James Dodson (1995) quotes Dr. Richard Coop, and says that he refers to sports psychology as "just mere helping people to clear away the mental clutter that keeps them from achieving their best" (p. 1). Dodson admits that as a golfer he has tried to break eighty strokes in golf, but did not succeed until he got help from a well-known sports psychologist. Before meeting his mental coach, Dodson tried to improve his game by buying expensive equipment such as oversized irons, gizmos, and lucky charms, but none of these worked. Once he started working with Dr. Richard Coop, he began to liberate his mind from its usual patterns and after a period of mental exercising, Dodson finally broke 80. "Dr. Coop emphasizes that golf is very much a brain game. The mind is a tool like any other skill a player possesses. But it's often the tool most of us neglect to develop" (Dodson, 1995). Once the mind is in peace, our performance progresses.
Rebecca Lewthwaite (1990) points out that an individual's motivation has a strong impact on physical performance ... therefore, "the process of mental training is the result of the meaning that the individual derives from situations, which arise from personal factors such as goals and perceptions of competency" (p. 1). Usually the performance of an individual is due to their motivation. More often than not, people tend to train with their mind unconsciously by visualizing improvement in their performance or visualizing the achievement of a goal or goals. Some athletes put the physical work in, but they also forget to work their mind. Body and mind have to come together to form a whole. Once the role of the mind and the physical aspect of the body have been mastered the performance of the individual will improve (Changing Times, 1986).
Some of the most interesting events and actions in sports are associated with the athletes' will to engage in them. For... [continues]
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