Exercise and Sport Psychology KNR 164
What is Exercise & Sport Psychology? • Study of human thought, emotion, and behavior in PA • Two main objectives: • 1. To understand how psychological factors affect in individual’s performance • 2. To understand how participation in sport and exercise affects one’s psychological development, health, and well-being.
ABC’s of Exercise & Sport Psychology • A = affect (emotion) • How do anxiety or anger influence performance? • B = behavior (actions) • Why are some people so committed to a PA routine and others not? • C = cognition (thoughts) • Why do some athletes choke under pressure?
Exercise Psychology • Exercise Psychology: devoted to the study of the psychological aspects of fitness, exercise, health, and wellness • Areas of interest: • Exercise and mental health • What is the relationship between PA and mental health? • Exercise adherence • What behavioral factors are related to exercise adherence?
Exercise Psychology • Exercise & Mental Health • Psychological outcomes of PA, e.g. anxiety and depression • Acute versus chronic exercise • Exercise Adherence • 50% of those that start new PA program drop out within first 6 months • Adherence = regular participation 60-80% of time
Employment Opportunities for Exercise Psychology • College/University • Teach, work on developing theory & conducting research on psychological benefits of PA • Corporation • Worksite health promotion • Community • Develop fitness & wellness programs for a recreation department • Clinic • Consultant for medical/PT clinic to help injured individuals through psychological aspects of injury rehabilitation
Sport Psychology • Sport Psychology: the study of mental factors related to improving competitive sport performance • Areas of interest: • Personality characteristics • Do personality influence athletic performance? • Pre-performance anxiety • What is the relationship between preperformance anxiety and sports performance? • Performance enhancement techniques • Which performance enhancement techniques are more successful?
Sport Psychology • Personality characteristics • Conflicting results on the impact of personality on performance early on. • A negative relationship exists b/w psychopathology and performance (Morgan, 1985) • Pre-performance anxiety • Relationship b/w preperformance anxiety and sports performance • More than 30 different anxiety measures
Sport Psychology • Performance enhancement techniques • Psychological interventions to improve sports performance • Mental Imagery • Internalized mental rehearsal • Goal Setting • Attainment of a specific level of proficiency on a task • Motivation • What success and failure mean to that individual • Intrinsic versus Extrinsic Motivation • Confidence Enhancement • Belief that one will be successful. Based on state and trait properties
Sport Psychology • Considered a graduate-level field • Some schools offer undergraduate minors • Fully credentialed ‘sport psychologist’ advanced degree in sports psychology required
Employment Opportunities for Sports Psychology • College/university • teaching, research, working with collegiate athletic program • Professional sports teams • consulting sport psychologist for individual athletes or teams • United States Olympic Committee national teams • United States military • various motivational and behavioral functions • Clinical psychologist
Sport and Exercise Psychology Orientations: • Psychophysiological Orientation: • Best way to study behavior during sport / exercise is by examining physiological processes in the brain; brain-body connections • Examples: • Using biofeedback to train biathletes to shoot between heartbeats • Examining changes in serotonin as explanation for psychological benefit of exercise
Sport and Exercise Psychology Orientations: 2. Social Psychological Orientation • Assumption is behavior is determined by interchange between person and their environment • Examples: • How does leader behavior influence team cohesion? • Are people with high “esteem” more comfortable in same-gender exercise settings?
Sport and Exercise Psychology Orientations: • Cognitive-Behavioral Orientation: • Emphasis is on athlete’s / exercisers thoughts and behaviors • Examples: • Is there a self-fulfilling prophecy linking self-talk and batting slumps? • What does an exceptional athlete think about when “in the game” • Can game preparation be influenced?
Research Methods in Sport and Exercise Psychology • Questionnaires • Psychological inventories: standardized measures of specific forms of thoughts, feelings, or behaviors • Interviews • Structured, systematic to gain in-depth understanding of individuals’ beliefs, experiences or values
Research Methods in Sport and Exercise Psychology • Observations • In field observation of behavior to study a phenomena naturally • Physiological Measures • Physical, mental, and emotional responses (biofeedback) including muscle tension and brain waves • e.g. blood pressure and heart rate to assess effects of psychological stressors on individuals