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Sport Psychology for Coaches

Sport Psychology for Coaches

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    We marvel at the steely nerves, acute concentration, and flawless execution exhibited on the 18th green, at the free-throw line, in the starting blocks, and on the balance beam. While state-of-the-art training regimens have extended athletes’ physical boundaries, more and more coaches are realizing the importance of sport psychology in taking athletic performance to new levels. Tomorrow’s record-breaking accomplishments will not be the result of athletes’ training harder physically, but of athletes’ training smarter mentally.


    Sport Psychology for Coaches provides information that coaches need to help athletes build mental toughness and achieve excellence—in sport and in life. As a coach, you’ll gain a big-picture perspective on the mental side of sport by examining how athletes act, think, and feel when they practice and compete. You’ll learn to use such mental tools as goal setting, imagery, relaxation, energization, and self-talk to help your athletes build mental training programs. You’ll also see how assisting your athletes in developing mental skills such as motivation, energy management, focus, stress management, and self-confidence leads to increased enjoyment, improved life skills, and enhanced performance. And you’ll discover how to put it all together into mental plans and mental skills training programs that allow your athletes to attain and maintain a mind-set that fosters peak performance.


    The easy-to-follow format of the text includes learning objectives that introduce each chapter, sidebars illustrating sport-specific applications of key concepts and principles, chapter summaries organized by content and sequence, key terms, chapter review questions, a comprehensive glossary, and other useful resources to help readers implement mental training programs for athletes.


    Written primarily for high school coaches, Sport Psychology for Coaches is a practical, easy-to-use resource reflecting the two authors’ combined 45 years of teaching, coaching, researching, and consulting experience. It reflects principles that are not only consistent with the latest theory and research, but have stood the test of time and worked for coaches and athletes in all sports at all levels. You’ll come away from Sport Psychology for Coaches with a greater understanding and appreciation for sport psychology and the practical knowledge you need to put it to work for you and your athletes.


    Produced by the American Sport Education Program (ASEP) Sport Psychology for Coaches is one of four texts included in the ASEP Silver Level series.

    Table of Contents

    ASEP Silver Level Series Preface
    Preface
    Acknowledgments

    Part I Creating a Solid Foundation
    Chapter 1 Coaching Philosophy
    Developing a Positive Coaching Philosophy
    Understanding Competition and Using It Constructively

    Chapter 2 Communication
    What Is Communication?
    Sending Effective Messages
    Attentive Listening
    Conflicts and Confrontations

    Chapter 3 Introduction to Mental Skills Training
    Psychological Factors and Performance Excellence
    Does MST Work?
    The MST Approach
    Roadblocks and Myths Surrounding MST
    Developing MST

    Part II Developing Mental Training Tools
    Chapter 4 Goal Setting
    What Are Goals and Why Use Them?
    Characteristics of Effective Goals
    Making Goals Work: The Goal Implementation Process
    Developing Athletes’ Goal-Setting Skills

    Chapter 5 Imagery
    What Is Imagery?
    Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Imagery
    Using Imagery Effectively
    Developing an Imagery Training Program

    Chapter 6 Relaxation and Energization
    What Is Relaxation?
    Relaxation Strategies
    What Is Energization?
    Energization Strategies
    Developing Athletes’ Relaxation and Energization Skills

    Chapter 7 Self-Talk
    What Is Self-Talk?
    How Self-Talk Works
    Positive Versus Negative Thinking
    Optimizing Self-Talk
    Developing Athletes’ Smart-Talk Skills

    Part III Enhancing Mental Skills
    Chapter 8 Motivation
    What Is Motivation?
    Athletes’ Needs and Intrinsic Motivation
    Impact of Rewards
    Handling Success and Failure
    Creating a Mastery-Oriented Motivational Atmosphere

    Chapter 9 Energy Management
    Understanding Energy Management
    How Does Arousal Affect Performance?
    Why Underarousal and Overarousal Impair Performance
    Determining Optimal Energy Zones
    Mental Side of Arousal
    Developing Athletes’ Energy Management Skills

    Chapter 10 Attention
    Understanding Attention
    Attentional Capacity
    Selective Attention
    Sustaining Focus: Concentration
    Implementing an Attentional Skills Program

    Chapter 11 Stress Management
    Understanding Stress
    Stress Management
    Developing Athletes’ Stress Management Skills

    Chapter 12 Self-Confidence
    Understanding Self-Confidence
    Conceptualizing Self-Confidence
    Boosting Self-Confidence
    Developing Team Confidence
    Developing and Maintaining Self-Confidence During Competition
    Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Confidence Booster or Deflator?
    Developing Athletes’ Self-Confidence
    Final Thoughts: Developing Ultimate Confidence

    Part IV Integrating Mental Training Tools and Skills
    Chapter 13 Mental Plans
    Understanding Mental Plans
    Types of Mental Plans
    Role of Triggers, Releases, and Cue Words
    Developing Mental Plans
    Developing Athletes’ Mental Toughness Skills

    Chapter 14 Mental Skills Training Programs
    Getting Started
    Components of Effective MST Programs
    Implementing a Basic MST Program


    Appendix A: Answers to Review Questions
    Appendix B: Relaxation and Energization Scripts
    Appendix C: Test of Performance Strategies
    Glossary
    References and Resources
    Index
    About the Authors

    About the Author

    Damon Burton is a professor of sport psychology at the University of Idaho and has taught undergraduate and graduate applied sport psychology courses since 1983. At Idaho, Burton created master's and doctoral programs to develop sport psychology consultants with strong backgrounds in both counseling and performance enhancement. A fellow and former president of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), he is an AASP-certified consultant and past chair of the certification committee. A former athlete and coach who has worked extensively in coaching education for almost 30 years, educating over 4,500 coaches, Burton has consulted with coaches and athletes from youth sport to Olympic and professional levels on the development of mental skills in both individual and team settings. He coauthored Competitive Anxiety in Sport, authored or coauthored numerous research studies evaluating the effectiveness of mental skills training programs, and supervised or mentored many master's and doctoral students in their work helping coaches and athletes develop mental skills. Burton is past chair of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) Sport Psychology Academy and a longtime member of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA). He earned a master's degree in sport psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a PhD in sport psychology from the University of Illinois, specializing in applied sport psychology and coaching education.

    Thomas D. Raedeke is associate professor of sport and exercise psychology at East Carolina University. Since 1992, Raedeke has taught graduate and undergraduate applied sport psychology courses focusing on coaching education and mental skills training at the University of Oregon, University of Colorado, and East Carolina University, earning the University of North Carolina's Board of Governor Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award in 2007. A research expert on motivation, stress, and burnout, Raedeke has worked with athletes and coaches from a variety of sport types and skill levels. He is a certified consultant through the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), where he is chair of the Health and Exercise Psychology Committee. He is also a member of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). Raedeke is past chair of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) Sport and Exercise Psychology Academy. A former collegiate wrestler, Dr. Raedeke earned his master's degree from the University of Idaho and a PhD from the University of Oregon, with a focus on sport and exercise psychology. He has also served as a research assistant in sport psychology at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and as an instructor for American Sport Education Program (ASEP) coaching courses.