In April 2021, the main seminar cycle of “Olympic Heroes – Emotions at the Top” was completed. The initiative is focused on psychological support for teachers, contestants in Informatics and their parents to achieve high results. At the beginning of the COVID crisis, which coincided with the 20th birthday of Musala Soft, the company launched the project as part of its main CSR direction – developing the IT community and supporting education in the field of exact sciences.
“Olympic Heroes – Emotions at the Top” is a long-standing idea which began its realization in 2020. I am proud of my colleagues from Musala Soft, who donated funds, I am grateful to the leading psychologist – Diana Dobreva-Hristova, the two inspirers – Prof. Krassimir Manev and Assoc. Prof. Biserka Yovcheva as well as all former and current contestants, parents and teachers who were part of the project. I hope that the gained knowledge and exchanged experience during the meetings in the last few months will help to facilitate a lighter, brighter and more successful climb of the peaks ahead by the Bulgarian IT Olympians.”- shared Elena Marinova, President of Musala Soft.
The program “Olympic Heroes – Emotions on the Top” gives participants an understanding of the psychological principles, mechanisms and factors of peak performance. The initiative is a timely response to the need for support for all those involved in the challenging tasks in competitive informatics. The long-term goal of “Olympic Heroes – Emotions on the Top” is to introduce into the field of competitive training the care for the “human factor” and the knowledge about the psychological mechanisms behind excellence, as well as to start building a supportive community.
The focus of work in the three target groups – teachers, contestants, parents – is:
TEACHERS – support teachers to integrate the psychological knowledge and established applied practices of performance psychology and sports psychology in the preparation and building up of successful contestants, with consistently high levels of performance;
CONTESTANTS – introduce contestants to basic techniques for emotional self-regulation and how to deal with the effects of competitive anxiety, learning to recognize and manage their emotions and building confidence and prospects for development in motivational meetings with successful IT professionals who have climbed more than one competitive peak;
PARENTS – care for parents in their difficult mission to respond with a conscious and effective parenting approach to the unique needs and requirements of children who are aiming for the top, and support the implementation of practical strategies to deal with the challenges of perfectionism and anxiety.
The series of interactive seminars provided basic guidelines for key strategies for competitive success and techniques for developing their emotional competence. “The road to the top challenges the best we are capable of and gives us the strongest knowledge – that of ourselves.” said Diana Dobreva-Hristova, the initiative’s leading expert. She is a counselling psychologist with many years of practice in the field of psychological support and a Mental Toughness trainer.