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Sports Psychology

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By keyanawiggins
Words 2533
Pages 11
Intro
Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and experiences of organism in relation to the environment. Sports psychology is concerned with the psychological foundations, processes, and consequences of the psychological regulation of sport-related activities of one or several persons acting as the subject of the activity.
Applied sports and exercise psychology involves the idea of theory and research into the field to those individuals such as coaches, fitness professionals, and athletic trainers about psychological aspects of their sports or activity. The ultimate goal that’s trying to be reached through applied sports and exercise psychology is to facilitate optimal involvement, performance, and enjoyment in sport and exercise.
Throughout this literature review I will go into detail on what is it to be a sports psychologist, and what are their major job and the benefits of this practice. Many individuals get their masters or even undergraduate degrees in sports psychology. Today many schools don’t offer this option so you can also get a master’s in clinical psychology if you want to pursue the career of a sports psychologist. By giving detailed descriptions and the goals, steps necessary to take to become a sports psychologist, athletic trainer and many other careers you can get into. I found a few scholarly articles that help explain the ultimate goal of applied sports and exercise psychology. Is applied sports and exercise psychology necessary in enhancing an athlete’s performance? Is an athlete able to perform better and perform at their best ability without going through the practice of applied sports and exercise psychology?

Educational Aspects

Sports psychology is a combination of many several disciplines within sports science and psychology. Those looking and wanting to succeed in this field can take various pathways in their education to obtain this career. Some of the employment options available for this type of career include counseling/therapy, teaching, coaching, research, and many others. A bachelor’s degree in sports psychology or even a double major in psychology and a sports-related subject can still open up some career opportunities. Most of the entry-level and higher jobs in this type of field do require a graduate degree. Clinical or Applied sports psychologist education requirements include doctoral degree for most positions, depending on your state you would need to be licensure and have a certification. According to the U.S Bureau of labor statistics the average salary for any psychologist is about $89,810. Clinical sports psychologist are typically counseling athletes who are facing personal and career crises such as anxiety, performance issues, behavior modification and mental responses to physical injuries. Applied sports psychologist work closely with sports teams on various methods of mental conditioning, including visualization, concentration and relaxation techniques. They work alongside coaches, trainers, and managers; others practice independently and perform consulting services on an as-needed basis. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics the average salary for psychologist, including sports psychologist is $89,810 per year in May 2014. The employment rate for this career field is expected to increase by 12% between 2012 and 2022 which is believed to be the national average for all careers. Salaries are based on the psychologist’s area of specialization and how long they are experienced in this field, the employing organization and the amount of advanced training received. Those experienced psychologist who work for professional sports teams, or professional athletes may earn six-figure salaries. While those who aren’t working for these teams but an educational or research setting is going to receive a more modest salary. Positions for potential psychologists with master’s degrees are limited and individuals may face intense competition for the available jobs. Sports psychologist with a master’s degree may expect to most likely be working as assistant counselors or in research positions, directly supervised by a licensed psychologist. The time spent volunteering with a sports teams or interning under the supervision of sports and exercise psychology professionals may help you improve to a full-time position. Entry level positions for a licensed sports psychologist typically require you to obtain a master’s or doctorate degree in clinical psychology, sports psychology, or counseling. At this time very few schools offer full sports and exercise psychology programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. Undergraduate students may consider becoming a double major in psychology and exercise science or major in one discipline with a minor.
Graduate and post-graduate students usually complete coursework in exercise science, kinesiology and clinical psychology. A one-year internship through a program that is approved by the American Psychological Association may be a requirement for graduation. Once you obtain your state licensing or certification as a psychologist you are able to continue your education and training through several professional organizations. Some of the organizations include the APA and the association for applied sport psychology.

