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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN SOCIETY
Sport is an important part of human activities. Competitiveness, effort, fame of athletes as a synonym for success and overcoming influence society in various fields. Looking for how to understand and improve the productivity of athletes arises the psychology of sport. Mind and body are indisputably linked, so it is increasingly common for these psyche professionals. Although the application of its foundations dates from the 20s (Europe and the US.UU), its popularity is barely recent, especially in Latin America.
What is sports psychology?
It is an extension of psychology, a specialization that analyzes the thoughts and behaviors of athletes and their environment. This science is responsible for applying treatments, corrective and systems aimed at developing the potential of an athlete and/or equipment. After the elaboration of mental programs and exercises, it fosters positive attitudes and emotions that translate into competitive efficacy.
The physical activities that are executed under specific norms and that are linked to the competition are called as sports or sports discipline. History points out that the first practices were given in Greece, in 700 to.C. Since then these actions were associated with the progress of man and society, as well as their benefits in the individual’s metal and physical health. Through the years sport has gained greater relevance and has ceased to be only as a form of entertainment. It is then when it has been wanted to understand how the psyche works in that area, the pathologies that arise, solutions and evolution of the athlete thanks to mental work. The first investigations and links of psychology arose after the end of World War I.
Before the specialization was created, the coaches were often looking for help from a psychologist to provide them with tools and advice on their conflicting players or ways to motivate teamwork and aids in the evolution of their abilities. With the creation of the “Central Institute for Scientific Research of Physical Education”, in Europe in 1930 the fundamental advances in the sector began. Work treated specific points such as mental control during training.
Father of Sports Psychology
However, since the 20s there was a man who was taking leaps and bounds on the psychology of sport in North American lands. It was Coleman Griffith, whom today is considered the father of the specialty. The expert founded the Sports Psychology Laboratory at the University of Illinois, United States, the first one that was created of this type and which he directed with delivery. In that Griffith center he addressed several aspects, including sports education, motor skills and physical work. Philosophy and several psychology issues were also analyzed. Other important men within the research of the area were the Soviet Alexander Rudik and Peter Puni.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY
- Study the physical abilities of athletes in relation to their emotions and psychological health.
- Analyze the cognitive system
- Influence of motivation in sport
- Conditions that reduce sports performance such as stress, anxiety, self – esteem and perfectionist behaviors, among other pathologies.
- Emotional control
- Psychosocial elements that affect sports squads.
- Psychological controls during exercise, by training and competing.
- Psychophysical well -being
- Behavioral analysis of coaches, sports and athletes
Broadly speaking, sports psychology is divided into two types according to their specializations. These are:
- Therapy: addresses the different therapies or treatments that apply to athletes to balance their emotions (psyche) and body (body performance). The individual is treated as a particular patient.
- DEVELOPMENT: Has a more clientele treatment. It covers "mental training". They condition athletes to evolve in an integral way and conquer personal and group goals.
There are three fundamental objectives of the subdiscipline of psychology:
- Help the athlete to manage situations that produce stress and control it so that it is not negatively affected inside and during competitions.
- Effective Effective Results after converting your triumph expectations into expectations focused on (technical) actions inherent in their abilities and development to achieve positive objectives.
- Know the interior of the patient to optimize their work and achieve their maximum potential in a comprehensive way.
Although the general belief about the functions of the sports psychologist point to motivational help, there are several tasks that this professional performs. Some are:
- Attend the entire team that makes up the sports group, that includes athletes, coaches and physical education teachers, which an advisor to meet proposed objectives.
- Make "psychedport" reports about individuals to point out the mental factors prone to their empowerment.
- Improve the internal resources that the athlete possesses and thus optimize its strategic and communicative performance. His intervention will seek the evolution of the individual.
- Prepare work plans with the techniques to be implemented to exercise mental abilities such as concentration, confidence or behaviors before stress, among others.
- When the patient shows problems that leave the sports context, he may act according to the psychological tools that he possesses or recommends more specialized help, depending on the case.
The disadvantages of applying sports psychology are minimal and those that exist are directly related to the choice of the professional trained in this area. It is essential to hire a trained person and with studies proven in the specialization to make the contributions required by athletes. Like that in the clinical sector, there is confidentiality between patient and psychologist. The only way to share personal information is prior authorization from the affected one, looking at multidisciplinary actions in their athletic performance.
Just as we seek to develop through physical exercise the musculature and body conditions of athletes, specialty psychologists perform mental exercises so that individuals enhance certain skills. These are:
- self-confidence: be certain about his skills and that they will give him achievements in sport.
- self-knowledge: be aware of the emotions that generate certain external stimuli and the reactions produced by it. In this way you can use tools to control.
- ATTENTION: It is linked to concentration. In sport the ability to effectively address various situations, factors and information is vital.
- Communication: An athlete has to have the ability to relate satisfactorily to his teammates, supervisors, coaches and the rest of the surrounding team. To do this, you must know and apply assertive communication methods.
- Motivation: It is essential to remain excited, positive and focused through realizable goals and with the final achievement of short, medium and long term objectives in their performance.
- Concentration: eliminate external distractions and intern to maintain the focus on the tasks it performs.
- Visualization: This is a psychological method to program thoughts on a specific point. Involve the senses.
- Relaxation: It is very important to recover after injuries, when you face problems or have sleep disorders. Mental relaxation leads to body relaxation.
- On many occasions the sports psychologist is on the court and performs timely interventions, at peak times to reinforce learning, self – esteem and motivation. Cases are common when the entrance of the specialist in rest times have raised the mood of a player or team.
- The presence of these professionals has served to file roughness inside a squad and thus contribute to the good performance and group work.
- Improve after an injury can be a hard and long process for an athlete. Having psychological professional support is useful and flattering.
Just as body performance is fundamental, exercising, practicing, refining techniques and strategies about a sports discipline for the achievement of goals, knowing how an athlete works psychologically has the same magnitude and relevance. The importance of emotional development, optimal mental health and the proper management of behavior are elements that become inherent in the human being and therefore very important within the field of sport. There are many external and internal pressures to which they are subjected.
- Antonelli, Ferruccio / Salvini, Alessandro: Sports Psychology. (1982)
- Weinberg, Robert S. / GOULD, Daniel: Fundamentals of Sports Psychology and Physical Exercise. Ariel, Editorial S.A., (nineteen ninety six)
- Nachon, c. / Nascimbene, F.: Introduction to Sports Psychology (2001)
- Silva, J. Personality and Sport Performance: Controversy and Challenge (1984)