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08 Sep 20
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So Psychology is mostly lying on a sofa and talking to a therapist about our dreams, right? Well, not exactly. There’s a lot more to it than the classic image of Karl Jung or Siegmund Freud having deep and meaningful thoughts about why we feel things and all that.
It’s quite a complicated field today, actually. We’re talking Abnormal, Behavioral, Biological, Cognitive, Comparative, Cultural, Cross-cultural, Differential, Developmental, Evolutionary, Experimental, Mathematical, Neuropsychology, Personality, Positive, Quantitative, Social…
So many disciples. But let’s look at one of those careers with a more direct impact on something we all love, and is helping athletes improve their performances in really interesting ways, sports psychology.
Not long ago the mental aspect of performance in sports wasn’t particularly developed. The focus was more on the physical, how fast, how strong, how far. It turns out that the confidence aspect of competitive sports is also extremely important. The belief that you can win is vital to fully and effectively applying skills towards a positive result.
Let’s look at two of the most globally famous sports people. The former basketball legend Michael Jordan, and the equally legendary American football player Tom Brady. Both of these figures were (in Brady’s case still is) at the top of their games. They’ve won more titles than most players would be lucky to win across several careers.
And they both used Sports Psychology. In Jordan’s case, he used the work of George Mumford’s The Mindful Athlete, in which Mumford discusses his struggles with addiction and negative thinking. This incredible recovery story helped Jordan confront his own challenges, and it’s also known that Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal benefitted from this guidance too.
Tom Brady, on the other hand, has been taking advantage of Sports Psychology since his university days, maintaining everything from his diet to his training regimes with a mind to maximising his resilience. And to quote the man, “To me, football is so much about mental toughness.” To this day, Brady works with health guru Alex Guerrero to keep his edge.
If you’re someone who loves the idea of combining a love of sports and performance with a deep understanding of how the mind works and affects our ability to work at our best, then studying a degree in Psychology could be the perfect fit for you.
You could find yourself working with elite athletes on their training regimes and helping them achieve success that physical excellence alone might not.
Learn more about BSc Psychology at the University of Bolton and find out how you can apply now.