En INVALTE nos es muy grato darle la bienvenida como colaborador internacional a James Newman. Destacado estudioso inglés del tenis. James es director de la empresa One Psych, dedicada a la investigación, asesoría divulgación de la psicología aplicada al deporte, y Colaborador con la International Tennis Federation como ponente en muchas áreas y tutor del sistema de enseñanza Play & Stay, una forma fácil y divertida de aproximarse al tenis.
Dejamos aquí su interesante reflexión sobre Nick Kyrgios
A few years ago I asked myself the question (it was a strange afternoon), regarding whether Sport Psychologists were ruining sport. By encouraging relaxation, emotional control and a more rational approach to performance, I wondered whether some of the explosive, unpredictable, risk-taking elements of sport had disappeared.
I think the answer was, partly, yes. I don’t like talking about emotional ‘control’ – as it seems to infer that the athlete should ‘repress’ or keep a watch on emotions so they don’t slip out. I prefer to discuss emotional ‘management’ – using your emotions positively to help, rather than hinder, you.
A PERSONALITY CAME ALONG
Tennis fans have been blessed in the past 10 years by battles between some of the greatest players who have ever played the game. But one can argue that great care taken by professionals not to ‘lose control’ or speak out of turn, has led to a lack of interest in the characters themselves.
Then along came Nick.
Nick Kyrgios may not be the top ranked ATP player but he is the top ranked for media coverage. His antics and performances have stirred a media thunderstorm over the past few months. Whether for his rants at umpires, sledging or perceived lack of effort – Nick has grabbed the headlines.
HOW WOULD I APPROACH NICK?
Firstly, my role is not to be a moral beacon. Working with athletes who ‘misbehave’ is a challenge, but telling them how I think they ‘should’ act is not my job. My job is to find out how they think they act, whether it fits their values and how it is affecting their performance.
I would examine how he believes these incidents have affected him. As a person and a player.
I would never want to tame his passion, creativity, individuality or risk taking. I would definitely try to help him channel it into something productive. We want fireworks – fireworks are great in sport. However, if you go to a great fireworks display, those explosions of noise and colour are coordinated, pre-determined and controlled.
At the moment Nick has the raw ingredients but at times it is like he is throwing a flame into a big box of fireworks and they are shooting off in all directions.
He can still have the flash and bang show – but I would work on him developing greater intelligence and maturity on when to light the taper so that his performances, like his personality, can soar.