Evolution of Sport Psychology

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GLEN SPINWEvolution of Sports Psychology by Glen Coblens, MS

Most athletes, coaches and parents would agree your mental state has a lot to do with your success. If physical talents and abilities are equal, mental strength can give athletes an edge. When Coleman R. Girffith founded Sports Psychology in the 1920’s, he thought “the more mind is made use of in athletic competition, the greater will be the skill of our athletes” (Benjamin & Baker, 2004). Although Griffith worked with colleges and some professional teams, he struggled to convince athletes and team managers/coaches of the value of developing strong mental skills. Later, the ideas he pioneered were later developed by others, and now are a standard practice in professional and collegiate sports. His original research focused on:

  • Relation between physical exercise and learning
  • Nature of sleep in athletes
  • Measurement of physical fitness
  • Effects of emotion on learning of habits
  • Muscular coordination
  • Persistence of errors
  • Effects of fatigue on performance
  • Mental variables associated with excellent athletic performance.

Today, sport psychologists work in a variety of roles including private practices, consulting services, help professional and collegiate athletes/sports teams and conduct research. The popularity and growth of athletics has provided opportunities for many individuals and organizations. Here are just a few areas where Sports Psychology can help:

  • Enhance Performance
  • Emotional Control
  • Enjoyment and satisfaction
  • Focus and re-focus
  • How to effectively handle the pressures of competition
  • Learning a new skill
  • Recovering from injuries
  • Motivation


SPINw’s mission is to continue the evolution of sports psychology. We offer a full slate of programs for athletes, teams, coaches and parents. Our consultants are coaches and parents with expertise in one-on-one or team consultation, small group workshops and large presentations. SPINw is here to help the athlete in all of us… young and young at heart, beginner, recreational, competitive or elite. Contact us and allow us the opportunity to unlock your mental power.

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