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

 

Album Review And Rap Beefs: Tame Impala, Currents.

Tame Impala’s new album Currents has one of the hallmarks of an enduring album. At first listen it seems like good, if somewhat ordinary, pop but as you go back more and more layers unravel revealing deeply rich, expertly crafted songs. More>>

Flagging Enthusiasm: Gareth Morgan Announces Winner Of $20k Flag Competition

The winner of the Morgan Foundation’s $20,000 flag competition is “Wā kāinga / Home”, designed by Auckland based Studio Alexander. Economist and philanthropist Gareth Morgan set up the competition because he had strong views on what the flag should represent but he couldn’t draw one himself. More>>

ALSO:

Books: The Lawson Quins Tell Their Incredible Story

They could have been any family of six children – except that five of them were born at once. It will come as a shock to many older New Zealanders to realise that Saturday July 25 is the Lawson quintuplets’ 50th birthday. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Wartime Women

Coinciding as it does with the movie Imitation Game which focusses on Alan Turing breaking the Enigma code in Hut 6 at Bletchley Park (“BP”), this book is likely to attract a wide readership. It deserves to do so, as it illustrates that BP was very much more than Turing and his colleagues. More>>

Maori Language Commission: Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori 2015

The theme for Māori Language Week 27 July – 2 August 2015 is ‘Whāngaihia te Reo ki ngā Mātua’ ‘Nurture the language in parents’. It aims to encourage and support every day Māori language use for parents and caregivers with children” says Acting Chief Executive Tuehu Harris.. More>>

ALSO:

Live Music: Earl Sweatshirt Plays To Sold Out Bodega

The hyped sell-out crowd had already packed themselves as close as they could get to the stage before Earl came on. The smell of weed, sweat and beer filled Bodega – more debauched sauna than bar by this point. When he arrived on stage the screaming ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news