IBB Polonia London to continue working with Star Mentality

In 2023/2024 IBB Polonia London started working with Star Mentality; sports psychology is a dynamically evolving aspect of psychology, but it is a field that is growing year on year. Please read our interview with Rifat Hussein.

What in your opinion can sport psychology change?

Rifat Hussein: Sport psychology is a dynamic field that plays a crucial role in enhancing various aspects of athleticperformance and overall well-being. Its impact extends beyond the physical, delving into the mental and emotional dimensions of athletes. Sport psychology can lead to numerous positive changes in areas such as:

  • Performance Optimization: By honing mental skills such as focus and imagery, athletes can elevate their performance levels and consistently achieve their best.
  • Mental Toughness: Developing resilience enables athletes to navigate challenges, setbacks, and pressure situations with composure and confidence.
  • Team Dynamics: Sport psychology interventions can foster effective communication and teamwork, among squadmembers, contributing to a more harmonious and high-performing group.
  • Stress Management: Athletes often face intense pressure, and sport psychology equips them with tools to manage stress, anxiety, and maintain a balanced mental state during competition.

In essence, working with a mental performance coach can help athletes unlock their full potential and promote their overall well-being.

When it comes to volleyball, is sport psychology the same as in different sports, or is it more or less the same in every discipline?

Rifat Hussein: While the foundational principles are applicable across various sports, each sport, including volleyball, possesses its unique set of challenges. Volleyball, being a fast-paced, team-oriented sport, places specific demands on athletes that may differ from individual sports or other team sports. Sport psychology interventions tailored to volleyball may include:

  • Team Cohesion: Emphasizing the importance of trust and mutual support within the volleyball team to enhance collaboration and unity.
  • Concentration and Timing: Addressing the unique focus and timing requirements in volleyball, where split-second decisions and precise coordination are vital for success.
  • Pressure Situations: Recognizing the high-pressure situations, such as during critical points in a match or tight sets andimplementing strategies to thrive under pressure.
  • Adaptability: Helping athletes cope with the dynamic nature of volleyball, where adaptability to changing game states is crucial.
  • Tailoring interventions to the specific demands of volleyball ensures a more targeted and effective approach.

Is it important to work with sport psychologists as a young player?

Rifat Hussein: Absolutely, working with a sport psychologist at a young age can provide invaluable benefits to aspiring athletes. The formative years of athletic development are not solely about physical skills but also about establishing a strong mental foundation.

Young players can learn basic mental skills early on, such as goal-setting and positive self-talk, which can accelerate their skill acquisition and overall development. Also, navigating challenges and learning from loses in sports, we as mental performance coaches, can help guide young players through these important experiences.
Instilling mental skills from a young age sets the foundation for long-term success in sports, but also most importantly fosters their holistic development. We ensure that young athletes not only excel in their sporting domain, but also maintain a healthy mindset, emotional well-being, and a balanced lifestyle.

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