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.
Sports psychologists are hired by athletic teams and schools. A sampling of employers posting on the Association for Applied Sport Psychology website in late 2013 reveals a wide variety of organizations: Western State Colorado University, Bridgewater State University, K-State Athletics, the New York Mets. Perusing postings gives a sense of what top facilities are looking for (http://www.appliedsportpsych.org/resource-center/employment-opportunities).
Following its stated goal of promoting the science and practice of applied sport psychology, AAASP quickly worked to develop uniform standards of practice, highlighted by the development of an ethical code for its members in the 1990s. The development of the AAASP Certified Consultant (CC-AAASP) program helped bring standardization to the training required to practice applied sport psychology. AASP aims to provide leadership for the development of theory, research and applied practice in sport, exercise, and health psychology. Also during this same time period, over 500 members of the American Psychological Association (APA) signed a petition to create Division 47 in 1986, which is focused on Exercise and Sport Psychology.
Motivation: A major subject within sports psychology, the study of motivation looks at both extrinsic and intrinsic motivators. Extrinsic motivators are external rewards, such as trophies, money, medals or social recognition. Intrinsic motivators arise from within, such as a personal desire to win or the sense of pride that comes from performing a skill.
Psychiatrists who’ve studied the Vietnam War are all too familiar with this type of hostile reaction to ineffectual leaders. Lieutenants fresh from ROTC training were hazed, sometimes even killed, by veteran troops who resented what they perceived to be an illegitimate attempt by the “F—ing New Guy” (FNG) to exercise authority. Military psychiatrists soon realized that these FNG lieutenants, clueless about the laws that governed life on the front lines, had been pulling rank in an effort to assert authority. The troopers did not take this well. In their view, the new lieutenants did not stack up to their predecessors, who had learned to let their hair down. To address the FNG syndrome, the military cautioned lieutenants to take it easy until the troopers accepted that they had developed field credentials.
“We offer internal coaching for employees going through the Emerging Leader Program,” said Jill Clark, group vice president of talent management at JDA Software Inc. “[It’s] a combination of internal and external coaching for VP-level executives going through the Fearless Leader Program; and external coaches for executive-level folks who want to be more effective.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is the agency responsible for the laws relevant to the Privacy Rule that is part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). An athlete’s mental health conditions and treatment are protected health information under HIPAA and not considered part of an athlete’s employment record. The stigma associated with mental health has historically been a barrier to many athletes openly discussing mental health concerns and seeking treatment.
More recently, the role of sport psychologist has been called on to meet the increasing demand for anger management for athletes. Increasingly, Sport Psychologists have needed to address this topic and provide strategies and interventions for overcoming excessive anger and aggression in athletes, and techniques for athletes to manage emotions. A comprehensive anger management program for athletes was developed by Dr. Mitch Abrams, a licensed sport psychologist who authored “Anger Management in Sport”
Weight gain has been associated with excessive consumption of fats, (added) sugars, refined carbohydrates in general, and alcohol consumption. Depression, stress or boredom may also contribute to weight increase, and in these cases, individuals are advised to seek medical help. A 2010 study found that dieters who got a full night's sleep lost more than twice as much fat as sleep-deprived dieters.