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Chapter 4

Chapter 4

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Psychology 2990A/B
Doug Hazlewood

Andrea Loa Psych 2990A Chapter 4: Sports Psychology Some Common Myths about Sport Psychology Interventions • MYTH: Psychological skills training (PST) is a band-aid solution • some athletes and coaches believe that self-talk or imagery can be learned in one or two lessons to quickly fix a problem such as lack of confidence • as physical skills take time and effort, so do psychological skills • MYTH: Only elite athletes can benefit from psychological skills training • PST can be implemented in any stage of an athleteʼs career, but ideally it should be initiated at the grassroots level in order to ensure the most effective development of the mental side of sport • MYTH: Athletes need a sport psychologist only when they are performing poorly • achieving peak performance requires a detailed plan that includes an understanding of physiology and nutrition, implementation of cutting-edge technology, and employment of psychological skills training Introduction • psychological skills training (PST): also known as an intervention - entails the structures and consistent practice of psychological skills and generally has three distinct phases: education, acquisition, and practice • in the education phase, athletes recognize the importance of mental skills in port and how the skills affect performance • in the acquisition phase, focus is placed on helping athletes acquire the various psychological skills and learn how to most effectively employ them • in the practice phase, athletes automate the psychological skills through overlearning and implement these skills in practice and competition • goal-setting, imagery, self-talk, arousal regulation, and attention control are some of the techniques used Goal Setting • most commonly used performance enhancement strategy • Types of Goals • goal: target or objective that people strive to obtain • performance goals: focus on improving and attaining personal performance standards • process goals: focus on specific behaviours that an athlete must engage in throughout a performance • outcome goals: focus on social comparison and competitive results • goal setting: the practice of establishing desirable objectives for oneʼs actions • Effectiveness of Goal Setting • Locke and Latham: goals direct attention, mobilize effort, foster persistence, and promote the development of new learning strategies. • goal setting can enhance their confidence and sense of satisfaction • 78% of sport and exercise studies show that goal setting has positive effects on behaviour • most athletes rate their goals as being only moderately effective • lack of time and everyday distractions hinder the practice of goal setting among athletes • Assessing Goals • performance profiling: a flexible assessment tool that allows for the identification of athletesʼ performance-related strengths and weaknesses • often used as a first step in developing an intervention program • 5 steps in performance profiling: • Step 1: Identify key performance characteristics of an elite athlete in your sport • Step 2: Identify the ideal rating for each of the athleteʼs characteristics • Step 3: rate your current ability for each characteristic on a scale of 1-10 • Step 4: find your discrepancy score by subtracting your current rating from your ideal rating. The higher the discrepancy score, the weaker you perceive your ability for that characteristic • Step 5: Prioritize your targets. After identifying your performance weaknesses (highest discrepancy scores), pick out the two or three that are most in need of correction • after identifying the characteristics that are in need of urgent attention, you can now implement strategies (set goals) to improve them • Recommendations for Goal Setting • the acronym SMART has been recommended to help athletes remember five important guidelines for effective goal setting: goals should be specific, measurable, adjustable, realistic and timely • athletes should set goals for both practice and competition - most often, athletes focus on competition than practice • important to write down your goals and make them public • goal should be stated positively than negatively • the progress towards goal achievement should be reviewed on a regular basis • Common Goal Setting Problems • setting too many goals • athletes do not willingly participate in the goal-setting program • underestimating the time it take to implement a goal-setting program is another common problem • failure to provide a follow-up is one of the major problems with goal setting • evaluation is key to goal setting Imagery • The Nature of Imagery • referring to imagery as ʻvisualizationʼ is somewhat misleading - this suggests that only one sense is being used (vision) • the more polysensory the image is, the more real it becomes and the more effective it will be on sport performance • imagery is an experience that mimics real experience • Analytic Model of Imagery • suggests that imagery has cognitive and motivational functions that operate on either a specific or a general level • cognitive general imagery: images of games plans, strategies, or routines • cognitive specific imagery: images of specific sports skills • motivational general imagery: images relating to physiological arousal levels and emotions •ie. feeling calm or relaxed in a crowd •motivational general-arousal: encompassing imagery associated with arousal and stress •motivational general-mastery: encompassing imagery associated with being mentally tough, in control, and self-confident • motivational specific imagery: images related to an individualʼs goals •ie. image of receiving a gold medal • according to this model, the desired sport outcome should be matched to the correct function of imagery •ie. if an athlete wanted to reduce anxiety prior to a competition, the type of imagery used should be motivational general-arousal •motivational general-mastery is used the most within athletes • effect of imagery function on outcome is moderated by imagery ability, which includes both visual and kinesthetic imagery. • athletes use imagery for three main reasons: cognitive, motivational and healing imagery • cognitive general imagery can be beneficial when used for the learning and performance of play strategies • motivational general-arousal imagery has indicated that it can be used by athletes to regulate arousal and anxiety • Imagery Assessment Tools • two types of imagery assessment tools have typically been used: •one tool measures imagery ability •other tool assesses the frequency of imagery use. • The Movement Imagery Questionnaire-Revised (MIQ-R) is an eight-item questionnaire that assess an individualʼs visual and kinesthetic imagery ability •measures imagery ability •participants are asked to perform a series of movements and these questions are then asked • Vividness of Movement Imagery Questionnaire (VMIQ) is a 24-item scale has participants rating different imagine actions or movements in two ways, by watching someone else do them and by doing it themselves •respondents then rate the vividness of each image • examples of tools that assess frequency of imagery use •Test of Psychological Skills (TOPS) •Ottawa Mental Skills Assessment Tool •Sport Imagery Questionnaire (SIQ) •these types of questionnaires provide considerable information about a number of psychological skills, but they do not provide detail
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