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Awareness, Strength and Skill
26 August 2017

Diving WA and Gymnastics WA: Psychology Workshop

26th August 2017, DSR
Story by Kat Downie, WAIS Swimmer, 2012 Paralympics 


I had a great time with Jesse Phillips and Gymnastics WA and Diving WA learning about how awesome the brain is!

I've had a couple of workshops with some of the kids before so it was great to see a few familiar faces!



Mental strength is imperative to being a great athlete. All the top athletes in the world use sport psychology. This workshop is based on the basics of sport psychology - awareness, strength, skill.

Awareness is simple, it's acknowledging that your brain has power over you. Power to change the outcomes of your goals and that it is the best weapon in your arsenal.  Like I said before - all top athletes have mental awareness which enables them to compete to the best of their ability. 

Strength is figuring out what strengths or weaknesses lie in your individual personality. Are you an introvert or an extrovert. Specifically, you can learn what actions you can take to tap into the key fundamentals of your personality to use them to your advantage.

As an activity we got the athletes to partake in a miniature personality test to identify where they sat in the spectrum of introvert and extrovert. I say spectrum because whilst you can have dominate features of one personality there is always just a little bit of the other residing inside of you. It's always interesting when the personality doesn't match what the individual originally thought of themselves. However that is all part of being aware of where your strengths lie.


For the Skills aspect of the workshop we looked at different ways you can tap into your brain and use the secret talents it possesses. Like mental imagery - repetitive realistic visual images of skills or of race routines. Or mindfulness - breathing exercises to make sure you are present in the moment as in being process focus rather than outcome focused.

Jesse lead a very brief mindfulness exercise. Taking the athletes through a very simple step by step process to reach a state of relaxation. By that point we were almost at the end of our Workshop so the athletes were almost falling asleep!!!

The athletes were an absolute pleasure to work with and we all had the best time! It was a little bitter sweet with this being my last DC workshop but I was glad it was with these dedicated enthusiastic athletes! I wish you all the very best on your journey.

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