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# Chaos, zones and imagery in soccer

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This was from a presentation I made a few years ago to Washington Youth Soccer. I wanted to show the interrelation of the mental game and everything that goes on during play. My son was a physics major at Montana State University (just graduated (2011) so job offers accepted here). It was a good presentation. People were surprised how I could relate chaos theory to the mental game.

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### Chaos, zones and imagery in soccer

1. 1. CHAOS, ZONES ANDIMAGERY IN SOCCER
2. 2. CHAOS, ZONES ANDIMAGERY IN SOCCER MAYBE IT’S THE BUTTERFLY’S FAULT
3. 3. CHAOS THEORY• What is chaos theory? Formally, chaos theory is defined as the study of complex nonlinear dynamic systems. Complex implies just that, nonlinear implies recursion and higher mathematical algorithms, and dynamic implies nonconstant and nonperiodic. Thus chaos theory is, very generally, the study of forever changing complex systems based on mathematical concepts of recursion, whether in the form of a recursive process or a set of differential equations modeling a physical system.
4. 4. BUTTERFLY EFFECTThe butterfly effect is a phrase thatencapsulates the more technical notion ofsensitive dependence on initial conditions inchaos theory. Small variations of the initialcondition of a dynamical system may producelarge variations in the long term behavior of thesystem. This is sometimes presented as esotericbehavior, but can be exhibited by very simplesystems: for example, a ball placed at the crestof a hill might roll into any of several valleysdepending on slight differences in initial position.
5. 5. MORE BUTTERFLIESRecurrence, the approximate return of a system towards its initial conditions, together with the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, are the two main ingredients for chaotic motion. They have the practical consequence of making complex systems, such as the weather, difficult to predict past a certain time range—approximately a week, in the case of weather.
6. 6. LIKE A DROP OF WATER
7. 7. A BUTTERFLY FLAPS ITS’ WINGS IN BRAZILInferface:Please flap wings.Click butterfly to see results.
8. 8. AND WE GET A TORNADO IN TEXAS
9. 9. •Brazil also wins another World Cup, so go figure
10. 10. WHY CHAOS• Ever been to a soccer game? – No really• Chaos theory is an attempt to not only tell us how something occurs, but also why
11. 11. FROM HORST WEIN• "One of the problems in coaching soccer is the complexity and variety of situations which the player is required to face. There is also a considerable range of techniques and skills which the handling of those situations demands. "
12. 12. COMPLEX SYSTEMS• The application of complex systems theory to sports is relatively new and there certainly is no guarantee that it will lead to a complete understanding of sports-related activities. On the other hand we tried to make the argument that any theory that will be able to come close to this goal will have to incorporate significant elements from complex systems. We mentioned non-linearity and universality as two of the most important characteristic features of complex systems. An important consequence of those properties is the appearance of chaotic attractors. The potential application of chaos theory to sport behavior has been discussed in the psychological literature:
13. 13. • "(…)Current thinking has shifted from linear to nonlinear and from uni-dimensional to multi-dimensional models for research. Sport psychology scientists now believe that the interactional approach of individual and situational factors will take the field closer to the goal of understanding, explaining, and predicting behavior (…). however, this focus on multiple variables, complex systems, and nonlinear relationships is in direct opposition to the current Newtonian approach of trying to understand the world by examining individual components (…). rather, a macroscopic examination of complex, nonlinear systems is needed to aid our understanding. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of such an approach, namely chaos theory. We acknowledge that in our attempt to explain and apply chaos theory to sport behavior, there is the potential for over simplification of a complex mathematical theory." Chaos Theory: A New Science for Sport Behavior?, M.G. Mack, et al. [7]
14. 14. We are convinced that eventually also the other universal properties of complex adaptive systems will prove to be helpful not only in understanding but also in coaching the multitude of current and most likely future types of sports and games both on physical as well as on virtual playing fields and arenas.
