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The Effect Sports Psychology Has On A Young Athlete

3874 words - 15 pages

1To fully understand sport psychology, we must ask ourselves two very importantquestions, 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, ormethods applied to the world of sport. 'Two psychologists, Bunker and Maguire, saysport 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 andlast but by no means least, the athletes themselves.It is sport psychology that has stood apart from the discipline of psychology as awhole. 'Its history is different, its concerns are often different, its centres of learning andteaching are often different, and its professional training is different.' (Garfield, 1984:34)Yet despite this, sport psychology remains permanently bonded to psychology through itscommon interest in the fundamental principles of psychology, human behavior, andexperience.No one can deny the significant role which sport and recreation plays in every cul-ture and society across the globe. In the western and eastern worlds alike, sport and lei-sure continue to support huge industries and take up massive amounts of individual time,effort, money, energy, and emotion. Within the media, competitive sport has gotten enor-mous attention and despite this, the public's appetite for more sport never is stated. 'It hasbeen estimated that around two thirds of all newspaper readers in Great Britain first turnto the sports pages when they pick up their daily paper.' (Butt, 1987:65) When one con-siders the number of people who actually engage in sport or even take regular exercise,then the significance of sport to all our lives cannot be denied.A common problem with sport psychology research lies in its somewhat myopic orshort-sighted appreciation of present day accumulated psychological knowledge. As welook into sport psychology, we are confronted by a landscape of knowledge which rises2and falls often suddenly and dramatically. 'At certain times, massive peaks of understand-ing rise up before out eyes yet at other times, huge tracts of psychology remain untouchedto the horizon.' (Garfield, 1984:6)Around the 1960's, scientific traditions, institutions, and publications which pros-per to this day first came into being, and it was this era which truly marked the structuralgenesis of modern day sport psychology. However, there are many untouched aspectsof 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 sportpsychology.Sport psychologists over the years have maintained a keen interest in psychologicalprofiling and have been naturally drawn to the quantification of personality variables. Assport itself revolves aroung the...

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