Daily Bulletin

Daily Magazine

Winning the AFL flag is all in the mind

  • Written by Edith Cowan University

AFL teams that over-prepare for this year’s finals season will “cook” themselves mentally, clinical psychologist Dr Craig Harms warns in the latest episode of ECU podcast Body of Knowledge.

Dr Harms, who has worked with professional football, rugby and cricket athletes for more than 20 years, says players’ mental preparation for finals is equally, if not more, important as their physical preparation.

“It’s about choosing when to switch on and when to switch off, because if you stay switched on for too long you end up cooked,” Dr Harms said.

“Particularly before night games, players should, as much as possible, be a normal person, read the newspaper, have a good breakfast and not even think about football at all.”

The psychology of success

Dr Harms, from ECU’s School of Arts and Humanities, said modern AFL coaches needed to be amateur psychologists to get the most out of their playing list, particularly at the pointy end of the season.

“One of the most important thing that coaches can do is encourage good goal setting, both for individual players as well as the team as a whole.

“This helps players have certainty around what their role is in the team. When players understand what their roles are, they can be much more certain about what’s expected of them and they can relax a bit more into the game.

“Having role clarity really helps players relax more in what can be a very challenging environment.”

Social shutdown

Dr Harms says players should limit how much time they spend on social media in the lead-up to
big games.

“Social media is a part of modern sport, and certain players have a brand and part of that is having a presence on social media,” he said.

“But social media can be a massive distraction as well. It’s about striking the right balance, so for senior players who have a brand, you might encourage them to limit posting in the couple of days before a game.

“As a general rule, I would say that less social media is better through the finals.”

Dr Harms’ other tips for coaches are:
  • Strike the right balance between confidence and hope
  • Limit the amount of time spent reviewing previous games – and two days past a game is too long
  • Allow players the freedom to perform their roles
You can listen to more of Dr Harms’ tips in Body of Knowledge episode 6 – Sporting mind games here.

More Articles ...

  1. Great Ocean Road turns 100
  2. The Brazilian Amazon is Burning: Here's Why You Should Worry
  3. Comfort vs Convenience: How to Choose Best Suitable Car For Your Family
  4. 33 Premier’s Sustainability Awards finalists announced
  5. Australians Search 20,000 Times a Month for Second-hand Shops
  6. Why You Should Try Paddle Boarding
  7. Are we burning out? New research reveals Aussie workers are taking more sick leave
  8. Bachelor Party on a Budget – Save Money and Have Fun at the Same Time
  9. How to Begin a Successful Online Dating Business
  10. LUMA Beauty more than doubles online sales after collaborating with Afterpay
  11. Then and now – the evolution of internal communication
  12. Scott Morrison interview with David Koch, Sunrise
  13. 5 Huge Benefits To Downsizing Into A Tiny Home
  14. Gold Coast businesses primed for success
  15. Putin and Russia, the world’s ‘heartland’
  16. How to Help Your Child Gain Confidence at School
  17. E-Scooters: A Commuter's Transport Solution or a Safety Hazard?
  18. Only the Best: Five of the Most Successful Australian Gamblers
  19. 5 Body-Positive Reasons to Exercise
  20. Here's How To Expand Your Global Ecommerce Business
  21. Coffee 101: Choosing the Right Coffee Maker (Pros & Cons)
  22. Things To Consider While Investing In An Enterprise Software
  23. 4 Reasons Glamping Should Be Your Next Summer Holiday
  24. Top 8 Most Common Hotel Complaints (and How to Avoid Them)
  25. Teaching English Abroad Attracts Millennials
  26. 5 Ways to Create More Space in Your Home
  27. Benefits of Undertaking Adult Diploma Courses
  28. 4 Good Tips for Enjoying a Day at The Beach
  29. 8 Simple Snoring Remedies - How You Can Effectively Stop Snoring
  30. Save Money When Shopping Online
  31. How to Deal with Australia’s Scorching Heat
  32. The 7 Most Prosperous Countries in the Asia-Pacific
  33. Top 5 Things You Need to Do Before You Sell Your Car to a Wrecker
  34. Is Huawei A Threat To Samsung’s Mobile Market Share In Australia?
  35. Advice For University Graduates
  36. Should I Sell My Car or Store It - If It Won't Be Used for A While?
  37. How to Modernise Your Home
  38. 5 Steps To Protect The Rights To Your Writing
  39. Why Australians Should Be Washing Or Changing Their Tea Towels Every Day
  40. Charan Foundation announces the launch of its 2019/2020 Grant Fund
  41. Students need more than university degrees to succeed in the finance and accounting sector
  42. Understanding the differences between dementia and Alzheimer’s
  43. Why You Should Try Blackjack at an Online Casino Today
  44. 6 Ways to Grow More In Touch With Your Inner Self
  45. 5 Options For A Warmer Home
  46. The growing trend of co-working spaces in Melbourne
  47. Best Preparation Steps Leading Into an SEO Campaign
  48. Vacuuming Does Not Qualify As Carpet Cleaning: Here Is All You Need To Know
  49. How to Avoid Damage to Your Car When Getting It Towed? Top Tips from A Professional Towing Service
  50. How to Make a Recharge Room in Your Office

The Conversation


Prime Minister Visit to the United States of America

I will travel to the United States of America with my wife Jenny, from 19-27 September, visiting Washington D.C, Chicago, Ohio and New York.   It was an honour to accept President Trump’s genero...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Additional Australian Government assistance to help people affected by the Queensland and New South Wales bushfires

The Australian Government will deliver new income assistance to people affected by the bushfires in Queensland and New South Wales.   We have activated the Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) to ...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Monash Freeway upgrades moving forward for Melbourne commuters

An extra 36 kilometres of new lanes will be added to the Monash Freeway under a joint Australian and Victorian Government plan to bust congestion in Melbourne’s east.   The Morrison and Andrews ...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Ways to Take Control Over Your Startup's Public Image

The way in which others see your business only seems like something that you have no control over. After all, it’s their own subjective matter, right? Well, the concept of branding represents a sc...

Diana Smith - avatar Diana Smith

How Digital Futures Platforms are Changing it All

Some people still remember the days when you had to be in one of the world’s centers of finance in order to be able to trade with futures. Technology has developed a lot since then and trading wit...

Diana Smith - avatar Diana Smith

Your Ultimate Guide on Making an Office Cleaning Checklist

A cleaning list is simply a list that guides cleaners on what should be done. Several factors determine the type of cleaning list for your business premises.  The cleaning checklist usually provided ...

Clean Group - avatar Clean Group


Travelling Tips and your Roots: Who’s Looking out for Home?

If you lead a life of travel, chances are you know that not everyone gets the same kick out of living as a nomad. Today we focus on those ‘left behind’ – how do you nurture the valuable people in yo...

News Company - avatar News Company


New tagline revealed, new campaign set to launch ‘Different in every sense’ will replace Tourism NT’s ‘Do the NT’ tagline from today as part of a new brand positioning aimed at attracting more vi...

Matthew Ongarello - avatar Matthew Ongarello

Family-Friendly Island Camping Spots in Australia

Australia is a popular location for camping, and it is easy to understand why. The geographic make-up of most areas in the continent is ideal for outdoor adventures, with several beautiful beaches, ...

News Company - avatar News Company