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Unit  5  Sport  Psychology      

Define  what  you  think  Psychology  is?   Psychology  ~  the  science  of  behavior  and  mental  processes.  The  aim  of   psychology  is  to  explain  behavior.  By  understanding  why  people  behave  the  way   they  do  then  it  may  be  possible  to  change  or  control  behavior.     Define  what  you  think  Sport  Psychology  is?   Sport  Psychology  ~  a  discipline  in  which  psychology  is  applied  to  sport.  An   applied  sport  psychologist  aims  to  work  with  athletes  to  enhance  their   psychological  approach.  Often  these  interventions  are  directed  towards   enhancing  performance  although  sometimes  a  sport  psychologist  is  called  upon   to  deal  with  other  issues  (helping  an  athlete  during  injury,  rehabilitation,  or  to   come  to  terms  with  a  defeat.)  By  understanding  what  factors  impact  sport   performance  a  sport  psychologist  can  develop  appropriate  interventions  to  help   athletes  and  teams  improve.     Activities    

Dr.  Joel  Fisher  has  worked  with  various  typed  of  goalies  in  professional   rank  down  to  high  school.  Sammy  Zeider,  a  field  hockey  goalie,  broke   down  during  the  game  and  started  to  cry  because  of  all  the  mental  stress   and  attitude.  Dr.  Joel  Fisher  help  goalies  retain  self-­‐confidence  and  to  keep   it  through  adversity.  He  encourages  positive  self-­‐talk  and  relax  or  make   the  body  language  more  aggressive  if  the  focus  fades.  Tips  from  Dr.  Joel   Fisher  are  have  a  plan  of  positive  things  to  say  that  can  help  you  relax   during  the  game.  Another  tip  he  gives  to  goalies  is  to  channel  the   frustration  into  determination  and  focus.  He  tells  them  before  a  game  to   put  all  the  emotions  on  a  table  so  they  can  control  them  better.  Dr.  Joel   Fisher  helped  improve  Sammy  Zeider’s  game  and  helped  her  play  the  best   she  can  in  important  games  which  even  led  to  her  blocking  a  penalty  shot,   from  the  best  player  of  the  opposing  team.   http://blog.pennlive.com/patriotnewssports/2011/11/going_deep_the_psychol ogical_a.html   check  from  previous  class  when  Mr.  Noon  wasn’t  here          


Fundamentals  of  Sport  Psychology   self  talk  ~  one  strategy  that  athletes  use  to  maintain  or  enhance  their   performance  in  competition  is  self-­‐talk.  For  example,  in  their  analysis  of  coping   strategies  used  by  elite  figure  skaters  Gould,  Finch  and  Jackson  (1993)  reported   that  70%  of  the  sample  reported  using  rational  thinking  and  self-­‐talk  to  cope   with  the  stress  of  competition.  A  comparatively  recent  illustration  of  this  is   provided  in  the  quote  below  by  Phillips  Idowu  (English  silver  Olympic  medal   triple  jumper),  which  took  place  while  Cathy  Freeman  was  running  in  the  final  of   the  400meters.   •

Positive  self-­‐statements  have  also  been  used  in  conjunction  with  other   techniques  (e.g.  relaxation  training)  in  sport  setting  to  reduce  levels  of   anxiety,  distress  and  stimulate  a  more  positive  perception  of  anxiety   symptoms.   Self-­‐talk  in  the  form  of  key  words  are  also  used  to  focus  attention  on   factors  relevant  to  successful  performance  (Hardy,  Gammage,  &  Hall,   2001)  

