European Championship 2022 in Munich – and my sporting passion is well represented: beach volleyball on Königsplatz. What an atmosphere, what a mood, what a party. Goosebumps, tears of joy, enthusiasm and every game a feast for the eyes with regard to technique, tactics, athleticism and brain.
I love analyzing the games. My very personal atmosphere: a transmission medium outside in the garden (beach volleyball is an outdoor sport), piece of paper, pen and pause button. Beach volleyball is a fast sport. Respect, thanks and chapeau to the arbitral tribunal, who make decisions in the moment with a watchful eye. Luckily I have the option of the pause button to freeze the frame, rewind, fast forward in small increments, etc.
The beach volleyball style of the Swedish guys impressed me most – Åhman or Hellvig is written on their yellow and blue jerseys: refreshingly different, unconventional, fast, confusing and yet somehow clear, young, dynamic and with a self-confident and charming charisma that the audience immediately amazed and excited. The audience also gives back a motivating power that drives the team and allows them to collect point by point.
What happens to the opponent?
A different style in beach volleyball: something new and therefore unknown for the opponent. The unknown leads to ignorance. How should I respond? What action can I take to defeat them both? The head is on, although I call up my actions routinely in the tournament. Uncertainty is spreading. The body tension is gone and the posture is like a wet sack. Head lowered, shoulders forward, looking into the sand. Desperation, frustration, failure – game loss.
Swedish power – what is it?
They are technically and tactically clever through unpredictable actions, are apparently prepared for every possible move and always have a solution ready. You are as alert as a lynx and read your opponent before his turn. Prophecy? Or the ability to force the opponent to react, which I can then perfectly adjust to in order to win the point? Athletically, they are similar to a kangaroo – loose, easy in the legs to jump and powow, the block or attack hit for the point. Mentally they are outstanding and above all: they remain self-controlled, on their field, in their 64 m2 , in their performances.
In three words: convinced, brave, clever.
Save Remain self-controlled – what does this mean?
When I am able to stay with myself, nothing and nobody outside can distract me and I am aware of everything that is happening around me. Maybe because I know what’s going on around me, I feel safe, secure and comfortable. Exactly the atmosphere I need to focus my attention fully inwards – on myself, my performance, on us as a team and our joint performance. If I then have the maximum knowledge of what performance I and we as a team are capable of and what performance we put in at what moment in order to score, we are invincible. The so-called laboratory conditions: We create a state in which we know all parameters and are therefore prepared for everything. A feeling of foresight spreads. We have maximum control. Through our actions, we are able to force the opponent to react, which we need to counteract with actions that we want to finally score.
How can I prepare for this kind of focus?
  1. Analysis of the environment:
    • What/who is there? Opponents, referee, audience, wind, waving flags, music, rain, sun,…
    • How does it affect me? motivating, irritating, annoying, driving,…
    • What should I take advantage of?
    • How should I protect myself from what?
  1. Analysis inside:
    • What are my responsibilities in my position? fend off, communicate, eat,…
    • What are my weaknesses/strengths/talents?
    • How can I take advantage?
    • How do we optimally complement each other as a team?
    • Which strategy effects what?
    • What reactions are possible on this?
  2. Bring the lab into the sand:
    • Collect all parameters for your laboratory
    • Shape your lab in 3D
    • Cycle through all possible perspectives
    • Keep & feel
    • Find solutions
    • Get into the sand and try
This is one possible approach to remain self-controlled. You want to know more about the topic? You need support with your analysis? Then let’s get started! My colleagues and I from Die Sportpsychologen are happy to support you.
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