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Thread: Best time to peak for OG 2008?
11-23-2007, 10:15 AM #1
Best time to peak for OG 2008?
I thought I would start my first thread at BC forum on a topic that has been burning in my head this morning. Every since I read the badzine articles that a lot of Team China players are dropping like flies and others like Gail Emms and Nathan Roberston, and LCW are hitting their peak form the question has been on my mind "when is the best time to peak for the OG 2008?".
Should it be now, March or early Summer? What factors contribute to peaking at the correct time?
I've opened the floodgates here so will toss out a few guidelines to keep the discussion high level and informative versus a my player is better than your player conversation.
Please post your reasoning and back it w/ historical trends, patterns, sports science, player competition schedules, etc.
Have fun w/ it.
11-23-2007, 10:58 AM #2
11-23-2007, 03:27 PM #3
11-23-2007, 11:02 PM #4
11-24-2007, 02:34 AM #5
11-26-2007, 12:13 AM #6
There are always peaks and dips in sports performance, and sport training science is really about understanding why that happens, and then maximizing/timing that peak for the big event (e.g. the olympics). Normally, this happens about 1-3 times a year, depending on the sport, and the peak might last a couple weeks.
11-26-2007, 12:15 AM #7
the best time to peak is of course during the Olympics. was that a trick question?
11-26-2007, 12:30 PM #8
I guess what I am asking is:
1) how do you train and prepare so that you peak for olympics?
2) How many tournaments should you enter to stay sharp?
3) Should you try to win the last few to go in w/ a psychological advantage or dont' worry about it and just concentrate on training?
Funny as my coach a former Malaysian international player said the same thing as you did Kwun, "peak at the Olympics".
But after some further questioning his take was players often overplay duruing the qualifying period and the only way to counter the fatigue from travel/tourneys is to train for the 3-4 months before the Olympics and go in fresh. "You may not even play the all England in March". Inconclusive on question #3.
"When your stamina is depleted by travel/overplay you will lose to lower quality players". This seems to be happenning alot lately especially to Team China.
11-26-2007, 02:43 PM #9
11-26-2007, 03:06 PM #10
11-26-2007, 04:36 PM #11
11-26-2007, 08:48 PM #12
Just my 5 cents..
I believe there were about 5-6 "major" tourneys prior to the 2004 Olympic Games, with the Malaysian Open ending roughly 5 weeks before the start of that OG...
11-26-2007, 09:09 PM #13
11-26-2007, 10:04 PM #14
As each player is different, the coach has to devise a plan or programme designed for him to "peak" during the most important tournament they have agreed on.
The plan will focus first on the simple to the more demanding, with sufficient rest periods in between. And a few tournaments will be thrown in, from the easier to the more difficult, to ensure that the player is conditioned accordingly and achieved certain desired results.
For example, the basic requirment for a player is that he has to be fit. In areas where he is found wanting in his fitness, whether it is his stamina, strength, speed, agility, etc, specific trainning programmes in these areas will be incorporated to ensure that he passes the test. This may stretch over a period and may require changes to be made to fit the player and the target at hand.
On the technical or skills side, similarly the player is subjected to spending more time on improving his weaker strokes, ideally to a point where they become perfect. A lot of repetitive, seemingly boring work is needed in this respect. There will also be situations when training programmes will require a player to spar with two or more other players or trainers to hone his skills further. Again this will take time and it is up to the coach and player to agree on the rate of progress attained and whether more training is required.
In this sense, the training programme must be flexible enough to accommodate specific situations and even to allow for rest periods and other fun activities not directly related to badminton to come in between to 'refresh' the trainee.
Being superbly fit and skillful may not be enough for the task at hand. We have seen many top rate players falter at the last hurdle because they were mentally not well-prepared, such as the recent case of LCW during the CO 2007. So mental strength preparation is a must to give the player a better chance of winning.
All these activities take a long period, more often months, to achieve success. The periodization is needed to help bring the player to peak condition. But along the way, something could go awry, maybe the preparation is not adequate or thorough enough for certain aspects of the training program. For example, the player might be injured because he has not attained a certain level of fitness for a specific skill. Now this may derail the entire training programme and the player concerned may not be able to reach his peak condition in time. Some may peak too early, maybe because something has gone wrong with the programme and the details have not be fulfilled adequately.
Yes ideally the player should peak during the Olympics, not before, not after. But again, whilst all necessary preparations have been done during the periodization period, I believe the player's 'form' during that particular point in time when he is competing will determine whether he is in the right frame of mind to do his best. The player may be too excited the night before and could not sleep well. He might have eaten something that does not gel well with his stomach. Somebody might have upset him so much that he could not forget that incident, etc, etc.
Last edited by Loh; 11-26-2007 at 10:11 PM.
11-27-2007, 02:03 AM #15
To peak at the right time, we need mental and physical functions to be at their best
To peak at the right time, we need the mental and physical functions to be at their best.
