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Stronger Athletes

Safe, Effective Strength Training for Athletes

March 22 "Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." —Douglas Adams

Mental Conditioning

At the recent 2002 National Strength & Science Seminar in Blaine, Minnesota, Nicole Black-Lavoi, Ph.D. Student at the University of Minnesota, gave an informative seminar of preparing the athletic mind for top performance. She emphasized that the prevailing myth that the use of imagery is NOT sports psychology. Rather, sport psychology should be thought of as finding the most efficient means to motivate an athlete.

Intrinsic motivation, (the self-determination that an athlete uses to push them self), claims Black, burns deep and lasts longer than any form of "pep talk." Find out what that athlete desires from athletics and fuel the fire. She addressed the following points that coaches can use to develop intrinsic motivation from their athletes.

Black gave several other examples of athlete motivation but these were the ones that I felt were the most applicable to strength coaches. She made a great point is saying, "You coaches have sat here all day discussing ways to develop the body without paying a single moment of attention to the development of the mind." I concur. Coaches, this is an untapped element of many athletic programs, imagine a weight room full of excited athletes who are intrinsically motivated to getting stronger. Wow! That would be a fun place to work.

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