The importance of mental preparation, the nerve center of performance – Les Nouvelles configurations

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Many professionals agree that the mind has a much larger role in performance than we like to attribute to it. Expressing your best physical condition on every outing is indeed complex, a luxury that few athletes can boast of. So if we add head-to-head confrontation with opponents, uncertainty about the environment or even risk, we understand the complexity of athletic performance. Today, we are talking about the mental preparation of athletes and coaches, which can be a real advantage!

New decks

Introducing Les Nouvelles Formations (LNF), an organization specializing in e-learning training for mental preparation that told us about its goal: to support athletes and coaches in their quest for excellence by providing them with the necessary knowledge in mental preparation. LNF is the leader in e-learning for mental preparedness in sports in France.

What is the application in the practice of rowing?

In slalom, being able to visualize and then complete an error-free course without running it before, despite the risks, requires even more visualization! In Olympic races or extreme kayaking, at every moment, every stroke of the paddle has to be the right one. Overall, whether you’re a top-level athlete with irreplaceable, tailored physical training, or an avid kayak enthusiast looking to craft a multi-day adventure on the water, you’ll go through different mental states. In a few seconds, you go from the euphoria of the first quiet moments on the river, to the distress of the end of a track or rapids after a failed track, where everything seems vulnerable. From the Olympic aquarium of just over a minute to the full descent of an autonomous river over the course of several days, you’ll have to figure out how to digest these emotional waves to get out of it and arrive safely, or run the hive with our wishful-looking stopwatch.

Urban / Candy: World Champions
Urban / Candy: World Champions

Especially since in the case of the competitive format, in front of you, all the champions have a burning desire to finish it, and each has made a solid personal investment to get out of it. If you are alone with your desire or dream of being able to move forward, from the top of a valley to the ocean for example, Your body and mind will also be tested Because they are not used to it. A striking current example would be telling you so Bonnie Hancock, who, having stopped high on low motivation, allowed himself a major reconnection to his passion after an act of personal achievement. his project? to do The Tour of Australia in Surfski, or 14,000 km by paddle …

The importance of mental preparation

All coaches see it and all athletes know it: What is at stake in the event affects the athlete’s mind. Loss of concentration, tension, loss of means, doubts, lack of self-confidence, anxiety … a lot of brakes on the satisfaction of the athlete in his performance. And who would not be disappointed if he did not express his level of physical, technical and tactical readiness? In other words, whatever your level, you definitely have enough progress in managing your emotions in competition thanks to mental preparedness.

“We are not born heroes, we become one.”

The man who has won three Olympic titles knows something about it. After two consecutive victories in Sydney and Athens, Tony Estanguet He was caught in Beijing while carrying the French flag and was on his way to becoming France’s first three-time Olympic champion. But Palois has more than one trick up his skirt, and he’ll be back slept and calmed down To win the gold medal after four years in London, for the last time.

Coordinating everything to get this font is the most beautiful thing about fall. »

Far from the Olympic basin now, Noria Neumann He uses visualization and cardiac coherence techniques on a daily basis.

I worked with psychologists and mental trainers when I was in slalom. In the river, I don’t, because the real watch is complicated to set up. You don’t always know where you will be at the time of your next appointment…however, I think this work has helped me get the keys and get to know myself better in certain aspects. I realize I do a lot of fantasizing »

Without doing it on purpose, I’m doing cardio cohesion exercises. The idea is simply to work on your breathing to lower your heart rate, calm you down, and thus manage your stress.

Nuria Neumann / Red Bull – Nuria Neumann Training Secrets

Mind to save physical training

The importance of mental preparation
Maxime Beaumont © Julien Crosnier

With my mental pictures Limited fracture during childbirth. I wouldn’t do this in my whole life, it doesn’t replace training but the idea is to maintain the connection with practice: the brain makes no difference between being on the water and imagining itself paddling.

