Growing pains and successes: evaluating a mental training program for a Basic Training brigade

Steven DeWiggins, CSF2-TC, USA
Jonathan Anderson, Army/University of the Rockies, USA
Nicholas Bartley, CSF2-PREP, USA

Theme: Mental training/interventions

Program ID: SYM-12

Presentation: October 3, 2013 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm

Room: Oak Alley


This symposium brings together nearly three years of observations, best practices and feedback regarding a mental skills training program provided by Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Training Centers (CSF2-TC) to Basic Training cadre and Soldiers at Fort Benning, GA. The overall intent of the symposium is to provide an example of a systematic, methodical, and logical expansion of a mental skills training program from relatively small to larger units. We hope performance consultants in other contexts can benefit from lessons learned from our experience as they look to implement and expand mental skills training to fit larger organizations. The first segment provides the perspective and related insight of a company commander discussing details about the goals, intent, development, and available evaluative indicators of the initial mental skills training (MST) program with an Infantry Basic Training company. The second portion proceeds further to discuss how the MST program was provided to additional cadre and Soldiers across another training cycle and company, along with performance indicators and anecdotal support from leaders to evaluate efficacyof the mental skills training program. Finally, the last segment covers the challenges and successes of fulfilling the request to expand the MST program into the entire training brigade (approximately 6000 personnel). This presenter will share his perspective on being a local resource to the unit, to include; the adjusted approach to MST used to accommodate such immense growth, the varied levels of observed impact and effectiveness, and the factors that appeared to better set the conditions for observable change. Lastly, we want to present thoughts and respond to questions about how the lessons learned on the growth of this particular application of MS could be applied to sport, business and other areas of performance psychology education and training.

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