Sports psychology is the study of how psychology influences sports, athletic performance, exercise, and physical activity. Some sports psychologists work with professional athletes and coaches to improve performance and increase motivation. Other professionals utilize exercise and sports to enhance people’s lives and well-being throughout the entire lifespan.
In North America, early years of sport psychology included isolated studies of motor behavior, social facilitation, and habit formation. During the 1890s, E. W. Scripture conducted a range of behavioral experiments, including measuring the reaction time of runners, thought time in school children, and the accuracy of an orchestra conductor's baton. Despite Scripture's previous experiments, the first recognized sports psychology study was carried out by an American psychologist Norman Triplett, in 1898. The work of Norman Triplett demonstrated that bicyclists were more likely to cycle faster with a pacemaker or a competitor, which has been foundational in the literature of social psychology and social facilitation. He wrote about his findings in what was regarded as the first scientific paper on sports psychology, titled “The Dynamogenic Factors in Pacemaking and Competition”, which was published in 1898, in the American Journal of Psychology. Research by ornithologists Lashley and Watson on the learning curve for novice archers provided a robust template for future habit formation research, as they argued that humans would have higher levels of motivation to achieve in a task like archery compared to a mundane task. Researchers Albert Johanson and Joseph Holmes tested baseball player Babe Ruth in 1921, as reported by sportswriter Hugh S. Fullerton. Ruth's swing speed, his breathing right before hitting a baseball, his coordination and rapidity of wrist movement, and his reaction time were all measured, with the researchers concluding that Ruth's talent could be attributed in part to motor skills and reflexes that were well above those of the average person.
Instead of doing a detox or cleanse in the hopes of resetting your GI system (and speeding up weight loss), boost your gut health naturally with fiber-filled foods. “Fiber is a carbohydrate found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, but unlike other forms of carbohydrates, it is harder to digest. As it passes through your digestive system, it stimulates the receptors that tell your brain you’re full. People who consume more fiber tend to have healthier body weights,” says Gueron. If you’re looking for more specific fiber-filled foods to reboot your gut, eat the three P’s: prunes, pulses, and pears. Prunes help maintain good digestive health and can positively affect the bacteria living in the gut. Pulses, which include lentils, beans, and peas, improve gut health by strengthening the gut barrier. And pears contain prebiotic fiber, which help promote intestinal health by providing food for beneficial probiotic bacteria.
Hypnosis -- or hypnotherapy -- uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness that is sometimes called a trance. The person's attention is so focused while in this state that anything going on around the person is temporarily blocked out or ignored. In this naturally occurring state, a person may focus his or her attention -- with the help of a trained therapist -- on specific thoughts or tasks.
Many times, an executive team will have an off-site conference where the company’s strategic plan is discussed, vision & values are established, and/or team goals are determined. As a result of this different team process, individuals make a “commitment” to change in order to help the organization move forward or to the next level. In other words, if change is to happen, everyone has to commit to doing something differently than they have done previously. Individual executive coaching then follows the off-site meeting for six to twelve months to ensure the team objectives are being met and remain in focus. The above description of Executive Coaching would apply. Quarterly “check-ins” with the team are held to validate progress and ensure main priorities are still correct.
While the findings about the efficacy of hypnosis on smoking are often murky, studies on the matter have shown increasingly positive results. Even Matt Damon and Charlize Theron have gotten in on the act. And the folks offering the service aren’t bearded men dangling pocket watches and telling you how heavy your eyelids are getting, or seeing patients in dingy basements outfitted with lava lamps and burning incense. Rather they’re people with advanced degrees who practice in the same kinds of clinics where you’d see your shrink or your ophthalmologist; rates usually start at around $80 per hour and can go as high as $200 (most practitioners recommend between one and four sessions).
With the growing popularity of coaching, many colleges and universities now offer coach training programs that are accredited by a professional association. Some courses offer a life coach certificate after just a few days of training, but such courses, if they are accredited at all, are considered "à la carte" training programs, "which may or may not offer start to finish coach training," according to the ICF. Some "all-inclusive" training programs accredited by the ICF require a minimum of 125 student contact hours, 10 hours of mentor coaching and a performance evaluation process. This is very little training in comparison to the training requirements of some other helping professions: for example, licensure as a counseling psychologist in the State of California requires 3,000 hours of supervised professional experience. However, the ICF, for example, offers a "Master Certified Coach" credential that requires demonstration of "2,500 hours (2,250 paid) of coaching experience with at least 35 clients" and a "Professional Certified Coach" credential with fewer requirements. Other professional bodies similarly offer entry-level, intermediate, and advanced coach accreditation options. Some coaches are both certified coaches and licensed counseling psychologists, integrating coaching and counseling.
