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The intervention in Sports Psychology aims to enable athletes to self-regulate during training and competition, maximizing their performance potential (Riera et al., 2017). In canoe slalom, training focused on acquiring and managing psychological skills is essential due to the sport’s technical demands on the athlete, particularly in high-intensity situations (Messias et al., 2014). This complexity involves selecting the best possible path to navigate gates and natural obstacles (currents, drops, rocks, etc.) as soon as possible and without penalties.  Vives-Ribó, y Costa-Sánchez (2022)

                       

A female athlete's sports performance depends not only on her physical health and abilities but also on psychological and behavioral aspects that mediate her experiences. Resilience, mindfulness, and a proper sleep routine are intrinsically linked to optimizing female sports performance and reducing the risk of sports-related injuries. Additionally, disorders like anxiety, depression, and burnout are common in female athletes and significantly increase the risk of injuries and hinder their subsequent recovery.

Current literature has raised growing awareness among coaches and medical staff working with female athletes about the critical need to incorporate psychological assessments and supportive measures in this population. Additionally, the possibility of athletes taking an active role in this regard is highlighted.

The interaction between coaches and athletes in the world of sports has been subject to detailed study. Approximately 30% of coaches may have exaggerated their reports about their behavior. This data raises questions about the accuracy of reported perceptions and their impact on athlete’s psychological needs.

Generally, when there's agreement between coaches and athletes on supportive behaviors, it promotes need  satisfaction, while in behaviors that hinder, need frustration is predicted… (Herrero et al.,2021)

 

The debate on the role of psychological factors in canoe slalom sports performance, has gained prominence in recent years. While some coaches and sports professionals assert that the future will focus on developing these factors, German sports theory disagrees and warns against these modern tendencies. Emphasis is placed on the idea that all aspects of sports performance, including mental aspects, have the potential to be developed and improved, both in quality and quantity.

A questioning is raised about the concrete actions taken to improve these mental aspects. It is highlighted that while time and effort are invested in physical and technical development, equal attention is not always paid to mental training. Moreover, criticism is directed at the superficial recommendation of sending athletes to psychologists without understanding the specific needs of their sport. (Busta, 2020)

 

The long-term nature of mental training is emphasized, stressing the need for constant practice and integration of mental skills for lasting impact. Caution is advised regarding the cost and temporary nature of this type of training, as well as the unrealistic expectations that often surround it. (Busta, 2020)

 

However, the potential of cooperation between athletes and psychologists is recognized. The influential role of high-quality coaches in developing athlete’s mental skills and their personality, is emphasized in canoe slalom.

Within this debate, useful methods and practices for female paddlers and mental training are highlighted, enhancing the importance of the close yet authoritative relationship between the coach and the athlete. Methods such as individual talks, experiencing training, race simulations, relaxation techniques, visualization, and imagination, among others, are fundamental resources in this process. (Busta, 2020)

 

 Written by Carmen Costa Sanchéz 

 

REFERENCES

  1. Busta, J. (2020). Za úspěchem ve vlnách: trénink vrcholových vodních slalomářů. Euromedia Group.
  2. Herrero, C. P., Jejurikar, N., & Carter, C. W. (2021). The psychology of the female athlete: how mental health and wellness mediate sports performance, injury and recovery. Annals of joint, 6, 38–38. https://doi.org/10.21037/aoj-20-53 
  3. Messias, L. H. D., dos Reis, I. G. M., Ferrari, H. G. y Manchado-Go-batto, F d B. (2014). Physiological, psychological and biome-chanical parameters applied in canoe slalom training: a review,International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 14(1), 24-41.
  4. Riera, J., Caracuel, J. C., Palmi, J. y Daza, G. (2017). Psicología y de-porte: habilidades del deportista consigo mismo. Apunts. Edu-cación Física y Deportes, 1(127), 82-93. https://doi.org/10.5672/apunts.2014-0983.es.(2017/1).127.09 
  5. Rocchi, M., & Pelletier, L. (2018). How does coaches’ reported interpersonal behavior align with athletes’ perceptions? Consequences for female athletes’ psychological needs in sport. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 7(2), 141–154. https://doi.org/10.1037/spy0000116
  6. Vives Ribó, J. y Costa- Sánchez, C. (2022). Uso de la práctica imaginada para el afrontamiento de la competición en piragüismoslalom. Revista de Psicología Aplicada al Deporte y al Ejercicio Físico, 7(2), Artículo e12. doi. 10.5093/rpadef2022a13

Contact Details

PhDr. JAN BUSTA, Ph.D.

Tel.: +420 774 241 412

E-mail: busta@ftvs.cuni.cz 

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