ANXIETY STATES RELATED TO THE
PSYCHO-EMOTIONAL PREPARATION OF
PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYERS(Teil Eins)
OZIGBO ANGELA EKWUTOSI. PhD.
Director, National Teachers Institute.
Imo State, Nigeria.
Background To The Study
In recent years there has been an increasing amount of attention to the interrelationship of personality variables and psychology factors with athletic performance. Most of this work has been concerned with delineating personality traits of athletes, differentiating among individuals by sports, level of success etc. while some studies have looked specifically at football teams (straub 1971; Rushall 1970; Manel 1974), others have been more general. A number of personality measures have been used, and successful football players have been described as aggressive, ambitious, dominant etc (Ogiivie 1968; Ogiivie and Tutko, 1966, 1971). It is intent to expand upon the conception of psychology in sports which is defined by the use of personality trait theories and to explore more situations specific to psychological states and their relations to athletic performance.
Sports psychology in this country of concentrating on (and exhausting ) the usefulness of notions of stable personality traits parallels that of America psychology as a whole. As Michel (1968, 1969) and Bem (1972) have pointed out, the assumptions of the existence of cross situational.
Consistencies in behaviour, while partly warranted has served to impede our progress toward looking at the specific situational psychological determinants of behaviour. Singer (1972) has point out the muddled state of personality studies in sports in general, and Rushall (1972) has put forth evidence that personality variable are not related to football performance in particular. An alternative, then, is to look at more situational determinations of athletic behavior, both external to the athlete and within him. This paper is an attempt to study, in broad way, changing psychological emotional states of the individuals performer and the environment factors which influence these states. The focus here is on two professional football clubs namely (Rangers International of Enugu state and Udoji United Football club of Anambra state) but the issues dealt with here are equally applicable to other sports.
In contrast to work in this country, Soviet and Eastern European sport psychological have given attention to such pre and during competition. Factors and their effects on athletes, across personality types. Vanek and Cratty (1970) have summarized much of this work, which points out the important of both long and short term psychological readiness. Researchers like Sirotin (1973) and Genov (1970) have study what has been called “mobilization readiness” and have described some of the factors related to it, and ultimately, to successful performance. This work attempt to take the first steps in doing the same for Enugu and Anambra state professional football clubs, seeing what players feel is common to positive readying processes for all athletes.
The traditional emphasis on improved sport performance has focused upon the physical components of sports. The psychological aspects typical have consisted of various game strategies designed to manipulate the opposition. In some sports such as football, highly complex strategies or play- calling systems have rapidly become the preferred route to success. Efforts have focused upon extensive physical conditioning, mastery of fundamentals and strategies, and pep- talks which are some how intended to help players achieve optimal performance. Some of these techniques have been strikingly successful and wen et al (1987) stand out as the most renowned practitioners of this approach.
To make for a better understanding of this topic, it is important to draw to mind some of the key concepts therein which include psychology, sport psychology, psychological preparation, anxiety, emotional preparation and competition. Hornby (1978) defines psychology as science, study of the mind and its processes. This definition has something to do with behaviour since the mind is a determinant of behaviour. Alderman (1974) defines psychology as a science which studies behaviour of organisms in the environment and the why of particular responses to certain stimuli. He went further to define sport psychology as the study of athletes’ behaviour and emotional state of mind which result to certain performance in the field of play. Ikulayo (1990) defines sport psychology as a branch of sports science involving the science of psychology applied to sportsmen and women the athletic situations. Fits and Pesner (1973) yet describes sports situations, analyze and explain or describe in order to modify, alter or predict behavior through various psychological preparation of individuals for competitive situations is a process of directing and getting the mind set for a task. This is quite true since physical prowess cannot be achieved in isolation of the mind. Now that sports especially football is going scientific all over the world, the importance of getting players ready for competitions cannot be over emphasized. Anxiety is made up of stress and tension. Anxiety and stress can be used interchangeably in this study because their related. Therefore where we have stress, anxiety can be used. According to Martens (1977), competitive trait anxiety is a construct that describes individual differences in a tendency to perceive competition situation as threatening and to respond to these situations with A- state reactions of varying intensity. Hornby (1978) define emotion as stirring up the state of mind or feeling. Preparation is getting ready, coaching athletes for an attack, training to make fit for a task. He equally defined competition as an activity in which persons compete for instance in two professional football clubs namely Rangers intentional and Udoji united all in division one of the league table compete, contest in meeting at which skills, strength, knowledge etc are tested. It is in the light of the importance of psychology in sports that this topic on anxiety states related to the psycho-emotional preparation of professional soccer players in Enugu and Anambra states are craved. It is therefore the intension of the writer to have a critical look at this topic hence psycho- emotional balance is indispensable to good performance of athletes in any competition because according to Ravizza (1977), “winning is not everything. It is the only thing. Self doubt kills faster than a gun and those who win are those who believe they can win”. It is therefore necessary to make athletes believe they can win so that they will always win.
