The psychology of sport and physical activity is a branch of psychology. She studies our psychic processes and our behavior during the sporting activity. This applied science seeks to know and optimize the athlete's internal conditions.
Thanks to the psychology of sport and physical activity, we try to find the expression of the physical, technical and tactical potential acquired during the preparation process. The researchers thus study the different psychological processes that influence the behavior of athletes.
These processes refer to concepts such as motivation, emotional processes and their influence on athlete performance. We also studies the different aspects related to the intervention of psychology in sport: performance, initiation and health.
In this way, the psychology of sport helps the competitor to control his stress. Stress produces emotional and behavioral disorganization that can impact performance.
From 1995, and with the appearance of the work Emotional intelligence from Goleman, we began to study emotional intelligence by various means, both scientific and non-scientific. From there, an increase in social and scientific interest in emotional processes has occurred. However, this notion will not appear in the sporting context until 2001, when the first studies appeared. These studies began to be carried out more intensively from 2009.
What do we mean by emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence requires another way to understand intelligence. With her, we will go beyond the cognitive aspects, such as memory and the ability to solve problems.
The concept of emotional intelligence is primarily related to our ability to effectively direct ourselves to others and to ourselves. But it's not just that. It also involves connecting with our emotions, managing them, motivating us, curbing some of our impulses, overcoming our frustrations … Daniel Goleman, the guru of emotional intelligence explains that within his approach to this Last, there are four basic dimensions that articulate it:
- The first is the self-consciousness. It refers to our ability to understand what we feel and to be always connected with our values, our essence.
- The second aspect is the personal motivation and our ability to focus on goals, recover from setbacks and manage stress.
- The third dimension is related to the social consciousness and empathy.
- The fourth point is undoubtedly the philosopher's stone of emotional intelligence: our ability to have relationshipsto communicate, to reach agreements, to connect positively and respectfully with others.
Emotional intelligence in sport
In sport, the demands and demands of the competition are each time more important. Differences each time point to factors that are not directly derived from one's own physical training, such as nutrition or psychology. Thus, sports psychology is responsible for analyzing, studying and observing the behaviors, reactions and emotional responses of the individual or the team.
For it, it is necessary to "control" the emotions positively or to redirect them so as not to let them negatively influence the sports performance. Why emotional intelligence? Because in sport you have to make quick and adequate decisions.
Emotional intelligence arouses a lot of interest for the sports collective. Intrapersonal and interpersonal elements have direct application. Knowledge of others, self-regulation of emotions, personal motivation, social skills and empathy are tools that any sportsman has to know more or less manipulate.
Many techniques of relaxation, concentration, visualization … are shared. Clubs, federations, coaches are increasingly using professionals to implement these techniques. In this way, they claim to improve the performance of their athletes.
Many tools that share emotional intelligence and sport have one main characteristic. This characteristic is that they are very practical, especially in the application of everyday life.
Emotional intelligence in sport is a very interesting area that produces many benefits.Share
The importance of exercising control over emotions
Numerous studies have highlighted the importance of an athlete being able to exercise control over their emotions in relation to sport. Hanin and Sirja (1995) found that emotions related to sports success have optimal individual areas.
However, at the group level it's different. Each athlete reacts differently to stress, needing a certain level of negative or positive emotions to give a point of optimal performance to the game.
The study of emotional intelligence and sport was nevertheless rare. This comes into play when we take into account the importance of this process in other areas, such as the educational or professional field. However, the few studies tell us that Emotional intelligence is very important for execution.
The benefits of emotional intelligence in sport
Emotional Intelligence in Sport Can Cause Fewer Sports Injuries, Increased Sports Performance and Less Abandonment. On the other hand, emotional intelligence is a construction in connection with the personality that acts as a determining factor when the athlete is under pressure.
Faced with the pressure situation, the athlete must make decisions in a few tenths of seconds which generates in him peaks of stress. For this, every athlete, including professionals, must be trained at this level. In addition, the benefits of emotional intelligence in sport can be summarized as follows:
- At the emotional level. Improves the achievement of objectives, competitiveness, identification of sport values and personal values, personal appreciation, teamwork, leadership, empathy, control of negative reactions and emotions among others.
- At the physical level. Helps to know how to organize, not obsess with sport, to have moments of rest, to better manage time and to create appropriate eating habits.
- At the social level. Improves the relationship with teams, coaches, trainers, physiotherapists etc.
- At the rational level. Helps to learn how the game works, technical aspects and tactics.
As we can see, the benefits of emotional intelligence in sport are numerous although the body of research is not yet very developed. However, this one is increasing. As we have mentioned, in sport (a world in which a second or a few centimeters can separate the winner from the loser), small-scale factors such as emotional intelligence are of great importance.