Jamaica News: State Minister for Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, says that for Jamaica to maintain its competitive edge in world athletics, increased focus must be placed on building the mental toughness of athletes.
“The world is coming to Jamaica to find out what makes us so strong, but they will beat us if we don’t focus on the mental prowess and mental well-being of our athletes,” he said.
“Technique and style can be copied, but that mental fortitude of our athletes is something that we have to work on. For Jamaica to realise its goal of becoming a sport tourism destination, we must have, as part of the package, the entire well-being of the athlete, not just the physical but also the mental,” he added.
Mr. Terrelonge was bringing greetings on behalf of portfolio Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, at the inaugural Applied Sport Psychology Conference of the Caribbean (ASPCC) at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, University of the West Indies (UWI), on Tuesday (June 5).
The one-day conference, under the theme ‘Breaking Barriers, Unlocking Potential’, aimed to establish a platform for the development of research and practise of sports psychology within the Caribbean.
It targeted coaches, athletes and administrators from across the region and other stakeholders involved in sports at the development and grassroots levels.
Head of the Athletic Development and Training Department, Faculty of Sport, UWI, Dr. Dorothy Hudson Gayle, urged greater recognition of the importance of psychology in sports.
She noted that many athletes, as well as coaches, are unaware of the value of the discipline to individual and team performance.
“It is time for us in sports to recognise the need for sport psychology and the need to be educated on the value it can bring to improving performance and unlocking the potential of athletes and other personnel involved,” she said.
Dr. Hudson Gayle expressed the hope that the conference will “help us to understand, going forward, that training your mind is as important as training your body”.
The ASPCC attracted sports psychologists from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Cayman Islands, Barbados, and St. Lucia and included interactive workshops and presentations from sports psychologists, athletes, coaches, researchers, administrators, educators, government officials and sport science practitioners.
It is the first annual event to highlight the pivotal role that sports psychologists play in helping to prepare the region’s athletes and sports personnel for competitions and beyond, while facilitating the exchange of expertise and discussions.
Source: JIS News