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Sports Psychology: Team Psychology: The Body

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Essay title: Sports Psychology: Team Psychology: The Body

Team Psychology and Its Effects and Causes


Sports psychology is a field of psychology which emphasizes on “performance enhancement through the use of psychological skills training”, “Issues that are specific to the psychological well-being of athletes”, “working with the organizations and systems that are present in sport settings”, and “social and developmental factors that influence sport participation.” Sport psychology is recognized as a field of study within the kinesiology and physical education departments.

Sports and exercise psychology experiments were first set up by Norman Triplett in the late 1890’s, other experiments were set up by Coleman Roberts-Griffith in 1925 and was known around the world as the “father” of modern sports psychology. Although sports psychology had an early start, not much real testing has been done until 1960 and 1970. In 1990, sports psychology made a leap into modern day psychology with the influx of athletes who wanted to know how they’re teams worked.

Sports psychology has had its benefits throughout the times. As we progress in our own journeys in the field of physical education, many questions bounce back and forth; but I will concentrate on the team aspect of a sport.


Natural leaders are always found in a sport, but what makes a leader? Researchers have had three different view points of leadership, personality traits, situational approaches, and interactionist theory. Since researchers have not been able to pinpoint the personality traits that make up a good leader they have abandoned that approach and thus approached a situational one. “In this view, the situation determines who will be a leader” (D.Shaw, T. Gorely, R. Corban, 2005, p241). The trait approach was called the great man theory of leadership. This suggested that people are born natural leaders and either they had the “right stuff” or not determined if they were set up to be a leader in a sport team. The situational approach is the view that “the situation determines who will lead, and that certain situations require certain qualities” (Shaw et al, 2005, p242) an example of the situational theory at work is the way Winston Churchill became leader of wartime U.K, he was unsuccessful at being a leader during peacetime. A combination of a two theories emerged relatively soon after these two theories were introduced. It was called the interactionist theory. “In this view it is the combination of the traits a leader has, and the demands of the situation that together determine effective leadership” (Shaw et al, 2005, p241) Traits that a leader possesses could include how well liked he is as well as his appearance and height. Naturally, a tall person would be considered a natural leader because of his heightened approach.


Cohesiveness is crucial for a successive team. Cohesiveness is “a dynamic process which is reflected in a tendency for a group to stick together and remain united in the pursuit of its instrumental objectives” (Shaw et al, 2005, p247) in lamer terms; cohesiveness is how “together” a team is. It’s common to have two dimensions to cohesiveness, in one side you have how well drilled a team is and how it shares its goals. Another side is how much the team mates like other teammates. Cohesiveness can also be improved through experience, a national team would have an easy time to work well together because of the fact that they know what to do

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