A week ago tonight I was in full flow of my presentation to 65+ eager local runners from running club Run4All Neath. I had been approached and asked to give the club a seminar covering the basics of using psychology within sport. I had an hour slot and with so many topics I had my work cut out to try and portray how vast a topic psychology is within sport and performance, whilst also not overloading people and making sure they left with something, be that a new skill, or just food for thought.
The night itself started off with a 7 mile journey home from work taking 90 minutes due to a traffic back log so I got to the venue slightly later than I had hoped and I walked in to a thriving rugby club bar lounge. The set up was very "intimate" but this allowed for good discussions to take place in small groups in the questions that I posed to the audience. As much as I had a lot to cover, I also wanted the club members to be reflective and think about their own current experiences and whether they used psychology in any aspect and whether there was scope for improvement. The healthy sound of chatter as soon as I set the tasks was encouraging and I could easily have let the groups talk far longer than I did, but being time conscious I had to almost just wet their appetites before ploughing on with the content.
Some of the topics we covered were: what is involved with peak performance, goals, psychological skills and their uses, how our thinking affects our training/racing, as well as stress and the psychological understanding of injury prevention and injury risk.
I got off lightly in that there were no questions asked at the end, but maybe that was because I ran over my allotted time, running to 80 minutes because there was so much I wanted to get across, and the athletes that they were wanted to get home to bed, or wine?! However, the immediate feedback to me in person, and also on Facebook afterwards, was all positive and encouraging to hear. Some people found they could relate to what I had spoken about and it gave them food for thought, whilst others found it confirmed that they were already doing the right things but that they could add in a few other aspects. The comments the following day where people had utilised some of the things I had spoken about in their races was heart warming to hear as I had achieved my goal, of having an immediate impact on people in helping them. That's my passion in life!
When I was first approached about doing this seminar I had expected 30 people max, to have 65+ attending with others that had wanted to attend, but were unable to, was so encouraging as it highlights that people are starting to recognise that psychology plays a vital role in both life and performance. It's not something that people only use when there is a "problem" and it's not something that is only for professionals.
If you want to know more about a workshop tailored for a specific topic within your club, or there are a group of you that want a specific workshop then please get in touch. Alternatively, if you want to work on something on a 1:1 basis then again, please get in touch so that we can discuss your needs.