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Category: Athletes and Other Performers

Use Imagery and Self-Talk to Create an Immediate Reduction in Response Time

By George Hanshaw
Published

In a study of 200 martial artists, it was found those who were trained to use a combination of cognitive specific imagery and motivational self-talk significantly reduced reaction times almost instantly. Read more about this study and positive sport psychology approaches used.

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Inside the Helmet of Extreme Sports: The Psychology of Auto Racing

By Tami Eggleston
Published

When most people think of sports, they think of traditional sports such as baseball, basketball, American football, soccer, etc. When people think of sport psychology, they often think of these same…

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Finding Resilience on a Mountaintop

By Sarah Hudak
Published

“Can you teach them resilience? I need them to be mentally tough.” How many of us have had this request from coaches, administrators, and parents? It is difficult to teach resilience, especially…

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Sport, Race, and Social Justice: Honoring Black Athlete-Activism

By Kensa Gunter, Rob Owens, Tanya Prewitt-White
Published

The Dual Role of Athlete and Activist The arena of sport and performance is often regarded as a utopian space where, unlike other facets of society, equity and cultural acceptance are assumed to be…

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The Science Behind Expert Teams: Insights From Sport Psychology

By Edson Filho
Published

High-performing teams are high in cohesiveness, shared understanding, and a sense of team confidence or collective efficacy. In other words, even teams full of star players (e.g., national teams, all-…

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Burnout or Depression? Understanding the Unique Mental Health Needs of Athletes

By Marina Galante
Published

Athletes as a Special Population Mental illness affects approximately 61.5 million Americans each year; despite this, mental health continues to carry negative stigma that interferes with proper…

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Managing Emotions in Sport

By Dr. Andrew Friesen
Published

There is no construct of human psychology and functioning more prevalent in sport than emotion. Mood, emotions, and general affect can influence every movement in every sport. Consider a typical 45…

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Freaked-out Kids in Sports: Keys to Stress Reduction

By Frank L. Smoll
Published

A 20-year trend in youth sports emphasizes teaching coaches how to create a healthy psychological environment for their athletes. However, there’s also an important need to educate parents, so they…

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“The Ripples Are Big”: Storying the Impact of Doping in Sport Beyond the Sanctioned Athlete

By Dr. Kelsey Erickson
Published

Recent doping allegations within track and field include systemic doping (e.g. Russian Athletics), corrupt administration (e.g. the International Association of Athletics Federation; IAAF), and leaked…

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Changing the Game

By Stephanie C. Coakley
Published

"The player is on the clock from the day he arrives in the NFL. He's not thinking about what's going to happen when he exits. He's thinking that the fun has just begun." -- Troy Vincent, EVP of…

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Sport Psychology at the Winter Olympics

By Sean McCann
Published

Sean McCann, senior sport psychologist for the United States Olympic Committee, and former president of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, on the role that sport psychology plays in…

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Sport Fandom and Performance

By Rick Grieve
Published

We've all witnessed it—sports fans enthusiastically cheering for their favorite teams. Loud clapping, jumping up and down and even booing can affect athlete performance. Dr. Rick Grieve, an…

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Overcoming Negative Thinking While Running

By Cindra Kamphoff
Published

Struggling with negative thoughts during long workouts? Cindra Kamphoff offers a few suggestions for how to embrace discomfort and use self-talk to stay positive.

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Auto Racing & Mental Skills

By Tami Eggleston
Published

Tami Eggleston gives a few tips on how auto racers (and other athletes) can use mental skills to help them get the most out of their practices.

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Sheryl Swoopes Achieves Greatness Through Sport Psychology

By Yopko Penhallurick LLC
Published

Regarded as one of the best female basketball players of all time, Sheryl Swoopes accepted the Performance Excellence Award at the Association for Applied Sport Psychology's (AASP) annual conference…

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Understanding Student-Athlete Burnout

By Keith A. Kaufman, Ph.D.
Published

The human body needs recovery to thrive. Without it, performance can begin to suffer and/or an athlete can start breaking down. The state of burnout is often regarded as the endpoint of this breakdown…

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How to Choose a Sport Psychology Consultant

By AASP
Published

Each sport psychology consultant possesses a specific set of skills that defines the scope of his or her competencies. Thus, when choosing a consultant, it is important for athletes, coaches/parents…

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Could I Be Hazing? A Definition and Positive Initiation Ideas

By Sarah Carson
Published

Is it wrong to want to uphold your team’s longstanding team traditions? Is it bad to want to develop team unity? Is it terrible to want your new teammates to grow an understanding of what it means…

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Procrastination and Student-Athletes

By Nicki Moore
Published

What is procrastination? Dictionary.com says it is, “to put off till another day or time; defer; delay.” As a student-athlete, you have many responsibilities, so it may be tempting to “put…

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Overcoming Performance Errors with Resilience

By Gloria B. Solomon
Published

A common occurrence that all athletes encounter is performance errors. All athletes make mistakes; it is a natural part of learning to be competent at any activity. Since mistakes are normal, it is…

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Principles of Effective Goal Setting

By Eva V. Monsma
Published

1. Make goals specific, observable and in measurable terms – Setting general goals such as improving your shooting percentage in basketball is easy but it becomes hard to determine how to go about…

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Playing Pressure Points

By Gloria B. Solomon
Published

Tennis is a game of momentum. When a player makes a dramatic shot at a critical time, the momentum is likely to be on his side. When an unforced error occurs, frustration mounts and momentum can shift…

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The 3 C’s of Being a Captain

By Larry Lauer
Published

Larry Lauer, PhD and Kevin Blue Major Point: Captains embody 3 C’s in leading their team: Caring, Courageous, and Consistent.   Being named a team captain is quite the honor. The position of…

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Pain Tolerance in Sport

By Eddie O’Connor
Published

Pain is ever-present in sport.  An athlete’s ability to tolerate pain is essential to success. Pain provides valuable information about your body and how it is performing.  To maximize its…

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Cue Statements: Staying Focused at Critical Times

By Ryan Hedstrom
Published

Emily is a collegiate volleyball player. As a defensive specialist, she often receives serves and establishes the defensive plays for her team. She has recently struggled with losing concentration and…

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Disordered Eating in Athletes: Understanding the Basics and What We Can Do About It

By Dana K. Voelker
Published

Disordered eating encompasses a wide range of problematic eating attitudes, behaviors and body image distortions that adversely impact physical and psychological health. Unfortunately, student-…

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How Sport Psychology Can Work for You: Lessons from NCAA Athletic Administrators

By Ian Connole
Published

Where high performance sports exist, psychological demands and athletes’ abilities to cope with them are often the unseen elements influencing performance1. Enhancing performance through…

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NCAA Swimmer Develops Mental Skills That Carry Her Beyond Olympic Medal

By The Association for Applied Sport Psychology Public Relations Office
Published

Western Kentucky University graduate Claire Donahue set many records as a swimmer for her NCAA Division I school. Today she is a member of the USA Swimming team competing internationally, as well as…

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Sport Fandom and the NCAA Athlete

By Frederick G. Grieve
Published

They come in all shapes and sizes, from the little tyke who is dressed in the University of Kentucky outfit coming home from the hospital days after birth; to the twenty-year-old walking around in…

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