Week 1 - Exercise 1.1 to 1.7
1.1) In what ways do you think that the study of human behaviour and experience can
have practical applications to sport? What are your initial feelings or biases toward
sport psychology? What do you want to get out of this course?
The study of human behaviour and experience can have many practical applications to
sports; this can be for both couches, and athletes. Psychology can help in dealing with stress and
creating strategies of coping for athletes. By using the study of human behaviour and experiences,
we are able to look more closely into helping both athletes and coaches focus their attention on
the present game; this will be beneficial for any future games. These studies also helps us find out
what motivates each individual, as well as how to deal with any sports related anxiety and much
My initial feelings or biases toward sport psychology is that sport psychology has come a
long way since even the 1960s, in terms of training, education and research, and I am curious to
From this course, I would like to learn more about the background of sport psychology, as
well as learning about motivation. I would like to learn how to better improve my life both
physically and mentally and work hard toward my physical goals.
1.2) Is it necessary for psychologists and other social scientists to formalize “sport”?
What activities currently considered to be sport, or being promoted as sport, should
not be considered sport in your opinion? How does “sport” differ from “sport
According to the course manual, a “sport” is a physical activity involving physical skill,
prowess, and/or exertion. It also must occur under a particular set of conditions or circumstances.
Sport also depends upon the combination of intrinsic motivation and external motivation. Based
on this definition, I think it would be hard for psychologists and other social scientists to
formalize “sport.” If you are exerting energy and skill, then a lot of things that may not involve
physical activity could be considered a sport. For example, Chess. The physical skill in playing
chess is minimal but they may involve emotionally and physically exhausting traits.
In my opinion, horse back riding is a “sport” that should not necessarily be considered a
sport. I personally believe that a lot of the work has to come from the horse doing the work. You,
as a human, are relying on the horse to answer your commands and then follow them, not the
other way around. However, many people think of this as a sport. And I suppose, by the definition
in the course manual, this would be considered a sport.
“Sport” and “Sport Psychology” should work together as one unit. The physical activity,
and energy exertion in sport as well as the mentality behind motivation, anxiety, coping, etc, all
must work together in order to create a firm understanding of sport as a whole.
1.3) What are your thoughts about “cheating” in sport? What should be, or can be, done
about cheating in sport? Why are many fans indifferent about the use of performance
enhancing drugs by athletes? What are your experiences in Gamesmanship versus
Sportsmanship? In my opinion, cheating in general, not just in sports, is unacceptable! Cheating is a way for
both coaches and athletes to feel good about themselves and their game by adding a few extra
points to the score, as well as in many other ways. The textbook states that rules and officials
have been put into place to avoid cheating in the best way possible, however, it also mentions that
the biggest issue with these rules and regulations is that every official, referee, coach, etc.,
enforces them differently and sometimes pay less attention to these rules when it comes to
athletes at higher levels. Performance-enhancing drugs is also a major part of cheating in
athletics, to avoid this, there should be random drug tests on every team that members should not
be told about. This way, you can prevent anyone from finding someone to borrow some “apple
As much as I don’t believe in using performance enhancing drugs, I do believe that
performance enhancing drugs don’t make an ability come from nothing. For example, if you can’t
run at all and you start taking a PED, you won’t magically be able to win an Olympic Gold
Medal. I think fans are indifferent to PEDs because they know that it is still natural ability. It is
very similar to Adderall and education, Adderall doesn’t make your IQ shoot up 20 points,
instead, it makes you focus on the task at hand.
Gamesmanship focuses on winning, in any way possible, while sportsmanship focuses on
the ethics and fairness of the game.