Applied sport psychology is the study and application of psychological principles of human performance in helping athletes consistently perform in the upper range of their capabilities and more thoroughly enjoy the sport performance process. Applied sport psychologists are uniquely trained and specialized to engage in a broad range of activities including the identification, development and execution of the mental and emotional knowledge, skills and abilities required for excellence in athletic domains; the understanding, diagnosing and preventing of the psychological, cognitive, emotional, behavioral and psychophysiological inhibitors of consistent, excellent performance; and the improvement of athletic contexts to facilitate more efficient development, consistent execution and positive experiences in athletes.
Today, a sports psychologists can do several things to help athletes with sports and performance. A sports psychologist role is more accepted today as a part of the regular coaching staff for teams and for individual athletes–than 10 years ago. A sports psychologists can do are numerous, but they primarily teach athletes mental game skills to improve their performance and learning.
Some therapists use hypnosis to recover possibly repressed memories they believe are linked to the person's mental disorder. However, the quality and reliability of information recalled by the patient under hypnosis is not always reliable. Additionally, hypnosis can pose a risk of creating false memories -- usually as a result of unintended suggestions or the asking of leading questions by the therapist. For these reasons, hypnosis is no longer considered a common or mainstream part of most forms of psychotherapy. Also, the use of hypnosis for certain mental disorders in which patients may be highly susceptible to suggestion, such as dissociative disorders, remains especially controversial.
“I tried so many different smoking cessation products and programs over the past years. These included gums, patches, and pills. Finally, armed with a determination to quit, I decided to try hypnotherapy. I found The Miami Hypnosis Center on-line and it changed my life. I used to smoke like a chimney and enjoyed it like anything else, and now I’m happy to finally say that I am a non-smoker.” – Pasquale Pisana
A recent study by the Stanford Business School found that nearly two-thirds of CEOs don’t receive executive coaching or leadership development. And almost half of senior executives in general aren’t receiving any, either. Paradoxically, nearly 100 percent said they would like coaching to enhance their development, as both Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Forbes reported in recent articles.
At an even more basic level, many executives simply benefit from receiving any feedback at all. "As individuals advance to the executive level, development feedback becomes increasingly important, more infrequent, and more unreliable," notes Anna Maravelas, a St. Paul, Minnesota-based executive coach and founder of TheraRising. As a result, she says, "Many executives plateau in critical interpersonal and leadership skills."
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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.
With the emphasis on sports and exercise in society, it’s no wonder that sports psychology is a growing specialty within the broader field psychology. Sports psychologists examine the interrelation between human psychology and athletic performance, applying their skills and knowledge to enhance performance and maximize the benefits of physical activity.
Thanks for your article Nadine. There is now further evidence of the Coaching Ripple Effect in the groundbreaking research by Dr Sean O’Connor & Dr Michael Cavanagh (2013). They are in fact colleagues of Tony Grant at the University of Sydney. To give a balanced view, Tony’s article on ROI as a poor measure of coaching success (2012) is also worth a read.
Make it descriptive rather than evaluative. This means that the feedback should focus on the facts, as opposed to saying what is good or bad. This also helps the recipient be less defensive. Instead of saying, “Your follow-through is poor,” it is more effective to say, “The team was in a real crunch today, trying to get the presentation slides to the client to be reviewed. I was counting on having the highlights of your report included in the presentation. This caused us to be late in getting the slides to the client. Next time we have a deadline like this, I’d like to see you deliver your portion on time.”
Applied sport and exercise psychology involves extending theory and research into the field to educate coaches, athletes, parents, exercisers, fitness professionals, and athletic trainers about the psychological aspects of their sport or activity. A primary goal of professionals in applied sport and exercise psychology is to facilitate optimal involvement, performance, and enjoyment in sport and exercise.
Here's one way to look at it. If an experience—through coaching or anything else—reveals an interest that leads an executive away from the firm, everyone stands to gain. The executive finds a better fit and, ideally, a space in the firm becomes available to someone who is motivated by the challenges at hand. It's much the same thinking that companies have gone through regarding leadership-development programs at large. The occasional departure of a manager in whom the firm has invested a great deal is offset many times over by the increased value of those who remain.
Sports psychology seems like a vital component of getting athletes in the right mindset for optimal performance and well-being, and its benefits were first being realized in the early-to-mid 1900s. The history of sports psychology began with experiments and research of athlete's performance to provide enhanced mental edge to compliment physical ability.
The coach is accountable to the client (the individual being coached), the client’s direct manager, and human resources (if applicable, as HR is not always involved in the process). The single most important element of the coaching is confidentiality between coach and client. A coach should never reveal the content of their coaching conversations to the client’s manager or any other party without the client’s prior consent. The coach may, at times, facilitate three-way conversations between the coach, client, and the client’s manager.
As a sub-discipline, the amount of research in exercise psychology increased in the 1950s and 1960s, leading to several presentations at the second gathering of the International Society of Sport Psychology in 1968. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, William Morgan wrote several pieces on the relationship between exercise and various topics, such as mood, anxiety, and adherence to exercise programs. Morgan also went on to found APA Division 47 in 1986.
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9. Power Words: Make positive self-statements continually. Negative thinking is common; everyone has an inner critic. Become aware of these thoughts early on. Don’t fight with them; simply acknowledge their presence, and then substitute positive power words. (e.g., When you’re thinking: “This hurts too much, I want to lay down and die”; say to yourself: “This feeling is connected with getting healthier and doing my absolute best.”)
Much research shows that such capacities are essential personal strengths; certainly important to effective senior leadership. Moreover, studies find that you can grow them with conscious effort. The emotionally detached, un-empathic person, unaware of his or her personal motives or truths is not going to be very effective as a CEO or senior leader. We see examples of the consequences from time-to-time, when a CEO resigns or is fired.
Needless to say, effective leadership must also include necessary skills, vision and perspectives. For example, sustainable practices for long-term success, as business executive and sustainability thought-leader John Friedman regularly writes about, here. Another is the movement towards joining business success with addressing social needs, as Richard Branson has described, where “taking care of people and the planet are at the very core of all businesses everywhere in the world.” Adding that our current world of transparency and social media demands that “business reinvents itself and becomes a force for good in the world,” he’s leading a new effort in that direction, called The B Team.
It further identified target groups that would benefit from sports psychology, including active amateur and professional athletes; sports teams and leagues, athletes suffering from temporary or permanent injuries; as well as the family members, teammates, coaches and friends of athletes. Finally, the APA identified specific problems and the techniques that could be used to address them, including mental skills training, visualization and motivational techniques, rehabilitation counseling after injuries, stress management, boosting self-confidence, leadership and team-building training, and counseling for eating disorders or substance abuse.
In 1996, as a result of a three-year research project led by Lindsay B. Yeates, the Australian Hypnotherapists Association (founded in 1949), the oldest hypnotism-oriented professional organization in Australia, instituted a peer-group accreditation system for full-time Australian professional hypnotherapists, the first of its kind in the world, which "accredit[ed] specific individuals on the basis of their actual demonstrated knowledge and clinical performance; instead of approving particular 'courses' or approving particular 'teaching institutions'" (Yeates, 1996, p.iv; 1999, p.xiv). The system was further revised in 1999.