Dave Alred is widely considered one of the best kicking coaches in the history of rugby, his work with players such as Johnny Wilkinson and Johnny Sexton has made him a respected figure in the coaching world. However, in recent years his work in Golf and Cricket has garnered equal attention. The ‘Pressure Principle’ is fundamental not only to his success but is now a key component in School of Kicking’s teachings across all ages and ability levels.
The ‘Pressure Principle’ is in no way a quick-fix and is instead a multifaceted philosophy which if followed can produce benefits very quickly but over the long-term it can produce huge gains not only in relation to your ability to deal with pressure but the ability to also perform at your best. The principle comprises eight strands each of which is integral to your learning:
- Anxiety – This is the source of many issues as people when confronted with pressure exhibit physical symptoms and through learning to master this skill a person can become able to perform effectively in stressful situations.
- Language – This element is the central figure for all the other strands, the power and influence language can have in this field should never be underestimated.
- Managing Learning – This looks at how we can learn more effectively and learn to improve our skills under pressure situations.
- Implicit-Explicit Balance – How information in our minds can be kept in balance.
- Behaviour – This relates to the power of effectively practice.
- Environment – How we can learn to manage our expectations and surrounding when a pressure situation occurs.
- Sensory Shutdown – What happens in our minds and bodies when extreme pressure occurs and how we can learn to delay the impact.
- Thinking Correctly Under Pressure – This is the final component in completing the ‘Pressure Principle’
All eight of these sections are inter-related meaning all must be focused on to learn the skill effectively with language being the central figure in all of your development. With learning it is all about the mind-set of the person and people who understand that they still need to learn and improve can become the best kicker, player, coach and person they are capable of being.
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