Over the weekend we did somewhat of a spring clean…actually it was more like a spring organisation and I spent quite a while going through my books, my journals and all matter of printed material related to sport psychology. Whilst doing this a couple of things come to my mind that I thought was good ‘blog material’. First, I was amazed at just how much information about sport psychology there is and how the more specific scientific information we have can actually have the opposite effect (i.e. information overload despite the information being excellent). There is definitely such as things as too much of a good thing.
The second pondering was why, in the presence of all this information about how to help performers via mental conditioning, some many people with this job still guess based on their own experiences. It can’t be cost as the peer reviewed journals in sport psychology are easily accessible via most university libraries. I believe the reason is that the real experts best suited to dealing with everyday concepts like motivation and attitude and how to response to adversity are outnumbers by those who think their individual experience in these areas are empirically valid.
Unfortunately from a scientific point of view they are not and it’s a bit like trusting a pill your mate made in his garage to help with a headache rather than taking an aspirin. One might work if you get lucky (and could have the opposite effect if you’re unlucky) while the other one will work as long as you follow the directions.