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Chapter 9: Sport and Exercise Psychology

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on 24 October 2013

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Transcript of Chapter 9: Sport and Exercise Psychology

Chapter 9: Sport and Exercise Psychology
Why use Sport and Exercise Psychology?
It involves the study of human thought, emotion, behavior in physical activity
"Affect" : Emotion (decrease depression and enhance well being)
"Behavior" : Why people behave differently in physical activity
"Cognition" : How thought process is influenced by physical activity
Chapter 9

Kaitlyn Tonnesen
Kerri Downes
Laura Bakos
Sabrina Fergosi
What do Sport and Exercise Psychologists do?
Enhance experiences in physical activity
Researchers, teachers, service providers
History of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Not recognized as sub-discipline of Kinesiology until the 1960's
Griffith Era in Sport Psychology
Start of sports psychology began with the work of Coleman Griffith
He was a professor at the University of Illinois
Established Athletic Research Laboratory
1960's and 1970's
1960's :
Interest in social- psychological factors in physical activity
(ISSP) = International Society of Sport Psychology
(NASPSPA) = North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical activity
Sport Psychology is recognized
Modern Sport and Exercise Psychology
3 Trends in the 1980's
1. Exercise Psychology divided from Sport Psychology

2. Growth in research in sport and exercise psychology

3. Growth implied sport and exercise psychology or mental training with athletes
Research Methods for Sport and Exercise Psychology
Researchers use six methods to systematically assess thoughts, feeling, and behaviors in sport and exercise psychology
Questionnaires are widely used in sport and exercise psychology.
Most questionnaires are psychological inventories
Psychological inventories: standardized measures of specific form of thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.
They can be used to measure the amount of anxiety, motivation, and confidence and individual feels about exercising or competing in a sport.
Interviews are used in sport and exercise psychology when the research question being pursued requires in-depth understanding of individuals beliefs, experiences, or values.

Interviews allow one to explain things in their own words rather than responding to questionnaires.

Content Analysis
Content Analysis is used to analyze written material from various sources such as government documents, newspapers, or magazines.

An example of this could include a researcher analyzing popular television shows to assess the levels of physical activity being modeled by the media to the viewers
Physiological Measures
Physiological Measures of physical, mental, and emotional responses are sometimes referred to as biofeedback

Exercise psychologists use these measures to study the effects of exercise on stress reactivity and existing anxiety levels.

Sport psychologists might measure the amount of tension in muscles to assess how well athletes can learn to relax physically through mental training
Biochemical Measures
Biochemical measures involve drawing and analyzing blood or urine for chemicals from the body that represent responses to stressors or emotions.

For example, Epinephrine and Cortisol are released by the adrenal glands in response to certain types of stressors
Observations are used by researchers to observe coaches to assess the frequency of various types of feedback and communication that they provide to athletes.

Observations can also be used to examine the motivation of children to engage in physical activity.
Overview of Knowledge in Sport and Exercise Psychology
Researchers and Practitioners have produced knowledge on sport and exercise psychology topics

These topics include: personality, motivation, arousal and anxiety, social and group processes, and mental skill training in physical activity.
Personality is typically thought of as the unique blend of the characteristics that make individuals different from and similar to each other.

Our personalities determine our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in response to our environment

Personality and Sport
Research has identified several differences in personality characteristics between successful and unsuccessful athletes.

Successful athletes, compared with less successful athletes are:
More self- confident
Better able to cope well with stress and distractions
Better able to control emotions and remain appropriately active
Better at attention focusing and refocusing
Better able to view anxiety as beneficial
More highly determined and committed to excellence in their sport.
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic Motivation is when people engage in a certain behavior to gain some external reward from that participation such as a trophy in sport or weight loss in exercise.

Intrinsic Motivation involves engaging in behavior because you enjoy the process and gain pleasure and satisfaction from that participation.
Personality and Exercise
Individual who are more confident in their physical abilities tend to exercise more than those who are less physically confident.

Self-motivation is a key personality trait when exercising. Individuals with self-motivation are more likely to begin and stay with exercise programs where less motivated individuals are more likely to either never start or give up on their exercise.
Motivation is a complex set of internal and external forces that influence individuals to behave in certain ways

Behaviors that associate with motivation are choice, effort and persistence.
Rewards to Enhance Motivation
• Rewards can be used to enhance people’s feelings of competence
• Trophy, scoring a goal, money, weight loss
•Some people perceive rewards as controlling, which weakens the intrinsic motivation. Examples: college scholarships, all-star selection
• Incentives such as weight loss and prized for attendance may be motivating to exercisers but could be problematic if used to manipulate the individuals.
• Rewards shouldn't be used to control athletes or exercisers, but rather to make them feel that they’ve earned praise and reward through their effort and competence.
• Coaches and teachers must praise and reward the right behaviors, this could lead to the individual’s improvement and mastery in physical activity and enhance their self-worth

Intensity and urge to be competent can sometimes create anxiety for some as they participate in a sport or exercise.

Gut-wrenching anxiety as well as the exhilaration of peak experience, are two ways in which individuals experience arousal in physical activity
Has your performance ever been disrupted because you were tense or nervous? Have you ever performed “in the zone” where time seemed to stand still?

