Members of the Toronto Marathon Psyching Team offers strategies on how to be mentally prepared to run your best race. Consider these typical scenarios:
- The runner who expects to complete the race in 3:25–or feel utterly defeated;
- The first-time marathoner, wondering what he’ll do when he hits “the wall”;
- The runner who knows that she is too keyed up but can’t calm down;
- The runner who can’t stop thinking about a current crisis in his family life;
- The runner coming back from injury and insecure about how much she can handle.
Each of these runners can benefit from a few minutes’ conversation with a member of the Psyching Team. Based on the successful New York City Marathon Psych Team, up to 40 volunteer psychologists and sport psychologists offer you mental strategies before, during, and after the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon.Commonly-used peak performance strategies include goal setting, relaxation training, imagery, positive self-talk, and affirmations. Psyching Team members trained in these methods will tailor the technique to the particular person. It’s fun and it’s helpful. What more could you ask?
Inaugurated in 1999 by Dr. Kate Hays (founder and director from 1999-2008) and supported by the Ontario Psychological Association, each year members of the Psyching Team work with over 1,000 individuals, small groups of runners, and participants in workshops. Runners are especially interested in learning methods of tension reduction and appropriate goal setting, as well as experiencing positive imagery for the race. Most find it helpful to wear the piece of finishing line ribbon that we will give you. This fluorescent orange ribbon helps runners to remember and use the “psyching” tips they have learned.
Each year, we build on successful services, based on your interest and involvement. Many of you find out about the Psyching Team right here on the web, and increasingly, you seek us out. Keep it up!
For 2014, here’s where you will find us:
BEFORE THE RACE:
EXPO: We’re available throughout the day for consultation and mental strategizing on Saturday only. You will find us at the Psyching Team booth, or “meeting and greeting” throughout the Expo, in our signature red Psyching Team vests and caps.
Race Start: For those last minute mental strategies (and a friendly face), we’ll be at the “start line” located on North York Blvd. near Beecroft from 6:30 am. until race start.
DURING THE RACE:
“Psychs on Bikes” is going strong. Bicycling in strategic locations, our Psychs on Bikes provide encouragement, support and advice to runners during the course of their race. Feel free to flag down one of our bikers, with their distinctive red caps and red vests. We’ll talk you through the rough spots.
We also offer “Psychs on Foot” during the race. Psyching Team members will be positioned in various parts of the race route and will provide support to runners by running with them. This is particularly helpful for “post-Wall” challenges that occur during the last few km’s of the race.
AFTER THE RACE:
How did the race go? We’ll be available at the Medical Tent after the race, to help you put your best “spin” on the race just after you’ve finished or, if necessary, help you cope with a crisis.
About the Psyching Teams’ Executive Committee
Peter Papadogiannis, Ph.D., as a researcher, lecturer, and consultant, Dr. Peter Papadogiannis has worked in a variety of organizational, athletic, and academic settings. Within organizational settings, much of Peter’s work has been focused on the area of leadership development. His extensive knowledge of psychological assessment and human behaviour has enabled him to help numerous individuals and organizations in strengthening their leadership competencies. At Multi Health Systems (MHS), Inc., Peter currently holds the position of Senior Research Associate and Trainer Liaison. Much of his time at MHS is devoted to the development of emotional intelligence assessments, supporting training initiatives, and the creation of various training curriculum materials.
As a sport psychology consultant, Peter has also developed various systems and strategies aimed at improving athletic performance. He has worked with numerous professional, Olympic, and amateur athletes and is currently a service provider for the Canadian Sport Sciences Institute and is a member of the Canadian Sport Psychology Association. Peter is the co-author of the upcoming Emotional Intelligence Skills Assessment Training Program and is also an adjunct faculty member of psychology at York University and Bronte College where he teaches courses in Test and Measurement and Group Behaviour.
Derek T.Y. Mann, Ph.D., is a Performance Enhancement Consultant and co-founder of the Performance Psychology Group, LLC. (PPG), an organization responsible for providing coaching services to athletes and corporate executives across North America.
Dr. Mann has spent several years investigating the impact of emotion on human performance with elite populations, which has been published in The Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, The Sport Psychologist, and the Journal of Human Movement Studies. Given his expertise in this domain, Dr. Mann has also served as a contributing editor to several leading academic and professional journals.
Dr. Mann is currently a Senior Research Associate at Multi-Health Systems, where he has contributed to the growth and accessibility of Emotional Intelligence through assessment, training and development, and professional presentations throughout North America. Derek is the co-author of the upcoming Emotional Intelligence Skills Assessment Training Program and is also an adjunct faculty member of psychology at Nova Southeastern University.
Dr. Kate Hays, Ph.D., C.Psych., the founding director of the Toronto Marathon Psyching Team, practises sport psychology and clinical psychology in Toronto through her own consulting programme, The Performing Edge and with Athletic Edge Sports Medicine. A member of and trainer for the New York City Marathon Psych Team for many years, Dr. Hays also was a member of the Boston Marathon Sweep Team. She is Past-President of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Division of Exercise & Sport Psychology. She is actively involved with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (and is a Fellow and Certified Consultant, AASP), Canadian Psychological Association, Ontario Psychological Association, as well as APA. A frequent international lecturer, Dr. Hays combined her expertise in sport psychology and psychotherapy in writing Working It Out: Using Exercise in Psychotherapy (1999) and (for your friends who haven’t yet been hit by the running bug!)Move Your Body, Tone Your Mood (2002). More recent books on performance psychology include You’re On! Consulting for Peak Performance (2004) andPerformance Psychology in Action (2009).
Read Kate’s article: The Edge: Peak Performance Psychology in Psychology Today. Click Here>
For further information
People seeking further information about The Psyching Team or sport psychology, or interested in volunteering to be members of The Psyching Team, may contact Dr. Papadogiannis at (416) 220-8603 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Click Here for mental skills tips for marathoners and half-marathoners.