Unit 11 - Psychology and Sports
The origin of psychology is derived from the Greek words-psyche’ and ‘logos’, where psyche means the soul or mind and logos means to talk about or science of study. Greek philosophers believed that soul was responsible for various mental activities like learning, thinking, feeling etc. It is generally believed that soul was the essence or true being of an organism, the cause and principle of life. In eighteenth century, psychology was defined as ‘a science of mind’ while in later stage was recognised as ‘a science of behaviour’ which includes physical as well as mental behaviour.
Definitions of Sports Psychology
1. Sports psychology is the ‘scientific study of the individual, which deals with behaviour and experience. — Wood, Worth Jhon B. Watson
2. “Sports psychology is an area which attempts to apply psychological facts and principles to learning performance and associated human behaviour in the whole field of sports” — John D. Lawther
Stress, Anxiety and its Management
Stress is a condition or circumstance, which can disturb the normal physical and mental health of an individual.
Management of Stress
Following are some of the stress management techniques:
(1) Stressed persons usually remain busy in talking about their own stress. They become pessimistic. You can be affected by their views. So, always avoid such people who remain under stress.
(2) One should try to stay cool and confident when there is stress. Remaining in such a state can be helpful in reducing stress.
(3) Developing various type of hobbies, such as gardening. TV watching, swimming, listening to music is also significant for reducing stress.
(4) For proper management of stress it is important to achieve high level of physical fitness. The goal of stress management is to use stress advantageously, not to eliminate all stress from one’s life. Too little or too severe stress lowers stress the performance.
(5) Physical activity is one of the best means of releasing stress. It increases the fitness of individuals. Indeed, it has been seen that the individuals who are physically fit have a better health status. They are more resistant to the effects of stress than less physically fit persons.
(6) The person who is under stress, should try to build his self-confidence. He should have enough confidence to deal with the stress.
(7) Techniques of relaxation, such as deep breathing, massage, laughing, whole-heartedly, practicing yogasanas, pranayama, meditation and chanting of ‘Om’ etc. in yoga, Shavasana, Makarasana, Bhujangasana, Shalabhasana, Suptasana, Vakrasana, Nadishodhan, Ujjayee and Bharamari pranayama as well as meditation are very beneficial for relaxation.
(8) For reducing stress Alcohol and drugs are also used for reducing stress but these are harmful to a person. These techniques may deal with the stress in the short team but in the long term they can adversely affect the health of person.
(9) It has been observed that most of the people always remain worried without any solid reason. In fact, most of these things never happen in life. So why waste all that energy worrying needlessly.
Anxiety is an unpleasant state of linear turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behaviours, such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints and rumination. It is the subjectively unpleasant feeling of dread over something unlikely to happen, such as the feeling of imminent death. It is a “hardwired” response that ensures survival of the human species. Sporting competition promotes similar psychological and bodily responses because there is often a threat posed toward the ego, and your sense of self-esteem. Essentially, when the demands of training or competition exceed one’s perceived ability, anxiety is the inevitable outcome.
Types of Anxiety
1. Somatic Anxiety: It refers to the physiological and affective elements of the anxiety experience that develop directly from autonomic arousal. Somatic anxiety is reflected in such responses as rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, clammy hands, butterflies in the stomach and tense muscles.
2. Cognitive anxiety: It is the mental component of anxiety and is caused by negative expectations about success or by negative self-evaluation. Cognitive anxiety is characterized by ‘conscious awareness of unpleasant feeling about oneself or external stimuli, worry, disturbing visual images. In sports, cognitive anxiety is most commonly manifested by negative performance expectation and, thus, negative self-evaluation.
Causes of Anxiety
1. Very high expectation is the factor that causes anxiety in the expectation of success.
2. While stress and uncertainty may motivate some athletes, they induce anxiety in others.
(3) For athletes in high-contact sports such as boxing and martial arts, the possibility of getting hurt can also be a source of anxiety. Typically, this anxiety causes some critical changes in technique.
(4) Also, spectators can have a huge impact on how athletes feel. In fact, studies of the home advantage phenomenon show that teams playing at their home venue win, on an average.
(5) Participants in individual sports have been shown generally to suffer more anxiety before, during, and after a competition than participants in team sports
This is because the sense of isolation and exposure is much greater in sports such as triathlon, tennis and snooker than in the relative anonymity of field sports.
