(Image by Davi Sommerfeld via flickr)
A recognized specialization within professional psychology, sport psychology draws upon applied theory and research to identify and understand the psychological factors underpinning sport performance and participation. According to The Association for Applied Sport Psychology, this understanding is employed to "educate coaches, athletes, parents, exercisers, fitness professionals, and athletic trainers about the psychological aspects of their sport or activity;" the primary aim of which is to "facilitate optimal involvement, performance, and enjoyment in sport and exercise."
In relation to the practice and profession of sport psychology, Division 47 (Exercise and Sport Psychology) of the American Psychological Association notes that:
"Applied sport psychologists are uniquely trained and specialized to engage in a broad range of activities including the identification, development and execution of the mental and emotional knowledge, skills and abilities required for excellence in athletic domains; the understanding, diagnosing and preventing of the psychological, cognitive, emotional, behavioral and psychophysiological inhibitors of consistent, excellent performance; and the improvement of athletic contexts to facilitate more efficient development, consistent execution and positive experiences in athletes."
This section contains information links for anybody interested in becoming a sport psychologist, or anybody wanting to find out more about what sport psychologists do. This information will relate predominately to the study and practice of sport psychology in the USA and UK; however, I hope to include related information from other countries in due course.
CLICK HERE for detailed information from The British Psychological Society about:
The Role of The Sport Psychologist.
How Much Sport Psychologists Get Paid.
Becoming A Sport Psychologist.
Obtaining Relevant Work Experience.
CLICK HERE to read an excellent series of sport psychology articles written by Dr. Kevin L. Burke, a Sport Psychology Professor and consultant at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina.
Even among the most elite performers, certain athletes stand out as a cut above the rest, able to outperform in clutch, game-deciding moments. These athletes prove that raw athletic ability doesn't necessarily translate to a superior on-field experience its the mental game that matters most.
Sports participation-from the recreational to the collegiate Division I level-is at an all-time high. While the caliber of their games may differ, athletes at every level have one thing in common: the desire to excel. In The Champion's Mind, sports psychologist Jim Afremow, PhD, offers the same advice he uses with Olympians, Heisman Trophy winners, and professional athletes, including:
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