Sports Psychology - What is Sports Psychology? Performance & Health

sports Psychology

sports Psychology

Sports psychology is a skill used in sports hypnosis and for sports psychologists to improve knowledge and skills to address optimal performance to create a strong mental strength in the athlete. As well as to develop social aspects of sports participation, and handle systemic issues in connection with sports competitions.

Sport psychology is designed to help athletes and other athletes (eg coaches, administrators, parents) from a wide range of competition levels and ages, from leisure participants to professional and Olympic athletes to champions.

Specialized knowledge

This competence helps and supports you who want to practice sports psychology. Here is specialized knowledge that includes:

Theory and research in social, historical, cultural and developmental foundations of sports psychology. News and techniques for sports-specific psychological evaluation and training for mental abilities for performance improvement and satisfaction of participation.

Sports psychology advisory issues with athletes. Developmental psychology and social issues related to sports participation. Sports and sports basics (eg exercise physiology, motor learning, sports medicine). Specific knowledge of training science and technical requirements for sports and competition,

Skills and procedures are used

Many strategies and procedures are used to deal with problems faced by athletes and other athletes.

Some of the most important areas include:

Cognitive and behavioral skills training for performance improvement. Objective; pictures and performance planning; strategies for concentration and attention; development of self-confidence, self-esteem and competence in sport; cognitive-behavioral self-regulation techniques; emotions management, sports career and leadership skills. Sports motivation; eating disorders and weight management; drug abuse; grief, depression, loss and suicide; overtraining and burnout; questions of sexual identity; aggression and violence; athletic injury and rehabilitation; career transitions and identity crises.


System interventions with parents and families participating in youth sports participation; training of coaches in motivation, interpersonal and leadership skills and talent development; training of coaches and administrators on early identification and prevention of psychological difficulties.

Sports psychology focus

Athletes and coaches generally focus on physical training and discipline to master athletic abilities. But mental and emotional skills training can be just as important for success in sports and in life beyond sports.

The purpose of sports psychology is to meet the mental and emotional needs of athletes. This improves their overall well-being and increases their sporting performance to the highest possible level.

Everyone experiences stress, but many athletes experience unique internal and external pressure to excel both on and off the playing field. Sports psychologists work with athletes to manage these stressors, improve their athletic performance and develop emotional balance.

Today, training for mental skills has become as much a part of the sport's success as strength, power and endurance training.

This is thanks to mindfulness and the popularity of meditation, yoga and visualization in the mainstream media. Research on the benefits of mindfulness meditation on resilience and stress management has been transferred to sports psychology. And many athletes continue to benefit from adding mental training to their training.

Early history of sports psychology

The origins of sports psychology are not easy to identify. Some believe that it developed in the field of psychology and others believe that it stemmed from a branch of physical exercise.

The first serious attempts by researchers to study how the mental and emotional landscape of athletes affects their athletic performance can be traced to the 1920s when dedicated sports psychology laboratories began to appear in Germany, Russia and the United States.

Many consider Dr. Coleman R. Griffith as the father and founder of sports psychology as we know it in the United States today.

Griffith created a research laboratory and taught courses in sports psychology at the University of Illinois in the 1920s, and authored two books focusing exclusively on the psychology of sport: The Psychology of Coaching published in 1926 and The Psychology of Athletics in 1928.

The modern sports psychology

Sports psychology is no longer a fad or a luxury, sports psychologists are routinely employed by a large majority of professional athletes and teams. Even amateur athletes find value in learning or training to create mental skills for their workouts.

The current academic and practical side of sports psychology includes specific and uniform standards for training, research and implementation. In 1986, the American Psychological Association (APA) created Division 47, which focuses specifically on exercise and sports psychology. There are also several academic journals, including The International Journal of Sports Psychology, which are devoted exclusively to the study of sports psychology.


Common techniques in sports psychology

Sports psychology continues to grow as research gathers, but there are some common focus areas that most sports psychologists practice. These areas tend to address three key aspects of mental and emotional training in athletes:

Performance improvement

Visualization and mental repetition have long been the cornerstone of sports psychology research and training. Its main focus is to help improve an athlete's performance. Such an exercise enables an athlete to mentally prepare for the perfect scenario and develop a mental "map" of a particular outcome. The science of visualization, also called images or self-hypnosis, indicates that an imagined experience is interpreted in the same way as an actual event and therefore leads to improved confidence and competence in an athlete.

Some studies even indicate that visualization can lead to empowering gains in athletes. Like visualization, self-talk and cultivating a positive attitude can be a critical element in regular training for mental skills.

Whether an athlete needs to work with attention, centering and focus or reducing and managing anxiety during stressful situations, all of these techniques aim to reduce distractions to improve an athlete or athlete's athletic performance.

Some experts point out the real effects of the so-called placebo effect produced by an athlete, believed to be highlighted by the many superstitions and rituals that some athletes swear by.

How mental skills improve athletic performance

Resistance and damage recovery

Another area where a sports psychologist can influence an athlete is by helping them develop mental and emotional resilience, especially after a major setback, loss or injury.

This skill is essential for injured athletes who may give in to the emotional stress of injury by becoming depressed, isolated or withdrawing.

Learning to use specific mental skills to deal with an injury - and using the power of the mind to facilitate physical healing - may sound far-reaching. But sports psychologists and athletes have found real benefits in practicing these mental skills.


7 ways to deal with the emotional stress of an injury

Motivation and emotional stress

Every athlete can sometimes feel tired, completely exhausted or simply unmotivated to train day after day. But sometimes it indicates a deeper question.

Motivation - and the lack of motivation - is another area where a qualified sports psychologist can come in to help athletes discover the root of their problems. Maybe they are physically or mentally tired, overtraining or even facing other emotional strains.

Motivation is not always about finding the right music recording or saying motivational things. Sometimes the real problem with lack of motivation is psychological, physical or social stress. A qualified sports psychologist can reveal the core issue and help an athlete formulate a strategy and set appropriate goals to revive the desire to play.

How to set realistic and motivating goals

What is a sports psychologist?

A sports psychologist is a specific type of practitioner who works with athletes to improve their emotional and mental well-being in an effort to promote optimal sports performance.

In working with a sports psychologist, many athletes will see their athletic performance improve dramatically. But even if this does not happen, most customers will experience an increased emotional balance and stability on and off the playing field.

The world of the sports psychologist is large and varied. Some experts work with professional athletes either one-on-one or in teams. Others prefer to work with amateur athletes, children or athletes in a particular sport.

Becoming a qualified sports psychologist requires both academic and practical experience. The educational paths also vary, but the psychological core is often applied in most academic programs. However, many professionals also specialize in sports psychology.

Although less common, some personal trainers and hypnotherapists have also joined the growing number of experts who help athletes deal with stress, anxiety and performance issues related to their thoughts and underlying beliefs.

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