Management Techniques of Anxiety (Sports Anxiety)
The following will help promote better coping, and give you an opportunity to control some of the issues that lead to anxiety symptoms:
1. Exercise/Physical Activity: Exercise is not just about getting fit. The overwhelming majority of those that experience anxiety do not engage in enough physical activity, and many experts believe that this is one of the issues that cause anxiety. Physical activity improves the immune system; release calming neurotransmitters (known as endorphins), tires the muscle and burns away stress hormones. It’s incredibly important for controlling stress and anxiety, and incredibly important for coping.
2. Herbal Tools: There are several supplements you can consider to help you cope with anxiety. Chamomile, Kavam Valerian, Passionflower, and St. John’s Wort all produce sedation/relaxation without side effects. Always talk to a doctor through before starting any herbal anxiety treatment.
3. Meditation and Yoga: Both meditation and yoga have the potential to improve your ability to cope with stress. They teach healthier breathing, and poor breathing is one of the issues that make anxiety symptoms worse, especially during anxiety and panic attacks. Many people believe the spiritual qualities of meditation and yoga is also helpful for curing anxiety.
4. Positive Thinking: Learning to think positive is also an important step in learning to cope with your anxiety. It may sound a bit “new age,” but the truth is that anxiety really does cause very negative thinking. There are ways to train you to think positively, including faking positively, writing in a positively journal and spending time with more positive people. These really will have an impact on your ability to cope with stress.
5. Learning to Accept It: It is also important that you accept your anxiety rather that run away from it. Anxiety may cause you to have fears—but many people also fear anxiety and that fear can actually make your anxiety works. Learn to talk about it openly and don’t try to hide when you are suffering.
These things may not cure anxiety on their own but they will help you learn to control the way anxiety affect you.
Very Short Answer Type Questions (1 Mark)
Q. What is anxiety?
Ans. Anxiety is a disturbed state of the body or an unrealistic and unpleasant state of body and mind. It is accompanied by nervousness, restlessness, increased heart rate, sweating, drying of the mouth, and apprehension of danger, fear and rapid shallow breathing.
Q. What is ethics in sports?
Ans. Ethics is a branch or a discipline of philosophy called axiology, the study of values. Ethics in sports means to have an ideal conduct and knowledge of good and evil and what should be done and not to be done by a person. Ethical behavior in sports includes:
(b) Good character
(c) Fair play
(d) Cooperative and self-disciplined behavior
Q. What is sports psychology?
Ans. Sports psychology is the branch of applied psychology which deals with sports performance and the behavior of a player during training/competitions.
Q. What is Motivation?
Ans. Motivation means to be inspired to do something. It is a kind of inner force which energizes a person to make constant effort.
Q. What are the types of motivation?
Ans. (a) Internal or natural (intrinsic) motivation
(b) External or artificial (extrinsic) motivation
Q. Define anxiety in one sentence.
Ans. Anxiety is a chronic fear that limits our ability to carry out normal functions.
Q. What are intrinsic motivations?
Ans. This motivation is within an individual and guides him to perform better. It is based upon needs, interest, nature, emotions, social needs etc.
Q. What do you mean by extrinsic motivation?
Ans. Extrinsic motivation is external. It occurs when external factors compel the person to do something. Motivation is always extrinsic, when external forces, positive or negative produce a behavioural change. Reward, punishment, praise, blame or cash prize are examples of extrinsic motivation.
Q. Explain goal setting as a technique of motivation in brief.
Ans. Goal setting technique is one of the most important techniques of motivation. If you do not set a goal, you cannot achieve an apex position in life. A person should set goals according to one’s capabilities on a regular basis.
Q. Explain any one technique of motivation.
Ans. Goal setting is one of the techniques of motivation. Goal Setting Sportsmen should be encouraged to set few ambitions but achievable long term as well as medium term goals. e.g. If a person wants to get a good position or a medal in Olympic Games, he should also set the goals for getting a position in Asian or National Games.
Q. What do you mean by stress?
Ans. Stress consists of bodily changes produced by physiological or psychological conditions that tend to upset the homeostatic balance. In medical language ‘stress’ is defined as a perturbation of the body’s homeostasis.
Q. What do you mean by coping strategies?
Ans. In the field of psychology, coping refers to the thoughts and actions which we usually use to deal with a threatening situation. In other words, coping is expanding conscious effort to solve personal or interpersonal problems and seeking to minimize or tolerate stress or conflicts.
Q. What do you mean by problem focused coping strategies?
Ans. The problem focused strategies deal with the root causes of stress and try to improve the stressful environment the sportspersons are experiencing. The problem focuses coping strategies are aimed at changing or eliminating the authentic source of the stress.
