Mental Skills in Action: An Inside Look at a BHP Workshop

Have you ever thought to yourself, “What is Sport and Performance Psychology?” In my role as a mental performance consultant, I’m routinely having conversations about mental skills and how they can be integrated into performance training. So, this month we are offering you an inside peek at what it looks like to bring mental skills training to life. To provide as much context as possible, I’ll walk through BHP’s four-step workshop process while referencing an example client.

Step One: Let’s Get to Know Each Other!

BHP prides itself on offering programming that responds to the specific needs, and culture of each organization. To honor this priority, the first step in every workshop process is to investigate the perceived concern. For example, let’s say a studio owner notices that her middle school dancers become particularly frustrated when they do something new or make a mistake.

Step Two: Let’s Get to Planning

After gathering more information on the organization’s training, competition, and performance schedules, I’ll look for potential opportunities to integrate a workshop into that existing schedule. This may require some problem-solving, but it offers a chance for mental skills to be incorporated into dance training, without being something extra to be accounted for.

The next step is to narrow down topics or themes using the contextual information I’ve gathered. In the case of our example client, it seems as though the key mental skills to address are motivation and a growth mindset.

Step Three: It’s Go Time

Every workshop includes a series of engaging activities, discussions, and reflective prompts that relate to the overall theme. For our example group of dancers, I’ve prepared a fun activity involving chopsticks and marshmallows.

Directions: Select 4 volunteers (group 1) that don’t know how to use chopsticks. Task them with placing mini marshmallows in a bowl using chopsticks. Select 4 volunteers (group 2) that are familiar with how to use chopsticks. Task them with placing mini marshmallows in a bowl that is across the room.

Following this activity, I would ask the dancers, “In order to complete the activity to your best ability, what did you have to do?” and “What was your initial reaction when you realized how challenging it was?”

This organically leads the conversation into our themes of motivation and growth mindset. I would encourage the dancers to shift their mindset to understand that challenge and effort are signs of opportunity and learning.

Step Four: Let’s Chat

I always make it a priority to follow up with the main point of contact after a workshop. These conversations are a chance to gather feedback and discuss key takeaways from the workshop experience. This final step highlights the essence of a BHP partnership; I deeply value the input from my clients and always view these follow-up sessions as an opportunity to brainstorm and get inspired for what’s to come.

Regardless of the topic or circumstance, mental skills take time and effort to implement and therefore, it will take a few sessions to witness tangible results. The most important part of this process is to ensure consistency. The more they interact with BHP and learn about the mental side of performance, the more likely they are to understand its relevance in their own performance journey!

If this sneak peek raised your interest in mental skills training, I would love to connect with you and continue the conversation!

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