CSF2 performance sessions helps retention

| September 9, 2016 | 0 Comments
Courtesy photoCSF2 training can help improve health, productivity and AFPT scores.

CSF2 training can help improve health, productivity and AFPT scores.

Katherine C. Bell
Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Training Center

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Facing her final Army Physical Fitness Test to stay in the Army, Spc. Brittney Youngtin was discouraged, unmotivated and questioning her future.

Staff Sgt. David Martinez described her as an “outstanding Soldier who gives 100 percent every day during operations, yet, was unable to pass the run portion of her APFT.

Martinez is a master resilience trainer, here, and was familiar with the CSF2 Performance Program. After four months of mentoring Youngtin, to no avail, he reached out to the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) Training Center for assistance.

“This Soldier has mentally lost focus on success and needs to get past the ‘I can’t’ or ‘I’m unable to succeed’ mental block,” said Martinez.

 

Support system

CSF2 had an APFT Clinic applying mental skills for optimal performance program in place; however, it primarily catered to large companies or units that wanted a five-day clinic to improve APFT scores.

MRT and performance expert Karen Costello, a former UCLA distance coach, was assigned to work with Youngtin doing mastery sessions, which were designed to improve her mindset.

“When I first met Spc. Youngtin, she was struggling with some major motivation and self-confidence issues to the point of questioning her desire to pursue a career in the Army,” said Costello. “Our initial meetings were focused on building confidence and goal setting.”

On the track, Youngtin learned to use cue words to maintain proper running form and as a distraction from ineffective thoughts.

“When I was feeling tired, I learned to take my mind off those thoughts that were mentally and physically holding me back, and to focus on cues that were productive to my run. I noticed my form fell apart as I got fatigued, so the cues were a great way to shift me back to where I needed to be for success,” explained Youngtin.

Youngtin worked with Costello over a period of eight weeks. At times, scheduling was difficult; yet, she maintained her focus and found herself not dreading running as she had before.

“I began to have a more productive outlook on being healthy. I realized I had a pretty negative attitude prior to my training, but as I got into it, I felt better about myself and my days got better as well. I found that the more positive I was, the more motivated I became.”

 

Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2)Seeking a foundation

One of the foundations of the CSF2 performance training is its thought-performance-connection emphasis. We may not have control over the events that drive our thoughts, but we do have control over how we interpret those events and our subsequent thoughts. Being aware of our thoughts can lead to more productive emotional and physical reactions and, in turn, lead to a more optimal performance.

“One of the biggest things I focused on was knowing that when you’re uncomfortable it means growth. If you don’t dwell on the pain and instead see it as something that will help you, it changes your attitude,” said Youngtin.

At the end of the eight weeks, Youngtin said she felt ready to take her APFT with more confidence than ever before.

“My NCO ran with me and helped motivate me, and I used all my mental training to get through the difficult parts of the run. The cues really helped me toward the end,” said Youngtin.

She improved her 2-mile time by two minutes and nine seconds, going from a 21:16 to a 19:07. She passed the run with 29 seconds to spare.

“Passing the APFT has really motivated me to make some changes. I quit smoking right after because I know I can run even faster if I take better care of my body. I also realized that I used to get mad when people told me it was ‘all in my head,’ but they were right! It is in your head and you have the power to change what’s holding you back.”

Youngtin will now make a permanent change of station move to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., in October. She is looking forward to continuing her career with the Army.

“This program really helped me in so many ways. I didn’t want to PCS being flagged. Knowing that I’m not flagged gives me a fresh start, and I won’t be judged when I get there.”

 

APFT Clinic

Learn to apply mental skills for optimal physical performance, especially for your next APFT. Contact Katherine Bell at 655-9804.

Visit https://www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil/health/csf2.htm.

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Category: Health, News

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