preview

Essay on Sport Psychology

Decent Essays
Sport Psychology: How it Helps Athletes
In our society today it seems like sports rule the land. Everywhere we look, there is some kind of sporting event going on or being televised. Almost everyone could be considered a fan of at least one sport. Some people follow sports like a religion. With such an increased focus on sports, the athlete's performances are put under a microscope. This puts more pressure on athletes to give a winning performance. No longer do athletes play for fun, they play to win. This isn't happening just on the professional level; it is happening on all levels of sport. From little league to backyard football, the goal is to win at all cost. With this increase pressure, athletes are
…show more content…
(Miserandino, 1998, p. 287) Athletes can also suffer greatly from anxiety and stress. (Holm, Beckwith, Ehde, Tinius, 1995, p. 463) Any of these conditions can be detrimental to ones competitive ability. Techniques such as mental imagery training and relaxation techniques can be used to attack problems in these areas. (McKenzie, Howe, 1997, p. 196) Marianne Miserandino's research was focused on failure, and why athletes believe that they don't accomplish their goals. She learned that starting at young age, athletes are told that failure comes from their lack of ability. This is called learned helplessness. (Miserandino, 1998, p. 287) In her study she approached this problem by splitting her subject into two groups. One group received feedback about their shooting techniques and were told that lack of effort was the reason for missed shots, not lack of ability. The other group received only feedback on their techniques.
After her 4-week study was done, the group that received the positive reinforcement showed more mastery of the skills and greater improvement than their counterparts. (Miserandino, 1998 p. 286)
Another study also used basketball free throws as the basis for its study. Craig Wrisberg and Mark Anshel did this study. It looks at the effectiveness of applying cognitive techniques to improve performance of shooting free throws. (Wrisberg, Anshel, 1989, p. 95)
Get Access