Q. What do you mean by emotion focused coping strategies?
Ans. These are those coping strategies which try to reduce the negative emotional responses linked with the stress such as embarrassment, fear, anxiety, depression, excitement and frustration. In other words, these are those strategies which are used to tackle the feeling of distress rather than the actual problem.
Q. What do you mean by personality?
Ans. Personality usually means that an individual is much more than his outer appearance. It is a dynamic and organized set of characteristics passed by a person that influences his/her cognitions, emotions, motivations and behaviours in different types of situations.
Q. What do you mean by self-esteem?
Ans. Self-esteem is how you value and respect yourself as a person. It is the real opinion that you have of yourself. Self-esteem impacts how you take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Short Answer Type Questions (3 Marks)
Q. What is the importance of sports psychology?
Ans. The importance of sports psychology can be understood from the following points
(a) It analyses the behaviour of sportsmen.
(b) It identifies talent for specific sports.
(c) It creates a better learning situation.
(d) It stabilizes the performance of a sportsperson for a longer period.
(e) It is important from the research point of view.
(e) It encourages the players to perform better.
Q. What are the causes and symptoms of anxiety in sports?
(b) Brain chemistry
(c) Environmental factors
(a) Feeling restlessness
(b) Muscular tension
(e) Increased BP
Q. Briefly state about emotion focused coping strategies.
Ans. Crying: This strategy/technique is most significant technique to alleviate the stressful situation during the sports competitions. Most of the sportspersons use crying technique whenever they are under competition stress.
Brooding: Some sportsperson also use this emotion focused coping technique or strategy. Usually during the competition or training they do not say no or they do not object to the decision of coaches or referees but later on they brood over the decision.
Q. What do you mean by mental dimension of personality? Explain in detail.
Ans. Mental dimension is another and the very significant dimension of personality. Mental dimension is too vital to be ignored. The real identification of personality lies in mental dimension. Nobody can contribute to the society until and unless one is mentally sound and has acquired ample knowledge. Those who are not mentally sound, have nothing to offer others. The development of thinking, reasoning, intuitions and judgment etc. are possible only through education.
Q. Explain about emotional dimension of personality in detail.
Ans. Emotional dimension is also an important dimension of personality. Emotional dimension is related to emotional stability. To have emotional stability is essential aspect of one’s personality. It means that one must have proper control over various emotions such as fear, anger, disgust, distress, amusement or happiness etc. in different situations. As a matter of fact, many sportspersons feel elated when they win but start crying, abusing the umpires or referee when they lose. Such situations show one’s emotional status spontaneous outburst of such emotions is not accepted as a sign of good personality.
Q. Explain any three techniques of motivation for higher achievement in sports,
Ans. Techniques of motivation our higher achievement in sports are:
(a) A healthy sports environment plays a vital role in motivating the sportsperson. Healthy sport environment consists of proper humidity and temperature, smooth and clean sports fields, good quality of sports equipment and other facilities.
(b) For proper motivation, the coaches should try to encourage positive attitude among sportspersons. Players must think positively.
(c) Cash Prizes, Certificates and Trophies are good incentives to sportspersons. Governments offer cash prizes to sportspersons who win.
Q. What is the role of anxiety in sports?
Ans. Anxiety plays an important role in sports, it is an essential ingredient of any competitive situation. Anxiety levels differ from athlete to athlete and from situation to situation. Athletes learn how to cope with stressful and competitive situations and manage anxiety with or assistance from a coach, otherwise they would not be able to give outstanding performances.
Q. How can you manage anxiety in sports?
Ans. Anxiety can be managed by:
(a) Keeping cool
(b) Yogic meditation
(d) Following a behavior modification strategy
(e) Progressive relaxation breathing technique
(f) Somatic adjustment (control of cognitive processes)
(g) Guidance from a technically trained sports psychologist
Q. What are general sports ethics?
Ans. Sports ethics means the code of conduct of players, coaches, supervisors and administrators of various organizations. Ethics such as honesty, fair play, obedience of rules, discipline and many moral behaviors are developed through participation.
Some common ethics related to sports are
(a) Winning and losing gracefully.
(b) Getting recognition, name and fame without using unfair means.
(c) Loyalty towards his/her team, game, institution or country.
