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Sport Psychology - Essay Example

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Sport Psychology

This could turn into a motivating environment and drive better performance, provided the person in confident and good in what he or she is doing. However, if the person is not sure of his or her abilities, it could also very well turn out to be an anti-climax as the presence of people would worsen the level of confidence and eventually degenerate the performance of the individual.
The concept of social facilitation becomes all the more important when it comes to sports. Since, every sport in the world has an audience, it is imperative that the athlete should be mentally geared to face the audience. In the highly competitive world of mind games, psychological toughness is of Herculean importance. Confidence is a factor that separates the great from the good and it comes with practice and self-belief. Hence, a good performer can be made to do perform better by introducing motivational factors like cheerleaders.
If a person is lacking in skill, it can always be made up through hard work and training. However, if this lag is coupled with the pressure of performing under an audience, it will only make things worse (Watt & Ramakers, 2003). Hence, such an individual needs to practice alone at first, in the absence of an audience to boost up confidence levels and to instill faith in his or her own abilities. The next step would be to mentally train and prepare to cope with the pressure of playing in the presence of an audience. A person lacking mental grit needs to put it a lot of effort to face his or her worst fear which is more often than not, failure. If one can overcome this fear, half the battle is won. This process of mentally tuning up would also involve external as well as internal stimuli. The role of external stimulus is usually played by the coach and self-motivation does the rest of the job.

A t-test was conducted to understand this phenomenon of social facilitation. A t-test is usually performed to compare and analyse the performance results of two groups. A group of six individuals, comprising of both men and women were asked to participate in an event. The first set of readings was taken with all participants competing alone as individuals. Then, they were made to participate together as a team. The results obtained from this exercise were also tabulated. A rather interesting trend was observed throughout the course of this test. It was observed that all of them took more time to finish the event when they were co-acting. This could be directly inferred from the values of mean and standard deviation in both cases. The mean time while the group was co-acting was 231 seconds compared to a mere 98.6 seconds in the case of individual competition. The standard deviation figures too indicated a similar trend. Usually, standard deviation is used to determine the degree of variation. In the case of individual competition, the standard deviation was 23.8 and it was 120.6 while the participants were co-acting. This gives a clear indication of social facilitation playing a strong impact on all the individuals present in the group. All the participants performed better when they were competing as individuals. However, their performance was found to deteriorate when they were co ...Show more

Summary

Social facilitation is a phenomenon by which peer or social pressure enhances or deteriorates a person's ability to perform a task. The level of expertise and confidence that a person possesses in a task would ultimately determine the result. The presence of other people could either motivate or deteriorate performance of a person (Guerin, 1993)…
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Sport Psychology essay example
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