School and studying can be daunting, even for the best and most experienced learners. Feeling unprepared for an exam can lead to panic, anxiety, and even decreases in self-confidence. Yet, despite these consequences many students do not adequately prepare for tests and exams and wind up perpetuating their own fear and worry regarding testing. Spending hours upon hours studying is not necessarily needed or productive. Think, “study smarter, not longer”. Shorter more frequent study sessions are more likely to be productive and contribute to long-term learning. Although many students cram the night or days before a test this is not an efficient or effective way for most learners.
Although no two people study exactly the same way and no one strategy can work for everyone, there are a number of study strategies that have been shown to be effective for a diverse population.
What kind of learning style works best for you?Generally there are 4 different types of learning styles:...
Countless students experience test anxiety, in many of the same forms that athletes experience competitive anxiety. In fact, the American Test Anxieties Association (www.amtaa.org) reports that, 16-20% of students have high test anxiety and another 18% are troubled by moderately-high test anxiety. Most students can remember a time when they experienced stress about an exam and often this stress can affect the student’s performance on the exam.
So what causes test anxiety? The answer is multi-faceted. Physiologically, the anxiety experienced during a test is no different than anxiety experienced in other environments. When we experience stress, adrenaline is released and puts our body into “fight or flight” mode.
As a result, we begin to sweat, our heart begins to pound, and we breath significantly faster. Emotionally and cognitively, test anxiety may be the result of not preparing for the test...
“What were you thinking?” A coach queries a young athlete after having observed a mistake made by the athlete. The athlete shrugs and does not reply. The coach then continues to explain what happened and possibly suggest some ways to avoid future mistakes.
What is really meant by the coach? Was the coach truly interested in what the athlete was thinking? Was the question meant to be rhetorical? What was the athlete really thinking? The latter question often disappears into a fog of defensiveness and apprehension. The tone of the coach’s voice speaks volumes. The timing of the question (immediately after a play, or after the game) will also bring to light an important context for athlete understanding.
In sport, mistakes occur.
We are expected to learn from them and improve. In team sports, a mistake may cost the team a goal/point or possession, and this frustrates more than...
What factors lead to success in your sport?
We asked this question of Coach Kevin Clark, the Head Coach of the Edmonton Triathlon Academy, and Regional Training Centre - Triathlon Canada. Kevin is a former international level triathlete who competed for 6 years for Great Britain and Scotland. When asked to summarize some of his suggestions for success in triathlon, here is the comprehensive list Kevin came up with.
Maintain 9 hours of sleep per day; 8 hours at night, 1 hour midday.
Set clear goals for every session.
Develop weekly goals.
Create specific race goals for training races.
Stretch/mobility exercises 20 minutes per day.
Weekly video anaylsis of swim stroke.
Weekly massage on weak areas and self massage/ice on calf muscles when needed.
2 x bike-run sessions/week.
1 x track session/week.
Run at faster average speeds.
Read about successful/knowlegeable people.
Self discipline + hard work = success.
Arrive early for every session.
Practice self control.
Help others when asked.
Shaky, sick to your stomach, sweaty, irritable, headache, muscle tension, diarrhea, vomiting, racing heart, foggy brain, can’t eat or can’t sleep! Is it the flu? Is it an infection? No it’s COMPETITION ANXIETY!
And then right before your main event someone has the audacity to say, “just have fun with it”, when all THAT is going on in your nervous system, I don’t think so!!
Pre-competition anxiety is NOT fun. But it is a necessary, natural and expected condition during times of intense competition. The bigger the contest, the more it means to you, the greater your pre-competition jitters will be. In fact, if you don’t have any pre-competition anxiety before a big event, you need to ask yourself: Are you really up for this? Does this matter to you? Are you hungry for success?
Pre-competition nerves are especially...
The American Psychological Association defines Sport and Exercise Psychology as the scientific study of the psychological factors associated with participation and performance in sport. Sport psychology methods allow for the enhancement of performance and functioning, in both sport and life.
Sport Psychology can be applied to emotional control and anger management when dealing with referees and coaches. Many times athletes have difficulties accepting a poor call (or a call they disagree with) from a referee. A sport psychologist can provide skills to athletes to deal with these so-called “losses of control”. Even business professionals can benefit from sport psychology skills in the application of dealing with employees and employers.
Sport psychology is as unique as the individual athletes who seek help from a sport psychologist. Working with a sport psychologist typically begins with an assessment to determine what performance goals...