Q. State any one dimension of personality in brief.
Ans. Social dimension is the next important dimension of personality. Man is a social animal. He lives in a society in which his socialization takes place. Man does not live for himself alone, he lives for others too. Sociability is inherent in man’s biological nature. In fact, the seeds of sociability are sown in human personality right from the moment a human child is born or it can be said that the process of socialization starts right from the time of one’s birth. Human child learns to behave because he is basically sociable. He learns by limitations, he learns by example and he learns by perception.
Short Answer Type Questions (3 Mark)
Q1. Explain any two technique of motivation.
Ans. If there is a huge number of spectators, it will have a positive effect on the players. But its effectiveness depends upon the experience and maturity of athletes. If an inexperienced athlete participates in competition, which is full of spectators, then he will not be able to perform better in comparison to an in experienced athlete. An inexperienced athlete is usually overpowered by fear.
Opposite sex plays a vital role in motivation. Usually girls are motivated by the presence of boys, whereas boys are motivated by the presence of girls. This is an innate tendency of human beings. Even girls as well as boys try to be smart and active in the presence of opposite sex.
Q2. Discuss intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
Ans. Intrinsic motivation is internal. It occurs when people are compelled to do something out of pleasure, importance or desire. Motivation is always intrinsic when the force comes from within oneself.
Extrinsic motivation is external. It occurs when external factors compel the person to do something. Motivation is always extrinsic, when external forces, positive or negative produce a behavioural change, reward, punishment, praise, blame or cash prize etc.
Q3. What do you mean by self-esteem and body image?
Ans. Self-esteem is how you value and respect yourself as a person. It is the real opinion that you have of yourself. Self-esteem impacts how you take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Body image is how and what you think and feel about your body. In other words, body image is both the mental picture that you have of your body and how you perceive yourself when you look at a mirror.
Q4. What do you mean by positive body image and negative body image?
Ans. Positive body image is also called healthy body image. The individuals, who accept the way they look and feel good about their bodies, have a positive or healthy body image. For having a positive or healthy body image you are not required to be thin or tall or any other specific physical trail. In fact, it does not matter what you look like from outside.
Negative body image is also called unhealthy body image. Negative body image means being unhappy with the way you look. It is usually linked with the desire to change the body shape, size, height or weight etc. This type of body image develops when an individual feels that his body’s features do not match with social or media ideals. These individuals are usually dissatisfied with their body image.
Q5. Describe any three techniques of anxiety management.
Ans. 1. Meditation can be used for managing anxiety. It can be ideal for staying calm in between rounds of competition. First of all, sit in a comfortable position. After that pick a short focus word this has significant meaning for you and that you associate with relaxation. You may pick up the word like relax, smooth, calm or easy etc. then start meditating.
2. Establish the ‘winning feeling. Start thinking about the last time you were performing at the top of your game. After that enlist every detail you might associate with your ‘winning feeling.’ Then pick out the eight most important aspects of this positive feeling and write them down. Think those winning feelings. Naturally, it will help to create an optimum competitive mindset.
3. Stop negative thoughts such as ‘I cannot do better now’ or ‘it is impossible to beat him in the competition’. Think positive.
Q6. Discuss the dimensions of personality.
Ans. 1. Physical dimension is considered the most significant dimension of personality. It is based on the fact that first impression is the last impression. In fact, physical dimension is related to good physique, good appearance and good health.
2. Mental dimension is another and the very significant dimension of personality. Mental dimension is related to mental and intellectual strength and abilities. Mental dimension is too vital to be ignored. The real identification of personality lies in mental dimension.
3. Social dimension is the next important dimension of personality. Man is a social animal. He lives in a society in which his socialization takes place. Man does not live for himself alone, he lives for others too.
Q7. Elaborate the types of personality.
Ans. 1. Type ‘A’ personality: The individuals with this type of personality are very competitive. They are self-critical. They are characterized by high working involvement. They are easily excited and owing to that they fall prey to hypertension. They experience a persistent sense of urgency so, they seem to be always struggling against the clock.
2. Type ‘B’ personality: The individuals with this type of personality are not competitive in nature. They are easy going and patient. They usually do not become angry and hostile. They are able to express their emotions appropriately.
3. Type ‘C’ personality: The individuals with such type of personality have pleasing and appeasing nature. They are unable to express their emotions specially anger. They are able to suppress their emotions efficiently.
Q8. What do you mean by body image? Discuss its types in brief.
Ans. Body image is how and what you think and feel about your body. In other words, body image is both the mental picture that you have of your body and how you perceive yourself when you look at a mirror.
