Rock Solid: Implementing a Mental Skills Training Program for High Performance Curlers

Jill Tracey, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada
Scott Rollo, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada
Alanna Riordan, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada

Theme: Mental training/interventions

Poster Number: 39

Program ID: POS-1

Presentation: October 3, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


Researchers and practitioners have demonstrated numerous benefits of using mental skills training programs (MSTPs) in various sports (see Zizzi, Blom, Watson, Downey, & Geer, 2010; Taylor, Gould, & Rolo, 2008 for reviews). Established sport psychology consultants have been providing services to athletes from recreational to Olympic and professional for many years, yet it is not always well known how graduate students in sport psychology gain the needed applied experience. The consultation team included the supervisor and three graduate students who consulted with six curling teams over a five month season. The supervisor provided the introductory session with the teams, then coordinated with the students who provided all subsequent consultations. The structure of the program involved a combination of implementing MSTP for athletes and the mentoring of graduate students to gain valuable experience in a nurturing, developmental, and reflective, and evaluative model. Benefits included, but were not limited to the development of mental skills for personal and performance enhancement for the athletes, and the development and improvement of skills for the students. The students were able to make connections between theory and practice in a dynamic environment. The goal of presentation is to 1) identify the sample structure of the MSTP for competitive curlers in a high performance center, 2) explain how to use the model to increase opportunities for students, 3) describe the session topics discussed in the first season (i.e., mental toughness, anxiety management, goal setting, team communication), and 4) highlight the benefits and the lessons learned thus far.

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