The Role of Sport Psychology in Developing Countries
SPORT PSYCHOLOGY IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
According to the Oxford dictionary, a developing country is a poor agricultural country that is seeking to advance economically and socially. The United Nations Organisation (2012) further describes it as a nation with a lower living standard, underdeveloped institutional base and a low Human Development Index (HDI). Mahbub ul-Haq and his collaborator Amartya Sen, who created the index, base HDI on three tiers – health, education, and income (economy). The UN supports the concept that in order for a country to develop, each of these tiers needs to improve. It is within this context that this essay will aim to discuss the relevance of sport psychology and the prospective role it can play in a developing country.
Sport psychology, education and health In order to indicate how sport psychology is relevant, one must understand that it is an interdisciplinary science that combines information from the fields of Psychology and Kinesiology. “Applied sport psychology is concerned with the psychological factors that influence participation and performance in sport and exercise, the psychological effects derived from participation, and theories and interventions that can be used to enhance performance, participation, and personal growth.” (Williams & Straub, 2010, p.1). Noting the emphasis on participation in this description, it is important to outline why and how participation in sport or exercise is germane. The True Sport Report (Hanna, n.d) focuses on the psychological and social benefits of playing sport. Much of the research shows that sport plays a significant role in youth development; incorporating improved academic skill, competence, fewer behaviour problems, improved general health and higher self-esteem to name but a few. Moreover, it reveals that sport is not the sole activity that results in these outcomes, but that it does stand out over other...