Sports Case Studies

Senior GAA Club Football Team

At Motiv8 we work in all sports and our aim is the same regardless of the discipline an athlete is engaged in – we seek to learn and understand what their aims and goals are and design a programme that best helps them achieve those goals.

Mental Conditioning in Sport:

Regardless of whether we are asked to engage with an individual athlete or a sports team, at the start of a season, we will link with the management to determine what they believe Motiv8 needs to bring to their season and from listening to that we can set out a programme of interventions across the season.

If this involves a team these interventions can be based on the whole group (full squad), small groups (Forwards/Defenders/Substitutes) or individuals. The interventions too can be tailored to be, not just information giving or practical exercises, but a mixture of both which highlight areas in need of improvement and the corresponding suggestions to improve those. We also seek to work with the coaches/management to bring mental strengthening exercises into their training routine so that there are always real life implementations of the skills we impart in the players.

An Example Programme:

A Senior GAA Club Football Team – with no championship win in 20+ years, no first round win in a number of years and a new management set up.

Motiv8 and Management Agreed – four Mental Skills Sessions prior to the first game of the championship

Session 1. Introduction to the Importance of Mental Skills – this session allows Motiv8 to introduce itself but also offered the management an opportunity to have a “neutral professional” ask questions of the panel that they might not get honest answers to.

- Without speaking about individuals – What was your HONEST assessment of the team’s performance last year? – What do you believe is a realistic goal for this season? – What do you believe needs to be done to achieve that goal this season?

These three were directed at the group as a whole and they answered them in smaller groups.

These two were considered by each individual separately and they wrote their three targets on a separate card which they brought home with them (but management also recorded these so that they would know exactly what ever single player was committing to).

- What goals do you have for yourself? – What three targets will you set for yourself to improve before the first game of the season?

Session 2. This session built upon the goals of the first night and was designed to provide skills to the group which can help them stay positive and focused in an intense session or match.

Session 3. The third session is about creating a stronger confidence in the squad that they are making strides toward their goals. This session was tailored, in conjunction with the management, to bring the upcoming championship match into focus and to narrow their attention to those elements that they can control between now and that match. Being Positive and Managing Nerves were the themes of this session.

Session 4. Pre-match preparation – this session was done on the day of the championship match. In this example Motiv8 attended the match and gave a short talk in the dressing room aimed at both calming the players and centreing their focus on the controllable areas of their performance. This is all very well talked through with management over the week beforehand. Motiv8 also linked in with the management prior to both half-time talk and full time talks.

After the pre-agreed sessions were concluded the following programme was put in place:

-Throughout the championship campaign from that point Motiv8 remains engaged with the management on the phone and we provided pointers as to how to maintain progress and keep the players motivated across the season. At all times the Motiv8 professional was available to the individual players (via phone) who may have a question or want to discuss a particular issue.

-As Championship Semi-Final arrives – Pre-match preparation (night before) session was designed and delivered by Motiv8 to highlight the progress made, remind the players of what their individual goals were and to cement the positive lessons learned since January of the year.

The result for the season was a very tough loss, by a small margin, in the County Semi-final but by the agreement of all there was a huge amount of progress made, as a team and as a club, which everyone agreed will stand them in good stead for the next season. The aim of this management was to bring a back a pride in being part of this team and most especially to get the best out of their players whom they felt had been underperforming for a number of years. By unanimous agreement they have managed to do both and because of that they feel confident that even more can be achieved in the next few years.

Motiv8 Performance Excellence is set up to help you get the best out of your players by using our expertise in combination with your knowledge and understanding of those players and by teaching skills that can assist in improving all players from the captain to the 15th substitute.

Talk to us about how to help you whether you are an individual athlete or the manager of a club with 20 teams.

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