Practitioners within sport are required to deal with a range of emotions. These emotions can relate to both positive and negative experiences. Good practitioners will be able to notice emotions amongst their performers and have the ability to deal with them accordingly. Three key elements related to emotions are provided within this article.
- Identify emotions
Coaches that display high levels of emotional intelligence are more likely to recognise emotions of others. This is important because it enables early opportunities to provide interventions to support performers. A practitioner should encourage performers to identify their emotions through initial identification. Emotions can be easily identified if we write down how we feel when positive and how we feel when we are negative. Making a list of positive and negative emotions enable us to sketch images that make us self-aware of both body language (display) and mental attitude (thoughts).
KEY AIM: To enable performers to identify their own emotions.
Following identification of these emotions it is recommended that performers start to reflect. Reflection is important as it enables performers to better understand emotions in certain situations. Through reflection, performers can become in-tune with their feelings and thoughts. These feelings and thoughts could facilitate future performance levels.
It is therefore postulated that there is a relationship between identification and reflection. An easy to follow strategy that could be implemented by practitioners is the traffic light approach. The RED is stopping to identify emotions (positive and negative); the AMBER is associated to getting ready to take action; the GREEN is relative to action planning.
KEY AIM: To enable performers to understand the impact emotions have on performance (both positive and negative).
- Analysis of emotions
All good coaches and performers will analyse their performance levels. Mentally tough performers are keen learners and believe performance levels increase as a result of analysis.
Practitioners should encourage analysis that related to identifying strengths and areas to improve. Performers who analyse and reflect are more likely to succeed. Through analysis performers are readily self-aware of their emotions.
KEY AIM: To enable performers to analyse their performance levels to increase opportunity for future emotional balance
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About Gobinder Gill
Gobinder is a lecturer in Sport Psychology and Research Methods at Birmingham Metropolitan College in the West Midlands.