15. 15. SOCCER SCENARIO• Game starts• Star player runs into bench during warm-up and is out• Replacement player was up all night doing homework, because they rarely get to play• Coach and team have no confidence in replacement
16. 16. • Everyone tries to compensate for the sub• Coach changes tactics• Team mates compensate• Team tries too hard and plays poorly• Opponent sensing blood pours it on
17. 17. • Players start to get CHIPPY• No help from officials to keep things calm• Other team reacts aggressively• Coach asks a rhetorical question of the referee
18. 18. Coach getsa red card!
19. 19. FAULT• If star player had been more careful, result might have been different
20. 20. SO WHAT• What does this have to do with why we are here today
21. 21. BUTTERFLY EFFECT• I’m here because of the butterflys• Actually I’M here to talk about Zones or Peak Experience in soccer• And more importantly, how we can help athletes find their zone
22. 22. ZONES & PEAK EXPERIENCE• THAT SWEET SPOT IN TIME
23. 23. CHARACTERISTICS OF BEING IN THE ZONE
24. 24. ANOTHER LOOK• Flow• Creativity• Accomplishment• Objective Space• Mental Space• Identity• Locus of Knowing• Content of Knowing• Well-being• Need and Fulfillment• Feeling of Time• Feeling of Reality
25. 25. CHARACTERISTICS OF BEING IN ZONE• LOSS OF FEAR• ABILITY TO EXECUTE BASIC SKILLS• NO THINKING OF PERFORMANCE• TOTAL IMMERSION IN ACTIVITY• NARROW FOCUS OF ATTENTION• TEMPORARY PHENOMENON• FEELING OF BEING IN TOTAL CONTROL• SELF VALIDATING• INVOLUNTARY EXPERIENCE• EXPERIENCE IS PERFECT
26. 26. HOW CAN WE ENHANCE OUR CHANCES• Techniques for better performance• A psychological approach
27. 27. RELAXATION AND IMAGERY• Relaxation demo and explanation
28. 28. JACOBSON AND OTHERS• Since the 30’s we have studied the EFEECTS of RELAXATATION on muscle tonus
29. 29. IMAGERY• In the 80’s I did a great deal of work using relaxation and imagery to increase awareness• I found that it increased an athletes ability to perform at a higher level• Many reported afterwards experiences related to Peak Experience
30. 30. EXAMPLES OF IMAGERY• Internal v. External References• Learning v. Perfecting Technique• Close your eyes for a minute, but keep your hand near your wallet
31. 31. BACK TO THE BUTTERFLYS• By understanding complex systems we may one day better understand how to better prepare players
32. 32. SOCCER SCENARIO II• Coach decides to have team manager move bench because he doesn’t like where it is• Star player does not run into bench• Game is played well by everyone• Coach does not ask a rhetorical question
33. 33. • Coach is still shown a red, but this time its’ the butterflys fault
34. 34. CHAOS, ZONES AND IMAGERY IN SOCCER• THANK YOU• MIKE MARGOLIES• Sport Psychology Consultants• TheMental-Game.com• (425) 241-6539
35. 35. ReferencesTo be honest I’ve lost the exact references to this project. Some ofthem came from an unmarked paper I have. Some of them comefrom a reference sheet. I will supply those. It was never myintention to not give credit to those that did all of the research.
