Sports Psychology and Clinical Psychology News for 05-30-2019

Psychology 1010-Classically Conditioning-Football

Mind, Body and Sport: The psychologist perspective

A well-trained psychologist with expertise in sport psychology is an ideal resource to provide care and services. The ways colleges and universities use sport psychologists also vary, often depending on resources and how well the athletics department understands how to incorporate these services. The following explains both the challenges related to the integration of sport psychologists within college athletics, and the models schools currently use when they do take advantage of such expertise. As the role of psychologists within collegiate athletics has increased, it is important to note that many clinical/counseling psychology programs do not typically offer graduate coursework in the domain of sport and performance psychology. Having an immersed sport psychologist allows the athletics department to best address the variety of psychological issues that may be present.

Just as having a full-time sports medicine physician and athletic training staff does not eliminate musculoskeletal injuries, having an immersed full-time/part-time sport psychologist will not eliminate mental health issues. As sports medicine care has greatly enhanced prevention, intervention and rehabilitation of athletics injuries, an immersed and comprehensive sport psychology program can enhance the prevention, intervention/counseling and care of student-athlete mental health/psychological issues. A key element in improving student-athletes’ emotional well-being is to establish a strong working alliance with the university counseling center, regardless of whether an athletics department has the services of a sport psychologist available. To properly address student-athletes’ psychological concerns, it is best to incorporate the services of a sport psychologist into your mental health team. As more athletics departments create sport psychologist positions that are immersed within the department, there will be greater education opportunities, greater awareness of student-athlete mental health concerns, greater opportunities for coaches/staff to have positive interactions with psychologists, and greater training opportunities in the future for aspiring psychologists who desire to work with athletes as clients.

Chris Carr is a psychologist at St. Vincent Sports Performance in Indianapolis and a counseling sport psychologist and coordinator of sport psychology services for the Purdue University athletics department. He is currently the consulting sport psychologist for the Indiana Pacers and has previously been the counseling sport psychologist for Indiana University, Bloomington, The Ohio State University and Washington State University.

Using Network Science to Analyse Football Passing Networks: Dynamics, Space, Time, and the Multilayer Nature of the Game

Passing Networks: Information From a New Perspective Passes along the match give rise to three main types of passing networks: player passing networks, where nodes are the players of a team, pitch passing networks, where nodes are specific regions of the field connected through passes made by players occupying them or pitch-player passing networks, where nodes are a combination of a player and its position at the moment of the pass. At the mesoscale level, the analysis of network motifs has shown how the overabundance of certain kinds of passes between groups of three/four players can be related to both the success of a team and the identification of leaders in the passing network. Space, Time and Interaction Between Teams Passing networks are dynamical system themselves, and the full identification and quantification of how variables determine the evolution of the game of a team are still open problems. Distinguishing noise from determinism is an issue where Network Science can help, since it is possible to determine the level of randomness of the topology of the network and the dynamics occurring in it. We are on the way of constructing adequate null models of passing networks that are able to quantify the amount of disorder and complexity of the network topology.

Null models for passing networks must be as realistic as possible and include the intrinsic features of the game such as the degree distribution, length of the passes and positions of the players in the pitch. Concerning the dynamics along the network, recent approaches using Markovian models could be a starting point to unravel hidden patterns in the passing sequences of a team but must include the particular features of players’ movements and their ability of decision. Topology is only one dimension of the analysis of passing networks and at least other two must be included to have a complete picture: space and time. Time is another dimension traditionally overlooked when constructing passing networks. Using temporal multilayer networks overcomes this issue assuming an a priori temporal division of the network may introduce some bias into the network metrics and alternative approaches should focus on finding the time scales of the match from the observation of the game.

The passing network of a team must be analyzed in combination with the network of the opponent. Where it was shown that it is possible to find the optimal strategies of interaction with other networks, or in the case of football passing networks, that each team should find the most appropriate way of organizing its passing network according to the organization of the opponent.

Soccer Tough: Simple Football Psychology Techniques to Improve Your Game by Dan Abrahams

Given the fuss made over the fact that the England squad were taking a sports psychologist with them to the Brazil World Cup last summer, you’d think that sports psychology was still some new fad; slightly misunderstood, slightly feared, slightly suspicious. While some of those feeling may well be true for more people than you’d think, the difference that can be made by training your mind to think and perceive differently for sports peo. While some of those feeling may well be true for more people than you’d think, the difference that can be made by training your mind to think and perceive differently for sports people at the elite level is considerable. This book, by the sports psychologist Dan Abrahams who works within football and golf, aims to explain some simple and easy to use techniques which can achieve quick results by focusing the mind in a more productive way, or learning to block out various negative impulses. These should only be focused on things that the player can have control over, such as a striker reminding himself to be constantly moving to make things difficult for his opposing defender.

Such a simple technique allows a player to keep the controllable aspects at the forefront of the mind throughout the game. In addition to banishing any focus on something as uncontrollable as the weather and pitch conditions, or what the opposition are doing, assists in keeping the players mind on areas that matter and not on those that are irrelevant. Abrahams explains each of these techniques in a very easy to understand style that should make what can be a highly complex subject accessible to many. It is intended as an introduction to some simple techniques that can improve any player’s focus, and as a consequence improve their game. Abrahams has worked within football for around a decade with clubs including Queens Park Rangers, and with some named and unnamed players at varying levels.

Those named include Carlton Cole and Anthony Stokes among the more familiar mentioned, and Abrahams gives details of some of the techniques he used to assist them and many others in aspects of their game. This isn’t an overly deep study of psychology in football, but is a highly usable guide with practical examples that are both easily understood and relatively straightforward is work on and implement for the budding football coach and aspiring player.