Psychological Skills Used in Applied Sports and Exercise Psychology A skill that is commonly used by psychologist in the field of applied sports and exercise psychology include anxiety or energy management. This skill is commonly used to help individuals who experience arousal at a level that is either too high or low for optimal performance. These techniques are used for anxiety, stress, and anger management, some common treatments include: breathing, progressive relaxation, meditation, and cognitive techniques. Attention and concentration control help the athlete focus their awareness on relevant cues so they can effectively deal with their current situation. Helps them maintain their mental intensity with a situation; some treatments include attention control training, and expand awareness. Communication helps to improve a group’s cohesion and individual interaction when in a sports setting. Techniques include teaching active listening and communication skills, helping individuals create a free and open environment, and assertiveness training. Goal setting is a major skill used by coaches to set goals for the team to reach and build from. It’s used for enhancing motivation, focusing attention on aspects of performance that need improvement or facilitating rehabilitation from injury. The establishment of goal setting includes emphasis on skill development, identifying dates for attaining goals, identifying goal achievement strategies and providing regular goal evaluation.
Team building is the process of helping the members included in your group enhances their ability to work cohesively through improvement of communication, group objectives, trust, and respect. These strategies are usually put into effect at the beginning of a season to help the players become more familiar and trusting with each other. Some techniques include group introductions, rope courses, and individual and team goal setting. Time Management/Organization is the ability to plan and maintain one’s regular schedule in a way that avoids confusion, conflict, and undue stress. Some time management techniques include teaching how to use a planner, learning the demands of a task, setting legitimate goals for tasks, understanding the demands of one’s life and developing pre-performance routines.

Sports Psychology
There are a wide variety of athletic sports, whether it be the most common of all, football, or the not so common, and high jump. Sports are considered as one of many favorite pastimes, and overtime it has become very competitive. Not only do people enjoy watching sports, but many people also love to play sports. Over the years these games have grown worldwide, and now these great athletes are not only good at what they do, they also play to win. How do these athletes get so good at what they do? Could it be genetics or maybe the environment they grow up in, or can it be just self-determination? Sports Psychology is a growing psychological process. These days you may see more Sport Psychologists coaching your favorite golf or tennis player. Even if these athletes are at their best, there is always room to improve mentally and physically. The mind and the body work together as one. In fact many have said that "sports are more of a mental process than a physical one." If an athlete lacks concentration, has no motivation, and has a poor mental attitude, that person is unlikely to succeed. He cannot work well as one nor can he work well as a team player because he needs to have self-confidence.
Self-confidence is very essential. Many sports psychologists help athletes to realize that if you are less confident about yourself, the tendency is for that someone not to take the challenge and the risks. On the other hand, if one has over-confidence, you could end up losing a game for taking things for granted and not trying hard enough. With having self-confidence, anything seems possible, and without it, you will conquer nothing. Therefore psychologists help to build that confidence up, where you can perform at a professional level.
On a different level, sports involve many emotions, a lot of competition, cooperation, decision making and achievements. People involved in sports attempt to master very difficult skills, often subjecting themselves to intense physical stress as well as social pressure. Athletes aim to succeed so much that they are pressured to handle the stress from managers, fans, and owners, not to mention the immense competition. Athletes also have to integrate their social lives with work. For one, they have to worry about being traded to a different team in another state, and then they may end up spending hours and hours away from the family for training. When dealing with such stress, many cannot cope and need psychological help. This is where the psychologist steps in. He or she may specialize in a area in psyche such as motivation, relaxation or counseling. Sports psychologist has come a long way for athletes. Not only does it deal with motor performance and motor skills, now sports psychology deals with a wide range of topics. Some may think, "Why spend time and money on a psychologist since it’s all mental?" Well the fact of the matter is that you might go cuckoo not having someone to talk to.

Professional Roles Everyone has a specific role when it comes to applied sports and exercise psychology; these roles include athletic trainer, physical therapist, coach, psychologist, and performance enhancement consultant. Athletic Trainers work to prevent, assess, and treat injuries in athletes and exercisers. They provide acute and long–term care for injured physically active people, as well as design and monitor rehabilitation programs. The Physical Therapist typically works in a sports medicine or hospital clinic to provide acute and long-term care for a variety of sport and work–related injuries. Designs and monitors rehabilitation programs. The Coach is the organizational leader of a specific sports team. Often manages team affairs such as traveling, recruiting, and scheduling in addition to having a primary role as a teacher of sport-specific skills and strategy. The Psychologist is trained in clinical or counseling psychology to provide individual or group therapy relative to a broad range of behavioral and emotional issues. Typically works in a public clinic or private practice. Performance Enhancement Consultants are professionals trained in sport and exercise but are not licensed psychologists or counselors. Also known as sport and exercise psychology consultants or mental coaches. Provides individual or group consultations geared towards performance–related issues.

