Class #11 – Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 18, 2012

1:00 – 1:30 Quiz #1

1:30 – 1:45 Take up Quiz


Although we have already examined use of imagery by athletes, done quite a bit of imagery training already in this course, we will take a few minutes to go over the theoretical concepts underlying imagery.  If we have time, your will be assigned a partner who will act as a “mental training consultant” to help you develop your Psychological Skills Training program – you will each conduct an interview to help assess needs and goals for your program.

Lecture slides: Ch. 13 Weinberg – Imagery

Imagery in Dance Example:  Imagery in Ballet

Imagery & Squash Tactics Example:  Imagery & Squash Tactics

Self-Directed Interview Form:


  1. Read over the self-directed interview form we distributed in class today, and come prepared to complete your interview.  The idea is to be able to choose 2-3 areas you would like to target for your PST program.
  2. Our next class is the beginning of the second part of our course – Cohesion and Leadership.  In order to maximally benefit from the classes in this section you will need to have a ‘reference” group that you can apply the models and theories to.  The best group would be a team that you are currently competing for.  If you are not currently on a team, you will have to come up with some other group as close to a sport team in nature as possible.
  3. Ch. 13 Imagery – suggest you read it the week before our final quiz, as it will be on the that test.

Bank of Test Questions for Quiz #1

October 17, 2012

Here is the bank of 65 questions – the 30 questions (25 minutes to complete) on Thursday’s (at the start of class) quiz will be drawn from amongst these questions:  ESS 220 Fall 2012 – Bank of Test Questions for Quiz.

Mental Preparation for Taking Academic Tests – Here is a handout on how to use the mental skills we have been working on to address any anxiety you may have around taking the quiz:  Test Anxiety Suggestions.

“Probably” your best studying strategy at this point, will be to simply try and answer the questions by consulting the text.

Here is the text from the post which outlines your best “studying” strategy as you go through the course:

“Study Recommendation:

  • Pay attention in lectures – first exposure, link to what you already know, activity that “uses” concepts, big picture;
  • Read text, highlighting important points and difficult points/questions;
  • Re-read and answer difficult points;
  • Complete activities without rushing – think about links to text;
  • Focus on areas in lecture slides, key terms, critical questions”

But, again, at this point, your best strategy is to find the answers to the questions.  The students who will do best (probably), will be the one’s who have done the above recommendations each week as we move through the course.

Sorry for the delay in posting, but I decided to reconstruct the quiz from scratch in order to reflect exactly those points that we have emphasized in class this year, instead of using previous years’ questions.

Class #10 – Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 16, 2012


We have already seen several examples of arousal regulation in action already in our course (e.g., the mental skills of relaxation and activation).  We will deepen our knowledge of this area by examining the use of arousal regulation as part of a longer term psychological skills training program.

Our second topic is imagery or visualization – the most used mental skill in sport.  We have already trained this skill several times in the last few weeks – now we will look at some of the theory behind the use of this skill.

Follow-up from Last Class

  1. Can you use Nidefer’s Model of Attention (Concentration) to analyze your and other sports?
  2. TAIS-SF results:  How good are you at concentrating?
  3. An example of a periodized attention control training program to reduce anxiety:  ACT Program to Reduce Anxiety

Arousal Regulation

Lecture slides:  Ch. 12 Weinberg Arousal Regulation

Relaxation Response (meditation) – we will not do it, as we have already done meditation several times in this course – but under other names (e.g., breath counting, 4 quadrant focusing exercise, etc.)

Autogenic Training – we will not do this for several reasons 🙂


1. Non-sport application of imagery:  either Wednesday night, or upon awakening Thursday morning, use centering or breathing control (4-5 min.) to attain a state of relaxation; then imagine yourself preparing for and writing the quiz in a calm and effective manner.  In your visualization scene, if necessary, use positive self-talk or thought-stopping to counter any negative thoughts you might have about doing well on the quiz.

Here is a handout with other suggestions of how you can use sport psychology mental skills to help with any test anxiety you may have:Test Anxiety Suggestions

Quiz Question Bank

The bank of questions for the quiz will be posted here tonite at 10:00 pm.  The quiz will consist of 30 multiple choice or short answer questions, which will be drawn from the 65 questions that I will post.

Class #9 – Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012

October 5, 2012


The purpose of this class is to examine the the topic of concentration.  Concentration is a mental skill – and it is also a theoretical topic as there are several models and theories of attention (synonym for concentration).

Follow-up from Last Class

  1. Questions from text reading? (max. 5 min.)
  2. CTAI-2 results?  How do they correlate to your SCAT score? Your  CSAI-2 scores? Who had high anxiety for both?  Who had low anxiety for both?  Who had medium anxiety for both?
  3. Problems with visualization homework?


Lecture slides:  Ch. 16 Weinberg – Concentration

Nideffer’s Model of Attention

Focussing exercise – direct your attention four ways.

Centering – a concentration and relaxation skill – sitting, standing, walking.

What are the attentional demands of your sport?


What are your attentional strengths and weaknesses:  complete TAIS-SF.

ACT Training – relationship to focus plan.


  1. Read Chapter 16.  Record any questions in the comment box below.
  2. Do an attentional analysis of your sport a) moment to moment shifting during performance; b) prioritize the importance of each of Nideffer’s quadrants to your sport (rate them 1-4).
  3. Complete two sessions of 5-min. of centering while walking (away from traffic and obstructions).

Next Class

Arousal Regulation – the psychological skills and relaxing and energizing.


