What is Sports psychology? It is an independent branch of science, which is devoted to the study of the laws of mental activity of people involved in individual or team sport.
The psychology of sport has emerged relatively recently. At the first stage, the works devoted to her were descriptive. Serious scientific work was presented in 1913 at the Congress of Sports Psychology. It was initiated by Pierre de Coubertin. It is the person who is the founder of not only the “psychology of sport” (the term he proposed), but also of the modern Olympic Games.
At the present stage of development, sports psychology is a useful cognitive and practical discipline.
Key tasks of sports psychology
- the study of certain patterns of formation of athletes skill, as well as qualities that contribute to sports achievements;
- determination of the impact of sport on the human psyche, the impact of various emotions on sports achievements;
- preparation of individual athletes and the team as a whole for important competitions;
- development of effective (from a psychological point of view) strategies and methods for training;
- optimization of the psychological climate within the team;
- creating a favorable psychological atmosphere that contributes to the effectiveness of all workouts.
The emergence and active development of the psychology of sport is due to the fact that sport activity is a very specific area of human life. It differs in goals, as well as in ways to achieve them, therefore, a special approach is used to study.
The psychology of sport: the tasks of a specialist
In the process of playing sport, a person feels increased physical as well as mental stress, excessive stress. That is why he must be prepared for competitions, matches, competitions physically, as well as psychologically. This training is engaged in sports psychologist. In the process, he performs the following tasks:
- diagnoses the individual characteristics of athletes that may affect their achievements;
- determines the qualities and characteristics that the athlete needs to improve, develops a work plan;
- determines the actual mental state of athletes before the competition, evaluates their willingness to compete;
- takes part in the selection of athletes to the team;
- engages in the development of fears that interfere with athletic performance;
- conducts a psychological attitude before the competition;
- engaged in rehabilitation after competitions;
- teaches you to master the techniques of stress relief, relaxation;
- conducts team training;
- helps adapt to people who have left the sport.
The psychological support of athletes can take many forms. The main ones are:
- Constant support – a psychologist works with athletes at every stage of preparation.
- Stage support – the main training periods are highlighted, during which the athletes work with a psychologist.
- Situational support – they resort to the help and advice of a psychologist only if necessary.
- The psychologist determines the condition of athletes using methods such as observation, interviews, questionnaires, and testing.
A sports psychologist performs these types of activities:
- Training – teaches athletes the skills of self-regulation, methods of forming mental stability.
- Education – informs athletes and a trainer about important facts related to the psychology of sport.
- Prediction – on the basis of research results predicts the development prospects, as well as the achievements of the athlete.
- The psychologist works with athletes as well as a trainer.
The influence of psychology on the state of the athlete
Collaboration with a psychologist is recommended for absolutely all athletes. It is important to work with this specialist at all stages of activity:
- at the stage of preparation for the competition;
- directly at the competition;
- after defeat;
- when recovering from an injury.
All athletes achieve better results if they pay due attention to their psychological preparation,. Perhaps this is due to the fact that working with a professional psychologist helps them work out their fears, insecurities and other problems that interfere in competitions. They reach maximum concentration, reveal their potential, train their will and learn to adequately assess opportunities.
Competent psychological preparation is the key to high sports achievements! If in the near future you want to play sport professionally or give your child to sport, then think about contacting a sports psychologist. He really can prepare you or your child for various stressful situations.