Sports psychology has become an increasingly popular area of concentration within psychology, and it probably comes as no surprise that this particular branch of psychology has played an important role at the summer Olympics.
Sports psychology has been used to help athletes prepare for the summer Olympics.
Image © Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
According to a recent article in the New York Times, Chinese sports officials have hired sports psychologists to help athletes cope with the enormous amount of pressure and high expectations at this year's Olympics in Beijing. Special websites have been developed specifically for the athletes, offering online therapy, a host of tips for coping with anxiety and computer-aided visualization techniques.
The ability to focus and cope with tremendous pressure is important in any athletic event, but the importance is especially pronounced at the Olympics where the whole world is watching. "It's important to remember that we’re not dealing with machines or robots,” explains sports psychologist Joel Fish to the New York Times. “If you are distracted by 1 percent, that could mean the difference between medaling and not medaling…It’s important to learn how to handle that, and develop some mental toughness."
Are you interested in learning more about some of the techniques and strategies used by sports psychologists to help athletes improve motivation, concentration and performance? Check out some of these great resources from black-rose-bielefeld.de's Guide to Sports Medicine, Elizabeth Quinn.
- Visualization in Sport
- Dealing With Sports Anxiety
- Motivation and Goal Setting
Pressure to Succeed Weighs Heavily On China's Olympic Athletes - From the Los Angeles Times
Host's Advantage? Tell That to the Athletes - From The New York Times