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Sport Psychology

Issues and Trends in PE

Randi Burford

on 18 October 2013

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Transcript of Sport Psychology

Role of Psychology
in Sport

What is Sport Psychology?
Athlete development/ training
What is sport
Norman Triplett
• A psychologist at Indiana University

• Credited with being the first "sport psychologist"

• Noticed that bicyclists who rode in groups often posted faster times than bicyclists who road alone. He published an article about his findings in 1898, after he verified his hypothesis from gathered race data.

• This came to be known as "social facilitation."

• In 1898, he created a controlled experiment where children were asked to reel in fishing line as quickly as possible. The children performed better (faster) if other children were present.
Through the 20th Century
1920- Carl Diem founded the first sport psychology laboratories; Germany
1925- Coleman Griffith "The father of American sport psychology" (University of Illinois) developed the first laboratory devoted to sport psychology; USA
1965- Modern era of sport psychology launched, via the First World Congress, held by the International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP); Europe
1967- North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) was founded; USA
1970- The International Journal of Sport Psychology was established
1972- Dorothy V. Harris developed one of the first graduate programs in Sport Psychology at Penn State University and organized the first research conference on women in sport in.
1979- The Journal of Sport Psychology was born
By 1984- sport psychologists were working with international teams at the Olympic games
1985-United States Olympic Committee (USOC) hired its first full-time sport psychologist.
1996- The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) started a permanent sport psychology center in Colorado Springs
• Athletic differences between children and adults
• Emotional/ mental needs of youth athletes
• Reasons, or the "whys?", that youth decide to participate in sports or not, including dropping out.
• Social facilitation- Solo performance vs. group performance
• Leadership styles and effect on performance
• Impact of environmental and situational factors
• Gender
• Skill acquisition
• Improve speed and accuracy of information processing
• Use of different communication techniques to impact
athlete's mental state and performance
• Learning style
• The "athletic personality" and personality traits
• Talent identification
• Effects of interventions on selected outcomes
• Body function impact on performance
• Intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation
• The influence of goal setting on performance outcomes
• Psycho- behavioral profile of elite athletes
• Counseling to overcome behaviors or emotions
• Assist in dealing with self- esteem, relationships, anxiety
• Drug use
• Factors and interventions associated with choosing an active or sedentary lifestyle
• Factors to maintain or drop out of an active lifestyle
• Impact of exercise on mood/ runners high
• Exercise addiction
7 Dimensions of
Sport Psychology
Foundations of Exercise Science
Sport Psychology
Sport psychology ultimately
comes down to
Emotion comes down to arousal and mood
Is there an "athletic personality?"
The relationship between personality and performance was first studied by Coleman Griffith. He consulted with the Chicago White Sox.
• After decades of attempts to identify specific personality traits, researchers have come to contradictory results.

• Studies of the “athletic personality” have become rare, but studies of motivation and aggression have increased in number and have become increasingly multifactored and sophisticated.

However, there is evidence that there are personality differences among...
Individual vs. team sport athletes
Offensive vs. defensive mentalities
Male vs. female athletes
∆ Getting to know your athletes
School/ home life (youth- college)
Stress/ pressures/ anxieties
Coach's expectations
Objectives/ directions
What does the coach stress?
Academics vs. performance
ø Objectives for practice/ games
ø Do your athletes know your objectives? (Why?)
ø Do they have the skills to complete the drills?
- Personality (introvert/extrovert)
- Learning style
- For the team (quotes, goals, etc.)
√ Do you present opportunities for your athletes to establish team/ individual goals?
√ Do you provide opportunities to assess/ change goals?
Knowing your athletes
“People rarely succeed unless they have fun
in what they are doing.”

Optimal performance
What type of athletes do you coach?
≈ High trait anxiety players have to be calmed down

≈ Low trait anxiety players have to be activated (or psyched up).
We want our athletes "in the zone"
The Yerkes Dodson Curve shows that performance increases with arousal but only to a certain point: when levels of arousal become too high, performance will decrease.
Dale Carnegie; a public speaker and writer through the 1930-40’s
How do we motivate our athletes?
Game film, speeches, yelling, team philosophy
Rituals: stretching, gear, music, tape
+ Activates same neural network used for the same skill physically
+ Allows practice opportunity in situations that can not be duplicated
+ A common practice for elite athletes (viewed as highly important)

“Our staff believes that exceptional mental skills are necessary for exceptional Olympic performances.” USOC website
Performance anxiety
Choking: an extreme stress reaction which results in an inability to perform despite the hours of practice or thousands of repetitions
Encourage relaxation techniques and/or breathing exercises.
Avoid the "D" word.... "Don't"
Avoid vague, or general, instructions
"Stop thinking and just play."

"Clear your mind."

"Relax, don't worry."

"Concentrate! Focus! Pay Attention!"

"Run faster."
Symptom Improvement
Happens when an athlete performs more training than his or her body can recover from, to the point where performance declines.
Injury Prevention
Overtraining is characterized by negative affective states such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, anger, lack of self-confidence, and decreased vigor (Murphy & Fleck, 1990).
Quick increases in frequency, intensity, or duration of training sessions, or a combination without the necessary recovery

Also youth sports:
Multiple teams and/or year round play of one sport Little to no cross training.
"For optimal motor development we want them to play different sports (and develop different skills: soccer for lower body coordination, baseball or softball for eye-hand coordination). In essence, they need to develop a base of what experts call “fundamental motor skills” such as jumping, running, throwing, and kicking.
If they focus all of their attention on one sport
(in this case soccer),

they won’t have the chance to optimally develop."
Staleness is mental fatigue and loss of enthusiasm, often associated with overtraining or unimaginative, repetitive training sessions
End result/outcome of overtraining
Impaired performance
Stress is what you feel when you have to handle more than you are used to.
• Most common psychological factors involve stress
School/ relationships/ expectations
Relaxation strategies
Breathing techniques
“Some sport psychology consultants say they spend about half their time talking with an athlete about relationships, family and other non-sport issues. “
Rest will alleviate many symptoms of over training.
"Tapering had been shown to improve psychological states if sufficient time is allocated (Morgan, et al, 1987)."
Injury Rehabilitation
Learning Style
Expectations/ Goals
Should be realistic
Too much too soon (= re injury)
Too slow= unnecessary time lost

Account for
Severity/ recovery time
Location of injury
Type of injury
Protocol for school districts, trainers,
and coaches.
Relearn movements
Break bad habits by learning safe/ efficient movements
Perceived expectations
Joy of participation in sport
Re injury
Similar situations
Returning performance
• Many of the topics, such as learning styles, motivation and arousal, within sport psychology overlap between the different facets of sport psychology.

• While there is not a specific “athletic personality” many athletes share certain personality traits.

• As coaches, we need to be aware of our athletes’ personalities, learning styles and anxieties in order to get them to achieve optimal performance.

• Providing a little bit of time for athletes to establish individual and team goals and assess them periodically can prove to be very beneficial as the season takes its twists and turns.

• If a player becomes injured, he or she should expect to follow orders from doctors and trainers to avoid
re injury and more time lost.
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