It is important for professionally certified coaches and trainers to understand why some people seem so highly motivated to achieve their goals and why others seem to go along for the ride. We start by discussing two related motives that influence performance and participation in sport achievement: achievement motivation and competitiveness.
Some coaches believe that teams win games with an outstanding defense, other coaches believe that teams win through a wide-open offensive system, and still, others believe that wins come through a structured and controlled game plan. Like coaches, sport psychologists differ in how they view successful interventions.
Contemporary sport and exercise psychologists may choose from many orientations to the field, three of the most prevalent being psychophysiological, social–psychological, and cognitive–behavioral approaches.
Today, sport and exercise psychology is more popular than ever before. It is a mistake, however, to think that this field has developed only recently. Modern sport psychology dates back to the 1880s, and references to psychology can be traced back to the ancient Olympic Games (Kremer & Moran, 2008).
The history of sport psychology mirrors the history of other fields such as psychology, physical education, and kinesiology. In addition, the field has been influenced by larger sociocultural developments such as the growth of the Olympic movement, women’s liberation efforts, and the popularity of professional sport (Gould & Voelker, 2014).
The history of sport psychology falls into six periods, which are highlighted here along with specific individuals and events from each period.
These various periods have distinct characteristics and yet are interrelated. Together they contributed to the field’s development and growing stature.