What is Sport Psychology?
Sport psychology is a discipline that blends the observation of human behaviors with the excitement of athletics. When a professional in sport psychology observes an athlete, the goal is to notice behaviors that can be eliminated or improved in order to improve the athletes performance. These professionals can work in the research of sport psychology or teach those who want to become sport psychologists, but their main function is often working with athletic teams or fitness clubs to develop and implement motivational programs that will enhance athletic performance. Understanding what sport psychologists do will help you to determine if you have the need for consulting.
Basic Objectives of Sport Psychology
While sport psychologists have many roles in athletic clubs and fitness programs, there are two basic objectives to sport psychology. The first is understanding how an athletes performance is affected by his or her behavior and psychological influences. The other is understanding how sports can affect a persons physical and mental well-being. Once these two objectives have been met, a sport psychologist can begin developing and implementing specific programs to enhance performance or eliminate problem behaviors.
Consulting with Athletes
Sport psychologists are often consulted when athletes need to overcome problem behaviors, improve their mental focus, or set goals for performance. Specific behaviors can lead to a loss of focus or negative self-talk that can prevent athletes from performing to their capabilities. Working with a sport psychologist can help these athletes learn important skills that can help them overcome these issues. Some of the most important skills a sport psychologist can teach athletes are goal setting, self-awareness, visualization, and concentration. These skills can help athletes to improve their performance at practices and in games so that both individual and team success can be enhanced.
Working with Fitness Programs
One of the major reasons many people fail to follow through with fitness programs is that they find the programs boring and are not motivated to complete them successfully. This is one of the reasons that sport psychologists are so valuable to the creators of fitness and exercise programs. Sport psychology professionals can review programs that have already been developed and make suggestions for improvement or they can work with program creators before a program has been created so that important motivational principles can be incorporated into new exercise and fitness plans. Getting the input of a sport psychologist can help program creators develop programs that will be motivational so that participants can successfully complete them.
Teaching and Research
Sport psychologists can also be very useful in the fields of research and teaching. Research can be done on a number of sport psychology topics including what motivates athletes or what makes children want to join sports teams. The results of this research can then be published or shared at conferences and seminars. Teaching is also an important function of sport psychologists. Sport psychology professionals can train new sport psychologists or supervise interns who are learning the skills needed to succeed in the field.
About Jim Guerci:
Coach Guerci, Peak Performance Guy, is a certified teacher and coach for over 17 years. He is passionate about how the human mind works, stores, and accesses information. To learn more about coach Guerci, visit his web site, http://peakperformanceguy.com.