Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Ninth Games for NZ team psychologist

Monday, June 23, 2014
Ninth Games for NZ team psychologist

Massey University sport psychologist Dr Gary Hermansson is working towards handing over the reins as the New Zealand team psychologist after almost twenty years tuning the minds of New Zealand’s top athletes at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

The 73 year-old Professor Emeritus will be mentoring potential successors at next month’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, as part of a succession plan that is looking towards the 2016 Rio Olympics.

High Performance Sport New Zealand and the New Zealand Olympic Committee have jointly advertised a new position of Psychology Manager. Dr Hermansson says this job will ensure that the over-arching role he has performed at nine consecutive Games (four Olympics and four Commonwealth Games) is maintained and advanced in the future.

“For me this is a significant development as it represents a recognition of the importance of the mental dimension in performance at the top level, and promises a steady development of the field.”

Since first taking the post at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, he has seen the field of sport psychology soar in significance among elite athletes.

“There has been a distinct shift from sport psychology being seen as problem-oriented – that is, something you make use of when you have performance problems – to opportunity-oriented – that is, something that requires increasing attention as you progress to higher levels in sport,” he says.

Dr Hermansson believes athletes are under more pressure than ever before with the globalisation of top-level sport, increased media scrutiny, sponsorship opportunities and funding structures based on strict performance outcomes.

“The rewards for success and the consequences for failure create a growing pressure squeeze on athletes and coaches. It is not that athletes are less mentally tough, but more that the pressures are greater and, as a consequence, the intensity is heightened.

“There is tremendous pressure to deliver in the way of medals, trophies and championships. This means that athletes and coaches carry into competition the challenge of winning whilst also not letting that outcome expectation get in the way of performance,” he says.

A Massey University video where Dr Hermansson talked about training the mind to overcome those expectations was endorsed by United States basketball mega-star Kobe Bryant who reposted it to his millions of Facebook followers. The Los Angeles Lakers star met with Dr Hermansson at the 2012 London Olympics and received a copy of his latest book Going Mental in Sport.

“The opportunity to meet him in person at the Games was certainly a buzz. However, what has mattered most are the numerous personal and private acknowledgements from the many athletes I have worked with who have made it clear that our work together made a difference,” Dr Hermansson says.

The seasoned sport psychologist and counsellor plans to put those 30 years of memories into a new book, In the Company of Champions, which will include his experiences working with the New Zealand cricket and equestrian teams. The former Manawatu and Wellington no.8/lock also has his own professional sports career to draw from. He’s played over 100 first-class rugby games including Wellington’s famous victories over South Africa (1965) and the British Lions (1966).

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

8 October: Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour Coming To Auckland!

Dainty Group announced today that global superstar Miley Cyrus will bring her BANGERZ TOUR to New Zealand in October this year. This will be Miley’s first ever visit to New Zealand and there will only be one Auckland show before she takes her tour to Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Music: Lorde NZ Tour Confirmed In Four Major Cities!

In what will be her first ever New Zealand headline tour, Frontier Touring and Brent Eccles Entertainment are stoked to bring you four epic shows across the country! The all ages concerts take place late October/ early November in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Poor Economics

A review of and excerpt from Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple’s Child Poverty in New Zealand. More>>

Head Count: Highest Population Growth Since 2003

The country’s population grew by 67,800 people, or 1.5 percent, in the year to 30 June 2014. This came from natural increase (births minus deaths) of 29,500 and net migration (arrivals minus departures) of 38,300. New Zealand's estimated resident population was 4.51 million at 30 June 2014. More>>

Fun-Enhancement: Research To Ensure Even Game For Less Skilled Players

A University of Canterbury engineering PhD student is researching sports, such as table tennis, to ensure closer games for both better and less skilled players. More>>

Werewolf: From The Lost Continent

It’s a case of better late than never for Olivier Assayas’ marvellous After May/Apres Mai, which first screened at Venice in 2012, got a theatrical release in Australia – but not here – and only now appears on DVD, after Assayas himself has moved on. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Blue Eyed & Soulful

Last year’s Muscle Shoals documentary was a reminder that on some of soul music’s most hallowed tracks, the studio band consisted of a bunch of white guys from rural Alabama... More>>

ALSO:

Final Event - Number Crunching: NZ Fifth Best Performer At Commonwealth Games

With a haul of 45 medals, New Zealand has outperformed the best predictions of the world’s number crunchers by 440% and beaten our past performance at the Commonwealth Games by 11% per cent, according to a Massey University finance lecturer. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news