sports psychology Essay

1698 Words 7 Pages
     Sports is by far one of the fastest growing past times in the United States (Rainer
1987). Even if people don't take it to the professional level, sporting events are happening in our backyards, and at all of our local schools around the country. With the growing popularity and the increasing competitiveness of the sports, it will take more than just a physical advantage to compete at the highest level. This is where the psychology of sports comes into play.
     Goal setting is a hugely powerful technique that can yield strong returns in all areas of an athlete’s life. At its simplest level the process of setting goals and targets allows people to choose where they want to go in
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     Imagery is the process by which an athlete can create, modify or strengthen pathways important to the coordination of their muscles, by training purely within their mind. Imagery rests on the important principle that an athlete can exercise these parts of their brain with imputes from their imagination rather than from their senses: the parts of the brain that an athlete trains with imagery experience imagined and real inputs similarly, with the real inputs being merely more vividly experienced (Rainer 1987). Simulation is similar to imagery in that it seeks to improve the quality of training by teaching the brain to cope with circumstances that would not be otherwise met until an important competition was reached. Simulation, however, is carried out by making their physical training circumstances as similar as possible to the "real thing"-for example by bringing in crowds of spectators, by having performances judged, or by inviting press to a training session (Rainer 1987).
     Deciding their commitment to their sport is possibly the most important "Sports
Psychology" decision an athlete will make. It is important to realize that excellence demands complete dedication: if an athlete want to be the top athlete, then training to be the top athlete must be the most important thing in their life (Orlick 1994).

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