I do a regular interview with Michael Austin from Basketball Coach Weekly. Coaches often ask me about team motivation techniques, and what sport psychology skills they can use with their athletes. In this most recent interview, (which I particularly enjoyed) I address the answer to those questions in terms of how coaches can spot and help correct a player who is in a slump. Check it out!
After years in sales, Dan Di Cio, a Pittsburgh account executive, was aiming for “a breakout season” selling high-tech equipment. But even working longer hours and weekends, he kept falling short of his goals. Watching other salespeople win awards, he asked himself early this year: “Why can’t I be that guy?” To boost his self confidence during the recession, real-estate broker Tim Stowell, copied some tactics used by golfer Jack Nicklaus to improve the mental side of his game.Mr. Di Cio, a big baseball fan, recalled how Major League pitcher John Smoltz got help on his mental game to pull out of a slump in 1991. Mr. Di Cio contacted sports psychologist Gregg Steinberg after hearing him speak and, with his help, Mr. Di Cio learned that he was working so hard that he risked driving his numbers even lower. Dr. Steinberg says he prescribed the same remedy many pro athletes embrace: Stop overworking and allow yourself to relax.
The border between Dr. Pirozzolo’s baseball work and his golf work is remarkably fluid. “It really is all the same. It comes down to your ability to find the motor programs you need under pressure, by blocking out of all the distractions,” he told me this week. “As the competitions get bigger and bigger, like the World Series, or the Masters and the U.S. Open, there is more noise to deal with, white noise as well as meaningful challenges and threats. Mental toughness is clearly the key. The tougher you are, the easier it is to control your central nervous system and your peripheral nervous system, to control your stress response and make adaptations.”
Matt Dodge, the Giants’ seventh-round draft choice, has struggled at times this season in his attempt to effectively replace the former punter, Jeff Feagles. read more