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Sports Psychology

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It has been identified that through sports psychology one can improve their physical ability and performance. Sports psychology is the study of how the mind, mental states and behaviour effect sporting performance. There are several sport psychology techniques, which have helped me become a better volleyball player. These techniques include planning for performance, controlling arousal levels, mental rehearsal and concentration.

The first technique of planning for performance is all about goal setting and rating your performance. Goal setting can be broken down into three distinct categories, outcome, performance and process. An outcome goal is when a goal is set purely about the outcome of an event/game. In volleyball my outcome goal was to win every game I played. Performance goals are goals, which are focused on playing well rather than winning. My performance goal in volleyball was to get five serves in a row in. Process goals are goals, which involve techniques or manoeuvres. My process goal for volleyball was to use the appropriate stepping technique when going up for a spike. By using goals it allows an athlete to have focus in not only competition but in training, which enables athletes to better improve their performance. The second part of planning for performance is performance review. The most appropriate tool to use for performance review is the performance quadrant. By using this tool it enables an athlete to asses their current performance and performance history. By using this tool, patterns in mistakes may emerge will help the athlete to focus on their weaker areas.

Arousal plays a major impact on sporting performance. Arousal can be seen as being an athlete’s motivation and mental awareness. Controlling arousal levels is vital to a good performance. All athletes have difference arousal levels eg) Rodger Federer plays best when he is calm and collected in comparison lleyton Hewitt plays best when he is fired up and loud. In order to reach the desired arousal levels several techniques can be used. If an athletes plays better when they are fired up, listening to loud motivational music may be incorporated into the pre match routine or if in contrast an athlete plays better when they are calm, reading or using ways to keep their mind of the game may be used. Personally I find being calm and collected works best for my performance, in order to get into this state of mind I find it better not



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