Control the Head (Adam Kelly: Sports Psychology Researcher Southampton Solent)

Top athletes train day after day to meet the demands of competition as best they can at the big event. Unfortunately this can be just the time when things go dramatically wrong. Then it is far too easy for the wrong phrases to spring unbidden into the mind: ‘Am I really good enough?’ ‘I can’t understand why I put myself through this time and time again!’ ‘This always happens when I’m under pressure’.

Basic Sports Psychology

Rowden February 2013

This involves the study of how the mind affects performance and how we can educate the mind to improve how we perform. We should bear in mind from the start that we are all different and our personality can affect performance: in addition consider that some sports may be more suited to extroverted or introverted individuals. Equally we should bear in mind that we can work in the mental area, just as we do in the physical, to improve how we deal with our sport.

Girls' Game: Be Professional

Rowden December 2012

Do not allow emotion to interfere with you game, your plans and how you intend to play. Try to keep an external not an internal focus – what is the opponent doing, what tactics is she employing, what emotion is she showing? NOT how am I feeling, are my strokes working, am I making too many mistakes? In this way your mind is not distracted nor engaged in looking at negative aspects,it is in fact free to assess the situation, however fluid it may be and to decide what needs to be done.

Go with the flow

Extracts from New Scientist 2012

Is there an easy way to prime your brain for awesome efficiency in any skill? ‘Flow’ is the elusive mental state, that feeling of effortless concentration which characterises outstanding performance in all kinds of skills.

Over-emphasis on Technique

Rowden October 2012

Technique is of course important and many coaches will tell you that ‘Technique is the basis of Tactics’. When looking at techniques the coach should be evaluating which weapons (techniques) the player will need for the senior game. The weapons the player requires will of course have to be tailored to the player’s style as all performers are individuals.

Developing Speed for Table Tennis

Extracts from Seminar. Dr Larry Van Such

We have all heard of fast and slow twitch fibres in muscles -- in almost every sport the secret to improving your athletic skill is to make your muscles not only stronger but also faster. Fast muscles give you a big advantage in almost all sport related skills but especially in fast reaction sports.

Prime areas in the Development of Women

Rowden October 2012


Speed, which is the most important of the 5 basic elements (speed, power, spin, flight trajectory, change) covers all aspects and is the central core and the prime factor of development; it doesn’t just cover the ability to play fast and to control speed, but to think and to react swiftly, to adapt quickly, to move rapidly and with the right footwork patterns. It also covers the aspect of combining the other four elements at differing speeds.

Long-term Athlete Development

Rowden August 2012

LTAD is basically a model which looks at an in-depth and long-term approach to maximising the potential of an individual and helping him/her to tailor the developmental program to suit the stages of physical and mental growth. It is also intended to encourage and motivate the athlete to be involved lifelong in his/her sport. The model is split into a number of stages taking the child from simple, generic movements to more complex, sport specific skills and building a pathway.

It’s all in the Preparation

Rowden August 2012

The GB cycling team has been enormously successful at the London Olympics, 2012. So successful in fact that there have been complaints from other teams claiming that GB cycles are in some way ‘fixed’ to provide superior performance! Or that perhaps our athletes have some super- energy drink which is not available to other countries!

Blueprint for Champions: Ideas from Clive Woodward (2008)

Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill. Muhammad Ali

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