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Understanding Sport Psychology

Understanding Sport Psychology

October 2021 | 296 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Sports Psychology is a popular area that has grown dramatically over the past few decades due to an increasing emphasis on the importance of psychology for athletic performance, engagement in exercise and in the business and industry of sport.

This text is a concise, focussed overview of all the core concepts in sports psychology at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Using key studies and evidence, this book explains and develops key topics, and acts as a springboard for further reading and debate. This is a stimulating and practical resource for sport and exercise students, sport coaches, and athletes alike, covering new developments within the field including:

·       Social Identity Theory,

·       Mental Health Awareness in Sport,

·       Resilience and Mindfulness.

With additional pedagogy including further reading, figures and diagrams to help visualise key theories, and case studies, Understanding Sport Psychology is essential reading for any student of sport psychology.

1.1 The History of Sport Psychology

1.2 Practising Sport Psychology

1.3 Ethical Issues in Sport Psychology

1.4 Sport Psychology Organisations, Sources and Resources

2.5 Stress, Anxiety and Arousal

2.6 Measuring Stress and Anxiety

2.7 Pre-performance Routines

2.8 Choking Under Pressure

2.9 Coping Strategies

3.10 Sport Participation: Motives and Correlates

3.11 Burnout and Drop-out

3.12 Goal Setting

3.13 Fear of Failure and Need to Achieve

3.14 Self-Determination Theory

3.15 Achievement Goal Theory

3.16 Self-Efficacy and Perceived Competence

4.17 Mental Imagery

4.18 Mental Practice

4.19 Attention and Concentration

4.20 Positive Self-Talk and Thought Control

4.21 Mental Toughness

5.22 Team Cohesion

5.23 Team Building

5.24 Causal Attribution

5.25 Social Facilitation and Social Loafing

5.26 Leadership and Management

5.27 Effective Coaching Styles

5.28 Home Advantage

5.29 Aggression

5.30 Fans and Spectators

5.31 Social Identity Theory

6.32 Motor Development

6.33 Expertise

6.34 Decision-Making

6.35 Practising Motor Skills

6.36 Analysis and Measurement of Motor Performance

7.37 Gender, Diversity and Inclusion

7.38 Overtraining and Exercise Addiction

7.39 Injury and Retirement

7.40 Mental Health Awareness in Sport

7.41 Mental Health Disorder in Sport

7.42 Resilience

7.43 Mindfulness and Wellbeing in Sport


Gavin Breslin

Gavin Breslin is a Senior Lecturer in the Bamford Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing, School of Psychology, Ulster University, Coleraine. He has applied sport psychology to national and international athletes across a range of sports. He is the Chief Assessor for the British Psychological Society’s Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology. His book publications include Sport and Exercise Psychology Practitioner Case Studies (2016), and Mental Health and Wellbeing Interventions in Sport: Research, Theory and Practice (2019). More About Author

John Kremer

John Kremer is a former Reader in Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast, where he lectured from 1980. He combines his academic interest in sport and exercise psychology with practical work with numerous sports, including several national and international teams and individual athletes. His list of book publications include Pure Sport: Sport Psychology in Action (2019), Sport Psychology: Contemporary Themes (2012), Psychology in Sport (1994) and Young People’s Involvement in Sport (1997). More About Author

Aidan Moran

Aidan Moran was Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Director of the Psychology Research Laboratory in University College, Dublin. A Fulbright Scholar and former Editor-in-Chief of the International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, he has published extensively on mental imagery and attentional processes in athletes. A former psychologist to the Irish Olympic squad, Aidan advised many of Ireland’s leading athletes and teams and is rightly credited as the founding father of sport psychology in Ireland. More About Author

Cathy Craig

Cathy Craig is a Professor in Perception and Action Psychology at the School of Psychology, Ulster University and CEO/Co-Founder of INCISIV, a neuro-technology company based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She publishes extensively on motor timing, perception/action and decision making in sport. Much of her work involves working closely with elite sporting organisations to develop innovative solutions, using technologies such as immersive, interactive virtual reality, to better understand how perception influences decisions about action. More About Author

Stephen Shannon

Stephen Shannon is a Lecturer in the School of Sport at Ulster University within the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences, and holds a BSc (hons), PgDip, and PhD from Ulster University, along with a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. In a research capacity, he conducts his research through the Sport and Exercise Research Institute and the Bamford Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing, and has published several peer-reviewed articles on mental health promotion within and through sport and physical activity. Additionally, Stephen has provided written evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Sport and... More About Author

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