Applied sport psychology: beware the sun, Icarus

Terry, Peter C. (2010) Applied sport psychology: beware the sun, Icarus. In: 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology, 11-16 July 2010, Melbourne, Australia.

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Most people involved in sport freely acknowledge that the quality of their performance is subject to significant fluctuations that are often driven by psychological
inconsistencies. Great champions such as Michael Phelps, Maria Sharapova, Cristiano Ronaldo and Rafael Nadal have all used sport psychology techniques to enhance their own
impressive performance levels. Applied sport psychology, however, is not necessarily about developing sporting titans or even about performance at all. It is, in the broadest sense, about using psychological principles, knowledge, strategies, and techniques to address any issue
in sport. In this presentation, I will trace the
historical progress of applied sport psychology from the very earliest writings and investigations in Europe, Asia and North America through to the current state of the art across the globe. Along the way, I will present some of the
landmark publications and key developments, address past trends, present challenges and opportunities, and predict future developments in the field. Two enduring challenges for applied sport psychology are, firstly, to educate the
sporting community and the general public about what sport psychology can and cannot achieve and, secondly, to ensure that claimed benefits are pitched at the right level and are supported by compelling evidence. Just as, in Greek mythology, Icarus flew too close to the sun, melted the wax that held his wings together and fell to his death, so the profession of applied sport psychology risks losing its credibility if practitioners over-promise on what can
realistically be achieved and then fail to deliver
on their promises. Equally, if applied sport psychologists downplay the performance gains and the other benefits that their profession can deliver (perhaps the equivalent of Icarus remaining with his feet firmly on the ground)
then the sports world will look elsewhere for specialist assistance.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Speech)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: State of the Art Address - only abstracts published in conference proceedings, as supplied here.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2010 02:14
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2010 02:00
Uncontrolled Keywords: sport psychology; applied; application; applied sport psychology
Fields of Research (2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170114 Sport and Exercise Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520107 Sport and exercise psychology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences

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