According to John Luther, “Sports psychology is an area which attempts to apply psychological facts and principles to learning performance and associated human behaviour in whole field of sports.” According to K.M. Burns, “Sports psychology for physical education is that branch of psychology which deals with the physically fitness of an individual through his participation in games and sports.” According to Singer, "Sports psychology explores one’s behaviour in athletics."
The following points the importance of sports psychology :
- Enhancement of Physiological Capacities :
Sports psychology plays a very unique role in the enhancement of physiological capacities such as strength, speed and flexibility etc., Motivation plays a major role in the enhancement of physical capacity of sportpersons. It is well-known as well as an established fact that psychological capacities or powers can increase physiological capacities of individuals.
- Learning the Motor Skills : Sports psychology plays its major role in the learning of motor skills. Motor skills learning depends on the individual’s level of readiness, i.e., physiological readiness and psychological readiness. Physiological readiness in children is development of the necessary strength, flexibility and endurance as well as the development of various organ systems so that they may perform motor skills required in the activity. Psychological readiness is related to the learner’s state of mind. It means the desire and willingness to learn the particular skill. In psychological readiness, sports psychology plays an important role. Sports psychology is also helpful in the cognitive stage, the a social-active stage and the autonomous stage of motor skill learning.
- In understanding the behaviour : Sports psychology helps in understanding the behaviour of athletes or sportspersons engaged in competitive sports. Coaches also come to know the interest, attitude towards physical activity, instincts, drives and personality of sportspersons. It does not play its role only in understanding of behaviour but it also plays its role in medication of behaviour in various sports situations.
- In controlling the emotions : Sports psychology plays a very important role in controlling the emotions of sportspersons during practice as* well as competition. Generally, these emotions may bring spontaneous changes in the behaviour of sportspersons. These are anger, disgust, gear, negative self thinking and feeling of ownership, etc. If these emotions are not controlled well in time, the performance may be decreased. Sports psychology plays a vital role at such juncture. It helps in balancing the arousal of emotions which further improves the performance.
- In preparation of athletes psycho-logically for competitions : Sports psychology also plays its role in preparation of athletes psychologically for competitions. Intact, it has become a trend to give psychological tips to athletes or team players before and after the competitions. That is why, sports psychologists’ services are required with a national level and international level terms. They create the will ‘to win’ in the players.
- Role in the emotional problems of sportspersons : Stress, tension and anxiety are natural during practice period and competitions or tournaments. There may be some other emotional problems such as depression, frustration. Anorexia and panic etc. The knowledge of sports psychology may be helpful in such situations. Techniques of relaxation and concentration for stress management can be applied on sportspersons who are under such problems. Conclusively, it can be said that sports psychology plays a very vital role in enhan-cing the performance of sportspersons. It deals with the various mental qualities such as concentration, confidence, emotional control and commitment etc., which are important for successful performance in sports and games.