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The AS&K Sports MSD

The 10 Mental Skills: EFFORT


What is EFFORT?

When an athlete performs the tasks, spends the time, and makes the sacrifices needed to gain skills and perform successfully - this is effort. It includes preparing mentally and physically for a game, foregoing fun activities in order to practice, practicing more and harder than others, and getting the most out of practice sessions.




10 MENTAL SKILLS


TOOLS


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MOST RELATED SKILLS

INTERPRETING THE EFFORT SCORE ON THE MSA

Let's say an athlete has taken the MSA and has found that she has a high score on the mental skill "effort." What does this high score mean? A high score indicates that the athlete’s efforts do not diminish much or at all in the face of failure. Even after suffering a setback, like an error or an injury, the athlete continues to be determined to practice and prepare for the game.

WHAT CAN INFLUENCE THE EFFORT SCORE?

Effort is enhanced when there are high scores on Personal Control and Mastery Approach. Effort is diminished when Task Confidence and Self-Worth scores are low. Low scores may also indicate a lack of interest in the sport compared to other activities. Effort is especially diminished when Task Confidence and Self-Worth are low and the athlete faces a setback. Effort differs a lot from situation to situation (e.g., practice and games).

TIPS FOR ATHLETES

Do you make a strong Effort to perform well? Is your Effort MSA score high or low? In what situations is the score high and in what situations is it low? What are your Effort BITEs (behaviors, images, thoughts and emotions)? Are they different in different situations?

To improve Effort, assess how important your goals are to you. If success in the sport is not very important to you or and there is little enjoyment then increasing your Effort will be very difficult.

  1. Make a list of your Effort BITEs especially those that occur in the face of mistakes, frustrations, obstacles, and setbacks. Identify which ones are positive and helpful for building a sense of personal control over events and which are not helpful.
  2. Your level of effort is the result of having strong mental skills especially those related to goals (Goal Setting, Goal Implementation, and Mastery Approach) and self-concept (Task Confidence, Self-Worth, and Personal Control).

TIPS FOR COACHES

Coaching

How much Effort do your athletes make? How high were their Effort scores on the MSA? In which situations was Effort high and in which situations was it low?

High levels of Effort cannot be sustained in an athlete who does not genuinely value and enjoy success in the sport. Discuss with your athletes how enjoyable and important are participation and achieving the highest level of mastery possible.

  1. You can increase the level of effort your athletes make by improving their mental skills especially those related to goals (Goal Setting, Goal Implementation, and Mastery Approach) and self-concept (Task Confidence, Self-Worth, and Personal Control).
  2. Increase athletes’ Effort by improving their Goal mental skills. Review their goals with them. Make sure they Set Goals that are important to them, that are specific, challenging, and realistic (See Goal Setting). Check that they created and put into action specific plans to implement your goals (see Goal Implementation). Reward athletes for achieving their sub-goals, milestones, and goals. Avoid setting goals that are externally focused (e.g., be ranked #1, be better than another player or competitor, and receive special recognition). Set goals that are internally focused (33% improvement over last year’s performance, mastering specific skills).





TIPS FOR PARENTS

How much Effort does your athlete make? How high was his/her Effort score on the MSA? In which situations was Effort high and in which situations was it low?

High levels of Effort cannot be sustained in a athlete who does not genuinely value and enjoy success in the sport. Discuss with your athlete how enjoyable and important are participation and achieving the highest level of mastery possible.

  1. Be sure that your athlete’s judgments of the importance of success in the sport are not actually a reflection of your judgment of importance.
  2. You can increase the level of effort your athlete makes by improving their mental skills especially those related to goals (Goal Setting, Goal Implementation, and Mastery Approach) and self-concept (Task Confidence, Self-Worth, and Personal Control).


ATHLETES

How did you score on 'effort' on the MSA? In what situations is the score high and in what situations is it low? What are your Effort BITEs? Are they different in different situations?

COACHES

How much Effort do your athletes make? How high were their Effort scores on the MSA? In which situations was Effort high and in which situations was it low?

PARENTS

How much Effort does your athlete make? How high was his/her Effort score on the MSA? In which situations was Effort high and in which situations was it low?