Sports psychology can be offered as a concentration within a counseling or clinical psychology program. A student in an applied branch of psychology will have coursework in biological, cognitive-affective, and social bases of behavior. The program will also provide a foundation in understanding and treating psychological disturbances, utilizing psychology methodologies, and adhering to professional standards. In addition, a sport psychology program typically includes coursework in the physiological or biomechanical bases of sport.
Consider Jim Mirabella, an executive earmarked for leadership at an electronic games manufacturer. Ever since the CEO had promoted him to head of marketing, Mirabella had become impossible to work with. Colleagues complained that he hoarded information about company strategy, market indicators, sales forecasts, and the like. The theory circulating through the grapevine was that Mirabella’s aim was to weaken junior executives’ ability to make informed contributions during inter-divisional strategic-planning sessions. He was assigned an executive coach.
So we try to make athletes understand that there is a process to their sport, and that it is more important early on to get the process right than to worry about the result. Then, as the athletes get better and reach higher levels of competition, we put as much importance on the process as on the result. The hope is that the emphasis on the process will buffer the athlete from a bad loss. As long as they know that they performed to their best, they are more accepting of the result.
The book gives examples of induction methods, including what is now called the classic "Dave Elman Induction", as well as the use of hypnosis in dozens of physical and mental conditions. Since these uses are reserved today only for licensed professionals, and since licensed professionals usually shy away from or shun anything that is not considered mainstream, hypnosis is most often used today for behavior modification issues, such as weight loss or smoking cessation.
McNulty’s mandate was to shadow Mirabella 24/7 for as long as needed to ensure that he would grow into his position. From the start of their relationship, McNulty and Mirabella had two private meetings a day during which McNulty analyzed Mirabella’s behavior and role-played effective styles for mastering interpersonal situations that Mirabella did not handle well. True to his jock background, McNulty reacted to Mirabella’s avowals of ineptitude and anxiety with exhortations. “Quitters never win, and winners never quit” was a favorite comment of his, but at times McNulty would also chide Mirabella for being a “weakling” who needed to “act like a man” to deal with the demands of his preordained role within the company.
My misgivings about executive coaching are not a clarion call for psychotherapy or psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis, in particular, does not—and never will—suit everybody. Nor is it up to corporate leaders to ensure that all employees deal with their personal demons. My goal, as someone with a doctorate in psychology who also serves as an executive coach, is to heighten awareness of the difference between a “problem executive” who can be trained to function effectively and an “executive with a problem” who can best be helped by psychotherapy.
At first meeting, coach Sean McNulty was impressive. He had a bodybuilder’s physique and a model’s face. Although he had been cocaptain of the football team at the Big Ten university he had attended, McNulty always knew that he was too small for professional sports and not studious enough for medicine or law. But realizing he had charisma to spare, McNulty decided, while an undergraduate business major minoring in sports psychology, that he would pursue a career in executive coaching. After earning an MBA from a leading university, McNulty soon became known in the local business community as a man who could polish the managerial skills of even the ugliest of ducklings.
If coaching fails to cure a problem in six months, it can become very expensive indeed. Take the case of Tom Davis, the coach who worked with Rob Bernstein, the executive VP of sales at an automotive parts distributor. Let’s assume Davis charged a relatively low per diem of $1,500. Over the four years of his engagement—which ultimately did not solve Bernstein’s problems—he would have picked up at least $45,000 in fees. That sum would have purchased 450 hours with a competent therapist—about ten years’ worth of weekly sessions.
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.
David Lesser (1928 - 2001) was the originator of what we today understand by the term Curative Hypnotherapy. It was he who first saw the possibility of finding the causes of people’s symptoms by using a combination of hypnosis, IMR and a method of specific questioning that he began to explore. Rather than try to override the subconscious information as Janet had done, he realised the necessity- and developed the process- to correct the wrong information. Lesser’s understanding of the logicality and simplicity of the subconscious led to the creation of the methodical treatment used today and it is his innovative work and understanding that underpins the therapy and is why the term ‘Lesserian’ was coined and trademarked. As the understanding of the workings of the subconscious continues to evolve, the application of the therapy continues to change. The three most influential changes have been in Specific Questioning (1992) to gain more accurate subconscious information; a subconscious cause/effect mapping system (SRBC)(1996) to streamline the process of curative hypnotherapy treatment; and the ‘LBR Criteria’ (2003) to be able to differentiate more easily between causal and trigger events and helping to target more accurately the erroneous data which requires reinterpretation.