SWIMNEWS ONLINE: August 1996 Magazine Articles

Shopping Media Kit Trial Issue Swim Camp Directory



Nigel Kemp

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,
Edmonton, Alberta,
T5R 5Y3
Tel: (403) 413-0086

Home | E-Mail | Top of Page | Aug 96 Contents | Magazine
Mag Archives | Calendar | World Rankings | Meet Results | Links to Sites
Photo Library | Biographies | Forums | Shopping | Classifieds

COPYRIGHT © 1995-1998 SWIMNEWS MAGAZINE, All Rights Reserved.
URL: http://swimnews.com