In a world where success and failure can be measured so publicly, former Army Officer and Olympic Psychologist Charlie Unwin explores in this fascinating talk, the intuitive qualities and mental skills that separate high achievers from the rest. In doing so he draws upon his own experience to expose the paradox of a so-called ‘winning mindset’ and suggests how we could all be applying the most effective tool in sport psychology to enrich our everyday life.
Charlie graduated from Durham University where he read Psychology before joining the British Army as an officer in 2001. On return from Iraq Charlie was seconded into the Great Britain Modern Pentathlon Team. It was during his time as an athlete that Charlie’s passion for applied psychology flourished. Since then Charlie has worked with Olympic teams and athletes from five different sports. As the Performance Psychologist for GB Skeleton, Charlie worked with Lizzy Yarnold towards her becoming Olympic Champion at the Sochi Games in 2014. Since then he has contributed towards at least 7 European Gold Medals with athletes and teams across numerous sports.Charlie now shares his time between sport and business, working with global organisations and entrepreneurs to help them to achieve their own performance aspirations. He shares the latest research and practical insights into high performing environments, team dynamics, leadership, coaching and resilience.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx
Video Rating: / 5
Amazing talk! Learned a lot and loved it!
Omg … get to the point already
Another nonsense ted talk.
They are only elite,. As you want what they got, or need
There is a lot of meaning in this performance, and it completely relates to my future research.
It is evident to me that the imagination and visualization of a sports movement can significantly improve it. I have years of experience coaching teenagers, and I believe that visualization is essential in sports. Charlie Unwin says that athletes are not used to practicing in silence without moving, but it is something they must learn to do. I do agree with him.
"A new neurological study suggests that learning might be influenced by visualizing an action in the moments just before it takes place. We’ve all heard the saying: “Practice makes perfect.” But research into the neurological process of learning how to move suggests that it might be more accurate to say “mindful practice makes perfect.” “It turns out that the learning process in the brain is deeply interested in what happens before you make a movement — that’s why thinking about the movement you are about to make helps you learn,” says Saurabh Vyas, a doctoral candidate in bioengineering.
Consequently, giving the mind more time to prepare — more time to visualize the task at hand — substantially improves learning. From a purely practical standpoint, the findings could reshape how athletes, artists, musicians, or anyone who moves their body gets better at what they do."
February 26, 2020, Andrew Myers
Also, Charlie Unwin discusses a very interesting research project that Stafford University researchers have been working on for a whole year. The study found that some male gymnasts were able to combine complex tricks and minimize timing errors in their movements by enhancing their visualization. The act of visualizing requires us to focus and explore silently both our environment as well as ourselves. Even though other studies have been conducted on this subject, mental training is still not considered a fundamental principle of championship sports. To make the public believe that focusing and visualizing before exercise and before any sport is sometimes more effective than hours of strength and speed training, we need the experience of coaches or athletes who have worked in this field.
By some qualitative researches, we can gather data, observe, collect experiences, and interpret these experiences to measure the effect of mental training on athletes' performance. In my opinion, it is much easier to perform imagination and visualization exercises with children and adolescents than with professional athletes because children are not guarded over new methods of training and also have a greater imagination than adults.
"More recently, Thomas, Murphy, and Hardy (1999) reported that, compared to athletes of a lower standard, international athletes used more psychological skills in training and had more varied competitive strategies. Furthermore, older performers reported less use of imagery and activation strategies, in competition or in practice, better use of emotional control strategies, in practice, and more automaticity, in competition, than their younger counterparts.
Overall, the results stress that high-level performance requires common psychological skills, such as rational thinking, mental readiness, use of a competitive routine and plan, high levels of motivation, commitment, concentration, self-confidence, goal-setting skills, skills for dealing with distractions and unexpected events, the ability to regulate arousal, to control performance imagery, and a degree of automaticity in coping strategies."
Competitive strategies among elite female gymnasts: An exploration of the relative influence of psychological skills training and natural learning experiences
Claire Calmels , Fabienne d'Arripe‐Longueville , Jean F. Fournier & Amélie Soulard
"Visualizing is arguably one of the most useful tools for gymnasts and for athletes in every sport! The ability for gymnasts to visualize can be used when learning new skills, taking skills from a low beam to a high beam, learning new routines, during mental blocks, or in times of injury when you may not be able to perform to 100%.
Visualizing is an important strategy for up-training and creating a positive mindset during gymnastics practice as well as at competitions. Great athletes can create visual and sensory images they can re-play over and over again in their minds.
“What the mind can conceive, it can achieve.” Understanding the details of this tool are key. Essentially, you are making a movie in your mind of the routine you’re performing or the skill you’re doing. While creating this “movie in your mind”
Visualizing: A tool for every athlete
September 20, 2019, | In competitive gymnastics, Conditioning for gymnasts, Gymnastics Skills
As a challenge at the end of this conversation, the following question may be of interest: how can one identify a truly elite athlete? Is it more important to find a child with an ideal body composition or to seek a child with a higher imagination and focus?
Excellent presentation. I’m a professional bass player and regularly use visualisation as part of my preparation for performance. Especially to prep the tricky parts where I have a tendency to introduce stress!
I also find that observing myself (in a non-judgemental way) when I’m in these situation really helps to take the pressure off and negates any self-sabotage!
CLASS. So good.
Visualizing? Easier said then done..He makes it sound so easy.
Applies to any woman, as they always have to prove they‘re as good as men.
Conor mcgreoger’s issue rn the last bit🤣👏🏾
This is simple video on the foundation of Visualization but it is not the secret for elite performers! There is so much more to an elite performer: talent, environment, family, coaching , training, education (mind), performance (body) and spirit (other intangible skills that effect performance). Dr. Herriott
Can any one here simply explain his words in short please brothers.
CHARLIE, YOU ARE AHEAD OF MANY SPORT PSYCHOLOGISTS. THIS WAS A PRESENTATION THAT VALIDATES EVEN MORE THE NECESSITY OF DOING VISUALIZATION. IT MUST BE DONE CONSISTENTLY , CORRECTLY AND BE PART OF ANY ATHLETE WANTING TO IMPROVE AND PEAK THEIR PERFORMANCE.
HAVING COMPETED PROFESSIONALLY IN TWO SPORTS, AND COMPETING AT A HIGH AMATEUR LEVEL IN TWO OTHERS, THESE MENTAL TRUTHS HELPED ME AND RUSSIAN MENTAL TECHNIQUES WERE ( IN 70'S ) UNHEARD OF, ESPECIALLY IN BASEBALL.
WELL DONE !
I used to do this before a rowing race and I nearly won(2)…maaaan
Excellent talk,beautifully explained
Simple and very well explained , diolch Charlie.