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.
Mansfield could neither comprehend nor cope with the attention she received once promoted to the role of boss. While most managers would view the schmoozing and lobbying for attention that her reports engaged in as office politics, Mansfield saw these attempts at currying favor as trial balloons that might lead to dating. She was not being sexually harassed; Mansfield was merely experiencing interpersonal advances that threatened the protective fortress she had erected against feelings of intimacy. The better Mansfield managed the men in her division—and the more her constructive feedback improved their work—the more intimate they appeared to become as a natural outcome of their appreciation.
There is an intense mental toll of reaching—and remaining—at the pinnacle of a sport. “The top six inches of the body matter just as much the rest,” says Matthew Cunliffe, a sports psychologist, who spoke with Quartz about what goes through the minds of elite athletes and how psychologists can help them win. The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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.
Exercise psychology and sport psychology involve the scientific study of the psychological factors that are associated with participation and performance in sport, exercise and other types of physical activity. Sport psychologists are interested in two main areas: (a) helping athletes use psychological principles to achieve optimal mental health and to improve performance (performance enhancement) and (b) understanding how participation in sport, exercise and physical activity affects an individual's psychological development, health and well-being throughout the lifespan.
The birth of sports psychology in Europe happened largely in Germany. The first sports psychology laboratory was founded by Dr. Carl Diem in Berlin, in the early 1920s. The early years of sport psychology were also highlighted by the formation of the Deutsche Hochschule für Leibesübungen (College of Physical Education)in berlin germany by Robert Werner Schulte in 1920. The lab measured physical abilities and aptitude in sport, and in 1921, Schulte published Body and Mind in Sport. In Russia, sport psychology experiments began as early as 1925 at institutes of physical culture in Moscow and Leningrad, and formal sport psychology departments were formed around 1930. However, it was a bit later during the Cold War period (1946–1989) that numerous sport science programs were formed, due to the military competitiveness between the Soviet Union and the United States, and as a result of attempts to increase the Olympic medal numbers  The Americans felt that their sport performances were inadequate and very disappointing compared to the ones of the Soviets, so this led them to invest more in the methods that could ameliorate their athletes performance, and made them have a greater interest on the subject. The advancement of sports psychology was more deliberate in the Soviet Union and the Eastern countries, due to the creation of sports institutes where sports psychologists played an important role.
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.
For many people, playing sports is a fun way to stay fit, and compete with friends and peers. A select few might also make a pretty decent living by playing professional sports. But what makes some strive to play sports, to compete? What makes some push themselves to their limits for nothing more than the satisfaction of winning? How does playing sports affect people mentally and emotionally?
Sports have always been a big part of my life and culture, so it is a great fit for me personally to be involved in a profession that allows me to make an impact in areas for which I have a true passion. I also enjoy the fact that I am able to address both performance enhancement and mental skills training while still being able to offer assistance to athletes and performers who are stuck, or are experiencing issues that hinder their performance or life satisfaction. Additionally, compared to other branches of psychology, sports psychology utilizes many techniques and interventions that require very active participation from both the psychologist and the client. That is another factor that is very fitting with my approach.
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.
The coaching-style preference is also a factor for coaching success. The coach and the executive are agreeing to enter into a “relationship” therefore style preferences and compatibility can impact the outcomes. It is important that the coach and the client agree on how the client prefers to receive help, what they want to focus or work on, and when they want to receive it.
Some sport psychologists might also work closely with once enthusiastic athletes that have suffered injuries as well. Depending on the severity of the injury, a sport psychologist may attempt to help a recovering athlete segue back into his career with as little stress as possible. Some athletes don't have this choice, however, and they may need the help of a sport psychologist to help them deal with the fact that they may not be able to play their sport with as much talent and drive as they had at one time.
However, as you look towards the future, the world of executive coaching may take on a new shape. There may be more automation or a stronger focus on mental status or the psychology aspect of your career. As the executive coaching industry continues to grow, so does the number of ways in which this niche is going to change in the not-so-distant future.
I encourage you to take some time to become familiar with our services and the resources that are available to you in our website. You can learn more about (a) the sport psychology services that we can provide to athletes, coaches, teams, and other performers, (b) the sport psychology educational opportunities that are available through UNT, (c) our ongoing sport psychology research projects at the university and in the community, and (d) the sport psychology resources that we have developed for athletes, coaches, teams, and parents, and made available to you in this site. If you have any questions about our work, please feel free to contact us via email ([email protected]) or phone 940-369-SPORT (7767).