SACS WATER POLO
Mental Workshop January 2012
Pre-Game Mental State
- What do you feel?
- How do the opposition, crowd and different circumstances affect you?
- Is it better playing at home or away? Why?
Ultimately, despite all the circumstances that change around us, the game remains the same.
We want to constantly bring ourselves back to this idea by normalizing our situation. We regain control by making our situation more familiar to us – routines are perfect for this process.
Four times in which we can use subtle routines to regain a sense of normality are:
o Arriving at the venue
o Game time
Recovery from game-time failure
- First reaction?
- Mindset from that point on?
- Team meltdowns
- Team comebacks
Our primary concern after a game-time mistake must be the next play - offence or defence.
We must take a MINIMUM of one play before dealing with the mistake mentally. After this time, conduct a brief analysis and commit to moving on.
Often, the commitment to the next offence/defence will be enough time to recover. However, it is good to have another subtle routine to ‘cleanse’ your mind of a mistake.
Recovery from success
- What is complacency?
- On what scale/time frame can it affect us?
- How can we avoid it?
Again, taking each play as it comes is crucial to maintaining focus. A characteristic that would emerge from players/teams that approach their training and games in this way would be ruthlessness.
No matter the occasion, opposition or game situation, each play is new and can only be won once – mentally resting or ‘letting up’ is not an option. Ever.
It is helpful to develop a personal and team reminder in order to cultivate and maintain the element of ruthlessness.
Developing this mentality is a full-time job; the reward is playing your best polo!