Sport Psychology: Analysis of Psychological Skills Training models with particular reference to Thomas's (1990) model for performance enhancement.
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The ultimate quest for sport psychologists is to establish what psychological factors produce the winning formula or to try to establish a profile of the successful athlete. Within the psychological framework attempts, to determine the "ideal athletic personality" have only been marginally successful (Morgan 1980, in White, 1993). One of the categories observed in order to understand and move towards the 'ideal athletic personality' is that of Psychological Skills Training (PST), "It is contended that mental skills training is a significant part of sport psychology and is of particular importance to athletes and coaches" (Rushall, 1995, p0.3).
Programs have been developed to help athletes develop their psychological skills. Many…show more content… They were also more focused on their individual performances than that of their team and were in general highly motivated to do well in sport. Coaches and Sport Psychologists would therefore want to provide the pre-elite athletes the knowledge and exposure to these psychological skills so that the latter would exhibit a more elite profile and increase their chances of success. (Mahoney et al 1987 in White, 1993). Waldron and McCann state that elite athletes have the following characteristics: "mentally relaxed, physically relaxed, confident, focused on the present, highly energized, extraordinary awareness, in control and in the cocoon". Beginners should aspire and aim to gain these characteristics through mental skills training.
Phase four 'Conceptualization' is where the consultant interprets the results from phase three and considers it relative to phase five, "the consultant must determine which skills and attributes are most needed based on the information provided and what the best techniques are to further develop those skills and attributes" (Hardy et al, 2000).
Phase five 'Psychological Skills Training', closely linked with the work of Vealey (1988), illustrates the skills and attributes that the athlete or teams might want to improve. A division is made within this phase between skills/attributes (e.g. self awareness, arousal