Sports and Exercise Psychology (SEP) is the scientific study of the psychological factors that are associated with participation and performance in sport, exercise and other types of physical activity. Sport and exercise psychologists are interested in helping athletes use psychological principles to achieve optimal mental health and to improve performance (performance enhancement). They also work to promote understanding about how participation in sport, exercise, and physical activity affects an individual's psychological development, health and well-being throughout their life.
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.[71] Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, William Morgan wrote several pieces on the relationship between exercise and various topics, such as mood,[72] anxiety,[73] and adherence to exercise programs.[74] Morgan also went on to found APA Division 47 in 1986.[75]
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., also is exploring adding hypnotherapy for IBS patients. — Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, "A Surprise Medical Solution: Hypnosis," 7 May 2018 Click to Read Story A Surprise Medical Solution: Hypnosis Major hospitals are finding hypnotherapy can help sufferers of digestive conditions like heartburn, acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome. — Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, "From Meditation to Medication: Headspace Has a Prescription Strategy," 25 June 2018 The case’s progression is traced on Friday night’s episode of ABC’s 20/20, which is exclusively previewed above, in a clip that explains how Marcell first decided to undergo hypnotherapy to aid law enforcement. — Adam Carlson, PEOPLE.com, "Years After a High School Senior Was Nearly Beaten to Death, Hypnosis Helped Her ID the Suspect," 15 June 2018 Most professionals who conduct hypnotherapy treatments are psychologists. — Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, "A Surprise Medical Solution: Hypnosis," 7 May 2018 Such feats helped lay the foundation for both hypnotherapy and the work of later famous disabled Americans such as Helen Keller. — Justin T. Clark, BostonGlobe.com, "Building Boston to shape morality," 14 Apr. 2018 Exercise, healthy eating, and stress-reduction techniques—like mindfulness, acupuncture, or hypnotherapy—may be helpful, as well. — Amanda Macmillan, Health.com, "12 Reasons You Might Have Cramps That Have Nothing to Do With Your Period," 27 Mar. 2018 This past Saturday, almost 100 women and a smattering of men showed up to hear inspirational speakers participate in a healing circle, discover their inner power and watch a demonstration on the healing capabilities of hypnotherapy. — Ruth Sowby Rands, latimes.com, "On the Town: Event emphasizes inspiration, empowerment and healing," 26 Mar. 2018 The guideline said that non-drug therapies such as acupuncture (as well as physical and massage therapies, biofeedback and hypnotherapy) should be considered as first-line treatments for acute pain. — Brie Zeltner, cleveland.com, "New Medicaid rule will further open acupuncture services to 108,000 Ohio patients with low back pain, migraines," 31 Dec. 2017

In order to help an athlete, a sport psychologist must be able to first identify the problem that the athlete is facing. An athlete might benefit from a counseling sport psychologist in a number of situations. Some athletes, for instance, may be having trouble concentrating due to a number of personal issues, such as family problems or relationship problems. Contrary to what some may think, athletes also suffer from such things as confidence issues, low self-esteem, and body image. Performance anxiety and burnout are other common problems faced by many athletes, no matter how talented they are.
Psychological assessment and treatment are no silver bullet—and can in fact be gratuitous. For instance, a coach who trains executives to enhance their strategic-planning abilities need not be a psychiatrist. But don’t assume that all executives who have planning problems lack the necessary skills. Can a psychological disorder interfere with developing a business plan? Absolutely, if the client suffers from clinical depression, which is known to block one’s ability to engage in constructive, goal-oriented behavior. Without safeguards to prevent coaches from training those whose problems stem not from a lack of skills but from psychological problems, the executives being coached and the companies they work for will suffer.
A sport psychologist might use a number of different methods to help athletes who need to overcome certain problems. For instance, they will often lend a non-judgmental ear to frustrated and overwhelmed athletes; sometimes, just the act of talking about certain negative situations can be all that's necessary to overcome them. Most times, however, a sport psychologist will offer advice and guidance on how to overcome these problems. He may recommend a little rest and relaxation for the burnt out athlete, or he might teach an overly anxious athlete several different relaxation exercises to perform before each game or match. He might teach an athlete visualization techniques or how to tune out distractions.
