Volley Trend 2015. camp report on psychology of sports lectures

suncica predavanje

This year’s team of the VT camp for the first time included a psychologist, who held lectures in the area of mental training. Campers from all four shifts took lectures, 174 of them, of which 38 from outside of Serbia (Cyprus, Greece, USA, Bulgaria, Russia, Austria, Hungary…). The lecture has educational interactive character and during the classes the campers learned about the importance of the role of a “psychological player” in the field through exchange of experiences, thoughts and emotions. This lecture is only an introductory part of the mental strength on which ever professional player should work on as long as he or she strives to move boundaries in his or hers career and to advance. It is a mistake to think that mental training is only for elite sportspeople, although it has been shown the most efficient exactly with them due to their high personal dedication to their careers. Sportspeople start with mental training, through out the world as well as in Serbia, at the early age in order to develop the skills, abilities and traits of a successful sports person and to increase performance to the highest possible level, while developing techniques and games.
The campers learned that a psychologist in sports is oriented towards development and improvement of existing potentials in a player as well as in a whole team, and not towards elimination of psychological problems and disturbances. Regarding that, a sports psychologist does not “cure” or look for abnormalities, but educates and conducts mental trainings, same as a conditioning coach is oriented towards enhancing physical readiness. After getting familiar with the elements of a mental training and exchange of experiences from games, the campers were divided into groups in which, through teamwork which is an essential element in volleyball, and specific tasks, they worked through the most critical and most characteristic situations in which they can find themselves during games. Group work enabled for them to perceive from different angles the one same problem, find different solutions and, most important, to identify their own behavioral patterns which we are often not aware of.
The workshop evaluations point that the most of the campers is satisfied with the content and the mode of the lectures, which lead to an average 4.8 (on a scale from 1 to 5). Groups were made of sportspeople aged 10 to 20, of both genders, from different teams, cities and states, which had a special importance for the mode of work, since many of them pointed out that they liked the experiences of the others the most, often very similar to their own experiences, no matter where they live and train.

Some of the comments were:

Very productive, explained through beautiful examples and plays.
I remembered the key points of the lectures, which will help me improve my self-confidence and success in sports whatsoever.
Talking about organizing school tasks and trainings
The exercise we did through teamwork and which helped us understand the essence.
Joint work on a project.
Lecture concept, lecturer’s approach.
The PowerPoint and the comments.
Talking about consequences of different behaviors.
When we wrote about our feeling during bad defense.
I liked it all, well done.
The task we worked on.
That we talked about positive and negative things in volleyball.
I liked it all, the fact that I shared my opinions with other girls and found out how they felt in the same moment.
Liberation and open talks about fears in the court and teamwork.
I liked it all since this was the first time I heard about this.
Getting to know other people, group work presentations.
When we talked and learned how to raise self-respect in important moments.
While we talked about our feelings after a mistake.
How to act during the game.
That we learned to always react positive when we do bad.

The comments of foreign campers about what they learned and what the liked from the lectures:

Write some helpful things, understand some new points to view
Write new interesting things, understand new things
The support of the psychologist
The conversation
Presentation
The group works
The self analysis
Audio, atmosphere
The way that she ecxplained everything
The way she told things to us and the way she make us feel
That she help us to have more confidience
That we learn how to deal with problems
I learn a lot of things
How to handle difficult situation
The program was very usefull

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