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Mental Notes Consulting

A Snap Shot into the World of a Sport Psych…

Two of the most common questions I get asked as a sport psychologist are, “What do you do as a sport psychologist?” and “Why sport psychology?”. I think the best way to answer these questions is to give a snap shot of a day in the life of a sport psychologist…

My day starts out at the Chandler Pool in Brisbane for the Queensland State Swimming Championships.  I am there to work with a swimming squad I have been consulting to during the year.  As a sport psychologist I work with squads/teams through interactive workshops based on an individualised program developed for that squad/teams.  The program is developed with the coach and athletes to target relevant areas to strengthen so as […]

How does Emotional Intelligence Assist Performance?

Higher levels of Emotional Intelligence (E.I.) have been associated with superior performance by teams in business for some time and various coaching programs have been aimed at developing skills and abilities in this area.  Whilst E.I. has been thought to have a similarly positive impact in sport, the empirical evidence to support this has been scarce.  However, an important piece of practical research has been carried out which assessed the effect of E.I. on the performance of professional cricket teams in the South African national, first class competition.  The research, carried out by David Crombie, Carl Lombard, and Tim Noakes at the University of Cape Town, found that E.I. had a significant effect on the results of teams in […]

Music and Sports Performance – To tune in or out?

In the world of competitive sport where athletes are at times separated only by the smallest of margins we look for strategies to enhance physical performance.  Over the last decade there has been an increased interest in the role that music can play in the performance of athletes during training and competition.  Athletes across every sporting domain will attest to the fact that listening to music during training and competition can elicit a powerful effect on mental focus and drive them to push through pain barriers and mental fatigue.

But what does the research say about this and what empirical evidence do we have to support these claims?

Below are four key ways that music can help us to bolster physical […]

“I’m Here to Win”

I recently finished reading Chris McCormack’s book, “I’m here to win: A World Champion’s blueprint for peak performance”.  The title grabbed me.  I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but I am glad I did on this occasion because I wasn’t disappointed.  I found this book enlightening, reflective, and awe-inspiring.  Chris is renowned in triathlon/ironman circles, but for those of you who aren’t familiar &/or aware of who Chris McCormack is, he is a 6-time Ironman World Champion!  Last year he won the Ironman Hawaii, Kona: the most grueling event that puts even the toughest and strongest individuals in the sport through their paces.

His book provides insight into the inner workings of an elite athlete.  I […]

Clinical Edition: Depression in sporting populations

Our role as a sport psychologist is about helping individuals change aspects of their lives they want to see change in.  We specialise in helping athletes of various ages and abilities in different sports to develop and integrate a range of mental skills to perform at their best on a consistent basis.  However, there is another aspect of our role as a sport psychologist and one that fits in with performance; health and well-being.  That is, working with athletes on their health and well-being issues that can have an impact on their performance.  When I speak of health and well-being I include mental health issues like depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and addictive disorders (drug & alcohol misuse, gambling etc), […]

Man’s Search for Meaning

First published in 1946, Man’s Search for Meaning by Vicktor E. Frankl has now sold over three million copies worldwide. In his bestseller, Frankl details his experiences in the concentration camp during World War II and how his observations of prisoners’ reactions (including his own) lead to the ground breaking theory, logotherapy. This theory helped him survive his experience of the Holocaust.  Basically, logotherapy is about an individual’s search for meaning in their life and this theory assumes that life has a meaning under all circumstances and that each person has the freedom to choose and resources available to deal with any arising situation.  Logotherapy helps challenge individuals to search for meaning in life and finding these resources.  As […]

Evolution of the Athlete: Lessons from two great coaches

Here are some of the many lessons from the 4th Annual Coach Education Conference – Evolution of the Athlete – in Brisbane.  It was a great opportunity to hear from leading authorities in sports coaching and learn from their experiences…

One of the keynote speakers at the conference was Ewen McKenzie who is the Head Coach for the QLD Reds. Ewen spoke a lot about the importance of team culture and equated 10-15% of performance to having an effective team culture.  Whether at training or at a game the whole team (athletes and coaching staff) are all working towards a common purpose.  Ewen stated that from his experiences coaching at the elite level, the most effective team culture is one […]

What’s your Scene? Personality and sport

In sport, we are always interested in ways to help enhance athletes’ performances. From a sport psychology point of view, one goal when working with athletes is to help them bring all the performance aspects (mental, physical, tactical and technical) together to get the edge over their opponents. What personality traits are helpful for peak performance? This is potentially one of the most allusive questions in sport.  Research has explored the use of personality profiles to distinguish between successful and unsuccessful athletes in particular sports, in particular positions, and team selection (O’Sullivan, Zuckerman & Kraft, 1998; Piedmont, Hill, & Blanco, 1999; Vealey, 2002). Despite the relationship between sport performances and personality being far from crystal clear, the Mental Notes […]