Aims and Objectives
To what extent is Sport Psychology utilised by coaches to improve performance in athletes in football?
To examine what football coaches think of using Psychology to get the best out of their participants
To identify examples of psychology being used to get results
To identify how highly coaches rate psychology in terms of priority
A book titled Applying Psychology in Sport was used as research during this project, it was written by Barbara Woods. Another resource used was Sport Psychology in Practice by Mark B. Anderson. The following pieces of information were obtained from these sources:
Goal setting can help the individual ‘focus away from the source of stress and on to something achievable.’ The goal should be performance related rather than outcome related – basically a goal set where the outcome is in the hands of the individual, such as a goal target for the season.
There are 4 stages to demonstrating a skill: attention – picking key elements to the skill to display to the performer. Retention – the performer needs to be able to retain the information in order to reproduce the skill (coach repetition and making the purpose of the practice clear help). Motor reproduction – physical ability to perform the skill, additionally practice and feedback provided. Motivation – coach encouragement and praise to motivate individual.
The sample (convenience) group were professional or full time coaches working with football teams on a weekly basis. I emailed Kelly Armstrong who is the development officer with The Pars Foundation and she was able to pass the questionnaire onto a group of coaches who provided responses. The data collected was a mix of quantitative and qualitative as a number of the questions required written responses. The questionnaire did not state that it was an anonymous response or that there was no obligation to the individual to answer each question. This should have been included at the beginning of the questionnaire.
The first question of the survey asks the individual if they feel the use of Psychology can be the difference between winning and losing.
Everyone either agreed or strongly agreed which shows that they feel the use of psychology in coaching is important to gaining a positive performance.
The above question shows the answers given in relation to goal setting. I was surprised to see that only 10% of coaches use goal setting a great deal as the use of goal setting in coaching can be a useful tool to help the coach improve performance in the team.
- Focus and Concentration
- Sense of achievement
The graph above indicates that 90% of coaches believe that enjoyable sessions are key to performance during training, while only