‘An Army pilot project is teaching soldiers techniques drawn from sports psychology such as visualization and bio-feedback to help deal with stress and other mental consequences of combat.
“People that study human performance the most carefully recognize the connection between the physical and mental elements of success … especially at moments of truth,” said Lt. Col. Greg Burbelo.
Col. Burbelo is director of the Army Center for Enhanced Performance (ACEP), a project developed for Olympic athletes – and previously used by trainers with elite West Point cadets and special forces – and applying them to basic training for Army recruits and on-the-job “professional development” for active-duty soldiers.
“We’ve figured out how to do this for our 4,000 cadets,” said Lt. Col. Carl Ohlson of the U.S. Military Academy. “Now we have to figure out the best way to scale and refine that for the whole Army.”
The center is also piloting the techniques with injured and maimed soldiers as part of the Army’s Warriors in Transition program.
“Even with the best possible physical training, you can’t ignore the psychological piece,” said Col. Burbelo, “We teach soldiers the relationship between thoughts, feelings and perceptions” on the one hand “and performance” on the other. “There is a mind-body connection. … They are interrelated. You can leverage your body to perform better.” ‘
Interestingly, these are the same skills I teach to executives, elite athletes, and high school students – visualization, biofeedback (relaxation response), mental imagery, emotional regulation, mindfulness, attentional control and more.
It’s true, ‘the moment of truth,’ is what it comes down to for all of us, whether it’s in an athletic competition, a business meeting, a romantic relationship, a friendship or combat. To me, the moment of truth is that point at which your emotion mind begins to take over control of your mind and body, and you simply start to react without room for thought, planning or foresight. These kneejerk emotional responses can be useful at times to keep us safe when in danger. More frequently, however, angry outbursts and snippy comments will burn bridges and ruin relationships (in combat, losing your cool can even cost lives). Great to see the military is starting to train more and more of our troops in these methods (previously they were only training special forces in these methods).
The entire article is here http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/23/combat-psychology/print/.
Have a blissful weekend!
Dr. John Schinnerer
Guide To Self, Inc.
Positive Psychology Coach
Danville, CA 94526