Articles Library

Authentic Athletics: Unveiling Personal Fulfillment in Sports Through the Lens of Positive Psychology

In the realm of sports psychology, understanding the intricate relationship between identity, well-being, and performance is crucial. Eudaimonic identity theory offers a unique perspective, emphasizing the pursuit of self-realization and flourishing. This theory suggests that individuals strive for authenticity and fulfillment through activities that align with their true selves. When applied to sports, it unveils a deeper understanding of how athletes can experience personal growth and express who they are through their sport.
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Athlete Identity: The Importance of Sport Knowledge

Sport knowledge refers to the comprehensive understanding of the sport, it goes beyond knowing its rules, techniques, strategies, and includes historical context, social influences, and the science infused within it. When coaches possess in-depth knowledge of their sport, they become trusted sources of information and guidance for their athletes. This expertise helps shape the athlete's identity, as they look up to their coach as a role model and mentor.
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Miracle on Ice– The Culture Shift to Shock The Nation

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” – Coach Herb Brooks The year was 1980. The Cold War was well underway, money was tight, times were tough, and morale was low. Doused in sweat, tears, and dreams sat the team who shifted the nation with a singular sports win, later to be deemed “The Miracle on Ice.” 44 years later, we continue to assess the culture of the USA hockey team, and the key to their unbelievable win against the Soviets that fateful winter night.
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Athlete Anxiety: 10 Strategies Coaches Can Use to Help Reduce the Pressure

In the field of sport, anxiety is a pervasive occurrence among athletes. As sport leaders, it is imperative to comprehend and address this issue to optimize our athlete’s performance and overall mental well-being. This article will delve into ten proven strategies that can aid athletes in managing anxiety. These strategies are derived from numerous research studies and practical insights.
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Overcoming Poor Coaching Habits: Understanding How Your Coaching Impacts Your Players

We all talk a good game when pointing out the pivotal role sport leaders play in shaping the WHOLE athlete; however, ineffective coaching can lead to detrimental outcomes, affecting athletes' performance, motivation, and overall well-being. This article delves into the effects of poor coaching, drawing from research studies and practical insights. It also provides recommendations on how we as coaches can move away from "old school" coaching habits that lack merit and perhaps no longer reach the digital native athletes that now inhabit our fields and courts.
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Athlete Motivation: A Coach’s Perspective

In the next several weeks, I thought it might be interesting to delve into the dynamic world of athlete development, placing a spotlight on motivation - a fundamental driver of peak performance and continual growth. Let’s take a look at the different aspects of motivation and how we, as coaches, can significantly influence and cultivate this drive in our athletes. Motivation plays a pivotal role in athlete development. It serves as the driving force that influences an athlete's behavior, their level of commitment, and, ultimately, their performance in their chosen sport. Understanding the theories and mechanisms of motivation is crucial for coaches who aim to effectively harness this intrinsic power in their athletes.
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Winning Matters, but Youth Coaches Shouldn’t Let It Consume Them. Here are Some Tips.

Mark Uyl has been watching, coaching or refereeing Michigan high school sports for three decades. The hundreds of games he has seen, especially when they are played indoors where the spectators are close and the sound is magnified, have revealed at least one “absolute truth,” he says. “That coach who is ranting and raving up and down the sideline, gesturing and emotionally reacting to calls and non- calls,” Uyl, the executive director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association, tells USA TODAY Sports, “I can tell you 100 percent of the time, that tends to inflame that school’s fan base. “The way that coaches act,” he says, “has a direct correlation for how their spectators act.”
Read MoreWinning Matters, but Youth Coaches Shouldn’t Let It Consume Them. Here are Some Tips.

Emotional Regulation: Shaping Athlete Emotional Intelligence

As coaches, we are well aware that there is more to performance than just physical prowess. Let’s delve into the role of emotional regulation and explore how it influences every aspect of our athlete's performance. In this edition, I will outline the various strategies that can be employed to manage emotions effectively, drawing from academic research and practical insights. "Sport coaching is not just about honing the physical skills of an athlete but also about nurturing their mental fortitude. We, as coaches, play an instrumental role in shaping their emotional intelligence, enabling them to manage their emotions effectively for optimal performance." - Meg Wilson
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Addressing Athlete Mental Health: A Coach’s Perspective

As experienced sport coaches invested in our player’s athletic and personal development, it's crucial for us to recognize the significance of athlete mental health. We train our athletes physically to excel, but what about mentally and emotionally? How can our athletes reach their FULL potential without these being in optimal condition?  High-profile athletes have recently brought this issue to the forefront and now it is time to take action.
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Exploring the Realm of Para-Athletes: The Intersection of Sports and Superhuman Strength

