General Sports Psychology (in English)
Universidad Pablo de Olavide
Area of Study
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
The course will provide an overview of the field of sports psychology and exercise, which
involves applying psychology topics to exercise, sports, competition and health. Topics will
cover how sports psychologists work ?at any level- with athletes and teams in motivation,
concentration, resilient personalities, attention, decision making based on interbehavioral,
cognitive and other important aproaches in sports psychology. Topics will include
theoretical foundations of behavior, procedures for solving problems, adherence and
motivation, etc. One major area of study is health psychology as a very important
complement to training. Well-being and performance are compatible.
Course readings, exercises and class preparation are very important. Sometimes, the
instructor might only have enough time in class to go over the major conceptual and
empirical issues, so it is extremely important for students to develop a full understanding of
a motivational topic and to utilize it. You must supplement in-class discussion with
knowledge gained from the assigned readings.
This strong emphasis on course projects reflects not only a desire to educate you about
the psychological aspects of sport and exercise but also a commitment to help you apply
your knowledge in meaningful and practical ways, whether you are a physical educator,
coach, recreation specialist, athlete, or aspiring sport psychologist.
Student Learning Outcomes:
1. Become familiar with psychological principles of Sport Psychology that affect
performance in sports and exercise.
2. Develop skills in common psychological interventions for achieving goals and
3. To understand how psychological variables influence participation and performance in
sport and physical activity.
4. To understand how participation in sport influences the psychological characteristics of
the individual athlete.
5. To acquire skills and knowledge about sport psychology that you can apply as a coach,
athlete, or other practitioner.
6. Gain practical experience in goal setting, behaviour change, and maintenance of gains.
7. To learn more about yourself as a person, or as a sports professional.
1. Sport Psychology: Past. Present: The International Society of Sport Psychology
(ISSP). History of Sport Psychology. Field of interest (13th World Congress of Sport
Psychology, Beijing). Future: 14th World Congress of Sport Psychology, Seville- 2017.
Reading: Lecture 1: History of Sport Psychology.
Lecture 2: Guillén, F. (2004). Literature in Sport Psychology: Listing of authorships
and references. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 35,2, 157-170.
2. Basic Concepts: Sport Psychology, Positive and Aversive Approaches to Influencing
Behaviour: Positive reinforcement, punishment, etc. Coach and sport psychologists
together. Direct and indirect intervention.
Exercise: C.B.A.S as an observation model.
Intervention in Psychology: Forensic and Psychological intervention in an elite athlete
with an associated psychopathology. Poster in the 13th World Congress of Sport
3. Emotions and sport: Basic concepts: Stress, Anxiety Trait, State. The Relationship
between Trait and State. Fear, Arousal. The relationship between arousal and motor
behaviour and performance. Theories about emotions and performance. ZOP Theory and
others. Managing psychic energy.
Exercise: CSAI-2, SCAT and POMS.
Reading: Hanin, J. (2003). Performance Related Emotional States in Sport: A Qualitative
4. Motivation: Definitions. Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Direct and indirect motivation.
Locus of control. Needs. Expectancies. How to create a good atmosphere in a group.
Styles of coaching and motivation. How to be a good coach.
Exercise: Needs questionnaire. How to use it.
Reading: Vallerand, R.J. (2009). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in sport.
Practical activity: Motivation video or message.
5. Psychological Characteristics of Peak Performance: Peak Performance profile. How
is the best?. Discussion about performances, drug abuses. The good and the bad athlete.
Exercise: Time to work with a model: The inter-behavioral model in sport Psychology.
Follow the line: Past (history) ? Warming up- competition. Believes: The way to go.
Reading and discussion: The secret of Rafa Nadal.
6. Psychological training: How to put together physical, tactical training and
psychological preparation. Tools to enhance performance. Psychological training in tennis,
football, track and field, etc.
Exercise: How to put it all together. Toward a new concept of training.
7. Group cohesion: Working as one. The individual and the group. Communication skills.
Communication process. Personal biases. Empathy or lack of empathy. Sending and
receiving messages. Body language. How to manage conflicts.
Reading: Unit 4: Communications skills.
Exercise. An example of a conflict.
8. Attention and sport: Attention and concentration. Nideffer Theory. How to improve our
attention. Association and dissociation techniques. Stimuli selection. What happens when
we are tired? Attention and motivation ? motivation and attention. Emotions and attention.
Exercise. How to be/stay focused?
9. Sport and youth. Some implications. Considering how to motivate young athletes.
Adherence and burnout. Burnout as a syndrome: Coaches, teachers and athletes. How to
handle it. Different stages: different strategies. Parents? roles.
10. Overtraining and sport: stress, coping, training and how to handle it. Different
concepts in overtraining. The role of coaches. How to recognize overtraining: physical,
psychological, performance, observational symptoms.
A previous psychology or sport course is recommended, though not obligatory.
This is a reading course, a class for discussion, presentations and more than just a
classical class where the professor has 100% of the responsibility. So that means that you
should expect an appropriate amount of reading each week. It?s an old saying, but
nevertheless true, that you?ll get out of this course just what you put into it. As an American
professor said of the syllabus, ?In order to really develop a practical understanding of sport
psychology from this course, you must complete all of the weekly readings and homework
a) Professor presentations about different topics listed in the syllabus.
b) Case studies to complete at home and bring to class as part of a group discussion
c) Student presentations.
d) Exercises based on the book American Coaching Effectiveness Program. Level 2.
Will be provided by the professor as a PDF.
e) Quizzes (just to be sure you are working)
g) Final exam
The literature in Sport Psychology is really impressive. Students could read and review
the available research literature (i.e., professional journals such as Revista de Psicología
del Deporte (RPD), Revista Iberoamericana de Psicología del Ejercicio y el Deporte
(RIPED) (both in English and Spanish) or Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology,
The Sport Psychologist, Journal of Sport Behavior, International Journal of Sport
Psychology, and Journal of Applied Sport Psychology). You are responsible for
reading to complete your information about our topics.
The course pack is available from the ?copistería? and contains excerpts from the following:
Textbook 1: American Coaching Effectiveness Program. Level 2.(PDF)Theory and
Textbook 2: Reading and study texts prepared by the Professor.
Williams, J.M. (Ed.; 2010). Applied Sport Psychology: Personal growth to peak
performance (6th Edition). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Burton, D., & Raedeke, T. (2008). Sport Psychology for Coaches. Champaign, IL:
Dosil, J. (Ed.) (2005): The Sport Psychologist Handbook: a Guide for Sport Specific
Performance Enhancement. Wiley.
Le Unes, A. y Nation, J. (1996) : Sport Psychology: An introduction. Chicago : Nelson-
Murphy, SH. (Ed.) (1995): Sport Psychology Interventions. Champaign: Human
Guillén, F. (2004). Literature in Sport Psychology: Listing of authorships and references.
International Journal of Sport Psychology, 35,2, 157-170.
International Journal of Sport Psychology. Internacional Society of Sport Psychology
International Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology.
Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology.
Journal of Applied Psychology.
Psychology of Sport and Exercise.
The Sport Psychologist.
Course Requirements and Grading
Final Exam: 20%
Presentations, class participation,
case studies: 20%
The dates for the quiz, exams and presentation will not be changed under any
Spanish grades run: 10-9.0 (A), 8.9-7.0 (B), 6.9-5.0 (C), 4.9-0 (F)
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations