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Running a Psyching Team: The introduction of mental support at endurance events in England

Meijen, Carla (2016) Running a Psyching Team: The introduction of mental support at endurance events in England. In: British Psychological Society Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology Conference, Cardiff, Wales., 12-13 Dec 2016, Cardiff, Wales. (Unpublished) (KAR id:61883)


Purpose: To share and reflect on setting up and running a ‘Psyching Team’, where mental support is provided to

endurance runners, in the United Kingdom.

Background: Participating in long-distance running events can be mentally demanding, particularly for first time

runners. Psyching teams provide brief psychological support to participants before, during, and after long-distance

running events such as marathons. This is a concept that is developed and refined in America over the past 30 years,

and in addition to potential benefits to runners, it also provides mental skills training and hands on experience to

team members, and helps to demystify sport psychology to those who do not normally have access to this service.

Methods: This presentation will focus on the development of a UK-based model of psyching teams. Strategies that

have been used, such as mantras and anchoring where participants draw on their positive experiences, will be

discussed. There will be a critical reflection of the potential benefits of a psyching team and an evaluation of the

effectiveness of using brief, non-traditional interventions. In addition, areas of growth will be identified.

Conclusions: Psyching teams are becoming part of more endurance events across America and Europe. Although

there are difficulties with evaluating the effectiveness, anecdotal evidence such as self-reported feedback points to

psyching teams adding value. When setting up a psyching team, organisers need to carefully consider their

philosophy, identify funding sources, ensure that race directors are on board, understand clinical issues, and provide

training opportunities for psyching team members.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Speech)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: C. Meijen
Date Deposited: 30 May 2017 08:50 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2022 05:11 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Meijen, Carla.

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