Sports psychology can be defined as the study and application of the attitudes and behaviors of athletes (including team athletes) that impact (either positively or negatively) performance in sports or competitive settings. The goal of sports psychology is to help athletes and teams identify unhealthy attitudes and beliefs, apply mental toughness skills and peak performance strategies to perform at optimal levels (Cohn). Sports psychology is not recognized as a traditional field of practice offered by graduate programs; although, it is a recognized field of specific study under Kinesiology and Physical Education Programs. Sports psychology was first founded in 1920 by Carl Diem in Berlin, Germany. Later on, in 1925, sport psychology was brought to the U.S by Cloman Griffith. These early psychologists aimed to observe the effects of mental state on different factors of performance such as reaction time, tension, relaxation, and awareness (Haney). In the 1960’s Griffith’s research interest in sports psychology reemerged after having faded away for a while; however, the field had a...
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