This book would be useful for students under the Diploma of Sports and Exercise science, particularly for those studying module S214 Sport and Exercise Psychology. I liked it that it is highly readable; with charts and illustrations spread equally throughout the book to help students with better understanding of the concepts.
Psychology is a complex subject. Rather than using all the scientific or psychological jargons, the author has constructed the concepts in simple and easy to read sentences. In addition, he has also used poems, anecdotes, stories and comparisons to help reader understand the psychological and motor learning factors behind sport performance. Broad insights are given into the integration of and interaction between the various psychological and physical factors which make up sporting activity.
The various topics highlighted in this book are
- Athletes’ nervous system and its function,
- psychological profiles,
- mental characteristics,
- mental development,
- competitive stress
- competitive readiness.
All these are well covered in 6 Chapters, with a little exercise problem at the end of every chapter to test readers’ understanding and concept application. Solutions are given at the last section of the book.
For an novice like me, it is interesting to learn that there is a technique on how to develop “muscle feeling” – simply by blindfolding myself and concentrating on the muscles movement. As the author aptly pointed out; a young athlete learning how to dribble a ball will feel that he must absolutely watch the movements of this hands or feet or the ball. Gradually, he will understand that he can rely more on his hand and feet muscles which are more trained. Just like a pianist who trust the skills of his fingers, an athlete can also increase his awareness of the muscle sensory perception.
It is also intriguing to know that a person can experience a phenomenon of overconcentration. One can be motivated to perform but an overdose of this may become a psychological burden instead and impair his performance.
Learn all these and more by picking up the book at the library today. This book (call number: GV 706.4 SCH 1994) can be located at the bookshelves near library south.
Written by Ding Shen Yi