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.[6] Despite Scripture's previous experiments, the first recognized sports psychology study was carried out by an American psychologist Norman Triplett, in 1898.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

Performance profiling can provide a rigorous evaluation of psychological characteristics and can be used in conjunction with existing measures of physical ability to provide great insight for players, athletes and coaches. Psychometric assessments can help athletes explore their own unique characteristics, such as self-confidence, motivation, resilience and mental toughness. This greater self-awareness can help athletes to shape their development and can encourage them to take ownership of their performance with a significant impact on focus, drive and achievement.
I have a BSc. in Human Kinetics and a Master’s of Arts in Human Kinetics concentrated in Sport Psychology, which I completed over 10 years after earning my BSc. In those 10 years, I competed for Canada on the World Beach Volleyball Tour. Having been a lifelong competitive athlete, I discovered first-hand the need to train the mind alongside the body. My national team coach once said to me “Kara, you make the hard stuff look easy and the easy stuff look hard,” and it was true. The easier it was, the more time I had to think about it.

There were a lot of surprises. Foodwise, now I actually crave vegetables. Also, there unfortunately is definitely a difference in how people treat you when you’re bigger versus when you’re smaller. But I think the biggest surprise for me is, physically, it’s crazy how much I can walk without getting winded or how many sports I’ve found I actually enjoy, such as cycling and skiing.
"I understand that thinking about talking to someone can be an anxiety provoking process - I will work with you to provide a nonjudgmental environment where we can safely discuss and explore your concerns, whatever they may be. I will help you better understand the connections between past experiences and your current difficulties, which I believe can ultimately lead to you having a more fulfilling life."
According to Dr. Clifford N. Lazarus, speaking for Psychology Today, hypnosis is a “genuine psychological phenomenon that has valid uses in clinical practice … hypnosis is a state of highly focused attention or concentration, often associated with relaxation, and heightened suggestibility. While under hypnosis (i.e., in a hypnotic trance), it seems many people are much more open to helpful suggestions than they usually are.” The suggestions made in a therapeutic setting get deep into a person’s brain, beyond their conscious thinking, leading to behavior change and the ability to overcome challenges that might otherwise seem insurmountable.
Once you are in a sufficiently suggestable state the hypnotherapist will then start their specific stop smoking session to try and change the way you think about your relationship with tobacco. These usually are based around visualization techniques. For example you may be asked to visualize what it would be like to suck on a car exhaust, or you may be asked to imagine the amount of ash you have inhaled over your lifetime in a big pile.
In 2003, the American Psychological Association (APA) officially recognized sports psychology as a specialized area, or proficiency, in psychology, with the goal of providing uniformity to the development and practice of sports psychology. Several key elements were identified, including the specific knowledge needed in order to be considered specialized in sports psychology; the groups of people that would benefit from this specialty; and the problems or issues addressed through its practice.
"I am qualified and experienced to help people cope with or resolve a wide range of challenges, including dealing with grief, depression or anxiety, working on relationship issues, making important decisions or transitions, recovering from injury or illness, working through current or past trauma and diagnosing and/or treating psychiatric and cognitive disorders. As a Psychologist with a subspecialty in Neuropsychology, I see a wide range of clients, including adolescents with developmental disorders or other troubles, adults struggling with emotional challenges or dealing with life's stressors, or individuals who have experienced neurologic or other types of illnesses."
Motivational climate refers to the situational and environmental factors that influence individuals' goals.[39] The two major types of motivational climates coaches can create are task-oriented and ego-oriented. While winning is the overall goal of sports competitions regardless of the motivational climate, a task-orientation emphasizes building skill, improvement, giving complete effort, and mastering the task at hand (i.e., self-referenced goals), while an ego-orientation emphasizes demonstrating superior ability, competition, and does not promote effort or individual improvement (i.e., other-referenced goals). Effective coaching practices explore the best ways coaches can lead and teach their athletes. For examples, researchers may study the most effective methods for giving feedback, rewarding and reinforcing behavior, communicating, and avoiding self-fulfilling prophecies in their athletes.[40]
According to Dr. Ken Grossman, a clinical hypnotherapist in Sacramento, “The only quality that makes someone a good candidate for hypnosis is that they want to stop. What makes someone a poor candidate is that they have no desire to stop.” McGrail agrees, adding, “There are very few people that will not allow themselves to be led into a hypnotic state.” While this may sound far-fetched to skeptics, think of it as the sort of state you’re in when you’re driving and miss your exit — that’s a mild form of hypnosis in and of itself. What these therapists do is just deepen the experience, using our natural capacity for dropping into trance-like states.
