Long term psychological preparation


SMARTER goal setting

Specific - goals should be clear and concise

Measurable - goals need to be assessed through formal processes; when successful, this helps build confidence and motivation

Agreed - goals should be discussed and agreed with others

Realistic - goals must be genuine and not beyond the scope of the performer

Time-bound - goals should reflect the short and long term objectives of the performer, and are progressive in their difficulty

Exciting - goals need to provide the performer with a stimulus to progress and achieve

Recorded - by recording goals and creating a pathway for development performers can see their agreed structure, time plan, and processes for evaluation and measurement

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Performance profiling

Focusing on the psychological components of your performance and how you can construct a long term psychological development plan, will effectively provide you with the knowledge and understanding to enhance your performance

Psychological performance profiling has the following objectives:

  • to identify areas that require psychological interventions
  • to identify your psychological skills training objectives
  • to aid your motivation and adherence to the programme
  • to allow you to compare with and copy successful/elite performers
  • to monitor changes in your profile over time
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Attribution theory

Weiner (1974) described 2 dimensions of attribution theory. The first dimension is the locus of casuality or locus of control and the second is the stability

Locus of casuality - seeks to atrribute the reasons for success of failure of a performance to factors that are under control of a performer, such as ability and effort and are therefore internal to them. factors that are external to the performer and beyond their control, for example the strength of the opposition or the lucky bounce on the ball, these are classed as luck and task difficulty

Stability - introduces a time factor and the difference between stable and unstable factors. Stable factors do not change in the short term and may alter very little over time so are described as relatively permanent, your level of technical excellence in a sport will change only gradually rather than during performance. Conversely, unstable factors can change in the short term and even during performance, you may have no luck in the first half or you may try harder and increase your level of effort in the second half

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Achievement motivation

A fundamental drive to succeed or persist with a task

Need to achieve - Nach

Need to aviod failure - Naf

Nach performers

  • select challenging risks
  • perform better when beoing evaluated
  • take risks
  • are not troubled by fear or failure
  • seek success and pride through high ranking victories

Naf performers

  • seek low risk challenges
  • perform worse when being evaluated
  • take easy options
  • tend to concede defeat early and give up after failure
  • have a drive to avoid shame and humiliation
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Intrinsic & Extrinsic motivation


  • these are the performers "drives" they are what motivates the performer
  • also called, primary motivation
  • the power of intrinsic rewards over the performer is initially stronger than that of extrinsic rewards


  • complete opposite to intrinsic
  • also called, secondary motivation
  • may come from other people, as when recieving praise fro a coach and in this case it has an emotional emphasis
  • or it can be from concrete things such as trophies and money - these are tangible rewards (can be touched)
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have to balance visualisation against becoming psychologically fixated on an event or goal

to be successful the performer will have planned their goals effectively, focusing on the short term challengers immediately in front of them while also building for  long term development and keeping the bigger picture in mind

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Use of rituals

" a fromal or ceremonal action"

Rituals have always been a significant psychological tool in sport and physical activities

in sport their are many rituals which is comminly thought of as part tradition and part superstition

rituals provide a psychological crutch that spectators and performers expect and come to rely on

belief is crucial in rituals - belief in your team, ability and the cause or ideal you follow

examples of rituals include:

  • opening and closing ceremonies for sprts events
  • singing national anthems before national fixtures
  • exchanging gifts before a match 
  • performing dances and songs before events e.g. Haka
  • shaking hands before and after games
  • singing club songs
  • wearing traditinal colours
  • clapping opposition of pitch
  • playing anthems at medal ceremonies
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Training for decision making & Awareness training

  • It is important that the performer integrates and interacts with the performing environment
  • the ability to read, interpret and understand the evolving context in fron of you is centered on our information-processing systems
  • information processing is the ability of a performer to detect, compare and recognise cues, movements, sounds and information from Kinaesthesis (the sense by which motion, weight and the position of various body parts are percieved) 
  • Perception - starting point for performing well e.g. sprinter reacting to gun. Perceptual abilities are considered to be the predictor of, and the key to, becoming a more successful performer
  • in interactive environments, decisions are being made over and over, detection of and recognition of relevant information is largly visually controlled, "scanning" and the speed of performers though processes require training
  • ability to "read the game" derives from our vision and perception, linked to anticipation
  • performer in interactive environments need to understand what is happening in terms of others actions and intentions
  • traditional cencept of thought processing: See - Think - Interpret - Move
  • "scanning" ability to visually attend events unfolding infront of them, visual training to sport cues - when to move/stay still, intercept a pass or shoot. Demands that performer focuses and narrows down the info recieved to what is important
  • can be achieved by selective attention, learning to channel information
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Group cohesion

"a dynamic process reflected in the tendency for a group to stick together and rrmain united in the pursuit of its goals and objectives"

Carron (1980) - groups have same characteristics

  • collective identity
  • sense of shared purpose
  • structured patterns of communication

Task cohesion - the degree to which members of a group work together to achieve common goals

Social cohesion - degree to which members of a team like eachother and interact accordingly

leaders in the group should aim to build cohesiveness, doing this goes through these stages:

  • forming - the group meets or is assembled
  • storming - heightened tension may develop as roles are defined and tasks established
  • norming - rules and standards of behaviour is agreed as cohesion is built
  • performing - the group matures and works together
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