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Emotional safety during examinations

Mid-year exams have begun and with crunch time comes emotional upheaval. However, it is manageable and should not deter you from the end-goal of succeeding in your studies while maintaining high mental health standards.

“The exam period is a time when stress and anxiety levels are higher than usual. Stress can be positive and help you stay motivated and focused. However, too much stress can be unhelpful and can make you feel overwhelmed, confused, exhausted and edgy,” says Dr Melissa Barnaschone, Director of Student Counselling and Development at the University of the Free State (UFS).

According to Helpguide.Org: Trusted guide to mental & emotional health, “Mental and emotional health is about being happy, self-confident, self-aware, and resilient. People who are mentally healthy are able to cope with life’s challenges and recover from setbacks. But mental and emotional health requires knowledge, understanding, and effort to maintain. If your mental health isn’t as solid as you’d like it to be, here’s the good news: there are many things you can do to boost your mood, build resilience, and get more enjoyment out of life.”

For further details on topics including: Building Better Mental Health, Emotional Intelligence Toolkit, Benefits of Mindfulness, Improving Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Cultivating Happiness, visit the Help Guide. 

Dr Barnaschone has a few tips on how Kovsies can better approach academic anxiety during the examination period. Here is what she has to say:

News Archive

UFS study shows playing time in Super Rugby matches decreasing
2016-12-19

Description: Super Rugby playing time Tags: Super Rugby playing time 

The study by Riaan Schoeman, (left), Prof Robert Schall,
and Prof Derik Coetzee from the University of the Free State
on variables in Super Rugby can provide coaches with
insight on how to approach the game.
Photo: Anja Aucamp

It is better for Super Rugby teams not to have the ball, which also leads to reduced overall playing time in matches.

This observation is from a study by the University of the Free State on the difference between winning and losing teams. Statistics between 2011 and 2015 show that Super Rugby winning teams kick more and their defence is better.

These statistics were applied by Riaan Schoeman, lecturer in Exercise and Sport Sciences, Prof Derik Coetzee, Head of Department: Exercise and Sport Sciences, and Prof Robert Schall, Department of Mathematics and Actuarial Sciences. The purpose of the study, Changes in match variables for winning and losing teams in Super Rugby from 2011 to 2015, was to observe changes. Data on 30 games (four from each team) per season, supplied by the Cheetahs via Verusco TryMaker Pro, were used.

About two minutes less action
“We found that the playing time has decreased. This is the time the ball is in play during 80 minutes,” says Schoeman. In 2011, the average playing time was 34.12 minutes and in 2015 it was 31.95.

“The winning team has less possession of the ball and doesn’t want it. They play more conservatively. They dominate with kicks and then they play,” says Prof Coetzee, who was the conditioning coach for the Springboks in 2007 when they won the World Cup.

Lineouts also more about kicking
As a result, the number of line-outs also increased (from 0.31 per minute in 2011 to 0.34 in 2015) and the winning teams are better in this regard.

“The winning team has less possession of the ball
and doesn’t want it. They play a more conservative
game. They dominate with kicks and then they play.”

Schoeman believes that rule changes could also have contributed to reduced playing time, since something like scrum work nowadays causes more problems. “When a scrum falls, the time thereafter is not playing time.”

According to Prof Coetzee, rucks and mauls have also increased, (rucks from 2.08 per minute in 2011 to 2.16 in 2015 and mauls from 0.07 per minute in 2011 to 0.10 in 2015). “The teams that win, dominate these areas,” he says.

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