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>Coaching Matters >Coaching Matters March 5, 2024 forum

Coaching Matters March 5, 2024 forum

There will be two forums on Tuesday 5 march, one for the Western and the other for the Eastern time zones. Please click below to access the information on the speakers and how to join!

CLICK HERE to access the flyer for the Western forum which will take place 6pm CET / 9am PST / 5pm GMT.

CLICK HERE to access the flyer for the Eastern forum which will take place at 5PM AEST / 2pm WIB / 8am CET / 7am GMT.


ZOOM ID: 834 6322 6087

Passcode: 307064

Stress, whether physical, mental or emotional is an essential part of life. We need it or we would not learn how to adapt to it. The good news is that we can. We do so not when being exposed to it but when recovering from it.

Critical, then, in managing or coping with stress is that we truly understand techniques in how to recover.

It is a personal perception of threat that generates fear and triggers stress. That’s what underlies Corinne Reid’s concept of “Stress Signatures.” We each have our own perception of threat and stress and that offspring of stress, pressure. We each have our own perception of what motivates us to lift our game in sport and in life. Together they shape our stress signature.

At a general level, we are bombarded daily with multiple stressors.

They can be physical, mental or emotional and their effect can be cumulative, draining our energy to adapt to their collective impact. If not managed we become overwhelmed where all we see are problems.

At a specific level, in the height of the contest in the Sports Arena or in tackling a critical issue we can lose focus on performance and process and become distracted by result and outcome; shifting from will to win to fear of failure; from being in control of emotions to being controlled by emotions.

There is an optimal level of arousal or stress, beyond which we are in to fear and distress.

While we are acutely aware of this happening with athletes, we should be aware it also happens to us. Geoff Kimani in the African Athletics Coaches Association sent me this piece from Thierry Henry, legendary soccer player.

“You never wonder how the coach is doing. The pressure on a coach is terrible. From the supporters, from management, from players…… I have never entered a coach’s office to ask them how they are doing. It’s hard to be a coach. You’re very much alone.”

Although we can’t do much to change our perception or those of athletes, we can do something about how to handle them; keep them from being overwhelming.

Many sports psychologists have come up with “Grounding Techniques” and all have their merits. Many coaches and athletes develop or learn on their own.

My favourite is an adaptation of Ceri Evans’ (former psychologist with the NZ All Blacks Rugby Team) simple model:- Step back; Step up; Step in. When you feel the pressure beginning to bite – step back and get things in perspective; then step up with focus on the main thing to get you back on a winning difference track; then step in and “just do it.”

The overall situation might best be summarised as in fig 4.

Fig 4.

What this coaching Matters is about is how the Coach/Athlete Relationship can be used to ensure pressure becomes a positive influence on the performance of athlete, team and coach and not a negative one.

One size does not fit all in these matters so let’s see how many ideas we can come up with in this session.