Sport Psychology

What is sport psychology?

Sport psychology is (a) the study of the psychological and mental factors that influence and are influenced by participation and performance in sport, exercise, and physical activity, and (b) the application of the knowledge gained through this study to everyday settings.
Sport psychology professionals are interested in how participation in sport, exercise, and physical activity may enhance personal development and well-being throughout the life span.
Why do people contact a sport psychology
To improve performance. This is the most common reason for consulting a sport psychology professional. In general, performance may be enhanced through the teaching of mental strategies that either refine the practices of effective performers or help ineffective performers overcome obstacles that prevent them from reaching their potential.
To overcome the pressures of competition. Athletes at all levels seek help in dealing with the pressures of competition. Such pressures may stem from parental and/or coach expectations as well as the athlete's own expectations regarding performance.
To enhance to experience of youth sport participants. Youth sport organizations may employ a sport psychology professional to educate coaches about how to increase the satisfaction and enjoyment of participants and about the coaches' role in promoting the development of healthy self-esteem.
To provide psychological assistance with injury rehabilitation. Victims of injuries may request assistance with adjusting to nonparticipant status, adhering to physical therapy, tolerating pain, or other issues.
What services can a sport psychology professional provide?
Sport psychology professionals may provide a variety of services depending on their professional training. The most common services focus on:
providing information about the role of psychological factors in sport, exercise, and physical activity to individuals, groups, and organizations. They may, for example, assist with exercise adherence, communication, teamwork, or program development and evaluation.
teaching participants specific mental, behavioral, psychosocial, and emotional control skills for sport, exercise, and physical activity contexts. They might, for example, focus on relaxation, concentration, or the use of imagery.
Sport psychology professionals who have special training and/or certification in such areas as coaching, diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology, marital or family therapy, or the administration and interpretation of psychological tests, may provide additional services. ( AAASP [Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology]is recognized by the Olympic commitee for sports psychology)

Dr. Waite's 8 steps to Sports Psychology:

-stress management
-self esteem

Introduction to Sports Psychology
by James Manktelow
Your body is a mass of muscles and nerves linked together into the central processing unit that is your brain. This series of articles on sports psychology seeks to show you how to use that central processing unit to its greatest effect in controlling your body to give optimum sporting performance.
The section takes two separate approaches:
A tools based approach explaining the three fundamental sports psychology tools:
Goal Setting
Imagery and Simulation
Flow and Flow Control
An application based approach explaining how to use the tools to their maximum effect.
Enjoy the Mind Tools Sports Psychology section - lessons you can learn here apply to high performance living both inside and outside sport.
Goal Setting
Goal setting is a hugely powerful technique that can yield strong returns in all areas of your life.
At its simplest level the process of setting goals and targets allows you to choose where you want to go in life. By knowing what you want to achieve, you know what you have to concentrate on and improve, and what is merely a distraction. Goal setting gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation.
By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals. You can see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind.
By setting goals you can:
Achieve more
Improve performance
Improve the quality of your training
Increase your motivation to achieve
Increases your pride and satisfaction in your performance
Improve your self-confidence
Research (Damon Burton, 1983) has shown that people who use goal-setting effectively:
suffer less from stress and anxiety
concentrate better
show more self-confidence
perform better
are happier with their performances
Goal Setting Helps Self-Confidence
By setting goals, and measuring their achievement, you are able to see what you have done and what you are capable of. The process of achieving goals and seeing their