“I was blown away with the outcome of my sessions at the Miami Hypnosis Center. I met with Gina [Goodwin] for a consult to quit smoking. I wanted to kick the horrible habit and get myself into tip top shape. Heath & nutrition is a big part of my life so I wanted to practice what I preach! Well after just 3 sessions with Gina I feel like I have never smoked a day in my life. I’m going to the gym 4 times a week and at 43 I’m in the best shape of my life!! I’m full of energy & so much more positive. I cannot believe how easy it is to be around smokers or even drinking a few glasses of wine and have NO desire or urge at all to light up. THANK YOU GINA! You have changed my life and I’m forever grateful. I highly recommend if you want to say goodbye to bad habits & have positive changes in your life that you go see Gina NOW!” – Jodi DeJesus
While the science might not fall in favor of hypnosis’ effects, the experiences of Margaret and Jonathan speak loudly to its potential. What’s important is that those considering hypnosis perform some due diligence. Becoming a hypnotherapist isn’t like becoming a doctor where there’s a set curriculum and a series of nationally recognized qualification tests; rather there are variety of ways to become “certified,” ranging from traditional schools to online courses. One of the most respected certification-givers is the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners. McGrail cautions that hypnotherapy isn’t regulated in California or most other states. “There are a lot of people that call themselves certified that are not well-trained or competent,” he says. “While they can’t do any harm, they won’t do any good. Do your homework.”
When therapists attempt to uncover so-called repressed memories, they may create false memories in their patients. In the 1980s and 1990s, the notion of uncovering repressed memories via hypnotherapy was very common. Because people are highly suggestible while they are under hypnosis, they may be more likely to “remember” things that did not actually occur, and then fervently believe them when they come out of the hypnotic trance.
My weight had been an issue my whole life. I was always the chubby kid, always taller and bigger than my peers. Because of that, I was uncomfortable and depressed. I remember gym class in particular, because I was slower than all the other kids. It was an especially difficult time for me because it’s where I experienced the most bullying. When I was 18, the summer I had just graduated from high school, I lost all my friends. I was miserable, alone, depressed, and suicidal. It was after a failed suicide attempt that I realized I didn’t want to live my life like this anymore. I wanted to be comfortable and confident in my own skin.
Both sport psychology (focusing on the dynamic interplay between psychological factors and athletic performance) and sport and exercise psychology (focusing on using psychological insight to increase exercise and activity levels) are essential components in empowering performance. Whether that be for professional athletes or the general population, an understanding of how the mind works can have a huge impact.
Certification as a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC)® demonstrates to clients, employers, colleagues, and the public at large that a certified individual has met the highest standards of professional practice, including completing a combination of educational and work requirements, successfully passing a certification exam, agreeing to adhere to ethical principles and standards, and committing to ongoing professional development.
While there are a wide variety of approaches and styles of hypnotism employed today—something that further confounds our ability to understand it objectively, or to study it scientifically—one thing that they tend to have in common is an emphasis on relaxation, focus, harnessing a desire to change within the individual, and building linguistic and visual relationships between emotions. As the American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists explains: “Hypnosis is simply a state of relaxed focus. It is a natural state. In fact, each of us enters such a state—sometimes called a trance state—at least twice a day: once when we are falling asleep, and once when we are waking up.”
Hypnosis is a wellness technique that works by promoting positive behavioral or cognitive changes. During successful hypnosis, the client should be eased into a state of deep relaxation in which the conscious mind takes a back seat and the subconscious mind becomes more active. The client is often able to let go of critical thoughts and become receptive to the therapist’s suggestions. In this state of hypnosis, motivating suggestions can bypass your usual mental resistance and internal defense mechanisms. For example, even if you want to quit overeating cupcakes, you may have some level of resistance that your rational mind can’t overcome. During hypnosis, the positive suggestions made by the hypnotherapist can bypass your usual blocks, helping you to achieve the formerly unachievable: stopping overeating, quitting smoking, mastering public speaking, or losing your fear of heights. The goal of hypnosis is to strengthen and empower the client’s motivation, commitment and focus. Consider working with someone who is not just trained in hypnosis but also is a licensed therapist or psychotherapist who can bring their academic background into your session.