Hypnosis is a powerful tool to help clients overcome challenging issues such as anxiety, phobias, pain management, hot flashes and more. Hypnosis is also a way to help let go of addictions like smoking, overeating and gambling. In and of itself, hypnosis is not a therapy, but it can be used in conjunction with therapy to empower and encourage the person receiving it to make positive change. Some people are more susceptible to hypnosis and will benefit more from hypnotherapy than others.
After personally experiencing the benefits of coaching, many of our executive coaching clients are excited to learn how to coach and develop their own coaching leadership style. We support them to do this through training programmes such as Coaching Training for Managers and Coaching Leadership Development. Clients can also choose to go on to the cutting-edge transformational leadership programmes which are championed by leaders and change agents the world over.
Dorian Denburg was in-house counsel for a public corporation when she became president of the National Association of Women Lawyers. She said she immediately realized the not-for-profit environment was radically different from what she was used to. She was going to have to make some shifts. Her coach helped her understand the big picture and the importance of context.
Self-talk refers to the thoughts and words athletes and performers say to themselves, usually in their minds. Self-talk phrases (or cues) are used to direct attention towards a particular thing in order to improve focus or are used alongside other techniques to facilitate their effectiveness.[61] For example, a softball player may think "release point" when at bat to direct her attention to the point where the pitcher releases the ball, while a golfer may say "smooth stroke" before putting to stay relaxed. Research suggests either positive or negative self-talk may improve performance, suggesting the effectiveness of self-talk phrases depends on how the phrase is interpreted by the individual.[62] However, the use of positive self-talk is considered to be more efficacious[63] and is consistent with the associative network theory of Gordon Bower[64] and the self-efficacy tenet within the broader Social Cognitive Theory of Albert Bandura.[65][66] The use of words in sport has been widely utilized. The ability to bombard the unconscious mind with one single positive phrase, is one of the most effective and easy to use psychological skills available to any athlete.

Athletes aren't the only ones that can benefit from sport psychology, however, although they are the most likely. Some individuals who are in the middle of high stress and highly competitive careers might also benefit from a few counseling sessions with sport psychologists. This can include professionals such as business people, performing artists, and politicians.
Health coaching is becoming recognized as a new way to help individuals "manage" their illnesses and conditions, especially those of a chronic nature.[21] The coach will use special techniques, personal experience, expertise and encouragement to assist the coachee in bringing his/her behavioral changes about, while aiming for lowered health risks and decreased healthcare costs.[22] The National Society of Health Coaches (NSHC) has differentiated the term health coach from wellness coach.[22] According to the NSHC, health coaches are qualified "to guide those with acute or chronic conditions and/or moderate to high health risk", and wellness coaches provide guidance and inspiration "to otherwise 'healthy' individuals who desire to maintain or improve their overall general health status".[22]
“A fun, motivational and totally unique style of fast-track leadership development that has delivered far more than I thought possible. At the start of the executive coaching I had a goal to become a Director in 18 months to 2 years time. Through the coaching, I was offered a Directorship after 6 months. As a manager and individual I feel totally revived and have gained instant benefit allowing me to achieve and surpass my desired objectives. If I had known the impact it had, I would have paid for it myself and done it ages ago!”
Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking, according to the largest ever scientific comparison of ways of breaking the habit. A meta-analysis, statistically combining results of more than 600 studies of 72,000 people from America and Europe to compare various methods of quitting. On average, hypnosis was over three times as effective as nicotine replacement methods and 15 times as effective as trying to quit alone.
Exercise specialists, athletic trainers, youth sport directors, corporations, and psychologists who are using knowledge and techniques developed by professionals in the field of applied sport and exercise psychology to assist with improving exercise adherence, rehabilitating injuries, educating coaches and parents, building self-esteem, teaching group dynamics, and increasing effectiveness.
Passive-aggressive behavior is destructive and should be addressed as soon as possible (particularly when it is affecting the whole team). Don’t wait for performance evaluations—act now! Constructive feedback is a powerful tool in shaping behavior and improving performance. However, many people fail to deliver it effectively, if at all. Constructive feedback can be viewed as overly critical, or is often vague and unclear, leaving the recipient unsure of what to actually do with the feedback. In addition, in an attempt to avoid confrontation or an uncomfortable situation, people may sugarcoat the feedback by downplaying the impact or minimizing the importance of it. In the end, this serves no one.
