Sport Psychology Final Exam Essay Example
Sport Psychology Final Exam Essay Example

Sport Psychology Final Exam Essay Example

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  • Pages: 8 (2114 words)
  • Published: September 23, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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The effectiveness of a sports psychologist is influenced by various factors, as discussed in the published literature. Sport psychology has evolved significantly over the years, starting from its origins in athlete motivation and performance counseling, which were vaguely understood subjects forty years ago (Dosil, 2005; Cox, 2005). Modern sports, at all levels of competition and in almost every sporting activity, have benefited from the application of psychological principles and mental training. This has led to improvements in athletic performance, stress management, training attitude, and other aspects of sports where the mind, emotions, and physical performance intersect.

Sports psychology stands out among other applied psychology fields for several reasons. It implies that recognized common practices are employed by sports psychologists, and like any scientific discipline,the foundational approaches to educating ,training,and certifying sports psychologists are well understood globally in the wor


ld of sports and athletic competition. One distinctive feature of sports psychology practice is the close relationships that develop between individual athletes and their psychologists. The professional boundaries of professional withdrawal in sports environments are different compared to other fields. In sports,intense emotions and competitive desires can both drive athletes forward and make them susceptible to psychological stress.Sports psychologists play multiple roles in the lives of their athlete clients, including serving as a trained professional psychologist, a friend, a sounding board, a confidante, and an advisor. These ethical roles contribute to building strong relationships. This paper focuses on examining the effectiveness of sports psychologists within a specific analytical and treatment framework. While this paper does not provide a comprehensive academic analysis of sports psychology's effectiveness in competitive and recreational sports, it assumes that sports psychology is an established

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scientific discipline that generally benefits athletes of all ages, genders, and sports disciplines when applied according to its principles. The main question in this context is identifying the factors, both professional and personal, that contribute to the success of a sports psychologist in a specific application. Within this issue lie various ethical considerations to address. To tackle this question, it is necessary to offer an initial definition of a sports psychologist and define the general areas of professional involvement within the field as well.The focus of this discussion is on educational sports psychologists and their strategies for achieving maximum results with athletes, as well as the common problem areas in the psychologist-athlete relationship. It also explores the type of person who is likely to succeed as a sports psychologist, considering the balance between cognitive psychological training and empathic skills. The paper emphasizes the importance of representative sampling of governments attached to it and presents ideas about the anticipated expansion of athletic psychologists' role across all levels of sports. The progression in the athlete-psychologist relationship is expected to evolve from informal psychology to crucial training, ultimately becoming an essential component in serious athletes' training and performance (Armstrong, 2001; Griffin, 2008:10).The application of psychological principles in a sports or exercise setting is referred to as sport psychology, as described by Cox (1998) and acknowledged throughout the literature. This definition encompasses athletes at all levels, not just elite or aspiring high-performance athletes. In this article, the term "sport psychologist" refers to any professional involved in the psychological science of athletics or exercising (Douthitt & Harvey, 1995; Griffin, 2008). There are three recognized types of athletics psychologists in the

field, and a sport psychologist may work in multiple categories depending on the athlete or assignment. For this discussion, each category assumes that the psychologist is fully trained and licensed according to relevant regulations (British Psychological Society, 2009; American Psychological Society, 2009). The first category is Clinical/Counseling Sport Psychologist (Cox, 2005), who has training in clinical or counseling psychology and holds a license. These psychologists assist athletes in effectively addressing emotional and personality issues that impact their performance. The potential range of athletic patients they may help is extensive.The text describes three categories of sport psychologists: those who treat athletes with eating disorders due to competitive pressures, those who work with athletes to develop psychological skills for performance enhancement, and researchers in the field. The first category includes psychologists who treat gymnasts and other athletes struggling with eating disorders. The second category includes educational sport psychologists who have academic and practical backgrounds in physical education and sports-specific training. They help athletes develop psychological skills through techniques like mental visualization and self-talk. They also provide services to athletes in a team environment. The third category is research sport psychologists, whose focus is on conducting research in the field of sports psychology.This group, consisting of sports psychologists and scholars, plays a vital role in supporting the field (Cox, 2005). They have ongoing opportunities to work with athletes and teams during different periods such as preseason, in season, and post-season/off-season. These psychologists continuously conduct research and experiments in athletics psychology. Applied athletics psychology involves the application of psychological theories and research to a specific field. The main focus is on individual athletes or teams striving for athletic excellence.

