World's first sport psychology encyclopaedia addresses athlete burnout

June 9, 2014, University of Stirling

Why athletes suffer 'burnout' to better understanding how sport builds character and addressing the notorious golfers' 'yips' are just some of the subjects tackled in the world's first encyclopaedia of sport psychology.

University of Stirling Professor Robert Eklund has spent the past three years compiling the Encyclopaedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology, an 880-page tome penned by the world's leading sport psychologists.

Together with Dr Gershon Tenenbaum of Florida State University, Professor Eklund created the two volume text which contains more than 300 terms.

"As the title of the encyclopaedia states, it concerns both exercise and sport psychology, which are intimately related," said Eklund, a former Canadian collegiate wrestling champion.

"It looks at both the notion of enhancing athletic performance and the effect of sport and exercise participation on psychological factors. We all accept, for example, that sport builds character, develops leadership skills and so on - all of the things Lord Wellington was alleged to have attributed to 'the playing fields of Eton' after defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.

"Of course, the truth is much more complex. Sport and exercise has all sorts of psychological benefits, but throwing a ball clearly does not simply make you a better person."

The encyclopaedia considers puzzling problems such as athlete burnout and Yips − involuntary movements golfers experience when chipping and putting − to identifying the latest trends and technological developments which can enhance an athlete's performance.

These include biofeedback - using technology to detail an athlete's physiological state such as heart rate and blood pressure - and studying eye movement and examining how visual perception can affect performance.

Contributions from experts across the globe include Michigan State University Applied Sport Psychology Professor Dan Gould, who has worked with multiple USA Olympic teams and Russian sport psychologist Yuri Hanin, a leader in the relationship between emotion and performance.

Professor Eklund, Editor of the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, added: "There is no magic pill for an athlete where you get a sport psychologist in and they fix you, but there is a positive purpose behind it– helping people who already perform well and making them function even better.

"Sport psychology has changed immensely since I was an athlete in the 70s and 80s. There used to be something superstitious about it then, but it is now seen as one of the sports sciences athletes require if they want to perform to their optimum at the desired moment.

"Often the jargon can be complicated, but through the encyclopaedia we've aimed to make sport psychology accessible. Hopefully it will help to demystify sport psychology – to show people that it is logical common sense, grounded in research."

Explore further: Beta-alanine supplement considerably improves running performance

Related Stories

Beta-alanine supplement considerably improves running performance

February 24, 2014
Supplementing runners with the naturally occurring amino acid beta-alanine considerably improved their performance over 800m according to a study aimed at field-testing laboratory research around the popular performance enhancing ...

'A-game' strategies for parents, coaches in youth sports

October 2, 2012
Parents typically are the biggest headaches for coaches in youth sports. These well-meaning adults may berate their child's performance, criticize sport-officials' decisions or yell instructions that contradict the coach. ...

NATA: Recommendations issued for sport concussion management

March 17, 2014
(HealthDay)—Recommendations have been developed for management of sport-related concussion. The recommendations have been published online March 7 in the Journal of Athletic Training as a National Athletic Trainers' Association ...

Metastudy on correlations of sports participation and substance abuse

December 10, 2013
Following a review of published studies, McMaster researchers have found that participation in sport raises the chance of adolescents and young adults abusing alcohol.

Recommended for you

Placental accumulation of flame retardant chemical alters serotonin production in rats

January 22, 2018
A North Carolina State University-led research team has shown a connection between exposure to a widely used flame retardant chemical mixture and disruption of normal placental function in rats, leading to altered production ...

Marijuana use does not lower chances of getting pregnant

January 22, 2018
Marijuana use—by either men or women—does not appear to lower a couple's chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers.

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.