Top 10 Guiding Principles for Mental Training

Author: McCann S.

Soccer Journal. July 2008;53(4):36-38.

Reviewed by Judy Goss

If you are anything like me, you might find yourself harmlessly “googling” something and soon find yourself 10 clicks away from where you started and wondering how you got there. I have been doing some research on competitive hardiness which often takes you to mental toughness and happened upon a great list! The Top 10 Guiding Principles of Mental Training by Sean McCann. Sean is a sport psychologist for the USOC and has travelled to many Olympic Games. After I read the list, I couldn’t help but admire the simple and concise way he presented the information. I also felt that in preparation for high level competition there are some guiding principles that need to be reinforced. #2 Physical training and physical ability isn’t enough to succeed consistently. Basically if you can’t handle the mental demands of training and competition you will not perform well consistently. At the Olympics, the physical demands of the game, event or race are the same, but everything else is different. That is a lot of manage. #7 Coaches must be involved in the mental training process. The physical and mental training go hand in hand and they need to be integrated. And my new favourite #8 Sometimes it is ok to force athletes to take the time to do mental training. We often want for athletes to come to us, be willing and want to learn. What generally happens is a crisis and then they come and see you. Don’t wait for a crisis, be prepared, train the mental skills.

Athlete Development
sport science
High Performance