Mid-Term Quiz: next Thursday, Oct. 18

Study Recommendation:

  • Pay attention in lectures – first exposure, link to what you already know, activity that “uses” concepts, big picture;
  • Read text, highlighting important points and difficult points/questions;
  • Re-read and answer difficult points;
  • Complete activities without rushing – think about links to text;
  • Focus on areas in lecture slides, key terms, critical questions (Tim will post)

Class #8 – Thursday, October 4, 2012

October 4, 2012


Anxiety has been the most researched topic in sport psychology.  In this class we will define anxiety and its related terms, and look at several models of the relationship between anxiety and performance – does it hurt or does it help?

Follow-up from Last Class

Anxiety, Stress & Arousal

Lecture Slides:  Ch. 4 Lecture Slides

SCAT form:  SCAT

CSAI-2 form:  CSAI-2

Anxiety Training Program Example:  Thesis Data (Bacon, 1997)


  1. Complete CSAI-2 before a competition (or potentially anxiety-provoking event like a test for non-sport – adapting the items to the context).
  2. Score the CTAI-2.
  3. Read Ch. 4 in the text.  Post any questions in the comment box on this page.
  4. Complete and log three, 10-minute visualizations: relaxation scene, best-ever, 2-3 techniques from your sport.

Next Class

Concentration and Arousal Regulation

Class #7 – Tuesday, October 2, 2012

September 27, 2012


The purpose of today’s class is to introduce the topic of Goal Setting – one of the most researched topics in sport psychology.  After being introduced to the topic, you will have an opportunity to a) set annual and short term goals for all four training factors; and b) set specific mental training goals for your PST program.

Follow-up From Last Class

  • Share your focus plan with several other members of a similar (e.g. field hockey/lacrosse) sport.
  • Competitive Reflection Forms: Discuss “Thoughts Before” and “Focus During” for both best and worst performances – what are the key differences:  postive (best) vs. negative (worst) thoughts, and task (best) vs. non-task (worst; e.g., crowd, poor performance).

Goal Setting

Optional reading: Monroe-Chandler et al. (2004):  Monroe-Chandler et al. (2004)

Lecture slides:  Chapter15 – Goalsetting  Note:  you will not have to cover “group goal setting for the quiz).

Goals Forms  These are the forms we started in class.



  1. Complete the rest of your goal forms that we started in class.  For your psychological goal, you may want to think about a possible goal for your class project?
  2. Read Ch. 15. Post any questions in the comments box at the bottom of this page.
  3. After reading the text, revisit and revise the goals you set in class (are they SMART).
  4. I have updated our class syllabus and also posted an outline of our classes (topics with dates).  Please revisit our online syllabus to make sure that expectations for our course, especially the evaluation items and schedule are clear to you.

Next Class:

Arousal, stress and anxiety – the most researched topics in sport psychology.


Class # 6 – Thursday September 27, 2012

September 26, 2012


The purpose of today’s class is to continue to make PST more sport-specific and individualized.  After reviewing the Periodized Model of mental training and sport-specific examples of PST, we will focus on the mental training that occurs in the Competitive phase of the annual training plan: competition mental training exercises, focus plans and simulations.

Follow-up from Last Class

1. You should be able to recognize and/or name the sport sciences:  BASS.

2. PST resources for your sport:  write the name of a book or website on the blackboard.

3. How did mental training homework go?

4.  Review of Periodization.

5.   Present your sport-specific mental training exercise – as if you were explaining it to athletes right before actually doing it.  Groups of 4, 2-3 min. per person, use hallway (one person to keep track of time).

Competition Phase Mental Training

1. Review Mental links to excellence – research basis for competition phase training:  Orlick & Partington (1988) Mental Links to Excellence.

2. Simulations – squash examples:

Simulating different (championship)courts.

Simulating vocal crowds.

Simulating common match situations with a coach.

Why simulating crowds is important.

3.  “Rituals” another example of “competitive” mental training.

4.  Competition Evaluation Form: Squash Match Evaluation Form


1. Complete the  Competitive Reflections Form we handed out in class, and then prepare a “rough draft” of your Focus Plan.  Print it out and bring it to the next class prepared to show to your classmates.   Here are some blank forms from Orlick’s (1986) book Psyching for Sport:   Orlick (1986) Focus Plan Forms.Here is a Smith Squash Team Example:  Focus Plan Form – Squash

2. Make a list of competitive conditions (at least five) that need to be simulated in practices and training for your sport and for your immediate context (e.g., for a Div. III team in your sport here at Smith).

3.  Use your results from the TOPS questionnaire to determine which of Suinn’s “Seven Steps” mental skills you need to train (choose the two most critical).  Download the appropriate mental exercises, complete the training on two separate days (minimum of 10 minutes) and complete the associated training log.

These exercises will be posted by Saturday at 4:00 p.m. :

Relaxation instructions:  Relaxation (7Steps)

Positive Thought Control (Self-Talk) instructions:  Positive (7 Steps)

Energy Control (activation) instructions:  Activation (7 Steps)

Mental Rehearsal (Imagery) instructions:  Imagery (7 Steps)

Concentration instructions:  Concentration (7 Steps)

4. Read Ch. 11 in the text – Introduction to Psychological Skills Training.  You do not have to read the sections on disability, sport to business/life, and performance profiling.  Kirschenbaum’s Self-Regulation model as these items will not be on the midterm test.

Next Class

1. Replication of Jackson et al. (2001).

2. Goal Setting (Ch. 15).