University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

The Application of Psychological Skills Training With Paralympic Athletes

Faull, Andrea and Roberts, Claire-Marie (2015) The Application of Psychological Skills Training With Paralympic Athletes. In: 30th Annual Congress of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, 14th - 17th October 2015, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

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Research in the area of mental skills support for elite athletes with a disability has been documented, but only by a highly respected select few (e.g. Dieffenbach & Statler, 2012; Martin & Malone, 2013). This limited but insightful research has identified that athletes with a disability have much the same concerns, pressures, motivations and expectations to that of an able bodied elite athlete, therefore more research is needed into the application of mental skills strategies and the specific adaptations that might need to be considered when working with this population. This focus is long overdue, particularly with the knowledge that elite disability sports coaches support the value of mental skills for their athletes (Bastos, Corredeira, Probst & Fonseca, 2014). Recently, Martin (2015) reviewed the range of issues associated with Paralympic athletes and identified a number of potential determinants of performance in elite disability sport including an ability to manage pressure and anxiety (Martin, Malone & Hillier, 2009) and having appropriate coping skills (Pensgaard, Roberts & Ursin, 1999). Martin (2015) also indicated that athletes with disabilities can learn to use traditional methods to achieve psychological skills and optimal performance states, such as learning how to self-regulate through goal setting and positive self talk. What now needs to happen is for Sport Psychology Consultants to share their applied experiences of working with elite athletes with a disability and generate discussion to help support others in their applied practice. The aim of the current paper looks to explore the application of mental skills with a National team during a Paralympic cycle with a view to disseminating good practice centred on the methods used, barriers and issues with the application of the strategies, as well as furthering understanding of the usefulness of such skills with an elite disabled population.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: mental skills support, elite athletes, disabilities, elite disability sports, sport psychology, mental skills, psychological skills, Paralympic athletes
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Claire-Marie Roberts
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2015 08:50
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:08

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