Contemporary Issues in Sport and Exercise Psychology Missouri Western State University William Russell, PhD, Dept. of HPER
What is Sport Psychology? • 2 main objectives: • To understand how psychological factors affect in individual’s performance • To understand how participation in sport and exercise affects one’s psychological development, health, and well-being.
What Sport and Exercise Psychologists Do: • Research role • Teaching role • Consulting role • Policy Making / advocating role
Global Sport Psychology Specialties: • Clinical Sport Psychology • Have training in PSYCHOLOGY to learn about diagnose and treat emotional disorders • Licensed by state boards to treat clinical conditions • Have additional training in sports & exercise sciences • Educational Sport Psychology: • Extensive training in sport sciences – have large background in psychology • Serves as mental coach / mental trainer – works through individual/group sessions and teaches the development of psychological skills
Sport and Exercise Psychology Orientations: • Psychophysiological Orientation: • Best way to study behavior during sport / exercise is by examining physiological processes in the brain; brain-body connections • EX: using biofeedback to train biathletes to shoot between heartbeats; examining changes in serotonin as explanation for psychological benefit of exercise
Sport and Exercise Psychology Orientations: 2. Social Psychological Orientation • Assumption is behavior is determined by interchange between person and their environment • EX: How does leader behavior influence team cohesion; Are people with high SPA more comfortable in same-gender exercise settings?
Sport and Exercise Psychology Orientations: • Cognitive-Behavioral Orientation: • Emphasis is on athlete’s / exercisers thoughts and behaviors • EX: Is there a self-fulfilling prophecy linking self-talk and batting slumps?
Main Organizations involved in Sport and Exercise Psychology: • International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP) • www.issponline.org • North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) • www.naspspa.org • The Sport Psychology Academy (SPA) • www.aahperd.org • Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP) • www.aaasponline.org • American Psychological Association Div. 47 (APA, Div. 47) • www.psyc.unt.edu/apadiv47 • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) • www.acsm.org • The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) • www.usoc.org
Membership Comparisons of AAASP and NASPSPA: Interest Areas Ex. & Sp PsychMotor Learning / ControlMotor Development n = 258 n=266 n=155 38% 39% 23% PsychologistsSport ScienceOthers: N=495 N=572 N=40 45% 52% 3%
Applied Sport Psychology: Sport Psychology and It’s Growing Pains: • Concerned with extending theory/research to educate coaches, athletes, and parents regarding goals for facilitating optimal sport involvement and performance, • Usually involves individual/group consulting and counseling • Many specific concepts (goal setting, imagery, concentration, relaxation, imagery) BUT • General goal is teaching athletes mental skills necessary to perform consistently and realize their potential as people and athletes. Focal Areas of Applied Sport Psychology: • Performance enhancement / intervention • Social Psychology • Health and Exercise
1. Performance Enhancement / Intervention: • Focus is on performance improvements in any achievement setting • Also concerned with effects of interventions on well-being of sport / exercise participants • Examples: • Stress Inoculation Training (SIT) with athletes • Attentional Training effectiveness • Flow experiences in sport
2. Social Psychology Emphasis • Uses theory / research to focus on group processes in sport & exercise settings • Social factors are examined as they relate to athletes, coach, team, and spectators • Examples of special interests: • Achievement motivation (Achievement Goal Theory) • Moral development through sport • Peer relationships in physical activity and sport • Youth sports (The reverse-dependency trap) • Social Physique Anxiety in Sport and Exercise Settings (A problem at both ends of the spectrum)
3. Health and Exercise: • Focuses on role of psych. Factors in exercise; as they pertain to resistance to disease development & remediation, coping with stress, and health promotion • Primary interest is link between mental and physical health. • Examples of special interest areas: • Problem-focused vs. emotion focused coping and health • Hardiness and disease risk (Control, Challenge, Commitment) • Exercise and Psychoneuroimmunology • Psychological benefits of exercise
Major Splits in Recent Years within the Field: Sport Psychology Sport Psychology Exercise Psychology Health Psychology
Why the Need for Exercise Psychology? Prevalence of risk factors for CHD in the general US population for 1980 - 2005
Behaviors are easier to maintain in environments that are supportive of that behavior- for better ….. Or worse…
Sample Interest Areas within Exercise Psychology: • Designing exercise programs to maximize psych. Benefits • Exercise addictions • Exercise adoption, maintenance, and adherence • Exercise as a stress management technique • Gender / Sex-role influences on exercise • Overuse injuries in exercise settings • The runners/exercisers’ high • Psychotherapeutic influences of exercise for depression • Psychological benefits for specific populations
The Certification Issue: AAASPRequired Coursework for becoming an AAASP certified consultant EITHER SPORT SCIENCE OR PSYCHOLOGY COURSES Courses Description • Professional ethics 1 course • Sport psychology 3 courses in all subdisciplines • Research Design, Stats or 1 course in any of these areas psychological assessment • Biological bases of behavior 1 course in comparative psychology; physio psychology • Cognitive Affective bases Course in cognition, motor development or motor learning • Social Bases of behavior 1 course in social psychology
The Certification Issue: AAASPRequired Coursework for becoming an AAASP certified consultant PRIMARILY SPORT SCIENCE COURSES: Course Description • Biomechanical / physiological bases 1 course in kinesio., Ex. Physio, Biomechanics • Historical, philosophy, sociology 1 course in this area of sport sci • Skills, techniques, analysis 1 methods course in sport area PRIMARILY PSYCH COURSES: • Psychopathology 1 course in abnormal • Counseling skills course work to foster basic counseling skills • Individual Behavior 1 course in developmental, personality theory, individual differences Supervised Consulting Experience: Verification of at least 400 hours of supervised experience in exercise and sport psychology
Achievement Goal Theory: • 3 major factors in determining the motivation levels of children in youth sport settings: • Goal Orientation • Task-orientation – success is defined as self-referent improvement • Ego-orientation – success is defined by social comparison and out-doing others • Motivational Climate • Mastery climate – focus is on learning, effort, cooperative strategies, and skill development • Performance climate – competitive, beating teammates, demonstrating superiority over others • Perceived ability • High – greater competence • Low – less competence
Ego orientation may undermine the value attached to fairness and justicein sport settings
Who would you most want to have as a young athlete? • Hi task/hi ego? • Hi task/low ego? • Low task/High ego? • Low task/Low ego?