Foundations Of Sport And Exercise Psychology latest 2023

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What is Sport Psychology and How Can it Help Your Game?

Sports psychology is something we often hear about, but we may not know exactly what it is. These are the principles of psychology used in a sports context. Consultants examine how psychological aspects control an individual’s physical performance and how athletic competition affects psychological development, health and well-being (Weinberg & Gould, 2003).

Unfortunately, it is often seen as something necessary for the weak-minded competitor who is having “problems”. The reality is that the mental game of sport affects every athlete, regardless of their strengths or weaknesses. This discipline can help any athlete strive to achieve their potential.

Fencing is an example of a sport that can be used: Fencing is both a physical and a mental game. Fencers prepare for physical play by developing muscle memory through repetitive exercises in blade play and footwork. The mental game is obvious to fencers; however, little is done to train this great part of fencing. The majority of fencers who use specific psychological training are Division I fencers (Athanas, 2007). Consequently, many competitors are not fully prepared to meet all the demands of their sport.

There are many benefits to working with a consultant. Applied sports psychology professionals are interested in how participation in mental skills training can contribute to an athlete’s development throughout their competitive career. The athlete may struggle to achieve goals, have an injury, or have confidence issues. Through sports psychology, an athlete can gain the “mental edge” to achieve goals, recover from injury, or gain confidence. Techniques commonly used in sports psychology practices include (but are not limited to) imagery and visualization, relaxation, goal setting, confidence building, concentration training and regulation of energy levels.

By learning and practicing these techniques, the fencer has the ability to reach their potential.

You may be wondering where to start. However, you don’t want to fall prey to scams. There are many people who claim to be “experts” in psychology but lack the proper training and education.

It is recommended to only work with legitimate professionals. Before investing any money, ask the consultant questions about their client base, background, whether they specialize in working with athletes, and how long they have been involved in sports psychology. Only certified consultants are recognized by the Association of Applied Sports Psychology. If you are looking for a certified sports psychology consultant or want to learn more about this topic, check out www.aaasponline.org for more information.

It is important to emphasize that athletes of all divisions and levels of experience can benefit from sports psychology. By working with a sports psychology consultant, you can fortify your weaknesses and improve your strengths through mental training. Every sport has physical and mental components. Many athletes already harden their bodies through practice and physical fitness. Improve your mental game by practicing applied sports psychology [http://www.fencing.net/category/mental-training-for-fencing/].

References: Athanas, EH (2007). Fear of failure, experience, and divisiveness as predictors of status anxiety among USFA epee fencers. University of South Georgia. Statesboro, Georgia. Unpublished master’s thesis.

Weinberg, RS & Goldberg, D. (2003). Fundamentals of sport and exercise psychology. Champaign, IL: Physical activity books.

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