Topic: EducationCareer

Last updated: May 24, 2019

As I have read over the course of sports psychology I have found that sports psychology
is necessary and vital to the world of athletics. This field takes knowledge away from
biomechanics ?, ?physiology ?, ?kinesiology ? and ?psychology ?. ?Sports psychologists have been known to
help athletes overcome athletic problems, enhance performance, and achieve goals many athletes
have. Sports psychology ? is the study of how ?psychology ? influences ?sports ?, athletic performance,
exercise, and physical activity. Some ?sports psychologists ? work with professional athletes and
coaches to improve performance and increase motivation. Sports psychologists are interested in
two main areas the two are helping athletes use psychological principles to achieve the best
mental health possible. Another area they are interested in is how athletes participation in their
favorite sport can affect an individual's psychological development. Contemporary sport and
exercise psychologists may choose from many different kinds of orientations to the field. Three
of the most popular being psycho-physiological, social-physiological, and cognitive behavioral
approaches. “Sports psychologists who study psychophysiological orientation think that the best
way to study behavior during sports and exercise is to look at the physiological process that the
brain goes through, as well as the influences on physical activity”. These type of psychologists
usually test heart rate, brain wave activity, and muscle action. “If a sports psychologists studied
social psychological orientation they believe that everything is determined by an interaction
between the environment especially the social environment and the personal makeup of the
athlete or exerciser”. For example if a sports psychologists studied social psychological
orientation they might examine how a leader's style and strategies have an impact on an exercise
program. The third is cognitive behavioral approaches. “This approach is emphasized on the
athletes thoughts and behaviors and sports psychologists who study this believe that thought is
the central idea in determining an athletes behavior”. All of these things make up what sports
psychology is as well as the most dominant orientations in the field of sports psychology.
In America sports psychology dates back to the late 19th and 20th centuries when several
psychologists started conducting many sports related studies. In 1898 a psychologist named
Norman Triplett was observing cyclists he then decided to design an experiment. He found that
cyclists made better time when they were competing against others in races versus when they
cycled alone. Competition helped to push people faster, people have a natural competition
instinct. Norman Triplett was the birth of sport psychology, he became the first to mix sports and
psychology. After Triplett the development during the time period of 1921-1938 laborites and
psychological testing came to be. “The first laboratories were developed in Germany, Japan,
Russia, and the United States”. All of these laboratories then increased sports psychology testing.
Then a man named “Coleman Griffith was the first North American to devote a lot of his career
to the field of sports psychology”. Griffith developed the first laboratory dedicated to sports
psychology. He then opened coaching schools and wrote many book throughout his career. As
well as conducting studies on professional athletes. He worked alone and in isolation to make a
serious commitment to sports psychology. He became an excellent sports psychologist during his
time and became a model to others. “During this time psychologists also began to test athletes,
testing them on reaction times, concentration, their personality, and aggression”. During
1939-1965 another person who made and impact on the history of sports psychology is a man
named Franklin Henry. “He was largely responsible for the fields scientific development, he
dedicated his career to the study of psychological aspects of sport and motor skill acquisition”.
Henry trained other physical educators who later contributed to this field. During this time period
and important individual was named Dorothy Hazeltine Yates. “She was one of the first women

in the United States to practice sports psychology and to conduct research”. She developed a
technique called the relaxation-set method that she used during World War 2 when she helped
college boxers. She later taught more psychology classes that benefited other people. In
1966-1977 sports psychology had become separate from the academic discipline of physical
education and it also was separate from motor learning. During this time period motor learning
specialists did not focus on what sports psychologists did. Motor skill specialists focused on how
people acquire motor skills. In contrast sports psychologists studied how psychological factors
influenced sport and motor skill performance. From the mid 1970s to the 2000s growth in sports
psychology began to show tremendously. “This field became more accepted and recognized by
the public.” “People became more interested in applied issues as well as growing and developing
as a speciality area for researchers and practitioners”. More and better research was being
conducted and developed and the research was being respected in other fields including
psychology. “In this period Dorothy Harris advanced the cause of both women and sport
psychology by helping to establish the PSU graduate program in sport psychology”. Harris
opened up the field to future women who wanted to follow during this time period when few
women were following sports psychology at the time. In the present day sports psychology is in
a variety of different places and it has a big future. It is more accepted today and seen as an
exciting field that is full of opportunities.
Sport psychologists help professional and amateur athletes overcome problems, enhance
their performance and achieve their goals. “A famous basketball player Ron Artest of the Los
Angeles Lakers gave credit to psychological help for being successful on the court.” It would
seem that professional athletes never need any extra psycholgical help and only amatuer athletes
would be the only ones to seek help. But professional athletes such as Artest would be crazy not
to seek help when they need it because it would help them reach their highest potential as well as
helping them feel more confident. Coaches typically focus on the physical side of sports while
sports psychologists focus on all athletes minds amateurs and professionals alike and help them
reach their main goal. In some cases athletes reach out to sports psychologists when they have a
serious problem. “Some athletes reach out for help when they become to anxious during a game,
lose focus during a game to easily, when they have trouble communicating with their teammates,
controlling their temper, or even if they are unmotivated to play.” But sports psychologists don't
only have to help athletes if they have a problem they can also help them with other things.
“Such as enhancing performance, coping with pressure, recover from injuries, helping them keep
up an exercise program, and to enjoy the sport they are playing”. Sports psychology can even
help people off the playing field. The same strategies that sport psychologists teach athletes such
as relaxation techniques can work in other settings and benefit other people not only athletes.
Throughout sport psychology and its history as well as through its great advancements it
has still continued to show an amazing progression of growth that has benefited all athletes today
in many positive aspects. From what sports psychology is and how it has a great influence on
people, to the history of how it all started, as well as how sports psychologists help professional
athletes to amateur athletes alike. All of these points correlate to the present day as well as the
most common role for a sports psychologists which is to teach mental skills for enhanced
performance. As well as helping you improve confidence, focus, composure, intensity, and trust
in athletic performance. These mental skills help athletes improve performance and can help in
other areas of an athlete's life. All of this influence athletes lives positively and shows how
important the field of sports psychology is.

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Work Cited

? Notes from class from the sports psychology book ? Foundations Of Sport And Exercise


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