Sport Psychology Essay

4117 Words 17 Pages
To fully understand sport psychology, we must ask ourselves two very important questions, first, what is sport psychology and second, who is it for?
Put in the most sim-ple way, sport psychology can be an example of psychological knowledge, principles, or methods applied to the world of sport.
"Two psychologists, Bunker and Maguire, say sport psychology is not for psychologists, but is for sport and its participants." (Murphy & White, 1978:2)
However, it can be argued that sport psychology, can be for psycho-logy, just as it can be for sports scientists, managers, teachers, administrators, coaches and last but by no means least, the athletes themselves. It is sport psychology that has stood apart from the discipline of
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However, there are many untouched aspects of sport psychology today. In order for us to determine whether psychology plays a signi-ficant role in the mind of a young athlete, we must look at the uses and techniques of sport psychology. Sport psychologists over the years have maintained a keen interest in psychological profiling and have been naturally drawn to the quantification of personality variables. As sport itself revolves aroung the measurement and reward of individual differences in per-formances, it is no surprise that scientists quantify psychological differences rather than sporting differences.
"The research is often looked at in terms of three primary areas, the search for the winning profile, a comparison between athletes and non-athletes, and diffe
-ences in the personalities of athletes either competing in different sports or playing in different positions." (Butt, 1987:97) Any discussion of personality traits in sports could not ignore one particular trait which has occupied more time than any other, competitive anxiety. Helping athletes deal with pressure has become the bread and butter of many sport psychologists. "The prob-lem of anxiety is dealt with with two areas of research: test anxiety and achievement moti-vation." (Hackfort &
Spielberger, 1989:247) Presently, the test scale which

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