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Fencing: Psychological strategy is critical


Equestrianism requires the ultimate team-work, mentally and physically.

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Phelps has drive and ambition.






Modern Pentathlon


"The most perfect sportsmen therefore, are the
Pentathletes because in their bodies strength
and speed are combined in beautiful harmony."


Sport Psychology: Modern Pentathlon


What is psychology? In essence psychology is the study of thinking, the processes of the mind and the results in actions.

The use of psychology in sport, considers the application of psychological understanding to the specific context of sport and indeed to specific sports. The context within which behaviour is acted or performed is central to the study and application of psychology, as the circumstances influence thinking, responses and outcome. Modern Pentathlon makes variable and significant demands on the athlete.


Psychologists working in sport will consider:

• Personality (Personality testing specific to sport)
• Motivation
• Arousal, stress and anxiety
• Team Dynamics (Group cohesion and dynamics; Leadership; Communication)
• Sport environments
• Mental Skills Training (Arousal regulation; Imagery; Self-Confidence; Goal setting & Concentration
• Psychological elements of recovery from injury / illness
• Addictive and dysfunctional behaviours
• Aggression in sport
• Burnout & over-training
• Performance & Lifestyle issues
• Coaching and learning; coaching & communication; coaching & relationships
• Momentum analysis and periodisation (programme planning) of psychology support
• Ethics in sport
• Organisations and sport
• Research

MODERN PENTAHLON : Needs of Athletes

The combination of the five sports that make up modern pentathlon present the athlete with significant challenges that require as much an adaptive approach from the psychologist as the athletes need themselves to be adaptive.


The principle issues of attack and defence, timing, acute vision, anticipation and strategy. The assessment of the opponent may well be crucial, which demands the athlete develops the capacity to observe strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis). Controlling the controllables.


Physical flexability; endurance capability; strength, high level oxygenation and supplemeness. Swimming whilst demanding a number of physical attributes also requires mental strength and psychological strategy in relation to opponents (SWOT).


Endurance and the mental strength to support the physical demands of competition and training, as well as speed and strategy.


High quality relationship with the horse, building and maintaining trust and the psychological relationship with the horse as well as the athlete's own demands in competition.


Balance, strength, critical eye movement, relaxation, concentration, hand/eye co-ordination, judgement and emotional and physical control.

Whilst this is a snap shot of abilities and demands and by no means exhaustive, it demonstrates the breadth and comprehensive mental and physical attributes required to perform at an elite level in MP and maintain it. Versatility is central and therefore athletes need also to be mentally versatile and adaptive.