To implement the project activity “S.P.E.E.R – Sports in Peers” the group of young athletes from different sports gathered together 8 times in August and September, 2017, to get to know sports psychology and its aspects better. The group represented a wide spectrum of different sports: athletics, bodybuilding and fitness, canoe, floorball, frisbee, gymnastics, inline hockey, orienteering, powerlifting, skiing, sleddog sports, table tennis.
During the meetings the young athletes were introduced with the importance of psychological training both in regular trainings and competitions. They became aware of the pre-competition states, competition states, stress, anxiety and different emotions. They also learnt different regulation methods, such as breathing exercises and water drinking exercises, to effectively cope with stress and negative emotions. They were introduced with the psychological aspects of eating disorders and disturbed eating habits in sport as well as psychological reasoning for sports injury trauma and rehabilitation. To train the skills of becoming aware of different kind of emotions – both positive and negative – the youngsters worked in pairs and taught and learnt each other’s sports. They also analyzed the problem situations in sport and played the role games for solving the problem. The problems in role game tackled such situations as acute sports injury, elevated anger level when facing the inadequate decision of the referee, a misunderstanding between the athlete and his coach and also ethical decision regarding prohibited substance use. To understand better the support, the young people played the “positive rumors” activity.
They also worked in groups to define what is important within their sport and sports in general as well as worked on basic principles of psychological preparation in their own sport. The young athletes realized that being strong in mind is as important as being physically strong and admitted that these activities have helped them to understand the importance of mental preparation in sport better, also regarding the ethical decision making in sport.