Personal  Self-­‐Talk  in  my  Playing  Career   In  soccer,  I  consistently  did  bad  passes  to  fellow  team  mates  which  took  the   speed  of  the  game  away  and  opened  up  good  chances  for  the  opposite  team.    I   used  self-­‐talk  and  told  myself:  “I  can  do  it;  don’t  give  up;  the  next  pass  will  be   good”  to  boost  up  my  confidence.  The  next  few  passes  I  did  became  a  lot  better   and  my  touch  on  the  ball  was  a  lot  more  secure.     In  cross-­‐country,  I  ran  6km  and  when  I  was  on  the  4th  km,  my  muscles  began  to   tire  and  I  became  slower.  I  told  myself:  “only  two  more  km,  the  person  up  ahead   isn’t  far  away;  you  can  catch  up”  and  for  a  short  time  I  caught  up  and  was   running  in  second-­‐place  until  the  end  and  then  became  third.   self  efficacy  (confidence)  ~  psychologists  use  the  term  self-­‐efficacy  to  describe   what  laymen  mean  by  self-­‐confidence.  Self-­‐efficacy  has  been  defined  as  “…   people’s  judgments  of  their  capabilities  to  organize  and  execute  courses  of  action   required  to  attain  designated  types  of  performances.”  (Bandura  1986,  p.391)  Our   understanding  of  self-­‐efficacy  is  largely  based  on  the  work  of  Albert  Bandura.   Imagery  ~  image  is  one  of  the  mental  skills  most  used  by  athletes  at  all  sporting   levels.  It  is  among  the  most  important  of  the  skills  required  for  winning  the   mental  game  in  sport.  However,  it  is  also  one  of  the  most  misunderstood.   •

• •

Have  you  ever  spend  the  day  after  an  important  race  going  over  different   stages  of  the  race  in  your  mind?  Did  you  think  through  all  the  different   parts  of  it  and  replay  them  over  and  over  again?   If  so,  you  have  successfully  essentially  been  using  imagery.   Imagery  is  when  you  go  through  an  event  or  activity  in  your  mind  without   making  any  physical  movements.  Ideally  it  involves  all  of  your  senses,   including  sight,  hearing,  smell,  taste,  touch  and  movement.  


Mental  Imagery  can  be  Used  for:   • • • • •

• •

Familiarize  the  athlete  with  a  competition  site,  a  racecourse,  a  complex   play  pattern  or  routine  etc.   Motivate  the  athlete  by  recalling  images  if  their  goals  for  that  session,  or   of  success  I  a  past  competition  or  beating  a  competitor  in  competition   Perfect  Skills  or  skill  sequences  the  athlete  is  learning  or  refining.   Reduce  Negative  Thoughts  by  focusing  on  positive  outcomes   Refocus  the  Athlete  when  the  need  arises  e.g.  if  performance  is  feeling   sluggish,  imagery  of  a  previous  best  performance  or  previous  best  event   focus  can  help  get  things  back  on  track   See  Success  where  the  athlete  sees  themselves  performing  skills  correctly   and  the  desired  outcomes   Set  the  Stage  for  performance  with  a  complete  mental  run  through  the   key  element  of  their  performance  to  set  the  athletes  desired  pre-­‐ competition  feelings  and  focus.  

When  should  mental  imagery  be  used?   To  become  proficient  in  the  use  of  imagery  you  have  to  use  it  every  day:  on  you   way  to  training,  during  training  and  after  training.  In  every  training  session,   before  you  execute  any  skills  or  combination  of  skills,  first  do  it  in  imagery.  See,   feel,  and  experience  yourself  moving  through  the  actions  in  your  mind,  as  you   would  like  them  to  actually  unfold.  In  the  competition  situation  imagery  before   the  start  of  the  event  and  see  your  self-­‐performing  successfully/winning.   Concentration  ~  concentrating  on  the  right  things  at  the  right  time  is  one  of  the   most  important  skills  an  athlete  can  possess.  All  athletes  recognize  that  they   have  difficulties  concentrating  for  the  duration  fo  a  performance  or  at  specific   times.   •

Difficulties  concentrating  are  usually  due  to  distractions.  Rather  than   concentrating  on  appropriate  cues,  athletes  become  distracted  by   thought,  emotions  and  other  events.  These  distractions  can  be  both   internal  and  external.  