Sports psychologists and coaches have tried to address this.
Below is such a report, link is located at:
====== ====== start report ====== ======
May 19, 1993
Stanford University News Service
Sports psychologists discuss mental skills of peak performance
STANFORD -- Achieving top performance in sports is 90 percent practice and 10 percent competition, American and Russian psychologists agreed at a campus symposium on applied sports psychology Thursday, May 13. Peak performance in general, they said, requires practicing mental skills as well as physical ones.
Part of a four-day conference on how states of mind contribute to the performance of the world's best athletes, the sports psychologists discussed the techniques they use when working with coaches and athletes ranging from Olympics and professional competitors to college students in a wide range of individual and team sports.
Sponsored by Stanford University's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Esalen Institute's Russian-American Exchange Center of San Francisco, the conference also included sessions led by coaches, sports psychology researchers and philosophers. One major purpose, according to the sponsors, was to allow those who work routinely with elite athletes in the two countries to compare notes on what they believe is responsible for the extraordinary body functioning that athletes sometimes report.
The psychologists, however, talked mostly about the basic mental skills that athletes need to perform well on a routine basis. Extraordinary experiences, such as a runner feeling his toes are connected to the ground, or that time has slowed down, can be handled better by those athletes who have developed a high degree of mental control, several said.
Keith Henschen, a "performance" psychologist on the faculty of the University of Utah, said he teaches the skills to musicians, surgeons and trial lawyers as well as athletes. "I give homework, because how are you going to develop a skill if you don't practice?" he said.
When Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz talks to himself at the free- throw line, Henschen said, Malone is saying " 'This is for (my wife) Katy and the baby.' It's a trigger to get you ready to compete."
Henschen listed five basic skills he and other sports psychologists teach: relaxation, concentration, imagery, monitoring their self-talk and developing a mental routine. "The beauty of these skills is they transfer to all parts of life," he said.
"Concentration is the most important. The demands are different for each sport and position, but I've never see a sport where concentration wasn't important," Henschen said. "Concentrations is a method to talk to your own body, and most of you can't do that," Henschen said to the audience of college athletes and others.
"Letting go" of unsatisfactory performances is a key skill for athletes to develop, said Ken Ravizza, a sports psychologist and professor at California State University-Fullerton. Letting go of mistakes involves segmenting skills into parts, he said, "whether it's taking one lap at a time in the pool or letting go of the first essay question you blew on the test."
A baseball pitcher who has made a bad pitch, for example, needs to re-focus, turn his attention to the next key task, relax by deep breathing and, finally, respond with full trust in his ability, said Ravizza who has worked with the California Angels, among other teams.
Mental control skills become more important as athletes move up in levels of competition, he said, and coaches too often assume professional athletes already have them. When a baseball player reaches the pros, "all of a sudden, there's no nerds in the batting order, and the issue becomes, 'I have to use more of the six inches in my head' " because a slightly tightened muscle can give the batter the edge.
Athletes at Olympic competition levels already have the basic sports psychology skills and need help with problems not addressed in textbooks, said Gloria Balague, a clinical psychologist on the faculty of the University of Illinois-Chicago. Balague spent two years as psychologist for the U.S. track and field team as its members prepared for the 1992 Olympics.
"At this level, I stopped talking about [how to gain] self-confidence and I started talking about faith. Faith is the capacity to believe in something you don't see, even when you don't perform well. Your coach, your family, can't give you faith."
More playfulness and pursuit of creativity in practice would probably help, she added. High-level athletes and coaches tend to get caught up in the technical details and forget why they loved the sport in the first place.
"Most athletes love to feel their body in movement, how unique their movement is," she said, adding that her husband, a world-class swimmer, "swims through the hallways of our house" just to feel the uniqueness of his body movements.
More needs to be done to help the best athletes handle success also, she said. "Everybody takes pot shots at you. You thought you were going to enjoy being on top, and it's not fun," she said some athletes find after winning a gold medal.
"They waste a lot of energy protecting what they already did instead of moving on."
Balague and several Russian sports psychologists discussed the importance of precise terminology with athletes. Because top athletes have unusual awareness of their bodies, Balague said, she learned to use their vocabulary, rather than her own. "I did not have experience with all the things they said they felt."
Yuri Hanin, a social psychologist from Leningrad University who is currently a researcher at the Research Institute for Olympic Sports in Finland, said he is developing sport-specific psychological measurement scales based on the vocabulary athletes use within each sport.
Albert Rodionov, a champion fencer and psychologist who worked with the Soviet national basketball and fencing teams, said he found that he had to vary his approach from one sport to another. Solo sport athletes "love to endure hardship," he said, while team sport players "love games. They love playing cards. They are gamblers," he said of his experience.
====== ====== end report ====== ======
11-27-2007, 08:23 AM #16
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