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INTRODUCTION TO SPORT PSYCHOLOGY. Damon Burton & Andy Gillham University of Idaho. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY BASICS. What is sport psychology? What do sport psychologists do? How old is the profession? What are the key events in the history of sport psychology? What career options are available?.

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  1. INTRODUCTION TO SPORT PSYCHOLOGY Damon Burton & Andy Gillham University of Idaho

  2. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY BASICS • What is sport psychology? • What do sport psychologists do? • How old is the profession? • What are the key events in the history of sport psychology? • What career options are available?

  3. ORIGINS OF SPORT PSYCHOLOGY • Psychology has a Greek derivation • Psyche means “mind or spirit” • Logos means “sayings or speakings of” • Literally means “speakings of the mind” • Definitions of Psychology • William James (1890): “The science of mental life” • Current Definition: “The study of behavior” • Scope of Discipline • from animals to humans • from nerve cells to attitudes and personality

  4. ACADEMIC ORIGINS OF SPORT PSYCHOLOGY Biological Sciences Social Sciences Physical Sciences Biomechanics Psychology Exercise Physiology Sport SociologyCultural Anthropology Sport PsychologySocial Psychology of SportMotor LearningMotor DevelopmentMotor Control

  5. TWO TYPES OF QUESTIONS • How do psychological factors impact sport and exercise? • How do sport and exercise influence psychological development?

  6. HOW PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS IMPACT SPORT • How does anxiety affect a basketball player’s free-throw shooting accuracy? • Does self-confidence influence a child’s ability to learn to swim? • How does coach reinforcement and punishment influence team cohesion? • Does imagery training facilitate the recovery process in injured athletes and exercisers?

  7. IMPACT OF SPORT ON PSYCHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT • Does running reduce anxiety and depression? • Do young athletes learn aggression from participating in youth sports? • Does PE class participation facilitate children’s self-esteem development? • Does participation in college athletics enhance character development?

  8. HISTORY OFSPORT PSYCHOLOGY • Early Years (1895-1924) • Griffith Era (1925-1938) • Dark Ages (1939-1964) • Contemporary Era (1965-present)

  9. BASICS OF ACADEMIC DISCIPLINES Research Consultation Teaching

  10. EARLY YEARS (1895-1924) • Research • Triplett (1899): 1st social psychology experiment, • lab based procedures, • topics focused on personality and motor learning • Teaching – none • Consultation -- none

  11. GRIFFITH ERA (1925-1938) • Research • conducted a systematic program of theoretical and applied research • lab-based • topics focused on motor learning and sport performance (e.g., football stance) • Teaching • developed sport psychology class and taught principles in several classes

  12. GRIFFITH ERA (1925-1938) • Consulting • wrote books • Psychology of Coaching • Psychology and Athletics • outlined functions of sport psychologists • consulted with a wide variety of Illinois athletic teams • consulted with 1938 Chicago Cubs to improve hitting

  13. GOALS FOR SPORT PSYCHOLOGISTS • Observe the best coaches and teachers, record the psychological principles they use and convey these principles to new teachers and coaches. • Adapt the information gained in the psychological lab to sport. • Use the scientific method and the experimental lab to discover principles which will aid in answering specific problems of teachers and coaches.

  14. DARK AGES (1939-1964) • Research • little systematic lab-based research • Alan Slater-Hammel -- motor learning • Emma McCloy -- motor abilities • Teaching • John Lawther (1951)Psychology and Coaching • Consultation • minimal consultation being conducted

  15. CONTEMPORARY ERA (1965-PRESENT) • Research • In 1965, 1st International Congress of Sport Psychology in Rome • Research mushroomed to help develop a strong knowledge base • In 1967, North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) founded. • In 1979, Journal of Sport Psychology started to publish research

  16. CONTEMPORARY ERA (1965-PRESENT) • Research • In 1981, Martens’ Smocks to Jocks articles promoted field research • In 1986, Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP) founded, • In 1987, APA Division 47 – Sport & Exercise Psychology founded • In 1987, The Sport Psychologist started

