Dr. Martin's notes

Monday January 09, 2017

Sports psychology is the study of sport and exercise, and the mental (psychological) factors influencing' performance. Sport psychologists apply psychological principles and a number of different techniques to the field of sport and exercise, all aimed at improved performance and positive self-image. The connection of mind, body, and athletic performance is a powerful one. Athletes do so much physical preparation, to get an edge on the competition, that they often forget about the mental aspects of their sport. It is often said that performance in a sport is 95% mental: however, most of the athlete's time is spent in physical preparation for competition.

Sport psychologists can help athletes develop:
positive self-image
strategies to cope with stress and disappointment.

There are two types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic means from the outside. One who is extrinsically motivated is motivated by some type of external reward, such as money or praise. Extrinsic motivation is based on the goals; interests, and values of others. Intrinsic motivation comes from within. It is behavior for its own sake, rather than for the rewards or outcomes the behavior might reap. Intrinsically motivated behaviors, such as personal achievement, enjoyment, self-confidence, or feeling positive emotions, require no external support or reinforcement.

Goal setting is one of the most powerful techniques for human motivation. Goal setting gives long-term vision and short-term motivation, By setting clearly defined, specific goals, the athlete can measure progress and take pride in the achievement of those goals. With goals in mind, the individual can:
achieve more
improve performance
improve the quality of training
increase motivation to achieve at a higher level
increase pride and satisfaction in performance
improve self-confidence

Research has shown that people who use goal setting effectively:
suffer less from stress and anxiety
concentrate better
show more self-confidence
perform better
are happier with their performancesExpress Goals Positively

Set Priorities
Write goals down
Keep Operational Goals Small
Set Performance/ Not Outcome Goals
Set specific Goals
Set Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

Imagery is a training process done purely within the mind. This imagining helps create, modify, or strengthen neurologic pathways that are important to the coordination of the muscles. Imagination is the driving force of imagery.
Imagery is based on the important principle that anyone can exercise parts of the brain with inputs from the imagination rather than from the senses. Imagery allows the individual to practice and prepare for events and eventualities the athlete can never expect to Train for in reality. This allows the athlete to pre-experience the achievement of goals.