Sports Psychology Essay

Submitted By ajanaplunkett
Words: 751
Pages: 4

Sports Psychology “Mental Skills”

MOTIVATION: “is the direction and intensity of an athlete’s efforts”
Intrinsic: Personal e.g. enjoyment, satisfaction etc.
Extrinsic: Out of your control e.g. Prizes, money, medals
Participant Factors – personally, needs, interests etc.
Situational Factors – coaching styles,
Coaches can improve motivation by:
Considering both participant and situational factors
Understanding why athletes are participating
Understanding that leaders can influence motivation
Making each team member feel integral to the success of the team
Using team and individual goal setting as a tool

SELF-TALK: “is about talking or thinking to yourself, ‘I can do this...’, or ‘Bend your knee’s’, or ‘Soft hands’. Self-talk can be positive or negative. Negative thoughts and talk are almost always counter-productive.”
Positive self-talk can improve or enhance performance in a number or ways, including:
Skill learning
Changing bad habits
Building self-confidence
Focusing attention or refocusing

IMARGERY: “is the process of using all the senses to create pictures of your performance in your mind – also referred to as visualisation, mental practice or rehearsal”
You should be in a relaxed state (in the right mental state)
Form a vivid image of the situation or skill in your mind with the correct techniques
Imagine the entire performance rather than just the preparation or follow through
The image you create needs to be successful

This strategy can improve performance by focusing the athlete’s attention or by increasing their effort, motivation and persistence.
There are three types of goals:
Outcome goals e.g. “Win the Gold medal” (relates to others)
Performance goals e.g. “Run the marathon in 2hrs 25mins” (independent or others)
Process goals i.e. the how of the performance goal e.g. “Taking a drink at every station”.
Setting effective goals
Short-term goals – today; this week
Medium-term goals – this month; this season
Long-term goals – the next year; this phase of my life
Effective goals are always established using the SMARTER framework: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, Timed, Effective, Reviewed


-Intrinsic: an in built desire to achieve something. Wont give up because they get bored of the sport.

-Extrinsic: To do things for another reason. Not because they like it, because they get a reward or does it for someone. Not as good as intrinsic motivation.

+VE (positive) Strengthens desires and behaviors using encouragement
-VE (negative) When athletes are inspired to do well out of fear or failure.

-Positive: Uses rewards to encourage desire behaviors. (So they repeat that performance to get the same reward)

-Negative: Uses punishment to get rid of unwanted behaviors, (Reduces athletes self confidence and lowers their performance)
Positive reinforcement and positive motivation leads to the best outcome.
Different Forms:
Social reinforcement- Verbal and Non Verbal from coach and team mates
Material Reinforcement -The use of such rewards (such as medals and trophies)
Internal Reinforcement- is the pride…