For decades after the first sports psychology lab was established in 1920 in Germany, mental coaches have been the water boys of sports science, viewed by their colleagues as not quite good enough to make the first-string team.
That has changed. Virtually every top professional team and elite athlete has a psychologist on speed dial for help conquering the yips – when stress makes crucial muscles jerk and ruins, say, an archery shot – marshal the power of visualization, or just muster the confidence that can mean the difference between medaling or just muddling through.
But a more important reason for the improved reputation of sports psychology is the solid science demonstrating the effect of the mental game on athletic performance.
Read the whole story: Reuters