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Sport & Exercise Essay

Why Study Sport and Exercise Psychology?
Working with another one of your classmates, complete the following activities: Select two of the following scenarios and develop a group response to the situation posed. Be as specific and detailed as you can be. Document your response at the end of this worksheet. Record each group member’s name on the worksheet. Print or save a copy of your completed worksheet, one for each member of your group. You will hand this sheet in at the end of your discussion.

Scenario 1: Athletic Trainer
Mary Jo, the head athletic trainer at Campbell State College, has been working with Campbell’s star running back, Kevin Jones, who is recovering from knee surgery. Kevin has made tremendous progress over the spring and summer and has achieved a 99% physical recovery. The coaches, however, have noticed that Kevin still favors the knee he injured in practice and is very hesitant when making cutbacks. Mary Jo knows that Kevin has physically recovered, but she’s not sure how to help him regain his former confidence. What would be beneficial for Mary Jo to do?

Scenario 2: Coach
Jeff is the point guard on the high school basketball team that you coach. For your team to repeat as league champions, Jeff needs to play well, especially in clutch situations. However, you have learned from coaching Jeff last season that he becomes very nervous during competition. In fact, the bigger the game or the more critical the situation, the more nervous Jeff becomes and the worse he plays. Your biggest coaching challenge this season will be helping Jeff learn to manage stress. What are you going to do?

Scenario 3: Fitness Leader
Sally is serving in her second year as fitness director for the St. Peters Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. She spent countless hours in her first year organizing and initiating her aerobic fitness program for individuals recovering from cardiac arrest. The program was very well
received by both the patients and the hospital administration. Recently, however, Sally has become concerned about a lack of adherence on the part of many of her clients. They just don’t seem to stick with their exercise programs after they start feeling better. As many as 60% are dropping out before they make exercise a lifelong habit. Sally must get her clients to adhere to their exercise regimes, but she doesn’t know how. Problems like these were never discussed in her classes in exercise physiology or exercise program design for cardiac rehabilitation. What steps does Sally need to take?

Scenario 4: Physical Educator
Bob has wanted to be a physical educator for as long as he can remember. He is a student teacher this semester, and he is becoming increasingly frustrated. The high school students in his classes are totally out of shape and have no interest in learning lifelong sport skills and becoming physically fit. It is all Bob can do to get them to participate in the mild exercise program during their 40-minute classes held twice a week. Bob’s goal for the semester is to get his sedentary students motivated to learn lifelong sport skills and engage in fitness activities. What does Bob need to do?

Scenario 5: Sport Psychologist
Tom is a sport psychologist and long-time Chicago Cubs baseball fan. His dream consulting position has recently become available—the owners of the Cubs, frustrated by the lack of team cohesion, have asked Tom to submit a consulting proposal designed to improve team cohesion. Tom has a week to design a psychological skills training program to enhance team cohesion and, he hopes, secure his dream position as sport psychology consultant for the Chicago Cubs. What can Tom do to reach his goal?

First scenario selected: #2 – Coach

Proposed solution for handling your scenario, and why do you propose this solution?

In order to be a better Coach and help Jeff deal with stress, I need to alter some of my training methods.

I need to start focusing more on the team dynamics rather than relying just on the star player. Initially this seemed to work, but I see as the season progresses, this puts Jeff under too much stress.

I will encourage the whole team to engage in self-talk along with imagery and visualization techniques. This could be a great calming technique for Jeff before games.

In order to build Jeff’s self confidence back up I need to start giving him some short term achievable goals and provide him the necessary tools in order to achieve this.

I believe by changing my coaching techniques this will enable the whole team to thrive and alleviate a lot of stress one person is unduly saddled with.

Why Study Sport and Exercise Psychology?

Second scenario selected: #4 – Physical Education

Proposed solution for handling your scenario, and why do you propose this solution?

Bob, the high school coach, has a long-term goal of teaching sports skills to students, and getting them interested in physical activity. In order to achieve that, Bob needs to alter his current method to motivate his physical education classes to get them active and participating.

One method would be to target the fitness to an individualized level for the students. This can be achieved by having the students research their own family genetic diseases and ailments and then come up with a physical activity to help avoid or manage that disease. This could be both personally rewarding and a great motivation for each student.

Another technique Bob could apply is utilizing generational tools that appeal to the high school age ranges. By incorporating tools into his physical activities such as Wii Fit, Dance Dance Revolution, GPS, pedometers, or anything electronic that the computer generations would naturally gravitate to, the students may be more inclined to participate.

Finally, Bob could incorporate choices for the students. Students get to choose what physical activities they would be most interested, thereby empowering them to be in control of their class. Offering a wide range of unconventional physical options, from Ultimate Frisbee to Yoga, would certainly appeal to many students.

If Bob alters some of his methods he will succeed in achieving his long-term goals, and both him and his students will start enjoying the class.

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