An 18 year old girl, fitness enthusiast and dedicated Olympic style weightlifter, Powerlifter, and non-competitive Irish dancer. I'm determined to live a healthy lifestyle and take care of my body whilst influencing other young people to do so. I never doubt my ability to achieve something; I just change what I'm doing until I succeed.
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Wow so this is my first post of 2020 huh! Not exactly been feeling the most motivated to write a post this year, but now that i’ve got a lot of time on my hands, my blog post list is pretty extensive. I’ve been lifting significantly less during lockdown, but painting, teaching myself stuff, reading and getting back into riding my bike more. I’m not going to mention how many hours i’ve been playing video games for, but let’s just say that despite the lovely weather I am still as pale as I was pre-lockdown. I’ve been using zoom to teach some young kids some irish dancing steps, which has been nice, so I figured i’d attempt to use this platform to teach anybody some basic Sports psychology knowledge. I’ve enjoyed reading and making notes on this stuff for the past few months, so I hope you enjoy this read.
My coach originally introduced me to this theory and i wrote about it in another post. I probably don’t love it as much as him, but from what I've read recently there's a lot more to it than I wrote previously and he told me about.
Attribution can be defined as ‘How people (in this case athletes/coaches) justify successes and failures.’ Attributions can be placed into either of these categories:
- Stability (Permanent or unstable)
- Causality (Is the reason for attribution external or internal?)
- Control (Is the reason for attribution under your control or not?)
Then under those headers are the titles winning or losing, for example:
- Stable: I was better than my opponent
- Unstable: I got lucky
- Internal: I tried hard
- External: My opponent was easy to beat
- Under control: I trained really hard
- Not under control: He wasn't as strong as me
The reasons for losing are opposite of the reasons for winning. If you'd like to read more about the attribution theory, then please read the post below.
Attentional cues and focus types
I particularly enjoyed learning about this topic, so i'll go into more detail where I can.
Relevant attentional cues (these directly affect performance)
- Position of teammates
- Position of opposition
- Flight of ball/ Progression of the weight on the bar per attempt
Selective attention helps to focus on a specific relevant cue and block out irrelevant ones
Divided attention focuses on multiple relevant cues, to complete multi-tasking
Irrelevant cues (these distract from overall performance)
- Crowd noise
- Insults from opposition
There are four attentional focus types (Internal, External, Broad, Narrow), that come under the headers of direction dimension or width dimension, the meanings of these headers don't matter in this post.
- Internal: Attention is directed towards your own thoughts and feelings (E.g: Mentally rehearsing performance could help an athlete to relax before an event)
- External: Attention is directed towards a relevant external factor (E.g: Judging the flight of the ball or positioning of opponents)
- Broad: Taking in and interpreting lots of information to make decisions during play. This being important for a Centre in Netball, as they are constantly moving around the court and are often used as a connection between players who are limited in where they can play.
- Narrow: Only having 1-2 pieces of information to take in to be able to make your next 'play'. I feel that Weightlifting is a good example of this, I've seen many lifters (including myself) jump up only 1kg on their last lift and fail. My coach likes to describe this as 'the straw that broke the camel's back', it can be very much hit or miss in Weightlifting if you misjudge how close to a failed lift you may have been only prior to the weight increase or misjudge how well warm-ups are going.
The relationship between cohesion and performance
Cohesion can be defined as a dynamic reflected in the tendency for a group to stick together and remain united in order to reach group goals and objectives, a sports team or club in this instance.
Cohesion impacts the performance in interactive teams rather than co-active teams.
Interactive teams: Team members will directly interact and coordinate with each other to achieve successful performance (E.g. Ball teams)
Co-active teams: No direct interaction during performance, but rather through individual events to achieve overall team success (E.g. Gymnastics team, School athletics competition or a Team weightlifting competition).
The cohesion-performance relationship is CIRCULAR okay? So if members of a netball team win regularly they may then get along better. This leads to them more likely being successful due to further improvements in performance. Then this continues to repeat.
So what helps to increase cohesion between a team? Well i'm going to tell you the team-member strategies. I'd tell you the coach strategies but my coach once told me to never educate your competitors, and in this sense, this means other coaches rather than team members!!
Team member strategies to improve cohesion
- Be responsible for your own activities (E.g. Loading your on barbell, timing yourself for athletics events, clearing up after yourself - certainly for my lifters anyways!)
- Resolve conflict quickly
- Try as hard as possible
- Get to know each other
- Help eachother through advice and motivation
Thanks for reading this post! I hope it provided somebody with something to do in these difficult times.