Well trained and habituated athletes in sports performance tend to express energy of their extreme excitation through their learned response. According to Venek et al (1970), they also understand more of emergency situations thereby acting more quickly, with greater force and precision, thereby improving their performance.
When preparing for competition, examination of athletes are done by the sports medicine physician to determine their fitness for competition. This helps to protect the athlete/player. It also helps them to be aware of their state of fitness thereby encouraging them to perform better.
It is during preparation that a complete understanding of the athlete, his problems, worries, essential sacrifices to win and the composite of characteristics that contribute to athletic success are achieved, Alderman (1974). The coach therefore knows how to get along with the athletes as they go through the preparations and game situating.
Good psycho-emotional readying guide athletic background in the areas of traditional and superstition. This is because some athletes believe in charm and occult influence during competition. The minds of athletes are better directed during preparations so that they go for exhibition of skills, techniques and experience than relying on the influences of charms.
Varied approaches are employed in an attempt to prepare athletes and improve their performance in sports and competition. Some of those approaches include the acquisition of proper skill and techniques of the sports and the perfection of those skills through established pattern of training. This is to ensue permanency in automation. It has been identified that skills alone do not produces high level performance in important competition. Thus, emphasis is now being laid on proper mental an psychological preparation for athletes during sports seasons Ikulayo (1990).
Statement of problem
Psychological preparation of athletes, a new dimension of athletic. Training is receiving fast attention only at the national level. In dealing with athletes, realizing that man’s behavior as a combination of many factors is important. Each situation ]has its own set of rules determining the behavior, social roles, language and even personality characteristics that are considered appropriate for the situation. These same conditions apply to athletes in competitive situations in Nigeria. The blame is always on athletes when they perform below expectation. The public fail to realize the circumstance that led to such performance.
When competition is drawing near, sports programme change and the behavior of athletes are affected. There is increase anxiety, stress and tension. If these are neglected and unattended, they may become unmanageably and affect their performance, Alderman (1974). This is why Ikulayo (1990) stresses that research finding should be utilized for solving serious athletes problems. Athletes mode of training should be taken seriously to take care of those factors that hinders their optimum performance. The importance of this aspect of sports training motivate Ogiivie (1968), to assert that preparation is to instill the ability to overcome psychological difficulties which may arise is the process of preparation and participation in football competition, by forming corresponding topical motive and assignments, regulating the athletes psychological state, conditional by the expectation of the coming competition or of a difficult training session, as well as prompt regulating of demonstration of emotion and will during competition. It is important to note that this presentation of the athlete is carried out by systematically over- coming gradually increasing difficulties, connected with performing the special preparation exercises stimulating competition under special conditions.
In working with athletes, the totality of man should be recognized; that is body and mind. Very often this is not done instead only the athletes physical aspects based on outcome of performance is assessed.
There is therefore the need to study the anxiety states related to the psycho-emotional preparation of professional soccer players. It is therefore necessary to investigate the psychological states related to the psycho- emotional preparation of professional soccer players. This is because the present situation does not relate to the ideal and the fact that the nature of sports psychology in the future will be determined by the research writing and practices of those now engaged in sport psychology.
Purpose of the study
The purpose of the study is to investigates the anxiety states related to the psycho-emotional preparation of professional soccer players in Enugu and Anambra states with a view to detecting most common psychological problems usually encountered by such player and then suggest solutions to such problems.
