If you’ve ever wanted to be more involved in sports in a unique way, then sports psychology programs might be a great alternative. Maybe you’re not the baseball pro or the football star, but you might like to learn more about how the psychology of athletes in a professional setting and conduct studies to test different theories, like how personality can affect performance or vice versa. Sports psychology is an often-forgotten program that is exciting as well as fulfilling in it is use to athletes everywhere, no matter how young or old. It’s also fulfilling to the professional – who wouldn’t want to work with athletes as part of their job?
A sports psychology program shouldn’t be confused with a coach training program. Students learn about the theories and research behind different sport studies. Sport therapists help players adjust to new situations, they may help with a career transition into or out of sports, and they may also help with rehabilitation. Sports psychologists may work closely with coaches to enhance team dynamics and help them perform better or get along better as a team. They can also help coaches be better leaders and communicators to their team members.
This particular field of psychology has many dynamic areas of study that sports psychologists may specialize in. Personality studies are quite popular and require a lot of observation studies and one-on-one interaction with the athletes. Studies involving younger children, those who play youth sports, offer a unique study field. These formative years are extremely important to an athlete and many sport psychologists look at different factors of childhood and sport participation as indicators of success or not later in life.
Earning a sports psychology master’s degree can qualify you for numerous careers. One word of advice: this career can be demanding since you are dealing with people, one-on-one, day in and day out. These men and women are relied upon to help athletes in all aspects of their career and life issues. They must also be familiar with the correct types of treatment and other methods of help that the person should receive. Depending on what type of career you follow in this field, you may travel with a sports team or remain in one place at a private practice. If you already have a psychology degree, a sports psychology certificate, or other accelerated programs might be a good fit if you want to take your career in a new direction.
Tennis requires cat-like reflexes with short bursts of strength. These short movements do not allow the muscles to extend their full length. When muscles are strenuously worked they become tight and can lose their elasticity unless properly stretched. Yoga exercises can increase the body’s range of motion. The lack of movement because of inflexibility binds the joints. Without the elasticity of the muscles, I think an athlete can be a prisoner within his own body.
Using yoga techniques makes it possible to retrain the muscles. Most tennis athletes play in a constant state of muscle tension. Yoga trains the body to relax muscle tension. Learning to begin your game in a relaxed state could mean gaining an extra step on the ball.
When in a ready position muscles are contracted and ready for action. To move, muscles must be relaxed and then contracted again to spring in any direction. By retraining the muscles you begin from a relaxed position, giving a quickened reaction time.
Yoga breathing exercises can help improve endurance and stamina. When exerting in sports or exercise we often hold the breath as a way to create strength. Yoga trains the body to create strength through breathing control. Holding the breath at points of exertion takes a great deal of energy that could be used during long sets or matches.
Learning the correct way while doing a yoga pose is simple. Exhale during the execution of a pose until you feel the muscles’ full length of stretch (maximum resistance). Never hold your breath. Breathe normally and listen to the body. Hold for 30 seconds, then release the pose slowly. By constant practice of yoga poses you’ll soon apply breathing techniques in everyday routines.
A simple spine twist is excellent for rotational sports. It can help increase needed flexibility of the shoulders and back and hips. Remember to apply the breathing technique to this pose.
Begin the spine twist by sitting on the floor with both legs straight out in front of you. Keeping the spine straight, bend the left leg placing the left foot on the outside of the right knee. Now, place the left hand on the floor behind you with your arm straight and the right elbow bent. Positioned on the outside of the left thigh place the right hand on the left hip.
Slowly exhale while turning the head and upper body to the left, looking over the left shoulder. Pressure from the right arm should keep the left leg stationary while pressure from the left arm and torso gives you the twist. Stronger use of both arms increases the twist. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and repeat twist on the opposite side.
A total body conditioning and flexibility routine is essential for the avid tennis player. Yoga techniques could be the edge you need in developing your game.