Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

The 5 Cs Basic mental skills

  • Communication
  • Commitment
  • Control
  • Confidence
  • Concentration.


Communication is a two-way process of

  • sending information
  • receiving information

One-to-one communication

Between many individuals


How much an individual wants to achieve something

  • their goal

What might be the goal for each of your athletes?

  • To have fun
  • Master new skills
  • Compete and win
  • Make friends
  • Become fit
  • Experience excitement

Increase commitment in your athletes

  • by understanding their individual goals
  • what they want to achieve

Understand how they can achieve their goals.

Examples of Goals

I want to

  • win my next 4 races”
  • improve my 100m P.B. by 0.x seconds this season”
  • enjoy my training and competition more”
  • win the National Schools 800m title”
  • to long jump more than 5m this season”

SMARTER Goal Setting

Effective goals are:

  • S  Specific   – must be clearly identified
  • M  Measurable   – must be measurable in some way
  • A  Agreed   – identified by the coach and agreed by the athlete (ownership)
  • R  Realistic   – is this possible?
  • T  Time phased – short, medium (and long term goals)
  • E  Exciting   – must motivate the athlete
  • R  Recorded   – written down somewhere by athlete/ coach.

Learning to Control Emotions and Anxiety


  • how much an individual is aroused
  • ready for a given situation
  • is always present in any situation
  • if it is ‘Low’ you may not notice it

Two types of symptoms for Anxiety

  • Mental arousal – worry
  • Physiological arousal.

Arousal and Performance

  • Athlete A achieves the best performance at a lower arousal level than Athlete B
  • Athlete C has a narrower area of optimal arousal

Developing Emotional Control

  Symptom:  Physiological arousal
Use relaxation techniques.
Symptom:  Worry
  Use effective goal setting to increase self-confidence

Developing Confidence


  • how well a person views themselves in a particular situation
  • is specific to this particular situation
  • how an individual ‘sees’ himself meeting the demands of any situation

Competition simulation in training > success > self confidence

Effective goal “fitting” helps to build self-confidence

The greater the overall self-confidence an athlete has

  • the more situations that athlete will feel confident in

Developing Concentration

Concentration is needed by the athlete

  • in training
  • in competition

The coach can build situations to develop the athlete’s concentration

  • in training
  • in competition

Developing Concentration

Any development of concentration should focus on:

  • What the athlete is focusing on
  • How long can this focus be maintained
  • The athlete’s ‘attention span’.

Summary of Developing Mental Skills

  • Basic mental skills can be represented by the five Cs
  • Every time a coach and athlete meet
  • Opportunity/potential to develop the athlete’s mental skills
  • sometimes just one mental skill is deliberately focussed on
  • As the athlete develops §the five Cs become more inter-related
  • two or more Cs can be deliberately targeted in a coaching session

In all stages of athlete development, the effective coach plans to develop mental skills – in the same way as the development of physical skills is planned.