Sports Exercise Psychology
Before we go on to explain sports exercise psychology let's look at the word psychology. The word
derived from the word "psyche" which is the soul and the word "ology" which means to study,
therefore, the word psychology is the study of the soul. More simply put, it is the study of man's human
behavior as well as animal behavior. In sports exercise psychology, professionals study athletes to see
how they act and react to certain stressful anxious or normal sports activities. There are always the
questions of "how" and "why" an athlete does something during or after a game. For instance, how
does a basketball player feel when he has a good opportunity to make that hoop and fails and how does
he react and why does he react in that say? What about the ice skater that falls during a competitive
performance? What is the reaction and why? How do these two athletes feel about themselves (not
about the performance but themselves)? The professionals that take part in these studies want to know
how the athlete's psychological emotions affect their performance and in reverse, how does the
participation in sports and exercise affect the athlete's game performance.
Some of the questions asked are: Is the team affected as a group when the coach punishes or
reprimands an individual in that group or the entire group? Is anxiety and depression relieved by
running and is the self esteem of a team member reinforced? These and other like questions are needed
to be answered in order for the professional doing the analysis to get a clear picture of the athlete's
development and progress as a vital part of human society.
These sports exercise psychology professionals pin point their interests in different groups. Some may
be interested in only the professional athletes; the interest of others may lie in the directions of
occasional sports people or, children. Lately, with all of the talk of obesity, depression, low self esteem
and low study scores, more of these professionals work eagerly toward the children and their troubles
and creative abilities and sports..
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