Psychology is much more than therapy applied to patients who have developed psychological disorders. We have a clear example of this in sports psychology, an area of work that is increasingly known and in demand.
In this article you will know some of the keys to understanding how sports psychology applied to high performance works: The proposed objectives to be achieved, their areas of intervention, etc.
What is the goal of sports psychology?
As the name suggests, sports psychology (also known as sports psychology) is one of them. branch of applied psychology that emphasizes the mental and behavioral aspects of sport, Both in the results obtained in terms of performance, as in its impact on the well-being of people.
Thus, this discipline takes into account both individual factors and group and relational factors that play a role in the performance and experience of sports practice, both short and long term.
Psychologists specializing in this field of work can be hired by sports clubs or take care of various people who come to consult the professional or psychology center where he works.
In both cases, the work of the sports psychologist is seen as part of a processIn other words, in order to obtain results, a detailed follow-up and a case study must be carried out in order to be able to provide personalized intervention plans adapted to the needs of the athletes. In this way, the same logic that takes place in psychotherapy is followed: no magic solution is offered instantly, but a psychological intervention program that must be deployed over several weeks in a row.
Problems involved in the context of high performance sports
These are some aspects of sport in which psychologists specializing in this field work.
Training programs can lead to burnout in athletes, A psychological state in which the typical symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression are mixed, such as emotional flattening, lack of motivation, insomnia, problems with concentration and irritability, among others.
Faced with this, sports psychologists examine the case and detect the elements that could have given rise to the person developing this problem, which does not necessarily mean lowering the expectations of the performance to be achieved.
2. Poor teamwork climate
Just as companies can have a bad work climate, the same can happen in teamwork both in sports in which two groups compete against each other, and in the relationship between the athlete and the athlete. his training team and training. Psychosocial aspects are still very relevant in sports psychology, And sometimes small misunderstandings or mismanaged conflicts can give the bear months of training.
3. Self-fulfilling prophecy related to anxiety
The phenomenon of self-fulfilling prophecy occurs when a psychological predisposition that occurs when the person predicts that a situation will occur makes that expected situation more likely to become a reality. This often happens with stress and anxiety issues: fear of failing on key days, for example, quickly becomes fear of fear, Which brings the athlete closer to the possibility of not functioning properly.
4. Poor concentration management
Sport is much more than the simple mechanical phenomenon of muscle movement in a certain way: Knowing how to properly control when and what we focus on is the key to achieving the desired results in sport.. This is a fully psychological process and can be addressed through sports psychology, which helps athletes develop very advanced management of their attentional focus.
5. Training and preparation habits
Just knowing that you have to workout a certain way and avoid certain unhealthy habits doesn’t mean you have the ability to commit to that sports preparation plan, just as we all know smoking is bad, but smoking is bad. not everyone can (at least without help) not to smoke. Therefore, the support offered by sports psychologists also provides resources to properly structure daily life and make the commitment to training and preparation something real, Which goes beyond theory.
- Goodger, K .; Gorely, T .; Lavallee, D .; Harwood, C. (2007). Burnout in sport: a systematic review. The sports psychologist. 21 (2): pages 127 to 151.
- Green and Benjamin, LT (2009). Psychology comes into play. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
- Nachon, C. & Nascimbene, F. (2001), Introduction to Sports Psychology. Madrid: EOS Orientation Office.
- Roberts, CG (1992), Motivation in Sport and Exercise. Champaign, IL: Human kinetics.
- Tenenbaum, G .; Eklund, RC (2007). Textbook of sports psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
- Williams, JM (2006), Applied Sports Psychology: Personal Growth to Achieve Optimal Performance (pages 40-56). New York: McGraw-Hill.