Maxime Beaumont, Vice Olympic Champion 2016 / 4th in London 2012

France is not mentally prepared

France and the French-speaking countries stand behind their Anglo-Saxon neighbors where the culture of performance spirit is most present. We often talk about “showman” Anglo-Saxon athletes who are on D-Day and seem to be challenge-driven, such as Joe Clark He became an Olympic champion in Rio without ever setting foot on an international podium Lisa Carrington to an unwavering aplomb, triple and undefeated Olympic champion in the 200 meters between 2011 and 2021. It happens that our French are unbeatable, but this culture of winning and this spirit of excellence is rarely brought up in France. Moreover, what exists as a contradiction in the mathematical approach also applies to companies! We tackled mental preparation in sports in France because it was a topic that has been kept at a very high level and a very psychological dimension, that all coaches need to know about. » We explain in the LNF.

The importance of mental preparation
Boris Neveu © Jessica Fox © Photo credit FFCK / KMSP – B.VEKASSY

The coaches are not trained to be mentally prepared

Today, if we face reality, the vast majority of national coaches, clubs or league managers are not trained in mental preparation. Each coach applies methods and practices according to what he believes, and what he knows in terms of training and overall preparation for a sporting event, rather than taking a real approach to mental preparation. And no one could throw stones at them, but now the matter was about their training.

A “game changer” in the service of performance and luxury

What we know today about mental preparation is that it is a game changer for many if not all. So it is now important for the French sports world to articulate its organization around this (growing) pole in part from the performance. Mental preparation can’t be just the coach’s experience and coolness on the back, no. To illustrate this lack of knowledge and skills, tell yourself that as if physical training was guided only by the choice of man and not by knowledge of physiology.

© Matthew Torault

Mental Preparation Training Leader

Les Nouvelles formations is the most followed and most used course in France by athletes and coaches for training in mental preparation.

some numbers

60 federations, associations and committees Recommend training to their coaches and athletes.

more than 7000 people trained in France

© Kevin Saussure

Training program and format

The program offered by Les Nouvelles Formations is intended for sports coaches of all levels. This program allows you to learn how to use a file 8 tools for mental preparation Provided below through hands-on training. You can continue training almost without a transition in your daily life, because everything is done remotely. Over two to three months, for a few hours a week, with pedagogical support available at all times.

Why this shape?

Because athletic coaches, supervisors, and athletes are facing time constraints. It’s hard to tell yourself that you’re doing better when you stop training in order to continue a course!

5 reasons to train

Superior performance

A global approach to motivation, goal setting, stress management, routine, mental imagery, focus, and self-confidence

Accessible to everyone

More than 7,000 French coaches and athletes have trained with the LNF in 25 different sports.

Immediately applicable

Independence at the end of training and the ability to use all the new mental preparation tools acquired during training

Certified Training

After completion of training, you can register for an examination to obtain a state-recognized certificate of mental preparation. (registered in the licenses and skills registry)

possible support

Employees have the right to train either through sports clubs or via a CPF (personal training account) for employees outside the sports field.

Denise Jargod Chanute © FFCK / KMSP – B.VEKASSY

How it works ?

1 unit per tool

Training is divided into 8 units Characteristic corresponds to 8 tools of mental preparation.

The Eight Tools of Mental Preparation

• Motivation: managing the variability of motivation.

• Setting goals: keeping the athlete in the lead, achieving the goal or not.

• Routine: Knowing how to change or improve your habits if they are not a source of performance.

• Internal Discourse: Avoid restricting the discourse to the athlete.

• Mental Imagination: The use and mastery of mental images to help an athlete improve his performance.

• Stress management: coaching the athlete to help him release any limited stress.

• Self-confidence: ensuring that the athlete is fully aware of his abilities.

• Focus: Stay focused and determined over time.

What does the unit consist of?

For each module, you can access explanatory videos as well as field application exercises on real athletes. So you can immediately apply what you learn during training.

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