HOW BEST TO EMPOWER ATHLETES THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF A MENTAL SKILLS TRAINING PROGRAM
John Hogg has long been a leader in the dissemination of theoretical,
technical and practical knowledge pertinent to more effective swimming coaching
in Canada and around the world. His most recent contribution Mental
Skills for Swim Coaches, following on the heels of the publication
of the very well received Mental Skills for Competitive Swimmers
may in retrospect be deemed to be the catalyst and turning point in redressing
the balance between the development of the physiologically based skills
and the often lacking psychological skills in competitive swimming. Certainly
there is no other volume available to the coach which so well places into
perspective the specific mental skills necessary for success in swimming
as well as providing a comprehensive selection of useful tools to develop
and practice such skills. The book's twelve chapters collectively embrace
some 83 tables, 40 figures, appendices of 88 items, references and a comprehensive
selection of further readings.
This latest text, the culmination of practitioner Hogg's longstanding experience
as both coach and sport psychologist, offers the reader the opportunity
to appreciate the process of how best to facilititate a psychologically
healthy environment. This can lead to the creation of the desired 'bottom
line' for both athlete and coach-the ideal performance state (IPS). Hogg
is unequivocal in indicating his belief that it is the coach who is best
placed to undertake this responsibility within the framework of his or her
coaching philosophy. Where the latter is in need of refinement or delineation
the final chapter "The Ability to Develop and Live Out Your Coaching
Philosophy" gives appropriate direction. It provides both the necessary
cornerstone and springboard from which to launch into the reading of how
best to empower athletes through the development of a mental skills training
program. At the same time it is clearly recognized that mental skills alone
cannot compensate for limited technique, ability or commitment.
For coaches seeking to explain and apply meaningful psychological concepts
to their athletes, through the integration of mental skills into their overall
training programs, and the practice of these skills on a daily basis, this
book represents a tremendous resource and reference. Indeed it is sure to
warrant a place in the library of every coach who aspires to help their
charges 'be the best they can be.' It will further aid the coach in developing
the capacity to address problems that might impact on ideal performance
states. Those interested in learning more about further facets of the sport
of swimming, as well as the possible application of such strategies to other
aspects of their lives, will find this text equally rewarding and illuminating.
For the experienced swimmer it represents a fount of further knowledge and
extended workbook, which complements its companion and precursor volume
Mental Skills for Competitive Swimmers. For the young swimmer
the prospective book Mental Skills for Young Athletes, to
be published soon, should provide a valuable introduction to the mental
skills toolbox of the total competitor. It will also complete the trilogy
in this series of valuable texts.
At the foot of many pages in Mental Skills for Swim Coaches
is an inspirational message succintly reinforcing that of the book itself.
One such example might well apply to this work and its author: "A positive
thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible."
Reviewed by Professor Nigel Kemp, School of Recreation, Physical and Health
Education, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is also the university
swimming coach as well as a long-time member of the SNC/CSCA Swimming Education
and Certification Committee.
Mental Skills for Swim Coaches, by John M. Hogg, Ph.D.,
© 1995, 515 pp. $ 39.95 Cdn.
Published by Sport Excel Publishing Inc.,
P.O. Box 67045,
Tel: (403) 413-0086
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