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Psychological Skill Training (PST) prog for Youth Squash Team
Transcript of Psychological Skill Training (PST) prog for Youth Squash Team
Profile of the
youth squash team players
This psychological skill training (PST) programme is meant to prepare a squash team comprising of 10 female school players (aged from 14 to 16 years) for the following year’s National Schools Squash Championships.
All of the players have had at least 4 years of playing experience and the team have lost out narrowly in the finals of two previous seasons.
Assessment made by the coach suggested that a few of the key players may have choked under pressure of both finals. Working together with the coach, a PST programme is to help the players develop the mental skills and address their psychological weaknesses.
by Vincent Ong
Approach to PST
A skills approach to PST is adopted to progressively educate, acquire and apply the psychological skills for the players through the duration of the competition season (Loehr, as cited in Bacon, 2001).
The main objectives of the PST programmes are to equip the players with the necessary mental skills for them to apply during their training and eventual competition setting in order to optimise their performance for the following year’s National Schools Squash Championship.
The players are mainly within the Training to Train (T2T; usually within the ages of 11-15 females) and the Training to Compete (T2C; within the ages of 15-21 females) based on the long term athlete development (LTAD) guidelines.
Assessment of Athlete’s Mental Skills
5 Basic Psychological Skills & Related Techniques
Evaluation of the PST Programme
Important to evaluate the players’ progress at each phase of the yearly training plan.
Potential Issues When Implementing the PST
1. Cater for varying players’ mental maturity and readiness to learn these psychological skills and techniques.
2. Be flexible and adaptable to allow each individual to work on the preferred psychological techniques within each skill set.
3. It is important for the PST programme to be coordinated closely with the coach and hence constant communication and understanding on the team’s yearly training plan vis-à-vis the other components (physical, tactical and technical) must be well-coordinated and integrated. This issue applies also to the management of the players’ academic and other personal and school commitments.