Better understand performance in sporting and exercise activities.
Sports psychology is the study of the interaction between a person’s psychology and their participation in sport. Singer (1978) defined it as “the science of psychology applied to sport”. Whilst the field of psychology is relatively young, sports psychology is even younger. The field of sports psychology has much to offer, carrying out useful research that can be made available to athletes and coaches.
In professional or competitive sport, this study is important because:
"The course was useful for my goalkeeper coaching practises. [It} met my expectations and gave me some good insights; I liked the way the course was structured, especially the way I could work at my own pace WITHOUT any pressure. The course has specifically helped with ideas for motivating players." Mario Rimati, Football Coach & Phys Ed Teacher, Italy - Sports Psychology course
There are 8 lessons in this course:
Performance Psychology, Exercise Psychology, Environmental Influences, Aspects of Sports Psychology, Applying Sports Psychology.
Psychological Traits of Successful Athletes
Personality Inventory, Cognitive Techniques.
State of Mind.
Anxiety & Arousal, Anxiety, Physiology of Anxiety, Psychology of Anxiety, Arousal, How to Maximise Psychological State, Focusing (or Centering).
Motivation is the internal impulse that causes increasingly energetic action in a particular direction. Basic Principles, Intrinsic Motivation, Extrinsic Motivation Factors Affecting Motivation, Movitation for fun, Slimming for fun.
Mental Rehearsal, Error Parking, Using Self Consciousness, Word Association, Anger, Conflict,Measuring Aggression, Simulated Practice, e-Event Procedure, Reliving Success, Positive, Conflict Handling Techniques.
Leadership & Coaching
A Coach’s Role, Getting Attention, Questioning, Punishment.
Group cohesion,Forming, Storming,Norming,Performing, Traits of an Effective Team,
Suitable membership,Appropriate Leadership, Commitment to the Team, Concern for Achieving, Effective Work Methods, Well Organised Team Procedures, Ability To Take Criticism, Creative Strength, Positive Relationships, Positive Environment.
Stress, Post Game/Season Evaluation, Gender Differences, Elite Female Athletes, Special Considerations with Female Athletes, Disabled Persons. Children, Readiness, Dropping out.
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
Describe the nature and scope of Sports Psychology
Identify psychological traits found in successful athletes.
Explain effects of state of mind on athletic performance.
Recommend ways of maintaining or increasing motivation in an athlete.
Differentiate between positive and negative application of aggressive emotions in sport.
Discuss the role of leadership in sports coaching.
Explain the impact on performance of psychological interactions within a sporting team.
Describe variations in the sports psychology of different demographic groups.
FACTORS AFFECTING THE TEAM ENVIRONMENT
Eight different dimensions of the team environment need to be considered:
The opportunity to function independent of the group leader. Autonomous athletes feel more comfortable if allowed to make decisions on their own; at least sometimes. Others may influence or guide but to retain a sense of autonomy, that influence must be subtle.
Athletes need to feel emotional support from their trainer/coach and team members. A sense of caring and sharing is a fundamental psychological need in sport and any other life situation.
In competitive sport, a sense of pressure to succeed is always present and for ultimate success, it needs to be present. Some stress or tension will be inevitable along with pressure; and the team environment may easily become “tight” or “anxious”. This atmosphere does need to be controlled: if it gets out of hand it can damage the team and affect performance; but without some pressure, the performance might not be as good either.
Recognition by the coach, spectators, the opposing team, team mates etc, will strengthen the team.
Athletes need to trust the actions of each other in a team. The overall team outcome, and very often, an individual athlete’s well being, will depend upon the performance of the team mates.
This is a perception that can vary from one person to another. One team member may think they are fair, and another think they are not fair. The coach’s perception can be different again. An athlete’s perception of fairness may be affected by:
A/ The degree of compatibility between 2 different people’s outlooks.
B/ The accuracy of communication between 2 people.
C/ Discrepancies in factual knowledge that the two people have.
If a difference of perception is identified between two team members, these three issues need to be examined in turn.
Everything in this world changes, and in order to adapt to change, innovations need to be created and applied. There is a collective potential within a team that exceeds the potential of any one individual (e.g. a captain, trainer or coach); but in order to harness that collective potential, the team leadership must be willing to tolerate or even better, encourage creative input and innovation from all team members.
This is a measure of the overall sense of belonging to a team.
Other Study Options
If you are interested in Sports Psychology, perhaps you might like to have a look at our Life Coaching Courses -
Certificate in Life Coaching
Life Coaching http://www.acs.edu.au/courses/Life-Coaching-33.aspx
Or if you are not sure if psychology is for you, why not try our Introduction to Psychology - http://www.acs.edu.au/courses/product.aspx?id=359
If you would like to see our range of psychology books, please visit - http://www.acsbookshop.com/books_productcategory.aspx?id=14
For more information on the range of careers available in psychology, have a look at - http://www.thecareersguide.com/articles.aspx?category=14
We have some interesting articles on psychology and counseling at - http://www.acs.edu.au/psychol/
Benefits of Studying This Course
An understanding of sports psychology embraces not just competitive sports but also fitness, endurance, and athleticism. This course examines the role that thoughts, behaviours and emotions play in sports performance and training. Students learn about things that inhibit performance and ways to combat them, as well as techniques for using negative thoughts and feelings to enhance performance. Students are encouraged to adapt strategies to suit individuals or teams, and a variety of special cases.
This course is of most interest to people working in, or aspiring to work in:
- Sports psychology
- Sports coach
- Personal trainer
- Health professions
The course may also be of interest to people who have friends or family who aspire to become athletes whether on an amateur or professional level.
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