Sports psychology dating an athlete
At times, research has yielded findings which are different from those seen in these more traditional areas.Contrary to what a behavioral psychologist might predict, for instance, some studies done on coaching behaviors reveal that effective methods of instruction are not always related to high levels of praise or positive reinforcement.One example can be seen in numerous research reports which have cited the benefits of jogging and other sports in alleviating depression. (Some studies have found that running is equal to psychotherapy in its ability to relieve depressive symptoms.) Sports psychology has also gained recognition through the popularity of such books as Thaddeus Kostrubala's The Joy of Running, David Kauss's Peak Performance, and Timothy Gallwey's "inner game" books. Although most of these studies failed to yield significant results, some valid connections were made between success in athletics and positive mental health.
For example, the origin and effect of aggression in sports have been investigated by researchers testing the concept of sport as a cathartic release of aggression.
When psychologists began studying sports in the 1930s and 1940s, they focused on motor performance and the acquisition of motor skills.
Sports psychology emerged as a distinct discipline in the 1960s, dominated by theories of social psychology.
Three primary areas of sports research are personality, motivation, and social influence.
Personality studies have investigated whether there are specific traits that distinguish athletes from non-athletes.