Specifically, the objective of the study will be:
1. To identify the types of stress commonly experienced by professional players prior to competition.
2. To determines the levels of anxiety encountered by players while preparing for competition.
3. to determine how the players handle emotional problems prior to competition.
The following research question have been formulated to provide direction for the research.
1. What specific stress problems are common between the professional soccer player prior to competition?
2. What anxiety level is encountered while preparing for competition?
3. How do the players handle emotional problems prior to competition.?
There will be no significant differences between the means of ratings of pre-competition stress in players of two professional clubs.
There will be no significant difference between the means of ratings of anxiety management techniques usually adopted by the two groups of players during preparation for soccer competition.
Significant of the study
This study is expected to provide basic data on the psychological problems usually encountered in preparation of professional football players of professional football clubs in Enugu and Anambra state. It will help coaches to know how to guide their players during football season. The study may indicates the need for employing the services of sports psychologists to football clubs in Enugu and Anambra state.
Furthermore, it will help to identify common stress and anxiety problems between professional players with a view to acquainting them with the consequences of such problems. It will also provide the players the techniques of identifying and handling such emotional problems.
Scope of study
The study focuses on anxiety states related to th psycho-emotional preparation of professional football players in two professional football clubs in Enugu and Anambra states. It is also specifically delimited to all the players of these two division one professional football clubs.
It is also delimited to the use of questionnaire (see Appendix A) as a means of data collection. The two division one clubs are chosen because of their relative nearness and traditional relationship existing between the two clubs
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
There is a dearth of related literature in the area of anxiety states related to the psycho-emotional readying of competition athletes. However, in recent years there is an increased awareness of the vital role of sports psychology in sports development. Consequently, a few attempts have been made to find ways and means of developing and conditioning athletes to enhance their performance. The literature review covered the following areas:
1. Preparation for competition
2. Importance of psychological preparation
3. Notes on anxiety, stress and tension.
4. Means, methods and techniques used in psychological preparations.
6. Sign of emotional problems.
7. Coach’s role
8. Handling stress
Preparation for Competition
Whiting (1972) defines competition as being concerned with striving against others or against the natural environment in order to being about some personal or group gain.
Gossack (1954) states that competition requires that an individual’s success leads to the failure of other group members. Grossack uses the success- failure criterion in which there is a distinguishable winner and a loser.
In another analysis Mason (1968) view competition as the striving to achieve an objective in a situation in which other competition attempting to achieve the same objective are of secondary factors. According to Kukushk in (1983), the first prerequisite for success in any activity lies, as is known in adequate preparation and high motivation.
The importance of this aspect of sport training motivation Ogiivie (1968) to assert that the main aim of the athletes special psychological preparation is to instill the ability to overcome psychological difficulties. They arise in the process of preparation and participation in competition by forming corresponding topical motives and assignments, regulating the athletes anxiety states conditioned by the expecting of the coming competition, as well as prompt regulation of demonstration of emotion and will during competition.
Umuasiegbu (1981) states that to do well Sports, regular and consistent preparation is very necessary for the athletes. Quite often athletes fail to receive adequate training before they engage in competitions. Lack of adequate training according to him, invariable affects the standard of their performance at competition.
Anyanwu (1979) similarly confirm that often, ill prepared athletes were turned out by a few interested school for competitions. The preparation of these athletes usually consisted of haphazard training by the game masters which were restricted to some evenings according to him. Anyanwu maintains that with scanty equipment, facilities and resources available, athletes were unable to receive adequate preparation before the engage in competitions. This situation, he lamented was worsened by the attitude of sports council which showed little attention at the ways and manner in which athletes were brought up.
Amuchie (1977) emphasize that every sport made special demand on over-load, intensity, powers, agility and endurance. For success to be achieved, the athletes must adapt to these factors through training and practices. He therefore advises that the frequency and duration of the training season should be the judicious choice of the coach or training. However, he warned that the coach should not work the athletes beyond the fatigue level. According to him the coach should employ the following techniques; model of training, intellectual training, psychological training.