I soon realized that Mirabella wasn’t trying to sabotage his colleagues in order to get ahead. In fact, he felt he was moving ahead too fast. Mirabella was convinced that he had only been promoted because, like the company’s CEO, he was an Italian-American. Mirabella believed that he hadn’t earned his success but had it imposed on him because of the CEO’s wish for an appropriate heir to the throne. As a result, Mirabella felt enormously anxious and angry. “Why should I be forced to overachieve just so I can fulfill my boss’s dream to keep the company in the hands of Italians?” he demanded.
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.
Being able to see, understand and deal effectively with others’ perspectives is key to successful leadership (as well as personal life). That capacity, part of self-awareness, is empathy. Two recent studies show its crucial role. One looked at the impact of power in an organization upon behavior; the other, its impact upon brain activity. Both studies found that increased power reduces empathy.
I have no prior experience with hypnosis. I went into this with no expectations, but I did have the willingness to quit smoking. I have tried nicoderm patches, nicoderm gum, Chantix, Wellbutrin, cold turkey, weaning off, etc...for the last two years. The most I ever got were 28 agonizing days. The cravings never went away. Then I met with Rita Black and here I am 6 weeks later to share how amazed I am with the success of our 1 meeting! I walked out of Rita's office a non-smoker in every way. Rita explained to me how to manage the "cravings" if and when they come. I have totally regained my power against smoking. I highly recommend this life saving service (not to mention, financial savings).
“We brought Performance Consultants International in to Mubadala to help us launch and deliver an Executive Coaching programme to the top tiers of our organization. We maintained constant contact throughout the set-up phase. We had a true partnership with Performance Consultants who helped us every step of the way, from concept to launch to implementation and ongoing tracking. The launch event wildly exceeded expectations and the ongoing support I needed was always there. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them for an Executive Coaching framework in any ambitious organization”

Business coaching is a type of human resource development for business leaders. It provides positive support, feedback and advice on an individual or group basis to improve personal effectiveness in the business setting, many a time focusing on behavioural changes through psychometrics or 360-degree feedback. Business coaching is also called executive coaching,[16] corporate coaching or leadership coaching. Coaches help their clients advance towards specific professional goals. These include career transition, interpersonal and professional communication, performance management, organizational effectiveness, managing career and personal changes, developing executive presence, enhancing strategic thinking, dealing effectively with conflict, and building an effective team within an organization. An industrial organizational psychologist is one example of executive coach. Business coaching is not restricted to external experts or providers. Many organizations expect their senior leaders and middle managers to coach their team members to reach higher levels of performance, increased job satisfaction, personal growth, and career development. Research studies suggest that executive coaching has a positive impact on workplace performance.[17]
When we came out of the session, he asked us how we each had felt. Some reported feeling a sense of heaviness, others said they felt as if they were floating away. One woman couldn't remember a word he had said the entire time. An older man in a Red Sox jersey said he could hear him but couldn't make out the words. “Me relaxing to that degree made me realize how much my body is fighting to breathe cleanly,” the elderly man said. Another woman said she felt as if she wanted to cry. I shared her emotion. It felt as if something was being taken from me.
Sports lovers will likely find the field of sports psychology interesting, but choosing it as a career involves practical considerations—in other words, what’s the job outlook, and what’s the bottom line? As with most jobs, financial compensation largely depends on experience and education level, but as a growing field, sports psychologists have a generally good outlook.

Research in sport psychology involves studying and observing athletes in order to find out what motivates them to keep pushing on, and what gives them the thirst for landing in the winner's circle. A sport psychology researcher might also try to find ways for athletes to perform better and with fewer obstacles. The knowledge gained through this research can then be applied during counseling sessions with athletes.
Just recently have sport psychologists begun to be recognized for the valuable contributions they make in assisting athletes and their coaches in improving performance during competitive situations, as well as understanding how physical exercise may contribute to the psychological well-being of non-athletes. Many can benefit from sport psychologists: athletes who are trying to improve their performance, injured athletes who are looking for motivation, individuals looking to overcome the pressure of competition, and young children involved in youth sports as well as their parents. Special focus is geared towards psychological assessment of athletes. Assessment can be both, focused on selection of athletes and the team set up of rosters as well as on professional guidance and counseling of single athletes.