Arousal and Anxiety
• Arousal: state of bodily energy or physical and metal readiness
Results from the ways in which athletes’ minds and bodies respond to competition or the way in which those involving in exercise respond to physical activity.
Low arousal: deep sleep
High arousal: the most “wired” you’ve ever been

•Anxiety: a negative emotional state in which individuals feel nervous or worried when they experience high levels of arousal.

Think of arousal as genetic energy; when arousal becomes too high and people interpret it negatively (I feel scared, nervous..) it has been labeled as anxiety
High levels of arousal labeled positively (I feel ecstatic!) are often described as joy or happiness
Motivation begins from when we are babies; toddlers are motivated to crawls while some adults are motivated to achieve in sports or through fitness training, and some in careers.
For us to truly understand the meaning of motivation, we need to understand how each person defines success or competence for himself or herself.
Developing Intrinsic Motivation
We are all intrinsically motivated to be competent; but competence means different things for different people
Research in sport and exercise psychology has shown that individuals have different goals for achievement in sport and exercise
• Young children participating in physical activity are motivated to have fun, affiliate with their friends and meet new friends, and develop skills… These goals motivate children more than the goal of winning does!
People are motivated to feel competent and self-determining.
If we like something, we do it more. If we do it more, we become better at it. When we become better at it, we like it more. This is the positive cycle of motivation
Anxiety to Flow: Understanding Arousal
demand placed on a person

People often assume stress is anxiety, but stress serves the important purpose of stimulation growth
We stress athletes all the time. This physical and metal stress builds their stress tolerance so that they can withstand the stress of competitive performance.
Stress can create anxiety- anxiety in sports is based on the threat of failure or evaluation, as when athletes compete in public.
Stress usually has a positive influence on performance. Stress motivates you to perform well

Presence of Others
• Research has shown that the presence of other people increases our arousal, which may hurt or help our performance.
• Generally, spectators have a negative effect on someone who is learning a skill and a positive effect on someone who is very skilled.

Group Membership
• A group preforms better and group members are more satisfied when the group is cohesive
• On the other hand, social lofting refers to a decrease in an individual performance within groups. This decline occurs because individuals believe that their performance is not identifiable and that other group members will pick up the slack.
Mental Skills Training
Mental skills training involve techniques such as goal setting, relaxation training, imagery and self-talk in conjunction with physical training to enhance important mental skills such as confidence, focus and arousal management

Mental skills are important in predicting your success in the particular physical activity one is participating in

Mental skills training has been used to improve sport performance, develop life skills, aid in rehabilitation from injury and disease, and enhance career transition and retirement form sport.

Helping people get started with exercise
Introduce them to light enjoyable exercise
Help them establish realistic goals
Avoid situations where the individual may feel vulnerable or lapses in confidence
Use immediate, informational feedback
Physically guide individual through movements in which they lack confidence
After they have gained skill and knowledge,
encourage them to take gradual control of their exercise through self-monitoring and regulation.

A mental technique that programs the mind to respond to senses that create or recreate an experience in the mind.

Research has demonstrated that when used systematically, imagery enhances sport and exercise performance, and although imagery cannot take the place of physical practice, it is better than no practice at all.

Attentional Focus
    Maintaining attentional control and focus may be the most important mental skill for any type of physical activity
 Attention or focus is trainable
Expert athletes are superior to non-experts in selecting processing cues from the sport environment.
 Attentional focus is affected by ones arousal levels
 Moderate levels of arousal are better for sport performance than under- or overarousal.
 Increases in arousal brought on by stress and pressure can cause another attentional focus problem.
 May make individuals more self-focused, which leads to the mental phenomenon “choking”.
 Choking is the sudden or progressive deterioration of performance below the typical and expected level of expertise for a person performing under pressure.
Other Mental Skills
Attentional focus is a key skill for any performer in any physical activity.

Other mental skills include:
Energy Management
Self Awareness
Productive thinking
Many mental training tools are used in sport and exercise psychology other than imagery

Tips to use imagery effectively
Use as many senses as possible in your imagery

Practice using both internal and external perspectives
Load your images with productive behavioral, physical, and mental responses
Be in specific performance posture
Use simple verbal triggers
Practice imagery daily

Physical Relaxation Techniques
Used to control their autonomic functions, including muscular and hormonal changes during physical activity.
breathing exercises
muscular tension-relaxation techniques
Momentary relaxation before exercising is effective in facilitating smooth, coordinated muscular effort
Individuals can learn how to regulate physiological arousal by reducing their heart and breathing rates to induce a more relaxed state.
People can use physical relaxation techniques in conjunction with goal setting, imagery, and self-talk to optimize both physical and cognitive readiness to engage in physical activity.

Important topic because of the pressure we feel in our society to perform, excel, and juggle responsibilities at the same time.
1: Involves feeling of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion
2: Exhaustion leads to negative moods and feelings as well as negative change in response to other people.
3: Feel lack of accomplishment, which decreases their performance level and self esteem
4: Causes people to become disillusioned with their involvement in an activity
 Burnout is a complex condition that occurs when certain personality characteristics of people interact with life stressors.

Preventing Burnout
 Engage in different types of activities
Coaches should build variety into sport training to break the monetary of repetitive training
 Focus on quality of training and know when to push themselves as well as know when to rest.
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