“What I really liked the best, I think, was getting to know myself as a sportswoman, putting into words the feelings that I experience during competitions and because of that, learning how to control myself and bring out the best in me. I really do use the breathing technique, because it’s something that relaxes me straight away, and it doesn’t require much work. Visualization is always something that I do on days before my competitions, to put me in the right frame of mind. Recalling some of my strengths before my race helps me to motivate myself and to cut me off from everything going on around me.”
Sarah, 17, athletics, cadre Espoir (promising Swiss athlete)
“What I really got the most out of in this course was discovering something that is just completely uncharted territory for most athletes, and that’s the mental side of sports. Most of the time, it’s not taken seriously, and working on it helps you to learn to be more aware of yourself and to make great progress in your chosen sport, but also in other areas of your life. I also very much enjoyed the atmosphere of trust that was present during the sessions, and the fact that the trust between us and the mental coach got stronger as the sessions continued was fundamental to the success of the course, in my opinion. I use lots of the things that I learned in my matches now, but also while warming up or preparing for them. I start with one or two mental imagery sessions a good few hours beforehand to make me feel comfortable in my mind and body when the match starts. During the match, self-talk is a tool that I’ve changed a lot in an attempt to make it more positive. There are times in matches where I apply relaxation techniques, normally when the pressure is building, but also afterward, especially in tournaments, where you need to mentally and physically recover as quickly as possible. This work has enabled me to learn a lot about myself, about the way I function inside. I know a lot more now about what I need, and when I’m ‘good’, mentally speaking.”
Joris, 21, volleyball, LNA Suisse
"Avec le coaching mental, j’ai appris à comment gérer et approcher le stress ainsi que les pressions extérieurs. Cela m’aide à garder ma confiance et mon calme dans des situations qui peuvent être parfois stressantes. J’utilise les techniques non seulement dans le bassin de natation mais aussi dans la vie de tous les jours"
Dominik, 26, swimming, cadre Elite (elite Swiss athlete)
"Out of all the work we did, my favorite part was the introspective aspect, the need to take the time to concentrate on yourself, to discover and identify certain sensations and emotions that can be troubling or restrictive. To convince someone hesitating about whether or not to take the first step into mental coaching, I’d say that there’s not much to lose and everything to gain in trying it! Now I feel like I know myself better, but more specifically after doing this work, I feel like I’m able to remove certain negative thoughts and emotions – which had a limiting effect on me in the past – from my mind."
Tristan, 24, volleyball, LNB Suisse.
“What I enjoyed was the relaxation sessions and the workshop on pre-competition stress. To prepare for my races, I do visualization and breathing exercises from time to time.”
Elisa, 13, swimming, Espoir (promising Swiss athlete)
“The thing that I most enjoyed from the course was the fact that it was an individually tailored program, as well as being given an introduction to various techniques, all of which are very useful and can be applied to sports as well as everyday life. I use the self-talk technique constantly during matches and also in training. I use the relaxation techniques during warm-ups before a competition. I’ve got more self-confidence, and I feel a lot more calm and peaceful during tense moments in matches. On top of that, I feel as if I know myself better now. I use all of the techniques in my day-to-day life – for when I have an exam, for example – as well as in my sporting life.”
Vassil, 18, volleyball, cadre Espoir (promising Swiss athlete)
“What I really like is learning things about yourself, such as your strengths and weaknesses, or your qualities and character defects. I also liked learning about certain procedures like visualization. If I was to convince someone who was hesitant about it, I’d tell him or her that it helps you to become aware of your full potential, which can only be useful, whether it’s in sport or in life. Now I have a lot less trouble dealing with the problems I was having in the sport that I take part in.”
Samantha, 18, athletics, cadre Espoir (promising Swiss athlete)
"What I like the most in mental training is to know about certain aspects of myself, and then to learn how to use my full potential. I also appreciate to discuss my point of view with the mental trainer.As a horse rider, I wish to have maximum mastery and good control in a complicate sport, a sport which depends on many factors. By training mentally, I wish to minimise those limitating elements.The will to succeed, to learn more about myself and how to control myself in order to use my skills to their optimal level with regularity, is what motivate me the most.”
Roxane, 29, horse rider, show jumping, Switzerland.