Mark Hall, a professional hypnotherapist and licensed social worker, was well aware of that, of course. He quit smoking many years ago himself—he says he still remembers reaching for a phantom lighter that wasn't in his pocket—and he has been holding sessions like these for more than 20 years, aimed at convincing others that they can do it themselves. Typically his hypnotherapy sessions cost around $150, or $95 with insurance coverage, but this event, sponsored by the Sanborn Foundation for the Treatment and Cure of Cancer, was near my home, and open and free to the public. In other words, there was no reason not to go, except, perhaps, a question that had been frightening me all week as the meeting approached: What if it doesn't work? Or, maybe even worse: What if it actually does? Then what the hell am I going to do? As crazy as it sounds, smoking is such a major part of my daily routine, the prospect of losing it is scary.
One of the challenges in the field of coaching is upholding levels of professionalism, standards and ethics.[26] To this end, coaching bodies and organizations have codes of ethics and member standards.[1]:287–312[27] However, because these bodies are not regulated, and because coaches do not need to belong to such a body, ethics and standards are variable in the field.[26][28] In February 2016, the AC and the EMCC launched a "Global Code of Ethics" for the entire industry; individuals, associations, and organizations are invited to become signatories to it.[29][30]:1
Although hypnotherapy can seem strange, perhaps even implausible, it is regarded as potentially effective in treating a variety of ailments, particularly phobias, addictions, and problematic habits. Hypnosis may also be used to help patients cope with stress, smoking cessation, and chronic pain, and some women even opt to use hypnosis to manage the pain of childbirth. In patients with trauma-related conditions such as posttraumatic stress (PTSD), therapists may attempt to talk to clients about their traumatic memories under hypnosis.
‘Maximizing the Impact of Executive Coaching: Behavioral change, organizational outcomes, and return on investment’ – As executive coaching practitioners, Joy McGovern and colleagues have direct experience demonstrating that this leadership development practice does have a lasting impact on the individuals who participate in it, on the larger organization they are a part of and on the organization’s financial bottom line.
Garvin was under the gun during this difficult time, so he skipped the usual steps and sought the services of an executive coach on his own. He picked someone he knew well: Karl Nelson, whom Garvin had worked with at a major consulting firm when they were both starting their careers as freshly minted MBAs. Garvin thought he could trust Nelson to help manage his COO’s anger and to mentor him through the storm. He also liked the sound of Nelson’s coaching approach. It was based on a profiling system that diagnosed managers’ strengths and weaknesses and charted career tracks that would optimize individual managers’ productivity. This system was similar to the Myers-Briggs inventory, with many of psychologist Abraham Maslow’s self-actualization principles thrown in. Garvin believed that Nelson and his system could help the COO.
After personally experiencing the benefits of coaching, many of our executive coaching clients are excited to learn how to coach and develop their own coaching leadership style. We support them to do this through training programmes such as Coaching Training for Managers and Coaching Leadership Development. Clients can also choose to go on to the cutting-edge transformational leadership programmes which are championed by leaders and change agents the world over.
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While executives can hire their own coaches (usually CEOs or business owners), it’s more common for companies (often Human Resources) to recommend a coach to an executive as a part of an executive development program. The coachee could be newly promoted (transition coaching), be facing a number of challenges (usually involving people relationships), or is being groomed for larger roles. And yes, coaches are still hired to correct behavioral problems and help leaders resolve interpersonal conflicts.
Once the bachelor’s degree is finished, a master’s degree is the next step. This may be specifically in sports psychology, or could be in psychology with a concentration in sports psychology. The final degree is either a PsyD or PhD in sports psychology. Some schools offer joint degrees that combine the master’s and doctoral degrees; a small number offer the doctorate degree to students with only a bachelor’s degree, but this is rare.
Modern hypnotherapy is widely accepted for the treatment of certain habit disorders, to control irrational fears,[35][36] as well as in the treatment of conditions such as insomnia[37] and addiction.[38] Hypnosis has also been used to enhance recovery from non-psychological conditions such as after surgical procedures,[39] in breast cancer care[40] and even with gastro-intestinal problems,[41] including IBS.[42][43]
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