  17. CONTEMPORARY ERA (1965-PRESENT) • Research • In 1989, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology founded • Teaching • Specialized courses and graduate programs developed in late 1960’s • In 1972, 6 grad programs in U.S. • Today, over 140 grad programs • Textbooks and supplemental materials developed (e.g., over 30 texts today)

  18. CONTEMPORARY ERA (1965-PRESENT) • Consultation • In 1967, Ogilvie and Tutko wrote Problem Athletes & How to Handle Them • In 1981, Martens pioneered “psychological skills” concept • In 1983, USOC developed Sport Psychology Registry to deal with quality control • In 1983, Burton 1st paid sport psychologist in university athletic program

  19. CONTEMPORARY ERA (1965-PRESENT) • Consultation • In 1984, NASPSPA certification vote prompted development of AAASP • In 1989, AAASP approved “certification” of sport psychology consultants • Today, most professional and Olympic teams have sport psychologists • Only about 20 universities have full-time sport psychologists.

  20. EDUCATIONAL VERSUS CLINICAL SPORT PSYCHOLOGY Clinical Sport Psychology Educational Sport Psychology X NormalBehavior Supernormal Behavior Abnormal Behavior developmental skills solve problems

  21. CLINICAL SPORT PSYCHOLOGISTS (CSP) Trained as clinical or counseling psychologists (i.e., licensed by state). CSPs deal with clients who have some type of psychological problem (i.e., neuroses & psychoses), Their goal is to help person function normally in daily life by overcoming psychological problem(s). Therapy often lasts months, and even years, using intense, one-on-one psychotherapy sessions to identify and correct problems (i.e., psychoanalysis).

  22. EDUCATIONAL SPORT PSYCHOLOGISTS (ESP) Trained in sport/exercise science programs to teach “mental skills,” Deal with clients who are psychologically normal but have to perform in ultra intense, pressure-packed situations (i.e., Superbowl, Olympics, Masters or Wimbleton), ESPs are “mental coaches” whose goal is to help athletes develop “super normal” mental skills necessary to (a) perform optimally in challenging situations, (b) experience personal highlights and (c) develop to their full potential.

  23. FOCUS OF SPORT PSYCHOLOGY CONSULTATION achieve optimal performance or Flow – play your best when your best is needed maximize personal development in sport and life by optimizing mental skills – develop the athlete and the person promote optimal experiences – create personal highlights

  24. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY ORGANIZATIONS • Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP) • APA Division 47 – Sport & Exercise Psychology (DIV-47) • North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA)

  25. ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF APPLIED SPORT PSYCHOLOGY (AAASP) • This organization is designed to promote research and practice in applied sport and exercise psychology. Three specialty areas focus on • health/ exercise psychology, • intervention-performance enhancement, • social psychology

  26. APA DIVISION 47 - SPORT & EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY • The American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest professional psychology organization in the U.S. Division 47 is one of the newest of APA’s almost 50 divisions. Division 47 emphasizes both research and practice in sport psychology.

  27. NORTH AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SPORT & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY • NASPSPA is the oldest organization focusing on the psychological aspects of sport and physical activity. The organization’s main focus is on research in the sub-disciplines of • motor development, • motor learning and control, and • sport and exercise psychology.

  28. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY JOURNALS • Journal of Applied Sport Psychology (JASP) • Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology (JSEP) • The Sport Psychologist (TSP)

  29. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY JOURNALS • Journal of Applied Sport Psychology • Begun in 1989, JASP is the official journal of AAASP and publishes applied sport psychology research and professional practice articles. • Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology • JSEP publishes basic and applied sport and exercise psychology research. Begun in 1979, it is the oldest and most-respected research journal in the field.

  30. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY JOURNALS • The Sport Psychologist • TSP began publication in 1987 and publishes both applied research and professional practice articles designed to facilitate the delivery of psychological services to coaches and athletes.