However, these psychologists also play an important role in educating coaches, teammates, parents, fitness professionals, and athletic trainers about the psychological aspects of sports or exercise activities. The goal of applied athletics psychologists is to improve participation, performance, and enjoyment in any sports environment. This practice usually involves a combination of individual and group counseling or consulting depending on the approach of the professional and the needs of the client. One major advantage of recreational athletics is that many athletes do not have access to personal psychological counseling (Maclean & Hamm, 2008: 352). Despite limited access though, the principles guiding the relationship between practitioner and athlete remain consistent.
Key Issues
Sports psychologists face similar demands in their profession including continuing education and training.

Key Issues

Sports psychologists face similar professional demands including continuing education and training.It is argued that sports psychologists face significant pressure to constantly improve and stay current in their practice (Nesti, 2004). Sports psychology has the power to greatly enhance performance (Armstrong, 2001, 4). Successful practice relies on experiential learning cycles with immediate feedback from athletes. Personalization is crucial as the effectiveness of applications depends on the practitioner's personality. Not every psychologist can succeed due to personal restrictions. Even innovative practitioners face practical considerations regarding ethics. The text discusses blurred boundaries between expertise, responsibility towards athletes, continuous education, and ethical standards. Psychologists must follow legal and ethical regulations regardless of sport or relationship urgency. Codes of Conduct apply universally without separate rules for sports psychologists.The level of care required in clinical or therapeutic settings is the same as in patient relationships. In an elite athletic team setting, only the team doctor and sports psychologist adhere

to an ethical code that goes beyond their contractual obligations or legal duties of care. This is especially important when working with vulnerable individuals, like young athletes who may be at risk. Integrating physical and psychological training more closely can lead to better overall preparation and greater athletic success. While it may not be practical to have combined manager/practitioner roles at every level of sports, a close and centralized relationship between the athletic and psychological training programs is desirable. This approach has clear advantages as it optimizes preparation for each aspect and seamlessly integrates psychological preparation into physical training methods. The trust in the athlete/manager relationship can help athletes overcome any apprehension about new or confusing mental preparation techniques (Wright & Erdal, 2008: 187). However, there are also disadvantages, as maintaining boundaries between practitioners and coaches is crucial in several potential areas of trouble.In a team athletics environment, when the manager and psychologist work closely together, there is concern that the athlete may hesitate to confide in the psychologist or fully commit to a psychological preparation program. This fear stems from the possibility of revealing any mental/emotional weaknesses to the manager, which could compromise their playing time or status on the squad (Watson & Clement, 2008, 3). The relationship between psychologist and athlete, much like that between manager and athlete, involves a power dynamic. Practitioners need to apply cognitive skills to address psychological aspects of development without letting it influence other relationships the athlete has. According to Nesti (2004), practitioners must balance openness with athletes and managers while remaining true to their core values. This poses challenges for psychologists in sports environments where self-preservation and