Effects of a Coach Transition Each year, many coaches leave their positions (e.g., experience transitions). This change can have damaging effects on athletes, sports programs, and coaches (O’Connor & Bennie, 2006; Raedeke, Warren, & Granzyk, 2002). As a consequence, understanding the factors that influence coach transitions is pertinent. To address this need, 2 qualitative descriptive studies were conducted to examine the work-environment factors that influence coach transitions. In Study 1, 21 full-time, part-time, and volunteer coaches from across Canada participated in semi structured interviews.
Through a process of inductive content analysis (Miles & Huberman, 1994), 10 lower-order themes describing reasons coaches transitioned between positions were identified. These 10 lower-order themes were grouped into 4 higher-order themes: (a) interpersonal considerations, (b) work demands, (c) career concerns, and (d) positive coaching experiences. Building on Study 1, Study 2 sought to explicitly explore the positive and negative factors influencing transitions with a further 14 coaches. Following analysis, 2 overarching themes depicting reasons for transitions were identified: seeking opportunities to be more successful or achieve more success, and leaving a negative or challenging work environment.
These 2 overarching themes were underpinned by a further 6 higher-order themes. Overall, results indicated there are various factors influencing coaches’ transitions, and that such transitions can be motivated by positive factors. Findings highlight the importance of practitioners and sports organizations providing support to enable coaches to advance their career and also provide better support and strategies to optimize coaches’ working environment. (Knight 2015).
Conclusion
Applied sports and exercise psychology is a career where psychologist is in high demand, due to the many kids we have today who are becoming involved in sports. As these kids experience the wins, losses, triumphs, and downfalls they will come across a change in their behavior and performance. It the job of a applied/clinical sports psychologist to help their performance to still fulfill these activities the best of their ability. The main goal of applied sport and exercise psychology involves extending theory and research into the field to educate coaches, athletes, parents, fitness professionals, and athletic trainers. This field of study includes a combination of individual and group consulting depending on the style of the psychologist conducting. The educations aspects to becoming a clinical or applied sports psychologist include doctoral degree for most positions, depending on your state you would need to be licensure and have a certification. Clinical sports psychologist are typically counseling athletes who are facing personal and career crises such as anxiety, performance issues, behavior modification and mental responses to physical injuries. Applied sports psychologist work closely with sports teams on various methods of mental conditioning, including visualization, concentration and relaxation techniques There are few common psychological skills used in the field of applied sport and exercise psychology. These include anxiety or energy management, attention and concentration control, communication, goal setting, imagery, visualization, mental practice, self-talk, team building, and time management/Organization. A field such as this has its perks such as helping potential professional athletes with improving their skill, or professional athlete maintain their skills.

Work Cited * Harris, D. V., & Harris, B. L. (1984). The athlete's guide to sports psychology: Mental skills for physical people (Vol. 1). Human Kinetics. * Knight, C., Rodgers, W., Reade, I., Mrak, J., & Hall, C. (2015). Coach transitions: Influence of interpersonal and work environment factors. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 170-187. * Iso-Ahola, S. E., & Hatfield, B. D. (1986). Psychology of sports: A social psychological approach. William C Brown Pub. * Silva, J. M., & Stevens, D. E. (2002). Psychological foundations of sport. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, c2002. xviii, 558 p.: illustrations; 25 cm.. * Gill, D. L. (2000). Psychological dynamics of sport and exercise . Human Kinetics. * Thomson, J. (2014). Training for Performance: Lessons from Sports Psychology Applied to Musical Training (Doctoral dissertation, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES). * Weinberg, R. S., & Gould, D. (2014). Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 6E. Human Kinetics. * Bhardwaj, S. K. (2015). BEHAVIOURAL SCIENCE AND SPORTS. Asian Journal of Multidimensional Research, 3(1).

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