Sports Psychology

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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COURSE: Diploma in Business Studies PAPER: Sports Psychology and Leadership for Managers and Coaches 152.318 ASSIGNMENT: 2 SUBJECT: Suzie is a 29 year old elite cyclist who is married and has a 16 month old son. Although she was back in full training quite soon after the birth of her baby, and is now at full fitness, she is having some problems. Recently she approached you, her coach and said she was getting very ?stressed out? before competing in races. Before her last race, she had not slept at all during the night, and felt extremely tense and nervous before the race. She performed very poorly, which further bothered her.

As Suzies coach, how would you approach this situation? Coaches often refer to ?mental strength? and ?mental toughness? when attempting to describe that elusive quality which distinguishes the great athletes from the good ones in any sports. This quality is underpinned by specific mental skills, and the coach has an important role in helping an athlete to develop and perfect these skills.

Sport psychology focus on teaching practical mental skills to athletes so that they can develop their psychological abilities to the same high level as their physical abilities. The key difference between winning and losing, or a good performance and a poor performance, maybe the mental skill level rather than the physical skill level. As with physical skills, these mental skills need to be taught correctly, fine-tuned by the coach and athlete, and then practised until they are mastered Orlick (1990).

?The real contest is in the mind?. Hodge (1994) As Suzies coach I need to work closely together on Psychological Skills Training (PST) focusing on positive aspects of psychological performances. PST assumes that the dedicated athlete is already an above average performer, they just desire to increase their...