Suggested Plan for Interventions
Based on their 1994 review, Weinberg and Comar suggest that a psychological skills training (PST) program should involve teaching the basic skills and systematically practicing them during special training sessions. These training sessions should be the first or last 15-30 minutes of physical practice sessions; most new mental skills require 15-30 minutes training three to five times a week and it takes approximately three to six months, to fully learn new skills, practice, and integrate them. Most psychological training should be during supervised practice unless the athlete is fairly self-motivated. As quickly as possible the PST should be integrated with physical skills training and tried during simulated competition. A very specific and detailed pre-competition and competition plan for controlling emotions, developing a routine, and dealing with unexpected events should be part of each athletes training and PST should continue as long as the athlete is involved in a sport in the same way as physical skills training is conducted.
Serious martial artists devote a great deal of time to learning the physical aspects of their sport. Hodge and Deakin (1998) interviews with martial arts indicated that they practiced an average of 35 hours a week during the first year of training to approximately 58 hours a week the year prior to obtaining the black belt, which is very similar to the practice times reported by other elite athletes. Therefore, practicing psychological skills a couple of hours a week to enhance performance can be well worth the investment.