  31. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY CAREER FIELDS • college teaching • performance enhancement consulting • health and exercise psychologist • sports medicine psychologist

  32. COLLEGE TEACHING • Position Availability - 200+ positions in U.S. • Salary Range - $35-100,000 • Job Responsibilities • teach grad and undergrad courses • conduct and publish research • mentor graduate students • secure grants to fund research • consult with coaches & athletes

  33. COLLEGE TEACHING • Professional Competencies • good teaching skills • good research skills • good helping skills • ability to juggle a variety of projects and roles.

  34. PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT CONSULTANT • Position Availability – 3-5,000 PE consultants in U.S. • Salary Range - $35-300,000 • Job Responsibilities • see clinical patients 6-8 hours daily • be on call for clients in crisis • may travel with junior players • consult with high school, college and pro athletes and teams (50% practice)

  35. PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT CONSULTANT • Professional Competencies • good helping skills • enjoy helping others solve their problems • independence & self-sufficiency • business skills to run practice

  36. HEALTH & EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGIST • Position Availability – 1000’s of private and corporate fitness facilities in U.S. • Salary Range - $20-200,000 • Job Responsibilities • develop programs to attract new clients • modify existing programs to minimize dropouts • provide workshops on psych factors that influence exercise & health

  37. HEALTH & EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGIST • Job Responsibilities (cont’d) • train other personnel to enhance sensitivity of psych factors • conduct applied exercise psych research • consult with high school, college and pro athletes and teams (50% practice)

  38. HEALTH & EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGIST • Professional Competencies • good teaching skills • well-developed consultation and helping skills, • skill to develop programs that will appeal to a broad range of clients • ability to juggle a variety of projects and roles

  39. SPORT MEDICINE PSYCHOLOGIST • Position Availability – 1000’s of private clinics and hospitals in U.S. • Salary Range - $25-250,000 • Job Responsibilities • promote psych aspects of rehabilitation • teach clients the value of health and exercise in quality of life • teach pain management strategies • promote injury and disease prevention

  40. SPORTS MEDICINE PSYCHOLOGIST • Professional Competencies • good consultation & helping skills • ability to work with other members of sports medicine team • understanding of how mental factors influence illness & injury • strong desire to help others

  41. BEST SPORT PSYCHOLOGY CONSULTANTS • likeable and perceived as having something very applied and concrete to offer • flexible and knowledgeable enough to meet individual needs by providing athlete input • accessible enough to establish a rapport with individual athletes and to care about what happened to them

  42. BEST SPORT PSYCHOLOGY CONSULTANTS • stared working with a team at least 9 months prior to the Olympics and most had begun an ongoing mental training program 2-3 years prior • had multiple contacts with individual athletes, usually beginning with the first training camp of the year • conducted several follow-up sessions with individual athletes before and during the competitive season

  43. WORST SPORT PSYCHOLOGY CONSULTANTS • poor interpersonal skills (e.g., not liked by athletes, viewed as wimpy or domineering, wanted the athlete to carry their bags, turned people off with their personality, didn’t fit in) • ineffectively applied psychology to sport (e.g., not applied enough or didn’t fit the sport or situation in training or competition)

  44. POOR SPORT PSYCHOLOGY CONSULTANTS • lacked sensitivity or flexibility to individual needs (did not adapt input to meet the needs of different individuals on the team, weren’t flexible to individual needs, imposed own methodology on everyone) • limited contact with athletes (too much group work, too many lectures, not enough one-on-one time)

  45. POOR SPORT PSYCHOLOGY CONSULTANTS • demonstrated inappropriate application of consulting skills on-site at a competition or inappropriate behavior on site (e.g., crowding athlete, staring at athletes, getting athlete to fill out forms or answer questions just before competing), thereby altering the athlete’s familiar pre-event preparation pattern

  46. POOR SPORT PSYCHOLOGY CONSULTANTS • had bad timing (i.e., their involvement began too close to major international event, or in some cases even at an international event, without knowing athletes beforehand) • did not provide enough consultant input or feedback (i.e., contact with athlete was too infrequent, particularly ongoing feedback was too limited to make a difference)

  47. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY BASICS • What type of training is required to become a sport psychologist? • masters • Ph.D. • How do students find out about graduate school? • AASP Graduate Directory • How do I find out more about sport psychology? • Books, journals, conferences

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