Most athletes have experienced how process goals and simple cues can help them focus under competitive pressure. Experienced coaches would understand the importance of communicating simple and effective cues to facilitate learning.
Since performance cues are critical to optimising learning and performance, let’s look at how we should decide on what cues to focus on, in what way are some cues more effective than others, and what the scientific literature has to say about this!
To improve performance, you are likely to apply some sort of challenge to “stress” yourself physically and psychologically, followed by a period of recovery and rest.
Too much stress without enough rest and you get injured, sick, and burnout. Meanwhile, training that is too easy and too much rest leads to complacency, boredom, and stagnation.
Authors of Peak Performance – Brad Strudel and Steve Magness found one thing in common with the most successful and enduring performers in sport and other domains: they oscillate between periods of stress and rest.
Stress + Recovery = Growth.
This is a simple, but not necessarily easy equation to follow. For a start, many athletes are very intentional when planning for training but regard recovery (especially psychological recovery) as a good to have, rather than a priority. This is especially so when they are under pressure to perform.
As ironic as it sounds, recovery happens when we stop paying attention to our goals. Taking a break is not intuitive especially when we are under pressure but that’s when we MUST step away (and step back in thereafter).
So, what can we do to help ourselves recover both physically and psychologically?
It’s amazing what a coach can learn from our athletes’ feedback!
Joan Hung was recently invited to share what effective coaching practices look like from an athlete’s perspective, at the recent Youth Coaching Conference (YCC) 2022.
I have been coaching Joan since 2015 and am proud to share her candid and light-hearted stories about her Goalball journey, and my coaching practices. There are many lessons here on resilience that can be generalized to any sport and anyone.
Joan and I are also grateful to the National Youth Sport Institute (NYSI) for providing us with an opportunity to share about disability sports, and to Brenda for helping Joan put the presentation deck of slides together.
“I did not choose to be blind but I can choose how to live with it…”
Joan Hung, National Goalball Player and recipient of Goh Chok Tong Enable Awards 2021