Monday, 1 October 2012

The 30 day challenge - Day 1

After a lull for a month or two after the Olympics, I realise that as Summer turns to Autumn, I'm getting my head back into the study for Sport Psychology having finished my Summer job. I'm due to go and take some time out in November, so I've taken inspiration from Matt Cutts, and set myself the small (but achievable) challenge of writing 30 engaging blog posts over a month to make up for the lack of posting recently. Anyone can churn out *something* but I'm going to see if I can hold reader attention and help elucidate more about sport psychology and coaching and hopefully answer some of the questions you may have on the areas me and colleagues research and help athletes with.

I love Matt's TED talk and his motivation through challenging yourself to achieve small things that you've been putting off. When I think of this blog, I love it, but I also feel daunted about what I can add as content. By having to write and engage, I'm forcing myself to address this in a manageable timeframe. As Matt says:

"The next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you have always wanted to try and give it a shot for the next 30 days?” (Matt Cutts)"

I'm also inspired by blogs from other sources. I'm a big fan of designer Anna Dahlstrom's blog, where she has managed to write an entry every day so far this year. I recommend you check out her post on taking Fikas, which is probably my favourite on there, and a concept I really like. If Anna can manage it for 10 months, surely I can manage 30 days? Yes, that seems easy, but I probably overthink what I should put on my blog, so that I end up skipping days worth of content. I'm taking inspiration from Jerry Seinfeld's rule of productivity. I promise I won't try and write any gags. I'll stick to what I know best.

What can you expect? What will you see?

Well, I want to share what research on psychological skills for performance have shown. I want to outline the role of motivation as it is reported in Psychology; how you as an athlete or coach can stay motivated. I'm fascinated how the top athletes can harness their anxiety symptoms to obtain winning performances; how Individual Zones Of Optimal Functioning can help your performance, and the role of stress and emotion on performance - amongst other things. 

I've got guest blogs from sub 3 hour runner Simon Freeman, other Sport Psychologists in the field here and abroad who will offer their advice and guidance; interviews with coaches and special guests and my take on leading sport stories that will no doubt occur over the next month. 

If you have any questions or subjects you want addressed, or if you want to contribute, then feel free to write. I've got a lot of the topics worked out, but there's still room for more. Fundamentally, I want to articulate how I think Sport Psychology, and the findings that we know to be reliable, can help you or your athlete's sporting life. Contact me at stuartholliday at if you have anything you want to communicate or ask.

(I'll also endeavour to try and write my blog posts in the morning rather than with one hour to go to the next day!)


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