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Applied Sport Psychology

psychology factors that influence performance in sport. it is used when preparing, engaging, or reflecting in sport

Why use sport psychology

learn, way to manage competitive stress, control concentration, improve confidence, increase communication, team harmony

Motor Skill Learning

a set of internal processes, associated with practice or experience, leading to relatively permanent changes in the capability for skilled movement behavior.
"muscle memory"

3 Phases of Motor Skill Learning


Cognitive Phase

development of basic movement pattern
visual learning (video,demonstrations)
COACH-motivate,keep focused,teach,encourage

Associative Phase

skill refinement
improve and get better
COACH-design practices

Autonomous Phase

skill mastery/elite performance
skill becomes second nature
performance is automatic
COACH-motivate,work on level of skills, dont just go through the motions

Open Skills

environment changing and unpredictable

Closed Skills

performed in stable environment, no distractions

Part-Whole Practice

doing each skill individually, the combining all

Progressive Part Practice

learn first two (separately), combine, learn 3rd(separate), combine, learn 4th(separate) combine

Repetitive Part Practice

learn first (separate), then add second with first, then add 3rd with 1&2

Intrinsic Feedback

information athletes receive as a natural consequence of moving, provided by the athletes' own sensory system.
EX. feeling shooting the ball, hear hitting rim, see into the basket

Augmented Feedback

information athletes receive that is not a natural consequence of executing a response. provided by external source (coach,teammate,judges score, videotape replay)

Functions of Feedback

error correction

ABC's of Behavior Control

if antecedents (environmental stimuli) (A) are present AND behavior (B) is enacted, THEN a particular consequence (C) will occur.

Operant Conditioning

considers in part the manner in which our behaviors are influenced by their consequences.
EX pavlov, ring bell then feed dog, salivation

Discriminative Stimuli

antecedents that signal the likely consequences of particular behaviors in given situation

Reinforcement Contingencies

relations between behaviors and their consequences


start with what is capable of being done, then gradually more skillful level. (demands must be realistic) encourage and guide to desired outcome

Schedules of Reinforcement

pattern and frequency with which reinforcement is administered


person's judgment about her or his capability to successfully person a particular task

6 Elements of Self-Efficacy

performance accomplishment
vicarious experiences
verbal persuasion
physiological states
emotional states
imaginal states

performance accomplishment

working for something better than what you've already achieved

vicarious experiences

watching someone. 'if they can i can'
professionals. EX children watching, wanting to be like them

verbal persuasion

motivational statements, positive

physiological states

'rise of the occasion', look at pressure and be able to handle it. perform or let pressure get you

emotional states

mood prior to performance. decide on level of confidence

imaginal experiences

visualize before performance so demands don't seem so unfamiliar

task-involved athletes

gain knowledge
exhibit effort
perform at one's best
how to accomplish task
compare to task

ego-involved athletes

preoccupied with adequacy oh their ability
being content
exceed others
comparison to others

intrinsic motivation

internal. participation is self-determined and is inspired by personal pleasure from activity

extrinsic motivation

external. driven by desire for external rewards

expectation-performance process

1. coach forms expectation
2. coaches' expectation affects their behavior
3. coaches' behavior affects athlete's performance/behavior
4. athlethe's performance conforms to the coach's expectations

pygmalion-prone coach

good athletes are born good, don't have a choice or chance
(entity theorist)

non-pygmalion-prone coach

belief you can improve talent and develop through practice and training
(incremental theorist)

self-fulfilling prophecy

a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true.
EX (biased coaching) preason judgements (underestimate athletes ability) lead to their expectations to become reality

path-goal theory

leader is viewed as a facilitator who helps others achieve their goals by providing a path by which the followers can reach their goals

team (sport groups)

2 of more individuals
common identity, fate, goals
structured pattern of interaction/modes of communication
sommon perception about group structure
personally/instrumentally interdependent
reciprocate interpersonal attraction
consider themselves to be a group

group cohesion

tendency for a group to stick together and remain united in the pursuit of its instrumental objectives and/or for the satisfaction of member affective needs

group integration

individual's perception about the closeness, similarity, and bonding within the group as a total unit, set, or collection. ('we' and 'us' evaluations)

individual attractions to the group

individual's person attraction to the group, and what personal motivations act to retain an individual in the group

factors to consider when examining cohesion in sport teams

environmental factors
leadership factors
team factors
personal factors

team factors

roles - set of behaviors that are expected from people with specific positions within a group

formal roles

set out by the group or organization. EX coach, team captain, manager

informal roles

evolve as a result of the interactions that take place amoung group members. EX enforcer, comedian, team player, distracter

role ambiguity

degree to which athletes understand or do not understand what constitues their role.
lack clear, consistent info reguarding one's role


standard for behavior that is expected of members of the group


getting by, by doing the minimum

peak performance

behavior which exceeds one's average performance OR an episode of superior functioning


state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter

characteristics of peak performance

feelings of success
regulate arousal
in control
focus on present task
view difficult tasks as exciting/challenging
productive perfectionism(expectations but learn)
positive attitudes/thoughts
self determination/commitment


first step to gaining control in pressure situation. focus on task at hand, not end result (anxiety) [focus of attention]

positive reinforcement

has positive stimuli (rewarding)
*strengthens behavior

negative reinforcement

removal of adverse stimuli (avoid bad things)
EX abusive coach
*strengthens behavior
***not punishment


previous reinforced behaviors are no longer recognized, likely to stop occurring
EX athlete stop getting attention for inappropriate behavior, likely to stop that behavior

aversive punishment

presents aversive stimuli with the effect of weakening the behavior

response cost punishment

removal of a positive event
EX benching a player who played bad

performance edge

monitors athletes performance


positive stress


too much stress

arousal level

aware of experience + optimal level, control and monitor excitement and channel that energy into performance.
adjust as needed
balancing important to max performance

goal staircase

series of short term goals leads to long term goals


objective or aim of action by attaining a specific standard of proficiency on a task, usually has a time limit

subjective goal

your opinion
EX having fun

general objective goal

broad goal
EX win a championship

specific objective goal

EX increase batting average

outcome goal

EX beating specific team

performance goal

improvements on past performance. what to do for next performance

process goal

focus on specifics during the performance
EX keeping hands up when hitting

relationship between goal setting and performance

set goals, perform, adjust.
1. direct athletes attention/action into important parts of task
2. help athlete mobilize effort
3. help prolong effort, increase persistence
4. develop new learning strategies

goals should be...

short/long term
have target date

how to measure arousal

psychological measures
biochemical measures

trait anxiety

negative, general

state anxiety

negative, specific

drive theory

performance (P) is a multiplicative function of habit (H) and P=HxD

inverted U relationship

after meet arousal level, start to decrease

autogentic training

self-hypnonsis, focus attention on senses

relaxation response

sit comfortable
close eyes
relax muscles
concentrate on breathing

3 types of progressive relaxation techniques

active, passivem differential

progressive relaxation

contracting muscles for 5-7 seconds then relaxing

muscle to mind

focus on bodily aspects
EX breathing exercises, progressive relaxation

mind to muscle

mediation, imagery, autogenic training


enhances sport performance by using senses to create or re-create an experience in the mind.
*is a supplement not a replacement


more than 1 sense working together

evidence imagery works

enhances performance learning
enhances thoughts and emotions
successful athletes use it

3 components of imagery


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