Types of Body-Image
1. Positive body image: Positive body image is also called healthy body image. The individuals, who accept the way they look and feel good about their bodies, have a positive or healthy body image.
2. Negative body image: Negative body image is also called unhealthy body image. Negative body image means being unhappy with the way you look. It is normally linked with the desire to change the body shape, size, height etc.
Q9. Discuss the factors influencing body image and self-esteem.
Ans. 1. During teenage, the teenagers become more aware of celebrities and media images. They usually start to compare themselves with media images and celebrities.
2. The family school and other members of society can influence our self-esteem and body image.
3. Our experience of life may influence our body image and self-esteem.
Long Answer Type Questions (5 Mark)
Q1. Explain the term ‘stress’. How can it be managed? Explain.
Ans. Stress consists of bodily changes produced by physiological or psychological conditions that tend to upset the homeostatic balance. In medical language ‘stress’ is defined as a perturbation of the body’s homeostasis. It can be managed in the following way:
1. The individual who is under stress, should try to build up self-confidence. He should have enough confidence to deal with the stress.
2. Developing various type of hobbies, such as gardening, TV matching, swimming, listening to music is also significant for reducing stress.
3. One should try to stay cool and confident when there is stress. Remaining in such a state can be helpful in reducing stress.
4. Stressed persons usually remain busy in talking about their own stress. They become pessimistic. You can be affected by their views. So, always avoid such people who remain under stress.
Q2. What do you mean by anxiety? Discuss the management of anxiety in detail.
Ans. The main aim of physical education teachers, trainers, coaches and sports psychologists is to enhance an individual’s performance at optimum level. To achieve this aim, they must consider the effect of anxiety on performance. In fact, anxiety is a psychological and physiological state of an individual. It can be managed in the following way:
(a) Start thinking about the last time you were performing at the top of your game. After that enlist energy detail you might associate with your ‘winning feeling’. Then pick out the eight most important aspects of this positive feeling and write them down. Think those winning feelings. Naturally, it will help to create an optimum competitive mindset.
(b) Stop negative thoughts such as ‘I cannot do better’ or ‘it is impossible to beat him in the competition’. Instead of these negative thoughts, think positive such as ‘I can do much better’ or ‘I will be the winner’.
Q3. Discuss the points to improve the body image and self-esteem in detail.
Ans. 1. A positive and optimistic attitude can help individuals to improve body image and self-esteem. So one should try to have a positive and optimistic attitude in life.
2. Changes in your life style such as adopting a specific diet and with planned exercise programme in order to lose weight, gain muscles or change in body shape and size can be a healthy choice.
3. For improving body image and self-esteem, identify all the aspects of your appearance which you can change realistically and which you can’t change. It is well known fact that human beings are imperfect.
4. When you hear negative comments coming from the core of your heart, stop them immediately if you want to improve your body image and self-esteem.
5. If you want to improve your self-esteem and body image, do some good things every day and give compliments to yourself that you really have done good things. This act will give you immense pleasure.
Q4. What principles should be followed for goal setting?
Ans. The following principles should be followed for goal setting:
(a) Make goals specific, measurable, and observable.
(b) Clearly identify time constraints.
(c) Use moderately difficult goals; they are superior to either easy or very difficult goals.
(d) Write goals down and regularly monitor progress.
(e) Use a mix of process, performance, and outcome goals.
(f) Use short range goals to achieve long range goals.
(g) Set team as well as individual performance goals.
(h) Set practice as well as competition goals,
(i) Make sure goals are internalized by the athlete.
(j) Consider personality and individual differences in goal setting.
Q5. Define sports psychology and elucidate its importance in the field of sports.
Ans. Sports psychology is the branch of applied psychology which deals with sports performance and the Behavior of a player during training or competitions.
Importance of Sports psychology is due to
(a) Sports psychology plays a major role in the learning of motor skills. Motor skills learning depends on the individual's level of readiness.
(b) Performance of a player depends upon the behaviors which are influenced by various factors such as sex differences, family conditions, personal background, heredity, growth, physical and mental maturity levels etc.
(c) Every sports has specific psychological demands. E.g. boxing requires more aggressiveness, whereas archery and shooting require more concentration.
(d) It helps in stabilizing the performance of a player for a longer period. Then the performance of the player largely depends upon his psychological make up and anxiety level.
(e) Sports psychologists work in very close proximity to coaches to uplift the performance of players. Research findings help in promotion of sports and games.
(f) Sports psychology encourages the players, who, due to injury or some accident, are forced to take a long break from their professional career, to return to their sport.