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PSY FPX 8845 Assessment 4 Informational Interview

Name

Capella University

PSY FPX 8845 Current Issues in Sport Psychology

Prof. Name

Date

Mental Training in Athletics: A Growing Trend

Abstract

Mental training has become a critical therapeutic intervention for athletes striving to overcome challenges both in sports and everyday life. This paper explores the rising trend of mental training in athletics, drawing insights from an informal interview. It examines the current landscape of sports psychology, the challenges faced by professionals, technological advancements in mental training therapies, and strategies for addressing multicultural diversity in this field.

Mental Training Skills: The Ins and Outs with Professional Athletes

The realm of sports psychology is evolving swiftly, driven by society’s increasing focus on sports excellence and performance. Athletes face mounting pressure to perform at their best, leading to a growing demand for sports psychologists who can help them reach their full potential (American Psychological Association, 2020). This trend encompasses not only on-field performance but also various aspects of performance psychology, highlighting the need for specialized professionals in this domain (American Psychological Association, 2020).

Rationale for Mental Skills Training in Sports Psychology

The quest for athletes to attain elite performance levels has propelled the adoption of Psychological Skills Training (PST), or mental training. PST involves the systematic practice of psychological skills to enhance athletic performance (Einarsson, Kristjansdottir, & Saavedra, 2020). Athletes at all levels seek PST to overcome psychological barriers such as performance anxiety and mental fatigue, aiming to optimize both individual and team performance.

Upcoming Trends and Interventions

PST consists of three primary phases: education, acquisition, and implementation. Athletes are trained to learn, acquire, and implement mental techniques, which enable them to perform tasks more effectively (Einarsson, Kristjansdottir, & Saavedra, 2020). An interview with a Mental Skills Trainer underscores the importance of mental training in contemporary sports, with techniques like imagery, deep breathing exercises, and positive self-talk becoming integral to professional athletes’ daily routines.

Ethical Concerns and Considerations

The rise of mental training therapies brings forth ethical considerations, particularly concerning confidentiality, competence, and informed consent. Building trust between athletes and trainers is crucial, requiring clear communication and adherence to ethical standards (Greenfield & West, 2018). Maintaining confidentiality and treating athletes impartially are essential principles outlined by the American Psychological Association (2019), emphasizing the importance of ethical practice in sports psychology.

Developmental Plan and Goals in Sports Psychology

A structured developmental plan is vital for aspiring sports psychologists. Specialization in mental performance consulting, along with obtaining certification, necessitates rigorous training and mentorship (Vealey, 2019). Keeping up with research and networking with professionals in the field are critical for continuous growth and expertise in psychological skills training.

PSY FPX 8845 Assessment 4 Informational Interview

Conclusion

The evolution of mental training in athletics highlights a growing recognition of its potential to enhance performance and well-being. Aspiring sports psychologists must commit to ongoing learning and ethical practice to effectively support athletes in achieving their goals.

References

American Psychological Association. (1953). Ethical standards of psychologists. American Psychological Association.

American Psychological Association. (2020). Hot careers: Sports Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2012/11/sport-psychology

Einarsson, E., Kristjansdottir, H., & Saavedra, J. (2020). Relationship between elite athletes’ psychological skills and their training in those skills. Nordic Psychology, 72(1), 23-32.

Greenfield, B., & West, C. (2018). Ethical issues in sports medicine: A review and justification for ethical decision making and reasoning. Sports Health, 4(6), 475–479. https://doi.org/10.1177/1941738112459327

Out Run Your Excuses. (2019). Epic run. Retrieved from https://outrunyourexcuses.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/mental-toughness-is-finding-fuel-in-an-empty-tank/

PSY FPX 8845 Assessment 4 Informational Interview

Vealey, R. (2019). Future directions in psychological skills training. The Sports Psychologist, 2(4), 318-336.

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