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Sports Psychology

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  1. Sports Psychology

  2. Sports Psychology – study of sport and exercise, and the mental factors influencing performance • Purpose: to improve performance and self-image • Athletes physically prepare all the time but often forget the mental aspect of their sport • It is often said that 95% of the “game” is mental

  3. Historically athletes only sought psychological help when they had a problem • Today it is a booming field • They guide athletes to find increased success and happiness • Goals • Self-confidence • Motivation • Positive self-image • Strategies to cope with stress and disappointment

  4. Motivation • Motivation – an internal state or conditional (sometimes described as a need, desire, or want) that serves to activate or energize behavior and give it direction • Two types • Extrinsic – from the outside • External reward ($ or praise) based on goals, interest, and values of others • Intrinsic – from within yourself • Behavior for its own sake, requires not external support or reinforcement • Examples: personal achievement, enjoyment, self-confidence

  5. Goal Setting • Goal Setting – Identifying clearly defined, specific objectives that are measurable • Gives a long-term vision & short-term motivation • By setting specific goals • Can measure progress • Take pride in achievement of those goals

  6. With goals – individuals can • Achieve more • Improve performance • Improve quality of training • Increase motivation to achieve at a higher level • Increase pride and satisfaction in performance • Improve self-confidence

  7. Research 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 • By setting goals – the athletes will understand the level he wishes to reach and the skills needed to achieve it

  8. When setting goals…. • Express Goals Positively • Set positive goals not negative • Example: By Oct 30th I will be able to run 2 miles. • Set Priorities • If you have several goals, put them in order of importance • Write goals down • Avoid confusion, and give goals more power • Goals should be written down and visible

  9. Keep Operational Goals Small • These are the mini-goals that help accomplish the larger goals • Large Goal – Run a Marathon • Mini-goal – Be able to run 2 miles by end of month • Set Performance, Not Outcome Goals • Performance Goal – improve run speed by end of month • Outcome Goal – Run 1 mile in 5 minutes by end of month • Set Specific Goals • Goals must be measurable

  10. Set Goals at the right level • Set goals that are a little out of your reach not a lot • Example: Run 4 miles vs. run a marathon • Take into account factors that will prevent from reaching your goal such as: • Fatigue, injury, time • Set Short-term and Long-Term Goals • Short-Term Goals – goal that can be reached within a few months or less. Must be specific • Long-Term goals – a goal that you can reach in the distant future. Write them down, review periodically and reevaluate as needed

  11. Stress • Stress – Some factor that causes awareness, anxiety, focus, or fear; stress can be either good or bad and have both positive and negative effects • Positive • Increase awareness • Maintain clearer focus • Increase motivation • Filter out distractions • Too much stress will hinder performance

  12. Transitional Stress: Transitions between levels • Facing the unknown • Increased competition • New teammates • Adjusting to the change in level • Often occurs to when: • Beginning a new sport • Going from high school to college, college to pros • Changing leagues • Retiring from sports

  13. Injuries • Usually takes them out of competition • Set them back in training and performance • Athletes must modify goals when injured • Burnout: mental and physical exhaustion that causes an athlete to drop out of a sport or quit an activity that was once enjoyable

  14. Causes of Burnout • Pressure to win • Criticism from coaches, parents, other teammates • Start being competitive at very young age • Stress of early/late practices • Lack of normal social life • Most people who quit due to burn out usually are physically able to continue but not mentally

  15. Did you know….. • 80% of children who participate in youth sports dropout by the time they are 15 • Why? • Parents enroll too early in competitive sports • Kids not emotionally able to handle the pressure • Do not fully understand the sport or competition • Achieve success too early • Parents/Coach’s emphasize winning too much not fun • Limited to 1 sport or competitive in too many sports

  16. Other causes of stress in sports • Gender issues • Girls in sports perceived to be too masculine • Boys in sports perceived to be too feminine

  17. Managing Stress • Negative effects of stress can interfere with judgment and fine motor control • The more stress an athlete has, the more of their mental energy will be consumed • How to manage stress? • Set Goals • Meditation • Positive Thinking • Time Management • Take breaks • Talk about it

  18. Self-Confidence • Probably the most important attribute an athlete can have • Reflects their self-worth • Determines one happiness in life • Sports can… • Be highly positive in improving self-worth OR • Be highly negative in damaging it

  19. Those with self-confidence…. • tend to take risks because they can take it when it goes wrong • Children who are forced to play sports they do not like it can be destructive • Can lead to lack of self-esteem • Self-confidence needs to be realistic

  20. Under confidence • Suffer from fear of failure, self-doubt, negative thinking, and lack of concentration • Over confidence • Can be dangerous • Expectations are not based on ability