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For this discussion, review the media piece Track and Field Athlete Intervention With Dr. Burt Giges and respond to the following:

  • Regarding Dr. Giges’s brief intervention with a track and field athlete, did you find his approach helpful?
  • How did Dr. Giges address anxiety and imagery to help improve the client’s performance?
  • What did you find useful in Dr. Giges’s delivery?
  • Pick one theoretical explanation for the stress-anxiety and performance relationship to base suggestions that help athletes manage anxiety and stay within their optimal zones of functioning.

Track and Field Athlete Intervention with Dr. Burt Giges HostHi Burt I understand we are about to see you working with an athlete. Can you tell me a little bit about the situation? Dr. Burt GigesYeah, Megan is a young runner who has been running for about 10 years. Six months ago she had a disk problem in her back. And she has been completely rehabilitated from that. And this is her first race after that injury. HostGood, so let’s go see how it works. MeganAlright, can you come over here please? Dr. Burt GigesHi! Megan MeganHi! Dr. Burt GigesHow’s it going? MeganNot so good. I have my first race today, and it’s been since my back injury and I am really nervous. I am much more nervous than I usually having before races. And I can’t see to calm myself down. Dr. Burt GigesWhen was the back injury? MeganAbout six months ago. Dr. Burt GigesAnd how’s it now? MeganIt’s completely healed and I have been training ever since it’s been healed. And my training has been going really good but I haven’t actually raced and competed since the back injury. Dr. Burt GigesAny pain now? MeganAbsolutely no pain Dr. Burt GigesSo what is the nervousness about? MeganI think a lot of it just am I going to be able to compete at the same level that I was before. And if I am not, what is that going to be like, if I can’t stay up with my up the competitors that I used to be able to. Dr. Burt GigesSo before your injury you were competing to your own satisfaction, everything was going okay for you? MeganDefinitely! Dr. Burt GigesDo you have a requirement of yourself that in this very first race you will get back up to that level? MeganI guess not a requirement but I guess is a hope. Dr. Burt GigesHope is good, hope is good. But you do not think it’s a demand inside yourself that you better do as well otherwise trouble? MeganProbably not that critical. Dr. Burt GigesOkay tell me one thing. Well what is the thought that you have in mind if you do not do as well this time as you did before your injury? MeganIf I do not do as good and I am going to be embarrassed. And people are going to be like well she should be competing the way she was before. And I wanted to be… what if I can’t meet my own expectations and others. Dr. Burt GigesAnd you people you care about, and are knowledgeable, are going to say she should be able to race this first race the way she raced before? MeganProbably not. Dr. Burt GigesBut are you saying that? MeganYeah I guess yeah. Dr. Burt GigesIt doesn’t sound like that. Who will make it okay for you to race this race to whatever level you can do it, even if it didn’t match up favorably with your last race when you were tough physically? MeganI guess being able to go out there and be completely focused. And in the zone that I like to be in when I am running. Or I am not feeling the pain that I am completely into the race. And its almost like I do not hear the spectators, I do not hear anybody around me. I am just… if someone is ahead of me, I focus I am going to get them. If I am leading then I focus on like increasing the gap behind me. And that has like the optimal place like to be when I am racing. Dr. Burt GigesAnd you would like to have that experience now? MeganDefinitely. Dr. Burt GigesAnd when you have a race and you have that experience you say nothing counts, everything outside the view is background, nothing is foreground. MeganRight. Dr. Burt GigesWhat would it take to make the past to injury background? MeganAlmost pretending like either it didn’t happened or like when I am running like seeing that past as I am like running away from it. Dr. Burt GigesYeah okay but it did happen? MeganOkay Dr. Burt GigesBut let’s take your second thought that it’s past and this race is going to be running the bad in the past. MeganRight, almost like being spectator like the back injuries is like someone behind me, like I have passed it. I have already gone passed that, and seeing whole body completely healthy. Dr. Burt GigesThat great. Can you do that right now? Maybe you can close your eyes for a minute and can you see yourself passing the injury as you are running and having it fade into the background. MeganI can like see it all disintegrate. Dr. Burt GigesYou see as disintegrating, fading into the background fading, fading, fading. And now can you bring your focus back to your race and whatever you look out when you are racing, runner ahead of you or? MeganYeah I can see myself winning, nobody is ahead of me. Dr. Burt GigesOkay so you are going and nobody is ahead of you, and what do you focus on when you are in lead? MeganLike the track ahead of me not looking right down, I am looking out. Dr. Burt GigesOkay, so let that happen now, look out and can you give it what you got? MeganYeah I can focus on my breathing and like my arms are really relaxed. Dr. Burt GigesAnd where is the injury? MeganIt’s obviously not. I was not even thinking about it, I was in the lead. Dr. Burt GigesYou were not even thinking about it. MeganYeah. Dr. Burt GigesOkay, you want to open your eyes now, would you like to take that review? MeganI think so. I think that will really help like because I was just been thinking about the injury and its importance and that I had in my life. And having it not even there, when you said, “Where is it?” I am like, “I wasn’t thinking about it”. Dr. Burt GigesIf it should come up during the race, do what you did here, watch yourself passive and let it go back into the rest of the background. MeganOkay I think that is good, I think I was denying the fact that was even there before. Dr. Burt GigesYeah that did not worry, because it was there. MeganRight Dr. Burt GigesRight because when you got something to cope with the injury, if it should come up and it may not come up. MeganRight, and I guess I am less worried about that and more worried about it mentally just getting in my way of worrying about it. Dr. Burt GigesOkay well now you know what to do? MeganYeah. Dr. Burt GigesAlright I talk to you after the race. MeganThank you so much. Dr. Burt GigesI know okay. See you later. MeganBye I think that it has worked with warming up. Dr. Burt GigesAlright finish up, alright so long. MeganBye Burt. Thank you. HostWell Burt how do you think it went? Dr. Burt GigesI thought it went quite well. One of the things that came out of it was how creative an athlete can be without realizing it. HostYeah I know is how quickly she responded to, the different cues that you have given her and she just immediately went, yeah. Dr. Burt GigesShe was concerned that she wouldn’t race in this first race after injury, as well as she had when she finished before injury. And the idea that she came up with when I asked her that how she might deal with her anxiety about that. She said if she could put it behind her, and that gave me a clue which I decided to follow up on and to concretize to make that in actual experience for her right here, right now. And so I had her close her eyes let her experience of running past the back injury. And the back injury receded into the past and that seemed to help her, make a little bit of shift. HostSure, I know it’s in your writing you talk a lot about entry points? Dr. Burt GigesYeah, an entry point would be an opportunity where concerned here is the athlete saying something that looks like a point where you can go a little bit beneath the surface will help the athlete make a little bit of the shift in the perception of it. And her saying I want to put the past behind me was exactly for me an entry point. I said “Oh I am going to go with that. So I followed her and then I lead her into the guided fantasy. HostAt the beginning again it seem like you were changing meanings for her and doing some reframing? Dr. Burt GigesYes the first thing I repeated for her in a way that she could hear it instead as you say it was, if she expected herself to race as well in this first race back as she had before the injury. And she sort of qualifies it, and said yeah, yeah maybe not, maybe not. So I sorted softening of that of that then I know it would be okay to move forward. She wasn’t stuck on that. HostThanks a lot for sharing your work with us. Dr. Burt GigesOkay, good.

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