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Sports Psychology Essay

  • Submitted by: rroosa1
  • on May 18, 2011
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 543 words

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Below is an essay on "Sports Psychology" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Recent reports highlight the dramatic role the coach plays in the training and reinforcement of an athlete's mental toughness, motivation, commitment and ultimately their willpower. Without these qualities the athlete will be unable to produce the required consistent intensity and effort in the training situation and as a result will not attain their true performance potential in competition. This is supported by a separate report on mental toughness and focus outlining the fact that during competition there are often defining moments that carry great psychological significance, when, for example, the momentum starts to shift in one direction or another. Rehearsal of strategies in training including the use of simulation training to recreate the key moments of stress and pressure experienced in competition, but in a controlled environment, can be an invaluable approach to preparing the athlete for the very real challenges of competition.
This process is by no means limited to environmental or physical parameters. Developing competence in athletes in mental exercises including centering and imagery can lead to greater self-belief. A recent article highlighting ways in which a coach can encourage athletes to use imagery identifies recent information on imagery use and dispels some of the myths associated with this form of training. Four key areas where imagery can be employed are summarized comprising strategic imagery where, for example, a gymnast may visualize their whole routine to increase the natural flow of their performance; goal-oriented imagery based on visualizing the outcome - for example standing on a medal podium; arousal imagery, whereby the athlete focuses on a highly specific image that may actually bring about specific physiological changes such as raising or lowering of heart rate and finally, the use of 'imagery for mastery and maintaining control' through rehearsing various scenarios during an event and practicing how to react and deal with that...

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