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Sports psychology/ performance podcast or book

  • 19-09-2022 10:34pm
    Registered Users Posts: 784 ✭✭✭


    My teen daughter is a decent runner and trains hard but is not consistent and I think she loses confidence easily. I can't tell her anything really cos she has tuned out to me, her coach tells her to believe in herself, i don't think she does - when it really gets tough.

    Any suggestions for podcast or sport books suitable? Thanks in advance marzic


  • Registered Users Posts: 220 ✭✭E.coli

    I want to preface this by saying this is not a criticism, we all want the best for our kids and will do what we can to help them succeed so what I am about to say is no reflection on you

    You need to take a step back. Your first description is about her ability level and admit yourself that your daughter has tuned you out. These are tell tale signs of potential pushy parent syndrome. The drop off in teen girls from sport is huge for a multitude of reasons so the best advice I can give is to forgot outcome driven mentality and focus on changing to a process driven mentality. Does she enjoy the sport? If so what are the things she enjoys about it, highlight the positives for body, mind and spirit. Focus on day to day habits and forget about the result being the metric of success or failure. This is something she needs to establish herself but if you do want to help the best thing you can do is lead by example our kids look up to us so we need to show rather tell.

    If you can do this you will see results come, as I said the attrition rate in female teen sports is colossal by simply sticking at it you will find that it becomes easier. Failure is a key component to progress and we should be aiming to fail at least 15-20% of the time in order to truly progress so don't put too much pressure on succeeding the whole time

  • Registered Users Posts: 220 ✭✭E.coli

    If however it is more general anxiety there are more practical bits of advice around stress overload which can contribute to race day anxiety

    • Avoid doomscrolling social media - This can impact dopamine and seretonin in the brain which can have an impact on stress and anxiety
    • Caffeine - Try and reduce atleast 8 hours before sleep due to half life. This can impact quality of sleep (regardless of how much got) which can compound stress levels that carry into high stress situations (such as racing etc)
    • Wind down 1 hour before sleep - screens can stimulate brain which impacts melatonin secretion. This impacts quality of sleep which can impair performance as well as add to high stress situations

    These may not be route causes of issues but they are area's which are overlooked by many. We live in a highly stimulated and stressful world that we tend to ignore when anxiety and psychological blocks start to impact us. Its an area we all can make huge improvements in life and our own training/racing in general

  • Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭Taxes

    You’ll often hear coaches say phrases such as “ you need to believe in yourself” or “ you need to be mentally tougher in the mid to late parts of the race” to their athletes.

    They normally say this as they have no other explanation for the below par performances of their athletes. The problem is in the training.

    Mental toughness is confidence in disguise and is built through correct training. I am surprised at the lack of knowledge exhibited by some of the senior coaches affiliated to renowned athletic clubs.

    There is both a science and an art to training but the art is much more important than the science, otherwise you’d have some of those sports science PHD graduates coaching Kipchoge and co. A good coach understands the science and has mastered the art of developing training methods and schedules over many years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,181 ✭✭✭demfad

    This may/may not apply to your daughter. I am fairly sure I am on the fast side of the muscle spectrum relative to the races I do: 10k up and hill/trail races.

    If I haven't covered the race time with a high end endurance run I can fall off a cliff in a race.

    eg if a 10k race takes 40 mins the (relatively fast twitch) runner should have a 40 min run @ 10 mile race pace (or equivalent) done before it. Not just be able to do such a run but actually have done it recently.

    If such a runner has only 20 min tempos done for such a race she will struggle and slow in the second half. That is not a mental issue but if not resolved she may start believing it is.

    Look at the training: has she covered the endurance @ 1 race speed below her target race? If not, if its an aerobic event and if she is relatively FT (most kids have not developed endurance) then you have the issue. I assume she runs shorter distances but the issue may still be endurance.

    Post edited by demfad on