We tend to concentrate on sets and reps and the technique when discussing GS training. This article from Rybinsk Girevoy Sport Forum discusses mental endurance training and mental tricks to increase the numbers. ote on the Static Dynamic Method, http://girevoysportafter40.blogspot.com/2008/10/static-dynamic-method-in-girevoy-sport.html
Methods of Training Mental Stability in Gireviks.
Girevoy Sport is probably the only sport that allows developing fantastic strength and general endurance by using free weights – kettlebells. In order to overcome the increasing physical fatigue during competition lifts girevik has to display willpower of special kind: it should not be impulsive, as the athlete has to last for ten minutes of competition set. Neither should it be too “soft”, as the intensity of lifting is fairly high, and the athlete has to motivate himself virtually every second.
An experiment was conducted at the Youth Sport School No.3 of Tambov City (Department of Girevoy Sport). Its main goal was the implementation of various methods for the development of mental endurance among gireviks. The experiment included 12 trainees, aged from 14 to 21 years, at the level of KMS (not bad, KMS at 14!) We would like to note beforehand that the methods tested have improved the results and may be used elsewhere for the same purpose.
The following methods of mental training were used:
1. Physical methods
1.1. Between sets of isometric or dynamic exercises the athlete is pushing the exercised bodyparts against an immobile object or fully flexes the limbs and holds them in this position, in order to impair the blood flow during the recovery phase.
1.2. Competition method. Kettlebell sparring: the athletes stand in front of each other and perform the lifts in synchronized fashion. One of them is setting the tempo at any rate he wishes, another girevik follows. After one minute the roles change; and so on until 10 minutes expire.
1.3. Varying of the goals of training. During one session the goal would be keeping the tempo constant during certain time, during another – performing certain number of repetitions (fairly high) independently of time.
1.4. Methodof “covering the distance”. For instance, after each snatch th athlete makes a step forward. The goal is to cover the distance, not the number of repetitions.
2. Psychological methods
2.1. Active vocal support. The embers of the team shouting “go on”, “you can do it”, “hang in there” and so on.
2.2. The coach councels the athlete that the physical sensation during competition lifting is unique and cannot ever be repeated again. Therefore the athlete has to force himself to experience positive emotions during the set.
2.3. Mental division of the set into parts. For example 100 repetitions are broken down into 25s, and the last 25 into 5 of 5. This mental manipulation of numbers is fairly useful for improving the final result, as imagining large numbers is mentally more difficult than moving towards the goal by making “short steps” and reduces mental strain.
2.4. In order to improve overhead fixation the athlete can mentally repeat some long number, for instance “one hundred and twenty”.
2.5. Distraction method for isometric exercises and static holds. During exercises a music is played, and the signal to end is the end of the song/piece.
2.6. Change of the weight of the bells without telling the athlete (by adding the lead shot)
2.7. Good communication with the coach and convincing the athlete that he can achieve the goals.
2.8. Intentional incorrect counting by the coach of reps during high intensity and control sets.
2.9. Playing back various distracting noises, such as noise in the competition hall.
Nothing fantastic, but fairly useful hints. I have been using the breakdown of long numbers for a while now. It is indeed easier to stand longer sets by doing so. Playing noises seems to make sense too, it sort of gets you out of the comfort zone of the basement or the friendly training gym.