October 20, 2017 - Center Director, Trent A. Petrie, PhD., and graduate students Carlie McGregor, Andrew Walsh, Karolina Wartolowicz, Alan Chu, Tess Palmateer, Christina Villajon, Malia Johnson, and Veera Korjala attended the annual AASP conference October 18-21, 2017 in Orlando FL. At the conference, they presented their research findings on the help seeking behaviors of male athletes, mental health screening of collegiate athletes, psychosocial well-being of retired collegiate athletes, to name a few. For more information on any of the specific research papers, please contact us at [email protected]
Danish and Hale (1981) contended that many clinical psychologists were using medical models of psychology to problematize sport problems as signs of mental illness instead of drawing upon the empirical knowledge base generated by sport psychology researchers, which in many cases indicated that sport problems were not signs of mental illness. Danish and Hale proposed that a human development model be used to structure research and applied practice. Heyman (1982) urged tolerance for multiple models (educative, motivational, developmental) of research and practice, while Dishman (1983) countered that the field needed to develop unique sport psychology models, instead of borrowing from educational and clinical psychology.
McGrail believes that the approach Margaret took should work for most people: “It uses the power of the mind to change the behavior, and it is the mind that creates the addiction to smoking 10, 20, or 30 cigarettes a day. In hypnosis, we’re using that same power, much like a computer, to make those changes.” McGrail finds out what he needs to know about the person’s relationship with tobacco: history, triggers, and motivations for stopping. “The suggestions I give while I verbally guide them through their program make them start thinking about smoking as something they don’t want — or have — to do,” he explains. Instead, they can choose appropriate outlets for the energy they once devoted to smoking. For example, Jonathan, a 34-year-old database manager from Atlanta who’d smoked for 16 years when he decided to quit with the help of a $1.99 app on his iPhone, washed his clothes — even when they were clean — instead of lighting up. He also performed breathing exercises when he was tempted. A little silly, sure, but infinitely better for him than a pack of Parliaments.
Both views reflect CEOs’ perceptions. But those, in turn, reflect the failure of coaching programs to show that the infrastructure of successful leadership vision and behavior is heightened self-awareness about one’s motives, values, and personality traits. That’s especially true within today’s challenging, fluid environment. Because of this failure, coaching programs unknowingly collude with CEOs’ view that self-awareness is either irrelevant to leadership or of minor importance.
It appears that hypnosis, under other names, has been used since the beginning of time. In fact, it has been insinuated that the earliest description of hypnosis may be portrayed in the Old Testament and in the Talmud. There is also evidence of hypnosis in ancient Egypt, some 3,000 years ago. However, the man credited with the development of what has become modern hypnosis is Friedrich Anton Mesmer, an Austrian physician. One day, Mesmer watched a magician on a street in Paris demonstrate that he could have spectators do his bidding by touching them with magnets. Fascinated by the demonstration, Mesmer believed the magnets had power of their own and from this belief developed his theory of "animal magnetism." He also believed that good health depended on having correct magnetic flow and that the direction of one's magnetic flow could be reversed easily. He further believed that he could direct this magnetic flow into inanimate objects, that could then be used for the good health of others. The term "mesmerism" came to be applied to his mystical workings. He experienced much success in helping the people of Paris as well as visitors who came from other countries, upon hearing of his powers. Later he was completely discredited by a special commission of the French Academy appointed by the King of France, causing him to leave the country. Two of the more famous members of the French Academy at the time were chairman of the commission Benjamin Franklin, American ambassador to France, and Dr. Guillotine, the inventor of the execution device.
Unfortunately, the managers and coaches did not take Griffith's recommendations seriously. Manager Charlie Grimm did not see a need for a psychologist as a consultant on a baseball team. Even though Griffith's recommendations were not taken seriously with the Cubs, he was still given the honor with the title of 'America's first sports psychologist' by University of Massachusetts professors Walter Kroll and Guy Lewis in 1970.
Margaret, a 90-year old (not a typo!) musician from Manhattan, has been tobacco-free for a whopping 26 years, after a pack-a-day smoking career that spanned six decades. She’d quit before, cold turkey, but lasted only two days before she relapsed. Years later, she decided to try hypnosis at the recommendation of a trusted friend. “It wasn’t scary,” she remembers. “I was quite unaware that I was being hypnotized. The hypnosis was just deep enough for everything she said to take root. She told me that I shouldn’t ever touch another cigarette, not to think I can smoke and get away with it, and that one cigarette can restart the addiction over again. It was very easy. I was really quite surprised.” Margaret hasn’t taken a puff since.
Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy used to reprogram the subconscious mind. When under hypnosis, you put your mind and body into a heightened state of learning, making you more susceptible to suggestions for self-improvement or behavior modification. The goal is to put the subconscious and conscious mind in harmony, which in turn helps give you greater control over your behavior and emotions.