Dallas Marathon Psyching Team


A. Psyching Tip of the Week

In this section we provide a series of free sport psychology tips that will help you prepare psychologically and assist you in dealing with the reactions you may have just prior to (and during) the race itself. You can download, print, and share these with your running partners. Each Monday, we will post a new tip!

Tip # 1 - Confidence

Tip # 2 - Goal Setting

Tip # 3 - Mental Toughness

Tip # 4 - Focus

Tip # 5 - Managing Pre-Race Anxiety

B. Introduction to Dallas Marathon Psyching Team

Welcome! The University of North Texas (UNT) Center for Sport Psychology and Performance Excellence faculty and staff will be providing sport psychology services for the 2015 Dallas Marathon. Psyching Teams have been around for over a decade helping runners successfully handle the mental challenges associated with running a 5K, 10K, or half or full marathon and be able to reach their performance goals. Consider the following scenarios:

- The runner who is so anxious the week leading up to the race that she is not able to sleep, eat, or focus as she normally would.
- The first-time marathoner who at the starting line is wondering “when am I going to hit the wall and fall apart?”
- The runner who is so worried about his performance that he feels physically “tight” and lacks the confidence he normally has.
- The runner who believes he “has to” run a certain time in the race or he will feel like a failure.
- The runner who is worried and fearful of reinjury or being able to run at the level she did prior to her injury.
- The runner who, despite training hard and well, is sure he will perform below expectation in the race and is quickly losing his confidence.

These scenarios illustrate many of the concerns that runners have leading up to, the morning of, and even during or after a race! Each of these runners could benefit from talking for a few minutes with one of the sport psychology consultants from the Psyching Team. Led by Dr. Trent A. Petrie, the Psyching Team’s more than 20 volunteer sport psychology consultants (SPCs) will be available to provide you with mental skills and strategies before, during, and after the Dallas Marathon. Our SPCs will tailor commonly used performance excellence techniques, such as goal setting, mindfulness, imagery, and positive self-talk, to fit your specific situation so you can have fun and run at your best.

For the 2015 race, we will be outfitted in our green Psyching Team shirts, so we will be easy to find. You can interact with us in the following ways:

1. Follow us on Twitter – you can join our twitter feed (@UNTSportpsych) and receive daily tweets about sport psychology and mental strategies for the race. Look for the #DallasMarathon hashtag!
2. Visit this website – starting November 9 we will be posting a weekly “Tip of the Week” that you can download and incorporate into your training.
3. At the Dallas Marathon EXPO – during the entire EXPO we will have SPCs available for consultations. We will be located at the Baylor Healthcare table and invite you to stop by to meet the Psyching Team, discuss your race strategy, ask questions about your mental preparation, pick up a “race ribbon” that you can pin to your number, and just get “psyched up” for the marathon.

In the Starting Area – the time before a race can be unnerving for some and for others a chance to affirm their confidence and goals for the morning. We will be in our green Psyching Team t-shirts near the medical tent and by the starting line, so if you see us, say hi, ask a question, and just connect with someone who believes in you!

A group of our Psyching Team SPCs will be with the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation SportsHealth van at Woodrow Wilson High School. If you want us, we are there…just flag us down if you want someone to talk to for a few minutes to help you regain your focus, confidence, and motivation to take ownership of those final miles.

Well you made it…and we are there to talk with you about how the race went. Although the finish line represents a place of elation for most, some experience disappointment about their performance or themselves. Whatever your reaction may be, we will be there to help you accept what you just accomplished and feel positively about yourself. We also can walk with you to the medical tent if you need physical assistance.

Although all the services we will be offering at the EXPO and at the marathon are free, some runners may want to see a SPC individually to fine tune their mental preparation for the race. Just for Dallas Marathon runners, we are offering a special hourly rate, which has been discounted 33% from our normal fee. If you are interested in individual services during the weeks leading up to the race, please call us at 940-369-7767 to set up an appointment.