagine an elastic band; joined to an object e.g. lampost, 200m down road; feel it pulling you towards it; when you get there imagine it joined to another object down the road etc.

Pick out the ones that you like best and try them. A 35m run is mental aswell as physical!


The realms of mental training have opened up!

Steve
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