I have spent the past 20 years teaching coaches at all levels (Olympic, National Team, College & High School) how to run mental training programs for their athletes. Yes – I have also consulted directly with athletes at these same levels – but it is the coach who is best suited to do the mental coaching – because they know their athletes best.
However, most coaches feels that they are not qualified to direct their athlete’s mental training. At this point we need to make the distinction between declarative knowledge and procedural knowledge. Many coaches have taken courses and read books in sport psychology resulting in an accumulation of theoretical or declarative knowledge. In addition, they usually have an intimate knowledge of their athlete’s mental strengths and weaknesses. What is lacking is knowledge of the step-by-step procedures (procedural knowledge) to close the gap between the athlete’s current and desired level of mental mental skills or qualities. Read the rest of this entry »