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Psychology in Sports FAQ’s

Frequently asked questions about Sports Psychology

What Role do Sport Psychology Consultants play in the lives of athletes?

  • Help athletes to enhance their performance by improving their mental well-being.

    • Educating coaches, athletes, physical therapists and certified athletic trainers about basic psychological techniques that may contribute to enhance performance

      • Working directly with athletes helping them to cope with stresses and improve their athletic performance.

        • Help them overcome their anxieties and stresses with performance

          • Assist them to cope with an injury, transitions and end of career.
          • What/Who can hurt athletes mentally?

            • A parent or coach who does not foster a positive environment.

              • Negative Role Modeling

                • One thing that should not be focused upon as cause of failure is the lack of ability. Only lack of effort should be discussed.

                  • Placing unnecessary pressure on their children.

                    • Dealing with injury worse than their child.
                      • Pushing them too much…
                      • What can parental pressure do to athletes?

                        • Parents sometimes do not understand the stress placed upon their children just from their expectations.

                          • Place unnecessary anxiety on them which in turn can cause them to loss self esteem, become depressed and/or be more susceptible to anxiety.

                            • Make them possibly quit (just out of spite).
                            • *****Remember Coaches teach and Parents ENCOURAGE!!!******

                              What can parents do to help their children?

                              • MParents need to recognize their behaviors and assist in the cognitive development of their children though positive reinforcement no matter how good or bad their performance.

                                • Know when to be involved and when not to be.

                                  • Realize it is their child’s time to be an athlete and to be careful not to try and live vicariously through their children. This could cause pressure on the child and they may participate in sports for the wrong reasons.

                                    • By recognizing the difference between excessive anxiety and butterflies and assist their children with different techniques to alleviate such stress.
                                      • Make special efforts to stress your child’s strengths
                                      • What can athletes do to build their own self-confidence?

                                        • Choose a highly skilled role model to emulate

                                          • Use cognitive strategies- mental training or techniques such as positive self talk, mental imagery and thought stopping (stop negative self-talk)

                                            • Be ready-nothing builds self-confidence like preparation. Learning from past mistakes, listening to coaches instruction, being in excellent physical condition

                                              • Have fun!!!

                                                • Learn more about sport psychology.
                                                • What is Mental Toughness and how do you get it?

                                                  • Being mentally tough is the ability to consistently perform at your best regardless of the expected or unexpected competitive circumstances.

                                                    • Toughness training is being able to increase your ability to handle all different kinds of stress.

                                                      • The key to it is to be able to recover from stressful events.

                                                        • It is also staying positive in all aspects from emotionally to mentally to the self talk generated in your own thoughts.

                                                          • Be physically ready… If you are not, then your mind will break down…

                                                            • Mental toughness= physical + mental … The two MUST go hand in hand.
                                                            • Do you get enough SLEEP?

                                                              • Sleep is key to performance
                                                              • “MOST STUDENTS ARE CHRONICALLY SLEEP DEPRIVED”
                                                                What can be done to assist an athlete in regulating stress (ors)?

                                                                • Coaches and/or parents should be careful not to over react to an athlete’s mistakes… this may cause the athlete to lose concentration.

                                                                  • Mental Plans-Preparation is the key.

                                                                    • Being in condition.
                                                                    • How to cope with day to day pressure?

                                                                      • Anxiety is due to Athletes fear failure and as a result social disapproval and or rejection from coaches, teammates and/or peers.

                                                                        • Concerns of expectations from others

                                                                        • show techniques that assist with anxiety or nervousness

                                                                          What makes an athlete successful?

                                                                          • Unique habits they perform before and during the contest

                                                                            • Mental rehearsal

                                                                              • Strategies before competition

                                                                                • Do not fear their opponent…

                                                                                  • Being prepared

                                                                                    • Cope better with pain during competition as well as sport related stress

                                                                                      • IT IS ALL A STATE OF MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                                                                      • EMPOWER YOURSELF NOT OTHERS!!!!!!
                                                                                        References:

                                                                                        • Brewer, B. A., M., & VanRaalte, J. (2005). Psychological apsects of sport injury rehabilitation: Toward a biopsychosocial approach., Springfield College.

                                                                                          • Brewer, B. W., Jeffers, K. E., Petitpas, A. J., & Van Raalte, J. L. (1994). “Perceptions of psychological interventions in the context of sport injury rehabilitation ” The Sport Psychologist 8: 176-188.

                                                                                            • Brewer, B. W., Jeffers, K. E., Petitpas, A. J., & Van Raalte, J. L. (1994). “Perceptions of psychological interventions in the context of sport injury rehabilitation ” The Sport Psychologist 8: 176-188.

                                                                                              • Cox, R. H. (2002). Sport psychology: Concepts and applications. New York, NY, McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
                                                                                                • Cramer, J. L., & Perna, F. M. (2000). “Psychology/counseling: A universal competency in athletic training.” Journal of Athletic Training 35(4): 458-465.
                                                                                                  • Evans, L., Hardy, L., & Fleming, S. (2000). Intervention strategies: With injured athletes An Action research study. The Sport Psychologist, 14, 188-206.
                                                                                                    • Heil, J. (1993). Psychology of sport injury. Champaign: IL; Human Kinetics.
                                                                                                      • Leddy, Lambert & Oles (December, 1994). Psychological consequences of athletic injury among high level competitors.” Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 65, 347-354.
                                                                                                        • MacNeil, K. (2001). A look into the needs of injured athletes: Implications and recommendations as retrieved from www.planetfield hockey.com on February 8th, 2008.
                                                                                                          • Murphy, S. M. (1995). Sport psychology interventions. Champaign, IL, Human Kinetics.
                                                                                                            • Schwenz, S. (2002). “Psychology of Injury and Rehabilitation.” Athletic Therapy Today(6): 44-45.
                                                                                                              • Taylor, J., & Taylor, S. (1997). Psychological Approaches to Sports Injury and Rehabilitation Aspen: CO Aspen Publishers.
                                                                                                                • Weiss-Bjornstal, D., Smith.A., Schaffer, S., & Morrey, M. (1998). An integrated model of response to injury. Psychological and sociological dynamics. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 10, 66-69.