Amuchie further states that model training implied the application of a combination of social, psychological and technical stresses in order to duplicate and replicable the condition which the athletes would meet when he face the opponent. This process he explain help the athletes to facilitate his conditioning and adaptation efforts under competition circumstance. In intellectual training he mention that tactful plays require a ot of intellectual exercise. In as far as this is true, the coach must prepare his athletes to meet the intellectual demand of their respective sports in the form of lectures, open discussions and reading about the tactics an strategies of the sports.
In the psychological training, Amuchie states that athletes possess varying psychological an personality traits which could be harnessed to improved the team athletic performance. Identification of such traits demand the services of a team psychologists.
The negligence on training athletes for competition attracts further the comments of Gillingham (1970) who confirms that a player who keeps himself fit year round has a much less difficult task at pre-season training when the time comes to get into top physical condition. What is considered the ideal here is to commence training a few days to the competition.
In an effort to find an improved system of training athletes, Duhu (1979) suggests that the present sporadic pre-competition to a negligible few who have distinguished themselves, should give way to a more careful planned and systematized teaching by resident sports administrators and physical Education experts who should manage all sports programme. Good preparation of athletes is a good steps towards improved performance at competition.
Olowoyo (1988) opines that excellence in sports performance is proceeded by physical readiness and physiological readiness which are acquired through adequate preparation. Oloyoyo went further to say that, there are several types of training specificities. According to him a number of forms of training is suggested to improve the athletes sports performance.
Importance of Psychological Preparation Singer (1986) observes that today, we are in a stage of transition in which coaches are more receptive to psychological preparatory methods that complements the basic physical training because they have begin to recognized the importance of these method in obtaining optimal performance. He further explains that only limited attempts have been made to enhance the participant’s psychological preparation for significant contests.
Writing further on the importance of psychological preparation, Watson (1983) states that in the realm of international sports, there is much more emphasis on psychological preparation and training.
Perhaps this is why Moran (1980) points that coaches and sports scientists around the world have become increasingly interested in the psychological aspects of sport. He further put is that extensive research has focused on wide range of topics such as personality profiles of athletes.
Singer (1986) maintains that the psychological factors consist of personal, motivational and mental factors. He notes that to achieve excellence in sporting events, all of these factors have to interact to enable the athletes to reach a harmonious state of readiness physically, mentally and psychologically. He stresses that this reason accounts for poor performance of skillful athletes in big sporting competitions.
Gross, kiley and Mazenco (1987) examined the purpose of psychological assessment of athletes. They identified and described four main procedures through which detail psychological profiles can be made: interviews, observation of athletes, questionnaire administration and coach reports.
Owen, Neville, lee, Christina (1987) considers a range of possible goals for psychological intervention in sports. Muthiah (1981) holds the views that in the psychological preparation of athletes, various activities and performance tests are conducted before they participate in any competition. He also realizes that these test are conducted to ensure that the athletes are in top form to be able to perform their best in competition and they are mainly of two types, psychological tests and psycho-motor tests.
According to Vanek et al, (1970), well trained and habituated athletes in sports performance understand more of emergency situation thereby acting more quickly, with greater force and precision, thereby improving their performances. Morris (1982) rightly point out that in order to make appropriate decisions, players must have to use their ‘soccer brains’. According to him, analysis of an international soccer game between France and Argentina reveal that there were 2622 ball contacts, each preceded by a tactical decision. This is why ken (1981) illustrates the competitive attitudes as saying: “winning isn’t as important as doing well individually”. Anyanwu (1981) also writes that in the history of sports, the general philosophy is that what matters in a competition is how well a participant performs and not whether he losses or wins.
Straub (1978) is of the view that during preparation for competition, athletes are made to understand and practice ease of manner and the sensing of audience reaction. He stressed that adequate preparation gives athletes the understanding mind of offensive and defensive techniques employed by their own team as well as their opponent.
According to Alderman (1974), it is during preparation that a complete understanding of the athlete, his problems, worries, essential sacrifices to win and the composite of characteristics that contribute to athletic success are achieved. He points that the coach therefore knows how to get along with the athlete as they go through the preparations and game situation.
As athletes prepare for competitions, Singer (1986) states that motivation is much higher and places the athlete on a good state to perform better. He notes that a good psychological preparation guide athletic background in the area of tradition and superstition so that they go for exhibition of skills, techniques and experiences order than relying on the influence of charms.
