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Chapter 4

Psychology 2990A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Free Throw, Likert Scale, Pain Management

Course Code
Doug Hazlewood

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Chapter 4: Sport Psychology
Common Myths about Sport Psychology Interventions
Psychological skills training is a Band-Aid solution
Only elite athletes can benefit from psychological skills training
Athletes need a sport psychology consultant only when they are performing
Athletes approach applied sport psychology consultants for two general reasons:
oTo seek help with specific problems, such as performance anxiety and lack
of self-confidence
oTo work to improve the mental side of sport, such as imagery and attention
Psychological skills training program, or intervention- structured and consistent
practice of psychological skills and generally has three distinct phases:
oEducation- recognize the importance of mental skills in sport and how the
skills affect performance
oAcquisition- focus placed on helping athletes acquire the various
psychological skills and learn how to most effectively employ them
oPractice- goals are to have the athletes automate the various psychological
skills through overlearning and to implement these skills in practice and
The psychological skills that have been researched most extensively and
incorporated into psychological skills training programs are:
oGoal setting
oArousal regulation
oAttention control
Goal Setting
Types of Goals
Goal- target or objective that people strive to attain
Three types of goals that athletes can set
oPerformance goals- focus on improving and attaining personal
performance standards (e.g. giving 100% effort at all times during a
lacrosse match)
oProcess goals- focus on specific behaviors that an athlete must engage in
throughout a performance (e.g. snapping the wrist with a squash ball)
oGoal setting- practice of establishing desirable objectives for one’s
oOutcome goals are dependent on the ability and performance of one’s
opponents (goal setting)- in contrast to first two goals
Effectiveness of Goal Setting

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Goals direct attention, mobilize effort, foster persistence, and promote the
development of new learning strategies
Goals may influence athletes’ performance by enhancing their self-confidence and
their sense of satisfaction
78% of sport and exercise studies have shown moderate to strong effects of
In studies, goal-setting groups held higher perceptions of cohesion than the
control group, indicating that team goal setting was an effective team-building
tool for enhancing levels of cohesion
A number of barriers, such as lack of time and everyday distraction, hinder the
practice of goal setting among athletes
Assessing Goals
Performance profiling- flexible assessment tool that allows for the identification
of athletes’ performance-related strengths and weaknesses (can be used as an aid
to goal setting)- 5 steps
oIdentify key performance characteristics of an elite athlete in your sport
(physical, technical, tactical, and mental characteristics)
oIdentify the ideal rating for each of your characteristics (scale from 1 to
10, indicate your ideal scores this rating is also your target)
oRate your current ability for each characteristic on a scale of 1 to 10
oFind your discrepancy score by subtracting your current rating from your
ideal rating (higher the discrepancy, the weaker you perceive your ability)
oPrioritize your targets (after identifying your performance
weaknesses/highest discrepancy scores, pick out 2/3 most in need of
After identifying performance characteristics most in need of
urgent attention, you can now implement strategies (set goals) to
improve these characteristics)
Recommendations for Goal Setting
Use SMART acronym for five important guidelines for effective goal setting
Other important goal-setting guidelines to be followed
oAthletes should set goals for both practice and competition
oWrite down goals and make them public
oState goals positively rather than negatively
oConsider the four types of team goals
Individual athlete’s goal for self
Individual athlete’s goal for the team
Team’s overall goal
The team’s goal for individual members

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oThis progress toward goal achievement should be reviewed on a regular
*Highly recommended that athletes of all competitive levels engage in goal
Common Goal-Setting Problems
Most common mistake- setting too many goals
Athletes do not willingly participate in the goal-setting program- failing to
recognize individual differences in goal-setting interest (solution for recognizing
individual differences is to expose all athletes to goal setting and work more with
those who show the most interest)
Underestimating the time it takes to implement a goal-setting program
Failure to provide follow-up is one of the major problems with goal-setting
oEvaluation of goals is imperative, and the continued use of performance
profiling throughout the season is one effective way to achieve this
The Nature of Imagery
Visualization suggests that only one sense is being used- sight
Athletes try to incorporate as many senses as possible, including sight, sound,
smell, touch, and kinesthetic sense
oLatter sense- important for athletes since it involves the feel or sensation
of bodily movement
oThe more polysensory the image, the more real it becomes, and the more
effective it will be on sport performance
Analytic Model of Imagery
Paivio’s analytic model suggests that imagery has cognitive and motivation
functions that operate on either a specific or general level
Cognitive general imagery- includes images of strategies, game plans, or
routines (e.g. imaging a floor routine in gymnastics)
Cognitive specific imagery- includes images of specific sport skills (e.g. imaging
a free throw in basketball)
Motivational general imagery- includes images relating to physiological arousal
levels or emotions (e.g. imaging feeling calm and relaxed in front of a crowd)
Motivational specific imagery- includes images related to an individual’s goal
(e.g. imaging receiving a gold medal)
Divided the motivational general function into a motivational general-arousal
function, encompassing imagery associated with arousal and stress, and a
motivational general-mastery function, representing imagery associated with
being mentally tough, in control, and self-confidence
Level Motivational Function Cognitive Function
General Mastery
Specific Goals Skills
Model also illustrates that the effect of imagery function on outcome is moderated
by imagery ability, which includes both visual and kinesthetic imagery
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