material gain are prioritized. When a sports team or organization hires a sports psychologist for training purposes, ethical responsibilities and boundaries can become blurred. For instance, if a football team employs a sports psychologist to enhance "mental stamina" as defined by the manager (Wann & Polk, 2007), there may be pressure for players to adopt more aggressive and physical approaches during games.Despite the potential benefits of developing stamina, it is important to avoid encouraging violent or anti-social attitudes among players. The manager is determined to enhance the mental preparation of athletes in order to elevate their competitiveness. The psychologist faces a challenging situation as they must balance meeting the team's needs with potentially promoting emotional attitudes that may not benefit individual athletes. The role of the sports psychologist is vital in preventing burnout and promoting renewal in all aspects of athletic training, as burnout affects athletes at every level. Building a trust relationship between practitioner and athlete is crucial for building mental strength and protecting athletes from emotionally inappropriate training methods. While the future of sports psychology remains uncertain, two possibilities can be suggested: elite athletes are likely to increasingly rely on sports psychologists for support as they strive for any advantage, often measured in small increments; additionally, having a sports psychologist can serve as a cost-effective training aid in an era where there is potential financial gain from sports success. Furthermore, the growth of the field itself is connected to competitive athletes' focus on achieving results since society has limited ways to measure athletic or sports exercise success from a social standpoint.The idea of integrating sports psychologists into public health initiatives may be supported

by the cost of healthcare resulting from poor lifestyle choices and sedentary attitudes. This approach can be justified using the same cost-effective rationale seen in elite sports. The sources cited in this context include the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, Armstrong's article "Are You a 'Transformational' Coach?", the British Psychological Society's Ethical Guidelines, Boyce and King's article "Goal-Setting Strategies for Coaches" from the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, Cox's book "Sport Psychology: Concepts and Applications", Donohue et al.'s study on mental preparatory methods in female cross country runners, Dosil's book "The Sport Psychologist's Handbook: A Guide for Sport-Specific Performance Enhancement", Douthitt and Harvey's article on exercise counseling, and Goldstein and Iso-Ahola's paper on promoting sportsmanship in youth sports from a sport psychology perspective.The articles "Sport Psychology Provides Crucial Insights for Bettering Behavior in Sport" by Griffin (2006) and "Sport Psychology: Myths in Sport Education and Physical Education Sport Psychology Isn't Just for the Elites; It Can Profit Everyone in Youth Sports and Physical Education" by Griffin (2008) both discuss the importance of sport psychology in improving behavior in sports. Kalliath and Beck (2001) explore the relationship between lack of supervisory support and burnout and turnover. Kornspan and McCracken (2003) examine the pioneering work of David F. Tracy on the use of psychology in professional baseball. Additionally, Kornspan and Duve (2006) emphasize the need for sport psychology consultants in collegiate sports. The book "Pure Sport: Practical athletics psychology" by Kremer & Moran provides practical advice on athletics psychology.London: Routledge (2008) Maclean, Joanne, and Shannon Hamm "Values and Sport Participation: Comparison Participant Groups, Age, and Gender." Journal of Sport

Behavior 31.4 (2008): 352

Matheson, Hilary, Sharon Mathes, and Mimi Murray "The Effect of Winning and Losing on Female Interactive and Coactive Team Cohesion" Journal of Sport Behavior 20.3 (1997): 284

Morris, T., and Summers, J., eds.Sport psychology: theory, application and issues (2nd Ed.).Chichester: Wiley (2004)

Nesti, Mark.Experiential Psychology and Sport: Theory and Application.

In 2004:
Wann, Daniel L. and Joshua Polk published a paper titled "The Positive Relationship between Sport Team Identification and Belief in the Trustworthiness of Others" in the North American Journal of Psychology (9.2).

In 2005:
Wilson Marcia A. And Dawn E. Stephens published a paper titled "Great Expectations: How Do Athletes of Different Expectancies Attribute Their Percept of Personal Athletic Performance?" in the Journal of Sport Behavior (28.4).

In 2008:
Watson Jack C. And Damien Clement published an online article titled "Ethical and Practical Issues Related to Multiple Role Relationships in Sport Psychology." The article can be retrieved at hypertext transfer protocol:// Journal of Sport Behavior (31.2) published a paper titled "Sport Superstition as a Function of Skill Level and Task Difficulty" by Wright, Perry B., and Kristi J. Erdal in the same year.

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