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Contemporary Issues in Sport and Exercise Psychology

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1 Contemporary Issues in Sport and Exercise Psychology
Missouri Western State University William Russell, PhD, Dept. of HPER

2 What is Sport Psychology?
2 main objectives: To understand how psychological factors affect in individual’s performance To understand how participation in sport and exercise affects one’s psychological development, health, and well-being.

3 What Sport and Exercise Psychologists Do:
Research role Teaching role Consulting role Policy Making / advocating role

4 Global Sport Psychology Specialties:
Clinical Sport Psychology Have training in PSYCHOLOGY to learn about diagnose and treat emotional disorders Licensed by state boards to treat clinical conditions Have additional training in sports & exercise sciences Educational Sport Psychology: Extensive training in sport sciences – have large background in psychology Serves as mental coach / mental trainer – works through individual/group sessions and teaches the development of psychological skills

5 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 EX: using biofeedback to train biathletes to shoot between heartbeats; examining changes in serotonin as explanation for psychological benefit of exercise

6 Sport and Exercise Psychology Orientations:
2. Social Psychological Orientation Assumption is behavior is determined by interchange between person and their environment EX: How does leader behavior influence team cohesion; Are people with high SPA more comfortable in same-gender exercise settings?

7 Sport and Exercise Psychology Orientations:
Cognitive-Behavioral Orientation: Emphasis is on athlete’s / exercisers thoughts and behaviors EX: Is there a self-fulfilling prophecy linking self-talk and batting slumps?

8 Main Organizations involved in Sport and Exercise Psychology:
International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP) North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) The Sport Psychology Academy (SPA) Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP) American Psychological Association Div. 47 (APA, Div. 47) American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) The United States Olympic Committee (USOC)

9 Membership Comparisons of AAASP and NASPSPA:
Interest Areas Ex. & Sp Psych Motor Learning / Control Motor Development n = n=266 n=155 38% % % Psychologists Sport Science Others: N=495 N=572 N=40 45% 52% 3%

10 Applied Sport Psychology: Sport Psychology and It’s Growing Pains:
Concerned with extending theory/research to educate coaches, athletes, and parents regarding goals for facilitating optimal sport involvement and performance, Usually involves individual/group consulting and counseling Many specific concepts (goal setting, imagery, concentration, relaxation, imagery) BUT General goal is teaching athletes mental skills necessary to perform consistently and realize their potential as people and athletes. Focal Areas of Applied Sport Psychology: Performance enhancement / intervention Social Psychology Health and Exercise

11 1. Performance Enhancement / Intervention:
Focus is on performance improvements in any achievement setting Also concerned with effects of interventions on well-being of sport / exercise participants Examples: Stress Inoculation Training (SIT) with athletes Attentional Training effectiveness Flow experiences in sport

12 2. Social Psychology Emphasis
Uses theory / research to focus on group processes in sport & exercise settings Social factors are examined as they relate to athletes, coach, team, and spectators Examples of special interests: Achievement motivation (Achievement Goal Theory) Moral development through sport Peer relationships in physical activity and sport Youth sports (The reverse-dependency trap) Social Physique Anxiety in Sport and Exercise Settings (A problem at both ends of the spectrum)

13 3. Health and Exercise: Focuses on role of psych. Factors in exercise; as they pertain to resistance to disease development & remediation, coping with stress, and health promotion Primary interest is link between mental and physical health. Examples of special interest areas: Problem-focused vs. emotion focused coping and health Hardiness and disease risk (Control, Challenge, Commitment) Exercise and Psychoneuroimmunology Psychological benefits of exercise

14 Major Splits in Recent Years within the Field:
Sport Psychology Sport Psychology Exercise Psychology Health Psychology

15 Why the Need for Exercise Psychology?
Prevalence of risk factors for CHD in the general US population for

16 Why the Need for Exercise Psychology?

17 Behaviors are easier to maintain in environments that are supportive of that behavior- for better ….. Or worse…

18 Sample Interest Areas within Exercise Psychology:
Designing exercise programs to maximize psych. Benefits Exercise addictions Exercise adoption, maintenance, and adherence Exercise as a stress management technique Gender / Sex-role influences on exercise Overuse injuries in exercise settings The runners/exercisers’ high Psychotherapeutic influences of exercise for depression Psychological benefits for specific populations

19 The Certification Issue: AAASP Required Coursework for becoming an AAASP certified consultant
EITHER SPORT SCIENCE OR PSYCHOLOGY COURSES Courses Description Professional ethics 1 course Sport psychology 3 courses in all subdisciplines Research Design, Stats or 1 course in any of these areas psychological assessment Biological bases of behavior 1 course in comparative psychology; physio psychology Cognitive Affective bases Course in cognition, motor development or motor learning Social Bases of behavior 1 course in social psychology

20 The Certification Issue: AAASP Required Coursework for becoming an AAASP certified consultant
PRIMARILY SPORT SCIENCE COURSES: Course Description Biomechanical / physiological bases 1 course in kinesio., Ex. Physio, Biomechanics Historical, philosophy, sociology 1 course in this area of sport sci Skills, techniques, analysis 1 methods course in sport area PRIMARILY PSYCH COURSES: Psychopathology 1 course in abnormal Counseling skills course work to foster basic counseling skills Individual Behavior 1 course in developmental, personality theory, individual differences Supervised Consulting Experience: Verification of at least 400 hours of supervised experience in exercise and sport psychology

21 Achievement Goal Theory:
3 major factors in determining the motivation levels of children in youth sport settings: Goal Orientation Task-orientation – success is defined as self-referent improvement Ego-orientation – success is defined by social comparison and out-doing others Motivational Climate Mastery climate – focus is on learning, effort, cooperative strategies, and skill development Performance climate – competitive, beating teammates, demonstrating superiority over others Perceived ability High – greater competence Low – less competence

22 Ego-oriented children seek competence through comparison

23 Ego orientation may undermine the value attached to fairness and justice in sport settings

24 Who would you most want to have as a young athlete?
Hi task/hi ego? Hi task/low ego? Low task/High ego? Low task/Low ego?

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