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74 - A Pack of Essentials Working in Performance Psychology, w/ Dan Abrahams

Condensed Topics Retrieved from SM Profiles of this Reference in Sport Psych

Season 2, episode 74
1 hr 20 min / Published

A Special Episode for EWS! 🦸‍♂️ It is with one of our most seeked Sport Psychologists, Dan Abrahams, and it is in a new format - I prepared some topics in a PowerPoint presentation, where me and Dan went along live talking about them.

 It was one of the hardest Interviews to prepare so far, since I knew Dan could cover many topics with expertise and eloquence. That’s why I decided to change the style a bit and found it to be one of EWS’ most complete conversations. We've covered a range of themes on: 

 - Identity of the Player/Athlete (Balance, Mental Health, and Management of other issues) ; Guided Discovery (to help on Learning Processes + CLA Theory) ; Alertness (on Focus and important in-field aspects) ; Stretch-Support Balance Principle ; Self-Efficacy (A 4 Component Model and how Coaches can stimulate this on Athletes) ; Mental Toughness (Tweaks on the concept and elements to inspire a Mental Skillset) ; Achievement Goal Theory (one’s ego, and mastering processes).

 NOTE: To remind you that this was inspired on several posts Dan produces consistently on Social Media (especially LinkedIn juicy ones) - Sooo --- Here is the PPT Presentation that you can follow along

--> Make sure to visit Dan’s renowned Podcast “The Sport Psych Show” - a main reference for us since the beginning in this path to E-W-S!  


- “In training, from a Cognitive perspective, we need simple tasks and tougher tasks. We need to introduce ‘desirable difficulties’ (such as variability, spacing) (...) we have a greater chance to learn what we’re trying to learn - to improve.”

 - “Great coaches coach explicitly and implicitly ... (on Discovery Learning)”

 - “(...) language areas in our brains are linked to body functions. That’s why I do a lot of work around language with players - whether it it is around narratives for the game, or specific cues tu use in a game.”


  • Overview & Dan’s Intro (Passion for Sports)> (01:00 - 06:38) ;
  • (!) On Identity - Wider Scope for Athletes > (11:08) ;
  • Discovery Learning (Implicit and Explicit Guidance) > (22:45) ;
  • On being Responsive > (32:59) ;
  • Stretch-Support Balance Principle > (38:28) ;
  • Psychological Safety - Vulnerability and Anxiety > (49:27) ;
  • Main Elements for Self-Efficacy (plus on Past Experiences and Flexible Thinking)  > (53:40) ;
  • Emotional & Physiological Processes along with Mental Toolbox talk > (01:01:58) ;
  • Achievement Goal Theory (AGOT) - mastery climates + Example > (01:07:42) ;
  • #1 Ingredient to E-W-S according to Dan (1 for Athletes. 1 for Coaches) > (01:14:57)



- Dan's Website + Dan's Profile

- On Motor Development Expert Mark Williams 

- Psychological Safety from Edmonson

- Lisa Feldman Articles

- A peek about Carol Dweck’s original Book ‘Self-Theories’ - precursor of the Growth Mindset  



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This episode is part of the EWS Interviews series
Conversations with Experts
EWS - Efficiently Work Sport
A podcast by Gonçalo Marques @EWS
Building Psychology for Optimization in Sports and Mental Health
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