When it comes to the world of sports, a certain segment often gets overlooked - the para-athletes. These extraordinary individuals defy the odds, showcasing exceptional strength, resilience, and determination in the face of physical impairments. Let's shed a little light on the extensive sport knowledge required to understand these athletes' journey, their classification, and the pathway to becoming a Paralympian. Para-athletes are, in essence, athletes who have a health condition that results in some form of disability. However, their impairments don't hinder their sportsmanship spirit but rather, adds a new dimension to it. The world of para-sport is a testament to how the human spirit can triumph over physical constraints.
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Enhancing Sport Knowledge: Well-Being and Quality-of-Life in Para Athletes

Sport Knowledge plays a crucial role in understanding the dynamics of different sports, including para-sports. The mental health of athletes, particularly those participating in para-sports, has been a topic of growing interest and concern in recent years. Let’s take a peek at the current state of research on well-being and quality of life in people with disabilities engaged in sports, athletes with disabilities, and para-athletes.
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Exploring the Impact of Coaches’ Emotional Abuse on Intercollegiate Student-Athletes’ Experiences

Despite widespread anecdotal accounts of coaches’ emotional abuse in intercollegiate sports, empirical literature is lacking. To address this gap, the present exploratory study was designed to explore how former intercollegiate student-athletes interpreted experiences of emotionally abusive coaching.
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Opinion | Russian Olympic Abuses Keep Happening. When Will Child Athletes Be Protected?

Since a 15-year-old Russian girl named Kamila Valieva was destroyed before our eyes on an Olympic skating rink, there has been the usual uproar. We rail against the coaches who turn girls into disposable, miserable robots. We call for higher age minimums for competitors. We trot out the greatest-hits list of abuses in elite figure skating (issues that also overlap with gymnastics): anorexia, bulimia, debilitating injuries, pressure, burnout, body-shaming, painkillers, suicide attempts.
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4 Questions for 4 Leaders Edition 2: Youth Development and Child Protection

Ju'riese Colon, Jasmine Ching, Kathering Anderson, and Joao Tralhao each share their perspective on a series of topics surrounding youth sports and Covid-19. Each leader shares their insight about the impact Covid-19 has had on youth sport development, as well as some of the way their respective organizations are addressing youth development and child safety in sport.
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Four Things You Should Know About Synthetic Cannabinoids

The article discusses the differences between naturally occurring cannabinoids such as THC or CBD, and synthetic cannabinoids (cannabimimetics) which are created in a laboratory. Included is a description of cannabimimetics, usage, and legality. Cannabimimetics are dangerous and illegal for anyone, but they can also be ground for disqualification if found on a drug test for an elite athlete.
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Tips and Tricks for Filing Whereabouts

This article provides an explanation of Whereabouts and why they are necessary. There are two groups that make up the overall testing pool that are subject to Whereabouts: the Registered Testing Pool (RTP) ad the Clean Athlete Program (CAP). Included are the differences between the two testing groups, as well as tips for athletes in either pool for properly filing Whereabouts.
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Paralympian Desmond Jackson on Why Diligence Matters

Paralympic Track and Field athlete Desmond Jackson recounts how his career was changed forever at the 2021 Paralympic Trials. Jackson took a pill from his coach, whom he trusted completely, without thinking twice about it. He looks back on that moment and shares the importance of diligence in all aspects of life: personal and professional.
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What Athletes Need to Know about Epinephrine Auto-Injectors

It is fairly common for people to have severe allergies that may require the use of an EpiPen. For athletes competing at the highest level this can get complicated as epinephrine is a banned substance according to the WADA Prohibited List. Athletes who experience an emergency and need to use an EpiPen are able to obtain a Therapeutic Use Exemption to retroactively excuse the use of a banned substance.
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Fueling with Olympic Weightlifter Abby Raymond

Learn what it takes to get all the nutrition that an Olympic Weightlifter needs by exploring the diet of Abby Raymond. There are many constraints that an elite athlete must consider in their diet, including anti-doping rules, so Raymond uses a food-first approach. The food-first approach is a diet that does not need any nutritional supplementation outside of what the food itself already provides.
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Confidence is a Feeling, Competence is a Behavior

The difference between confidence and competence is stark, but not always visible. John O'Sullivan, aided by top performance psychologist Jonah Oliver, breaks down the differences and explores the potential to praise the competence of elite athletes while neutralizing stress, fear, or other performance detriments.
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Keeping Youth Athletes Safe in a Virtual World During COVID-19

Sean Jensen interviews SafeSport CEO Ju'Riese Colon about how protocols may change with all team sessions happening virtually during the Covid-19 lockdown. Parents are urged to outline behavioral expectations for online activities, where abuse is common. Many of the same guidelines for coaches should be followed in the same way, such as no private/1-on-1 time between coaches and youth athletes. The article closes with tips for coaches, parents, and athletes, about navigating some of these issues.
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