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Chapter 8. Reviewing Travel Tales of Pre... > Applications in Athletics

Applications in Athletics

Many self-leadership techniques have also been applied, in various forms, to athletics.[3] Reflecting this emphasis, several articles (combined into a special feature focusing on the psychological and social aspects of physical activity) were published in the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (March 1982). Interestingly, the material presented in these articles closely parallels several of the major themes of this book. (The material emphasizes strategies such as self-observation, self-goal-setting, and rehearsal; it focuses directly on important behaviors; it addresses the importance of natural enjoyment of activities derived from feelings of competence and personal control; and it argues for the importance of thought patterns established through effective use of imagery, self-talk, and essentially positive, or opportunity, thinking.)

A comprehensive review of the extensive applications of self-leadership strategies to athletic activity is beyond the scope of this book. Indeed, a growing area known as sport psychology has provided much knowledge on the subject. It is instructive, however, to review some particularly interesting examples for illustrative purposes. The use of self-set goals is one strategy that is especially relevant to athletics. Whether the goal involves field-goal percentage for a basketball player, running the mile in a specific time for a runner, or achieving a specified score for 18 holes of golf, self-goal-setting can provide an athlete with direction for his or her efforts. Some athletes set goals that are too high, however, so that they cannot possibly achieve them. It is important that goals be challenging, but achievable.


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