of Psychology to Sports
elite amateur and professional athletes, credit their successful
performances to using mental imagery, goal setting, motivation
training, and relaxation as
basis for their strategy of strong mental preparation to achieve
superior physical performance.
Major professional sports, top tier
varsity sports, and USOC
summer and winter sports have
access to a staff sports psychologist to consult with their athletes to
insure they are performing up to their full potential by not psyching
themselves out of being contenders.
Conventional wisdom and training
suggests that an in
your face approach by a coach is not the best approach to coach and
Some sports enthusiasts take it
their college or professional team loses. Fortunately most fans
understand it is just a form of entertainment even when their team is
There is a stigma both in sports and the
seeing therapist or psychologist means that the person has severe
problems. Psychological stress is relative. Stress can originate
from moving, changing jobs, divorces, any unexpected pregnancy, etc.
each have attached expectations that come with high stress high levels.
For many athletes home centered
activities provide a
sense of continuity, certainty and
structure which comforts and provides emotional stability. However,
emotional stability is not necessarily a precondition for having fun,
but many individuals feel it
is a necessity because they can not compartmentalize different factors
in their lives. An emotionally
capable individual does not allow things to spill over so they carry a
bad mood over from one day to another and allow the negativity to
affect everything they do and everyone they come in contact with.
Over the Top Fans
Some male and female spectators of every
vicariously as a fan of their favorite team or even a specific
player. In some families there is little tolerance for anyone who
isn't an ardent fan/supporter of their team. Adding alcohol consumption
mix frees people from their normal inhibitions and can cause physical
confrontations to occur when normally people would refrain from such
To the amateur athlete and their
parents, winning and
losing in sports may feel like life and death experience. But life will
still go on and the sun will continue to rise in the East and set in
Most individuals realized that life will
regardless of their athletic prowess, or which team wins. Sure we may
be disappointed, but we don't riot in the street, loot stores, and
destroy and burn personal property like cars and buildings.
"The idea that mental
coaching can help the youngest athletes has pervaded the
of the country's zealous youth sports culture. In the pursuit of
college scholarships and top spots on premier travel clubs, the
families of young athletes routinely pay for personal strength coaches,
conditioning coaches, specialized skill coaches like pitching or
hitting instructors, nutritionists and recruiting consultants. Now, the
personal sports psychologist has joined the entourage."
coaching techniques consisting of instructions, a self-monitoring
checklist, and coach feedback were examined at freestyle practice
sessions with three female pre-novice figure skaters.
were compared to normal coaching procedures for their effects on the
frequency jumps and spins are performed, the number of times a skater
practiced a routine to music, and the amount of time spent engaging in
off-task behaviors during 45 minute free skating sessions.
reverse replication design, the behavioral coaching techniques
produced considerable improvement on all dependent measures. Social
validation measures indicated that the procedures improved quality of
skating and were rated positively by the coach and by two of the three
Zone: An Empirical Study
in flow: A qualitative investigation of flow
states in elite figure skaters. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology,
Sport Psychology - A brief
description of sport psychology
Winning, according to some coaches
and psychologists, may be
as high as 90%
mental attitude. There are relative few articles that deal
the sport of figure skating; however, research into other sports can be
used to extrapolate information that can be applied to figure skating.
The following internet
links have been
gleaned from personal communications
public institutions and athletic
have a web presence with information concerning team
materials are copy protected.
The limited use of the
materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given
for the source of the materials.