Sports psychology: creating the right vibe in your training is vital for ensuring a productive session

If you are training where there is a good vibe your performance will improve!

I was training 3 athletes in the gym a couple of weeks ago, they were doing one of my usual warm ups, no music, no shouting, no distractions. The three were focused and busy.  Another coach walked in, and said “I wish I was training now, rather than earlier, there is a good vibe.” The three athletes were all teenage boys, and were good examples of how young people can train.What is a vibe? Is it something we can create, or something we can enhance?

If you are training where there is a good Vibe, then you will probably find that time passes quickly, and you get better results and satisfaction from your training activity.

When on holiday recently I was going for a morning run on a footpath from the campsite, through some woods along a coastal path. The path was uneven, with tree roots, steps and other obstacles. I had to pay attention to every step that I was taking. The air was clear and fresh, the sun was sparkling on the sea, and I didn’t know what was around the corner. I was fully engaged in the run and was not thinking of anything else.

Compare that to walking into a commercial gym, stepping onto a treadmill and plugging in headphones and watching breakfast television, whilst trying not to listen to dance music or adverts in the gym itself. The gym is telling you that the run is something to be endured, and that watching tv is a more beneficial activity.

Which run is more likely to create a vibe?

Here are some tips on creating a vibe in your training sessions:

  1. Have a purpose: It is next to impossible to get a good training session under way if you don’t know what you are going to do. For me, it always starts with the warm up, if this is done correctly then the session will follow well. Don’t give yourself or the athletes an opportunity to ease into it. Have a purpose for the session and then make sure the warm up is related to it.
  2. Have an environment with no distractions: Easier said than done, but if there is a group of you, it is better to train in an empty facility with limited equipment, than a super duper facility surrounded by numpties. Better to run outside, away from traffic, than on a busy road. Again, we are victims of circumstance and environment, but try and do what you can. That might mean going to the gym at quieter times, or earlier in the morning.  Music can be part of it, but should be background, not overwhelming.
  3. Get good training partners: You don’t have to train with other people, but if you do, then make sure they are there to work and improve too. I train groups of athletes from different sports, but they work well together because they are all dedicated to improving. Competitive banter is part of it, but mickey taking isn’t. They can afford to make mistakes in the gym, because that helps them learn. The competition is partly with each other, but mostly for themselves.
  4. Positive feedback: Finish on a good note- well done, good job, and then some points to take forward for the next session. You can pat yourself on the back, and then think how that has helped you become a better athlete.

I hadn’t thought about creating a vibe until someone else pointed it out to me, but it is something I will try and focus on now.  I hope you can get the vibe soon too!

James Marshall

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