Exploring Sport Psychology's Growth, Mental Skills, and Applications

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Emily Huelskamp
Exploring
 Introduction
 Recognition and Popularity
 Four Mental Skills
 Additional Areas
 Christian Application
Introduction: Disclaimer
 Practicing sport psychology
Introduction: Definition
 “Concerned with the psychological factors that
influence participation and performance in sport and
exercise and with the psychological effects derived
from participation” (Williams, 2006)
 Helps athletes overcome mental barriers
Increasing Recognition
 Examples of application:
 Madeline Manning

1968 800m Olympic Gold Medalist
 Brad Lewis

1984 Double Sculls Olympic Gold Medalist
 Red Auerbach

Legendary Celtics Coach
Increasing Popularity
 School enrollment
 Teams
 Professional
 National
 Collegiate
 Individual consultation practices
Mental Skills
 Goal Setting
 Relaxation
 Self-Talk
 Imagery
Goal Setting
 Goals direct action and provide focus (Baltzell, 2009)
 Influence on performance
 Three categories:
 Outcome
 Performance
 Process
 Short and Long-term
Goal Setting: SMARTS
 Specific
 Measurable
 Adjustable
 Realistic
 Timely
 Self-Determined
Goal Setting: Example
 A student has a presentation due at the end of the month that
involves researching a topic, writing a paper, then presenting a
power point show.
 Poorly-Defined:
 “I will finish the research and writing by a week before the due date
then work on the power point portion for the last week.”
 Well-Defined:
 “I will spend one hour on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays of the
first two weeks researching the topic. The second week I will spend
two hours Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday writing the
paper. If extra time is needed, I will write for longer on Friday and
Saturday. The last week I will complete half of the power point on
Tuesday afternoon and the other half on Wednesday morning. This
leaves me Thursday to practice and fine tune for the Friday
presentation.”
Relaxation
 Awareness, “Checking-in”
 “Help[s] athletes harness arousal so that it will not
become an uncontrollable anxiety response”
(Williams, 2006)
Relaxation
 Influence on performance
 Inverted-U Hypothesis
Sport
 Sport- and Athlete-Specific
Optimal Levels
Athlete
Relaxation: Techniques
 Breathing
 Must be diaphragmatic
 1:2 Ratio
 Meditation
 Progressive Relaxation (PR)
 Active PR
Self-Talk
 “Any self-statement or thought about the self”
(Baltzell, 2009)
 Must focus on the desired goal (Williams, 2006)
Self-Talk: Techniques
 Thought Stopping
 Identifying the negative thought, stopping the thought, then
focusing on the task-relevant thought
 Changing negative to positive
 Coupling thoughts to redirect attention
 Countering
 Internal dialogue that uses facts and reason to refute the underlying
beliefs and assumptions that lead to negative thinking
 Reframing
 Process of creating alternative frames of reference or different ways
of looking at the world
Imagery
 “Using all the senses to re-create or create an
experience in the mind.” (Williams, 2006)
 Point of view
 External
 Internal
 Applications
 Practice without physical exhaustion
 Increased repetition
 Injury
Imagery: Example
 The 2k
Additional Areas
 Concentration
 Example: TIC – TOC
 Motivation
 Extrinsic
 Intrinsic
Christian Application
 Straight-forward application
 Vulnerability
 Motivation
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