A Sport Psychology Perspective
Ludwig, Martha M., JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance
Sport psychology is playing a more influential and respected role than ever before in the pursuit of excellence in sport. Athletes are seeking mental training and counseling on a daily basis. Sport psychologists are in high demand at Olympic Training Centers.
Historical analyses of the development of sport psychology describe the advent of applied sport psychology as an uncharted frontier for women in the Olympics (Pemberton & Petlichkoff, 1988). Pemberton and Petlichkoff cite an early emphasis on sport performance, which shifted in the 1950s to laboratory experiments in social psychology. The study of personality dominated the field through the 1970s, and the 1980s produced much documentation in defense of sport psychology from a theoretical research perspective. The most recent trend is a return to the delivery of sport psychology services, especially for elite athletes.
Most current literature on elite female athletes focuses on professional athletes in tennis, bowling, and golf. The theoretical sport psychology literature often chooses collegiate athletes or elite gymnasts and runners as subjects for research. Rarely does a U.S. women's Olympic team become the spotlight of applied sport psychology documentation (Gipson, McKenzie, & Lowe, 1989). This article addresses the psychological issues and concerns of elite female athletes as they prepare for Olympic competition. Applied sport psychology for female Olympians is examined from the perspective of the sport psychologists who administer the services. The discussion includes key performance issues, key personal and developmental issues, differences between female and male athletes with regard to these issues, types of psychological services provided to Olympians across the country, athletes' response to these services, and the projected future role of sport psychology for female athletes in the Olympic Games.
Under the direction of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and sport psychologist Sean …
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Publication information: Article title: A Sport Psychology Perspective. Contributors: Ludwig, Martha M. - Author. Journal title: JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. Volume: 67. Issue: 5 Publication date: May-June 1996. Page number: 31+. © 2009 American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). COPYRIGHT 1996 Gale Group.
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