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.