Davey (1985) identifies that without adequate knowledge about the individuals and their psychological characteristics, not much could be achieved in sports especially their responses to competitive situations.
Anxiety, stress and tension
Wayne and Bruce (1983) state that nearly every concern of human endeavour is thought to be affected somehow by anxiety. A number of theories exist concerning the effects of anxiety on performance, and while there seems to be an interaction effect between the amounts of anxiety necessary to maximally perform certain specific tasks, all theories seem to agree that maximum performance is reduced by too much anxiety.
Power (1982) similarly confirms that the effects of anxiety in sport have been well documented in research. Cox (1986) maintains that anxiety appears to pervade the highest level of structured competition and there are numerous anecdotal examples of athletes ‘chocking’ in important games.
Landers (1980) emphasizes that, in the sport of soccer, there is an apparent paradox in that the performer typically requires thigh levels of arousal to cope with the substantial element of physical contact and yet there is the danger that this may be super ceded by anxiety which may eventually impair perceptual awareness, speed and flexibility of decision making and the precision of movement coordination.
In the study of Dowthwaite and Armstrong (1984) preliminary data were presented suggesting that anxiety levels in soccer players may be differentiated according to the perceived level of competitive intensity of the forth coming matches. He further states that the main findings indicated that soccer players are more anxious immediately prior to matches than after and that is a function of perceived competitive intensity of the impending event.
Sarason (1980) affirms that athletes are confronted with a variety of situational demands which pertain to performance evaluation, skill acquisition and improvement, and social interaction, represent “call for action” to which the individual must respond. Sarason went further to say that, many people view these demands primarily as sources of challenge and excitement.
Martens (1977) states that competitive trait anxiety as a personality disposition was an outgrowth of two important distinctions made in the general anxiety literature. The first distinction is between the constructs of state anxiety and trait anxiety. According to Spielberger (1972), “State anxiety (A - state) may be conceptualized as a transitory emotional state or condition of the human organism that varies in intensity and fluctuates over time. This condition is characterized by subjective, consciously perceived feelings of tension and apprehension, and activation of the autonomic nervous system”. In other word, state anxiety is an immediate or “right now” emotional response that can change from one moment or situation to the next. For example, a person’s state anxiety might be low the night before an athletic contest, moderate the morning of the event, rise steadily as the contest draws near and return to a low or moderate level once the activity begins.
In contrast to above, Mischel (1971) states that trait anxiety is sometimes thought of as representing a person’s characteristics overall level of anxiety. Spielberger (1972) defined more formally trait anxiety (A-Trait) as a relatively stable individual differences in anxiety proneness, that is , to difference in the disposition to perceive a wide range of stimulus situation as dangerous or threatening, and in the tendency to respond to such threats with A - state reactions. Martens (1977) notes that high trait- anxious persons may perceive more situations as threatening than low trait- anxious persons, respond to threatening situation with higher state of anxiety, or both. That is high competition trait anxious (high-CTA) people appraise competition as more threatening and respond with anxiety more frequently or intensely than low competition trait- anxious (low CTA) people.
Gerson and Deshales (1978) state that there is psychological concomitant of anxiety and their relation to sport performance. Singer (1975) therefore says that more complex movements require a different explanation of the relationship between anxiety and performance.
Hull (1943) and Duffy (1962) went further to state that the relationship between anxiety and performance has often been explained by two theories:
(a) drive theory postulates a linear relationship between arousal and performance as the arousal level of a person increases the performance level also increase
(b) inverted u hypothesis postulates a curvilinear relationship between arousal (anxiety ) level and performance. Martens (1971) seem to indicate that there seems to be an optional level of arousal which result in a maximum performance as too little or too much arousal results in performances which are submaximal.
Neeves (1982) views stress as the way human beings respond to condition as there is a tendency for an occurrence of fatigue, breakdown in human perceptual mechanisms, or even a damage to the system of the body which will result into mental or physical failure. Coleman (1978) added that although stress is a part of life, all human being are constantly under stress and anything deliberately sought or accidentally found, pleasant or unpleasant has a degree of pressure (stress) associated with it.
