Dr. Robert Weinberg, who is one of the most renowned Sports Psychology researchers in the country and author of the #1 college textbook in the industry, “Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology,” describes mental training simply as “a systematic and consistent practice of mental skills.” And I want to emphasize “systematic and consistent” because, unfortunately, talented athletes without discipline are a dime a dozen.
Similar to how you would practice a physical skill, mental skills must be taught and then most importantly, practiced within every training period so that they become a habit. Most would assume that coaches, especially at the high school level, would address mental skills within practice. However, most of them don’t and choose instead to concentrate solely on the physical skills.
Parents of athletes often want to know if the skills learned in sports will benefit their kids in life, and I would say absolutely YES. Mental skills such as goal setting, time management, thought stopping, relaxation and many others, once learned, can be applied to any other avenue of life. They are the fundamentals of discipline. We interviewed Dr. Robert Weinberg on the topic of how skills in sport transcend to all other areas in life. He talked about life skills, goal types and gave an introduction of what mental training is all about.
He emphasized goal setting as one of the most important skills. But yet, most people don’t know how to set goals. In fact, many don’t even try because they’re afraid of failing. He says that there are different types of goals; outcome, performance and process goals, and very different ways to approach each of them. Once breaking them down that way, they don’t seem so overwhelming.
Watch below so see what else he has to say about goals and hear more about life skills and mental training.