Sport Psychology: An "Awfulizing" Session Helps a One-Sided Defeat

Dick Moss, Editor, PE

Your team has just suffered a one-sided defeat.  How do you handle that long, quiet bus ride home?

Why not lighten the mood and minimize the importance of the loss by “awfulizing”?  Invite your players and coaches to describe their bad plays and share their negative emotions…and to do it loudly, and all at once!  Just say “Go!” and vocalize away.

Once the wave of strong feelings passes, ask the team when they'd like to do the game analysis.

Why it Works
Your students will vent their frustrations, realize they aren't the only ones feeling badly and end up laughing at the sight of the entire group pitying themselves at maximum volume. And there's a sense of anonymity that students might feel comforting, since everyone is shouting at the same time.

1. Jane P. Jones (PhD), and Kathleen A. O'Connell (MS), (U. of Wisconsin—Stevens Point), “Mindcoaching.” Wisconsin Association of Health, Physical Education and Dance (WAHPERD) Journal, September 1991.
2. Pierre Provost, Mental Training For Winning: Accelerated Inner Game Secrets of Sport Psychology [Kindle Edition], Amazon Digital Services, 2012.

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© 2011, Physical Education Update,

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