Reilly, Lees, Davids and Murphy (1988) indicate that there are many definitions of stress but an internatonally accepted interpretation is provided by a Canadain researcher of Hungarian origin Hans Selye. Selye (1978) states that stress is viewed as a form of arousal accompanying all activities with is specifically linked with specification of task demands on the performer. He describes a low level of stress as characterized with lack of alertness and excitation, the result always of poor performance or substandard production of work as evidence in activities lacking adequate motivation, stimulation, cheering while excessive stress tends to reduce efficiency, effectiveness and general productivity. He indicates that only at a moderate level of stress can people perform their best.
Rachman (1978) stresses that persons who cannot stand athletic stress which is inevitable part of sports tend to get weeded out at early ages. He studied persons able to resist highly stressful situations and found the top members of the crews to be posses the same calmness, now known as the “Right stuff as have certain athletes such as Henry cooper (boxes ).
Bell (1976) states that there is no pain in sports but pain is when the athlete is sick or injured as pain is bad while sport is fun. Ravizza (1977) confirms this by saying that if athletes do not enjoy their sport participation and the cause of that stress. He went further to states some of the common sources of stress as competition stress, unrealistic goals, overly demanding training schedules, coaches, unrealistic self -perceptions, conflicting social values surrounding sports, and inadequate social support.
According to Nitsch (1981) stress can be perceived from a biological, psychological and sociological perspective. He also observe that various stressors from a specific environment and particular tasks may result in a distillation of a person, the consequences of long-lasting and severs psycho-physiological, psychological and sociological stressors which can either be overload in terms of fatigue or emotional stress or underload in terms of monotony and satiations.
According to the study of Trzeciak et al (1981), the heart rates of soccer coacher changed in relation to individual factors and specific game situations. He went further to state that the heart rates of 14 out of 18 professional coaches showed an average of 104 beats/mins. Half an hour before the start of the observed games while during the games, the heart rates varied between 108 and 156 beats/mins.
Biener (1986) investigates psychological stress and analyzed specific stress factors and coping strategies in 227 soccer coaches by means of a questionnaires. 83% as physiological load and 19% as the feeling of pressure from all sides, continuous criticism, fear of losses and necessity of success. Of the coaches 79% evaluated the feeling of stress during the game as medium to high, whereas only 21% experienced only a low degree of stress. Concerning coping strategies, the coaches frequently mentioned conversations with their partners or family member, physical activity, walking, relaxation procedures, watching TV and sleeping for long periods.
In his study following problems of stress of soccer coaches were analyzed as -stress in terms of evaluations of specific environment and success/failure related aspects.
Cratty (1974) observes that when an athlete first learns that the is to compete, or when he is selected for competition, he is activated. According to him, it is during this period that tension sets in to take control of the athletes, his motivation is high and he taints hard to prepare himself for the coming competition.
Mughiah (1981) notes that the pre-performance activation level indicate three main phases, namely:
I. . long period tension when the athlete learns that he has to participate in the competition, the activation level tends to increase gradually and he is exceptionally highly motivated to work hard;
II. Pre-start tension occurs just a day two before the competition and is marked by peak tension level and may be accompanied by little work in actual training;
III. The third period will start a few minutes before the start of competition, when the athlete enters the environment of the competition.
Means, Method, And Techniques Used In Psychological Preparation
Sulnn (1980) states that visual motor Behavioral Rehearsal is a method used successfully by American athletes and Australian footballers and is a combination of what coaches may know as mental practice and behavior modification techniques. The method has three steps relaxations, practice of imagery and use of imagery for strengthening motor skills.
Jacobsen (1938) similarly confirms that the method of relaxation is identical with that suggested for progressive relaxation. Jacobsen maintains that after relaxation the footballers practice mental imagery of themselves performing particular skills used during the game. He laments that this imagery of behavior rehearsal is more than sheer imagination- it is a well controlled copy of a previous experience, a practicing in the brain of specific muscle movements.
