Sport psychology is a specialization within psychology that seeks to understand psychological/mental factors that affect performance in sports, physical activity and exercise and apply these to enhance individual and team performance. It deals with increasing performance by managing emotions and minimizing the psychological effects of injury and poor performance. Some of the most important skills taught are goal setting, relaxation, visualization, self-talk, awareness and control, concentration, using rituals, attribution training, and periodization.
The principles and theories may be applied to any human movement or performance tasks (e.g., playing a musical instrument, acting in a play, public speaking, motor skills).
There are over 100 graduate programs in sport psychology available world-wide. Usually, experts recommend that students be trained in both kinesiology (i.e., sport & exercise sciences, physical education) and counseling.
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