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Sports Psychology For Dummies

ISBN: 978-0-470-67659-2
360 pages
September 2010
Sports Psychology For Dummies (0470676590) cover image


Acquiring the winning edge in sports-the mental edge

Mental conditioning is now seen by many to be as critical to sports success as physical conditioning. And for parents eager to ensure their children have a winning edge-as well as a future college scholarship-nothing could be more critical to success. This book offers readers a comprehensive program to gain that winning edge, providing training tips and techniques along with helpful advice to keep in mind while competing. With practical advice on how to strengthen concentration (and when you shouldn't concentrate), talk yourself into winning, and develop routines that will lead to consistent improvement, the book's full personalized program will help any athlete gain over time the winning edge in any sport

  • With tips on how to regulate your energy to avoid exhaustion; and how to enhance your team's chemistry through sports psychology
  • Loaded with real-world examples from amateur and professional sports of all kinds

Applicable to not only sports-but business as well-Sports Psychology For Dummies will enhance any competitor's motivation, focus, and will to win, when facing life's toughest challenges.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: Getting the Winning Edge: Sports Psychology Fundamentals 7

Chapter 1: Introducing Sports Psychology 9

Chapter 2: The Gladiator Mind: Strengthening What’s Under the Helmet 17

Chapter 3: Setting Goals: Aiming High and Hitting the Bull’s-Eye 29

Chapter 4: Stoking the Fire in Your Belly: How to Fan the Flames of Motivation 39

Chapter 5: Swagger: The Art and Science of Building Real Confidence 55

Part II: Your Mental Toolkit for Success 69

Chapter 6: Mastering the Art of Focus 71

Chapter 7: Seeing Is Believing: What You Need to Know about Imagery 87

Chapter 8: Self-Talk: Making Sure You’re Not Yelling in Your Own Ear 105

Chapter 9: Getting a Hold of Your Schedule 119

Part III: Staying Competitive: Sports Psychology in Action 131

Chapter 10: Winning Habits: How Routines Improve Performance in Competition 133

Chapter 11: Handling Pressure: Playing in the Fire without Getting Burned 149

Chapter 12: Staying Strong: The Importance of Managing Energy Levels 165

Chapter 13: Handling Adversity: The Psychological Art of Bouncing Back 181

Part IV: Improving Team Performance with Sports Psychology 199

Chapter 14: Communicating as a Team 201

Chapter 15: Leading Your Team to Victory: Athletes as Leaders 213

Chapter 16: Developing Teamwork 229

Part V: Sports Psychology for Coaches and Parents 243

Chapter 17: Coaching Today’s Athlete 245

Chapter 18: Parenting an Athlete: How to Be More than Just a Fan 263

Part VI: The Part of Tens 281

Chapter 19: Ten Ways You Can Use Sports Psychology at the Office 283

Chapter 20: Ten Ways to Be a Better Competitor 293

Chapter 21: Ten Ways to Manage Stress Better 299

Chapter 22: Ten Ways to Parent an Athlete 309

Index 317

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Author Information

Leif H. Smith, PsyD, is president of Personal Best Consulting, a sports psychology and performance consultation firm. Todd M. Kays, PhD, is president of the Athletic Mind Institute, a sports and performance consulting firm.

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Press Release

September 01, 2010
Get the winning edge with Sports Psychology For Dummies

“A terrific resource for serious competitors. Every encounter that awaits the player and coach is addressed. This book needs to be in every players’ locker and on every coach’s desk.”

- Jim Tressel, Ohio State Football Coach 

Wayne Gretzky. Rick Hansen. Silken Laumann. Mia Hamm. Brett Favre.

All of these athletes are famous for being amongst the best in their sport and admired for their talent and physical skill. But many people don’t realize that one of the greatest factors for success in sport – whether professional or amateur – is mental training and toughness.

In fact, say Drs. Leif Smith and Todd Kays, authors of Sports Psychology For Dummies (Wiley; August 2010; Paper), “The greatest tool that any athlete has is the mind. The brain…is at the core of all successful sports performances.”

With real-world examples from a wide variety of amateur and professional sports, Sports Psychology For Dummies offers practical advice on strengthening concentration, developing strategic routines for improvement, managing stress, building an effective team, and much more.

The authors are available for interviews and can speak about:

  • Pulling yourself out of a slump – how sports psychology can help struggling teams or players;
  • Athletes and scandals – bouncing back from setbacks and personal problems;
  • Handling conflict with your coach or a team member;
  • Why pressure is really a figment of your imagination;
  • Tips on staying motivated and competitive;
  • How to avoid exhaustion and burn-out.
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