According to Jacobsen, the final step is to use imagery in the actual playing of the game or preparation for the event and, if possible, visualizing opponents or team- mates so that when the time comes for actual event the situation has been rehearsed many times, De vore and De Vore (1981) emphasizes that sybervision is a most recent innovation as a method of psychological preparation. He therefore advised that it is a form of muscle memory programming whereby a previously perfectly-performed skill is imprinted (tattooed) on the brain. According to him, sybervision consists of the performer watching himself perform perfected skills for many hours. He believes that this watching of perfection imprints the techniques on the brain so that this skill may be reproduced in the pressure of competition.
Nideffer and Sharpe (1978) went further to state that attention control training (ACT) occurs after having identified the strengths and weaknesses in an athlete’s profile and is especially useful for footballers who are overloaded either externally or internally. Tension, anxiety and pressure he mention may inhibit the footballer causing confusion and hence cognitive over load.
Unestahl (1983) indicated that inner mental training is a programme which requires approximately 20 min, daily for five days a week, lasting twelve weeks. He states that the most important aims of the first six weeks are to lower basic tension, to increase tension - regulative ability whereby situational control is replaced by increased self-control, and learning alternate state of consciousness.
According to Ebeze (1994) amnesia is one of the major problems of athletes preparing for competition. It involves forgetfulness leading to mental confusion.
Harris and Harris (1984) state that on some occasions, athletes appear to have selective or even total amnesia; they cannot remember anything about the performance even though they played exceptionally well. Some have misinterpreted this as being in an altered state because they were so highly trained and athletically capable and could execute their movements without being aware of what was happening to them. Harris and Harris maintain that a well- learned skill becomes automated to the point that it is no longer governed by conscious thought, but directed from some lower level of consciousness similar to individuals walking in their sleep or even driving for a period of time while sleeping.
Harries and Harries went further to state that despite these facts, some athletes say, “I hardly remember anything that happened, I just remember to take -off, then I was in the water”, or, I only remember anything I saw in the film after the race as I cannot remember anything about the race itself. It was as though I did run in it. He explains that when these types of experiences occur, it is difficult for the athlete to understand what went into that performance or how to recreate the situation so that they can perform at the same level again. He mentions that few athletes can manage superior performance while they are so highly aroused that they cannot process relevant cues. In maximizing your performance, the concentration during the competition should be such that your thoughts are continuously clear.
Active and monitoring everything that is going on during the performance.
Signs Of Emotional Problems
Fitts and Pesner (1973) stresses that the sports psychologist should endeavor to assist in stabilizing the emotions of the athletes so in spite of all the problems associated with competition, they are still able to cope and perform well through psyching processes. This is done by the direct application of various psychological principles to the athletes before, during and after competition through stress reduction and management mechanisms in order to achieve the stated objectiveness.
According to Nitsch (1981), various stressors from a specific environment and particular tasks may result in destabilization of a person. The consequences of long -lasting and severe psych-physiological, psychological and sociological emotions can either be overload in terms of monotony and satiation.
Trzeciak et al (1981) observe that the psycho- physiological emotion of soccer coacher before, during and after games is apparently high as the heart rates of soccer coaches changed in relation to individual factors and specific game situation. He further maintains that the psycho- physiological stress of soccer coaches before and during games can reach a high level and fear of losing, bad results at the beginning, at the middle and before the end of the season can mean high psychological emotion. This was why Grassarth- Maricek et al. (1990); Kosbowsck and Maoz (1988) thought that sport situation have an influence on the athletes behavior adapted thus in a team as well as in teams of personality profile.
Reilly (1979) maintains that only a limited amount of research concerned with coaching in soccer and soccer coachers has been done despite the roles they play. He noted that for a footballer to reach his maximum potential, he needs the assistance of coach including others.
Davey (1977) identify that in Australian Rules Football is possible for the coach to test the player’s skill in kicking (left and right foot), handball (left and right), marking, bouncing the ball and so on, to identify various strength and weaknesses.
Parkin et al (1984) observe that the coach with his exercise physiologists can help the players fitness in cardio - respiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular power, speed, agility and flexibility.
Writing further on the role of coacher, Martens and Peterson (1971) state that in the organizational structure of the football club, relatively firmly established roles are assigned to such figures as the coach, team captain, regular players, substitutes, senior and junior players. Carron(1982), Landers et al (1982) stress that interactive sport teams are substantially dependent on the group orientation and cohesiveness of all members.