1Department of sport science, Faculty of physical education and sport science, Islamic University of Karaj, Alborz, Iran
2Department of sport science, Faculty of physical education and sport science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Introduction: Mental readiness is one of the most important predictors of athletes' success in international competitions. Regarding the type of sport and level of competition, mental training should be designed and executed following the same field. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a mental training period on the mental preparation of one of the Iranian Karate athletes who wanted to participate in the national league cup.
Methods: This quasi-experimental study was implemented with a single subject study and multi-baseline control with a 3-month follow-up. Psychological skill training included imagery, relaxation, mindfulness, concentration, refocus, stress control, coping strategies, goal setting, commitment, and mental training. Athletes in 3 stages completed Ottawa's mental fitness questionnaire. The first evaluation is done before the psychological training starts, the second one after 45 days, and the last one after three months.
Results: The results of the analysis of data showed that after one month, the sub-scale of focus, refocus, goal-setting, and self-confidence experienced positive and significant changes. After 45 days’ results have shown that significant changes in the sub-scales of stress control, competition strategies, commitment, and coping with psychological stress were positive, and the rest were important without any significant changes. The analyzed result after three months shows that athletes earned a desirable level of mental state.
Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that short-term and long-term surveillance is needed to improve mental function in athletes. Analyzing results after three months gives information that a long intervention about mental factors can improve the mental readiness of athletes. Those athletes who do mental training regularly can have predictable results in the competition. After the competition, the karate athlete kept her routine in mental training and tried to use them throughout the training sessions.