Internal  Distractions  (thoughts,  worries  and  concerns)   • • • •

Living  in  the  Past  –  worrying  about  what  just  happened  (especially   mistakes)   Living  in  the  future  –  thinking  about  results,  outcomes  and  consequences   Self-­‐Talk  –  especially  when  it  is  negative   Arousal  Levels  and  Anxiety  –  high  arousal  and  anxiety  can  narrow  your   attentional  field  (that  is,  tunnel  vision)  and  decreases  environmental   scanning.  Alternatively,  low  arousal  can  cause  a  broadening  in  your   attentional  field  and  a  focus  on  inappropriate  cues.   Fatigue  –  focus  requires  effort,  so  if  you  are  feeling  fatigued  it  can   sometimes  be  difficult  to  find  the  energy  required  to  maintain  your  focus.  


External  Distractions   • • •

Visual  distracters  –  crowd,  competitors,  scoreboards,  cameras,  etc.   Auditory  distracters  –  talking,  laughing,  traffic,  mobile  phones,  etc.   Gamesmanship  –  sledging,  trash-­‐talk  

Strategies  for  Improving  Concentration   •

• • •

Attention  control  and  concentration  are  skills  that  can  be  improved  and   worked  on  just  like  a  physical  skill.  There  are  a  number  of  sports  and  non-­‐ sport  related  strategies  and  exercises  that  can  be  used  to  assist  you  in   enhancing  your  attention  and  concentration  skills.  These  are:   Simulating  Training  –  identify  the  types  of  distractions  that  are  present   during  competition  and  systematically  incorporate  and  learn  to  manage   these  distractions  in  training.   Cue  words  –  identify  some  key  word/phrases  that  remind  you  of  what   you  need  to  concentrate  on.   Positive  self-­‐talk  –  repeat  positive  self-­‐statements/affirmation;  “I  am   feeling  fit  and  strong”,  “I  am  ready  to  go”.   Switching  on  and  off  –  identify  appropriate  points  during  training  or   competition  at  which  to  ‘switch  on’  (that  is,  direct  attention  and  energy  to   the  task  at  hand)  and  ‘switch  off’  (allow  thoughts/attentions  to  shift  to   non  performances).  

Flow  “The  Zone”  ~  a  rare  and  a  dynamic  state  characterized  as  the  experience  of   self-­‐rewarding  and  enjoyable  involvement.   •

The  “zone”  is  a  state  of  supreme  focus.  It  help  athletes  in  all  sports   perform  at  their  peak  potential.  It  is  when  your  mind  fully  connects  with   achieving  a  goal,  such  as  getting  a  hit,  or  a  stealing  a  base.  Attention  is   absorbed  into  the  present.  When  you  are  in  the  zone  your  mind  only   processes  the  thoughts  and  mages  that  help  you  execute  your  task   successfully.   Entering  the  zone  requires  total  commitment  your  game  plan  and  the   process  of  winning.  Many  athletes  have  mental  barriers  that  limit  their   ability  to  enter  the  zone,  such  as  fear  of  failure,  doubts,  lack  of  trust,  and   over  thinking.   Mentally  though  athletes  are  at  an  advantage  because  they  have  the   ability  to  tap  into  the  zone  more  consistently  in  competition.  When  they   aer  in  the  zone,  fear  of  failure,  worry,  doubt,  indecision,  and  other  mental   traps  are  forbidden  from  entering  their  focus.  In  this  state  of   concentration,  mental  distractions  struggle  to  compete  for  your  attention,   but  lose  the  battle.   Athletes  talk  so  much  about  performing  in  the  zone  and  how  awesome  it   feels.  Many  athletes  view  the  zone  as  this  magical,  hard-­‐to-­‐obtain  in  state   of  mind.  But  the  zone  is  really  not  that  complicated  or  hardtop  achieve.   The  zone  is  simply  a  mental  state  of  total  involvement  in  the  present   moment  without  the  mental  burden  of  worry,  doubt,  or  fear  about  results.  


Unit 5 Sport Pyschology