Effects Of Sports Psychology Essay

1627 words - 7 pages

Sports have been around for most of this century showcasing outstanding athletes around the world. Sports psychology has been around for most of this century in an effort to increase athletic performance. It has recently been heralded as theperformance revolution of the 1990s (White, 1996). The world of sports, in the United States, is a growing and ever evolving field. Sports psychology has grown and evolvedright along with it. Through sports psychology, the world has a better understanding of the importance of mental stability and the benefits of mental preparation in the world of sports. Sports psychology involves a documented approach to assisting an athlete on reaching his or her best ...view middle of the document...

The variety of activities offers a wide range of levels and fields in which and indeed to instill in children valuable lessons in the importance of team work and sportsmanship. Being active in sports at an early age, regardless of how talented, teaches competitiveness and how to work individually for a group's success. An ever-growing component of each function of sports training is sports psychology. Without a strong mind, no athlete can reach his or her full potential.Not only do sports offer advantages in the physical aspects of our bodiesbut also in the mental and emotional aspects. More and more frequently trainersare resorting to sports psychology to improve physical performance, self concepts, and even personal relationships dealing with sports. Sports psychology employs methods such as visualization and mental rehearsal to improve athletic performance (Hanc, 1994). It provides that mental edge, that self-concept, which allows an athlete to do extremely well. In sports, confidence plays a humongous role in the mind of the athlete. If an athlete thinks that he or she is good, more then likely he or she will perform accordingly. Sports psychology can increase motivation and this leads to better athletic performance as well as ones character.Although sports psychology has been used in its more primitive forms formost of this century, it was only in the 1970s that the concept of "appliedsports psychology" took hold (Hanc, 1994). Once it was oriented simply towardenhancing physical activity, it now is targeted at improving an athlete'slife in general (Hanc, 1994). It does this indirectly though improving anathlete's belief about their own nature, qualities, and behaviors. It is extremely important both in how a person perceives others, himself, and his surroundings. Self concept is a variable which includes many other variables such as motives, needs, attitudes,personality, and values (Fitts, 1972). Self concept, as a central variable, is one which is much easier to measure than the numerous other concepts which it encompasses (Fitts, 1972).A general hypothesis can be made that the more favorable a concept a person has of themselves, the more successful that person will be in terms of obtaining their ultimate athletic performance. The better one feels about one's self, the better one will be. This is true in the non-athletic field as well. Fitts (1972) terms this hypothesis as "the more optimal the self concept the more effective the individual will function". He specifies that this is true only "when all other things are equal". Individuals who are clearer in their goals and aspirations and who take charge of their own destinies in life are more likely to succeed than those who are not and do not. Individuals who make things happen are in charge of those things (Fitts 1972).To improve self concept, sports psychology recognizes that the individual must first evaluate that self concept and then establish goals toward improving it. One of the...

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