Psychological Preparation

Of equal significance for today’s elite athletes is thorough psychological preparation – both as individuals and as a coherent team. Whilst Pen, Ann and Martin are all veterans of polar exploration and have already proven their mental resilience, the wider scientific implications of the Catlin Arctic Survey inevitably contribute additional pressures beyond any of their previous personal endeavours.

Reinforcing their positive approach through a combination of visualisation techniques, open discussion and consideration of potential contingencies, Dr Mark Wilson (also of the Sport & Health Sciences Dept at Exeter University) facilitates various informal group sessions to further prepare the team.

Success will undoubtedly rely upon a monumental collective team effort – particularly against the harsh and unforgiving environment of the polar ice cap.

Mark first met Pen Hadow two years ago while Pen was preparing for a planned solo attempt at crossing the Arctic Ocean; alone and unsupported.

From a psychological perspective, the demands of this project will be very different to a solo expedition.

Performing as an effective team will be an absolutely key requirement and it is imperative that Pen, Ann and Martin are clear about their separate roles and responsibilities.

Prior to stepping foot on the ice, Mark and the other support staff will be examining each of the team members' preferred working styles and determining potential 'pressure points' where problems may arise.

Mark will also help the team members to develop their own strategies for dealing with the combined pressures of fatigue, cold, hunger, tension and perceived pressure, which will be part of their daily lives for three months

"Preparation" Blog Posts
Posted by Pen Hadow
You know you’re making progress North when…...more
Sunday, 15th February 2009
Mission driven
Posted by Pen Hadow
Of a bewildering array of thoughts swimming around in my head today, one has struck for the surface, indicative of the gel that holds us together....more
Monday, 02nd February 2009
Doc Martin
Posted by Dominic Hilton
The office is a hive of activity today......more
Thursday, 29th January 2009
Posted by Tori Taylor
The clock keeps ticking and with every strike we draw closer to the date when Pen, Ann and Martin will leave 'us' the support team, in the UK to embark on the survey of our lifetimes....more
Monday, 26th January 2009
Travelling back
Posted by Ann Daniels
As I travel back from Qikiqtarjuaq I reflect on another adventure in the magnificent Arctic. A memory to treasure when I can no longer travel to the ends of the earth!...more
Wednesday, 21st January 2009

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