36. 36. References• Chaos Theory• References• Blackerby, R.F. (1993). Application of chaos theory to psychological models. Austin, TX: Performance Strategies Publications.• Davidson, R.J., & Schwartz, G.E. (1976). The psychobiology of relaxation and related states: A multi-process theory. In D.I. Mostofsky (Ed.), Behavior control and modification of physiological activity (pp. 399-442). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.• Endler, N. S. (1978). The interaction model of anxiety: Some possible implications. In D.M. Landers & R.W. Christina (Eds.) , Psychology of motor behavior and sport-1977 (pp. 332-351). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.• Gleick, J. (1987). Chaos: Making a new science. New York: Penguin Books.• Gould, D., & Krane, V. (1992). The arousal-athletic performance relationship: Current status and future directions. In T.S. Horn (Ed.), Advances in sport psychology (pp. 119-142). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.• Handford, C., Davids, K., Bennett, S., & Button, C. (1997). Skill acquisition in sport: Some applications of an evolving practice ecology. Journal of Sports Sciences, 15, 621-640.• Hardy, L. (1990). A catastrophe model of performance in sport. In J.G. Jones & L. Hardy (Eds.), Stress and performance in sport (pp. 81- 106). Chichester, England: Wiley.• Hardy, L., & Fazey, J. (1987). The inverted-U hypothesis: A catastrophe for sport psychology. Paper presented at the meeting of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, Vancouver, BC.• Hull, C.L. (1943). Principles of behavior. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.• Kellert, S.H. (1993). In the wake of chaos: Unpredictable order in dynamical systems. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.• Jackson, S. A., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1999). Flow in sports. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.• Kelso, J.A.S. (1981). On the oscillatory basis of movement. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 18, 63.• Kelso, J.A.S., & Schoner, G. (1988). Self-organization of coordinative moment patterns. Human Movement Science, 7, 27-46.• Kerr, J.H. (1985). The experience of arousal: A new basis for studying arousal effects in sport. Journal of Sport Sciences, 3, 169-179.• Krane, V., & Williams, J. (1987). Performance and somatic anxiety, cognitive anxiety, and confidence changes prior to competition. Journal of Sport Behavior, 10, 47-56.•
37. 37. More References• Martens, R., Burton, D., Vealey, R., Bump, L., & Smith, D. (1990). The development of the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2). In R. Martens, R.S. Vealey, & D. Burton (Eds.), Competitive anxiety in sport (pp. 117-190). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.• Martens, R., Vealey, R.S., & Burton, D. (Eds.) (1990). Competitive anxiety in sport. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.• Masterpasqua, F. & Perna, P.A. (Eds.) (1997). The psychological meaning of chaos: Translating theory into practice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.• Perna, P.A. & Masterpasqua, F. (1997). Introduction: The history, meaning, and implications of chaos and complexity. In F. Masterpasqua & P.A. Perna (Eds.), The psychological meaning of chaos: Translating theory into practice (pp. 1- 19).Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.• Quentmeyer, T. (1998). Chaos theory, dynamical systems, and fractal geometry. [On-line]. Http://hyperion.advanced.org/3493/noframes/chaos.html.• Scholz, J.P., & Kelso, J.A.S. (1990). Intentional switching between patterns of bimanual coordination depends on the intrinsic dynamics of the patterns. Journal of Motor Behavior, 22, 98-124.• Spence, K.W. (1964). Anxiety (drive) level and performance in eyelid conditioning. Psychological Bulletin, 61, 129-139.• Spence, K.W., Farber, I.E., & McFann, H.H. (1956). The relation of anxiety (drive) level to performance in competitional and noncompetitional paired-associated learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 52, 296-305.• Spence, J.T., & Spence, K.W. (1966). The motivational components of manifest anxiety: Drive and drive stimuli. In C.D. Spielberger (Ed.), Anxiety and behavior. New York: Academic Press.• Spielberger, C.D. (1971). Trait-state anxiety and motor behavior. Journal of Motor Behavior, 3, 265-279.• Sternad, D. (1998). A dynamic systems perspective to perception and action. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 69, 319-325.• Taylor, J., & Demick, A. (1994). A multidimensional model of momentum in sports. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 6, 51-70.• Triplett, N. (1897). The dynamogenic factors in pacemaking and competition. American Journal of Psychology, 9, 507-553.• Wallace, S.A. (1996). Dynamic pattern perspective of rhythmic movement: An introduction. In H.N. Zelaznik (Ed.), Advances in motor learning and control (pp. 155- 194). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.• Yerkes, R.M., & Dodson, J.D. (1908). The relationship of strength of stimulus to rapidity of habit formation. Journal of Comparative Neurology and Psychology, 18, 459-482.
38. 38. Mike Margolies• Author of new book:• The Athlete within You; A Mental Approach to Sports and Business