Sports psychology-184107_635127581_43746


Peterson in the year 1998 suggested that trait relates to an individual one such example is laziness. These traits make every different thus giving them different personality. (Bleidorn, 2010) Among the four main theories related to sport psychologies that are trait theory, social learning theory, the humanistic theory and psychodynamic theory. The key features of these theories are:-

  • Psychodynamic theory:- this theory most influential component is its emphasis on unconscious motives. Freud’s gave his view of superego, ego and id to form a tripartite structure for personality. He explained how pleasure seeking, consciousness and reality and logical orientedness are all aspects of one’s personality.
  • Social learning Theory:-this theory focuses on the human behavior and how it helps in learning.
  • Humanistic theory:- this theory is about self actualization. That pushes an individual to enhance oneself.
  • Trait theory:- this theory is also called the factor theory that explains how a typical response to a situation is a function of personality.


In my judgement the best approach is social learning theory that states that the person can learn from its surroundings and can change accordingly. In a sporting surroundings a personality changes as a person becomes passionate and aggressive. (Ozer, 2006)


The differences between clinical/counseling, educational psychology and research sport psychology are:-

  • The work that they do:-a counseling psychologist deals with patients who have fewer mental problems than a clinical psychologist. A educational counseling psychologist deals with career and vocational assessment whereas a clinical psychologist looks at projective assessment training.
  • The orientations of theories:- Recently it was noted that these disciplines have a great deal of overlapping when the theories are talked about. Some of the highlighted differences are in clinical psychology psychoanalytical behavioral issues and persuasions are focused on. In counseling psychology the client centered traditions and humanistic traditions are followed.
  • Research areas:- there are many notable differences when it comes to these three disciplines as clinical psychology is about psychopathological conditions that involves cross cultural psychology, vocational assessment and minority psychology. (Reisz, 2013) These psychological conditions are similar in research areas for three disciplines but the frequency in which they participate is different in each.


The 3 basic ways that the sport psychologists measure personalities is by:-

  • Questionnaires
  • Rating scales
  • Unstructured projective tests

According to me the most effective inventory to know about a person’s personality is the use of projective tests. As in this technique we can prevent the issue of social desirability as each and every person wants to project themselves as good. In projective tests a person is unaware that how and what is being measured thus he or she has no conscious impact on the measurement. A projective test is a incomplete stimulus or ambiguous stimulus. This stimulus needs the interpretation from an individual. Thus when a person interprets that particular stimulus we can infer about his or her personality. This assumption helps us to measure the attitude of that person. This is a indirect way to gain general information about that person’s attitude but a precise measurement is not obtained. It is a qualitative approach rather than being a quantitative approach. There are many examples of projective tests some of them are:- Draw a Person task, Rorschach Inkblot test and Thematic Apperception test.


The four basic leadership theories are:-

  • Trait theory:- each of the trait theories say that leadership is a instinctive and innate quality that a person has or does not has. But the presence of these traits or even there combination cannot guarantee a good leader.
  • Behavioural theory:- this theory focuses on a leader’s behavior. Three different types of leaders are explained in this theory that is Autocratic leaders, Democratic leaders and Laissez-Faire leaders. It was learnt from this theory that the way that a leader behaves affects his or her performance.
  • Contingency theory:- this theory focuses that no one correct leadership exists as the style has to be changed according to the situation. We have to make quick decisions based on the situation. It could be changed from being supportive to the team to being task oriented.
  • Power and influence theories:- this approach is quite different as it deals with how the leaders use their influence and power to get the work done. The three types of positional power that were derived from this theory are:-coercive, reward and legitimate along with two personal power that are referent and expert power that is a person’s charm and appeal. This theory explains how the use of personal power is a better alternative.


My leadership theory of choice would be contingency theory as it focuses that no one correct leadership exists as the style has to be changed according to the situation. We have to make quick decisions based on the situation. It could be changed from being supportive to the team to being task oriented. This situational approach is focused on concept of the situation and it also refers to the relationship-motivation to interpersonal relationships. Leadership training is essential for contingency leadership because to improve the effectiveness of any changing situation should be fitting for the leader as well. As there is no ideal leadership behavior a leader has to learn how to behave in a changing environment and under different situations.


Ethics in sport psychology is an essential aspect as ethics in a relationship of a supervisee and a supervisor is based on many ethical considerations. Firstly the supervisor who is mentoring and monitoring has to do so in the limits of the client-athlete relationship. Secondly the dignity and welfare of the people who are involved should be protected. The independence and autonomy of the players should be protected. This can be achieved when a cognitive process that involves rationalizing and thinking is achieved by a person through the help of values and conscience. These values that a person chooses to hold at a personal level example are honesty and respect for others.


Bleidorn, W. K. (2010). Nature and nurture of the interplay between personality traits and major life goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 366-379.

Ozer, D. J.-M. (2006). Personality and the prediction of consequential outcomes. Annual Review of Psychology , 401-421.

Reisz, Z. B. (2013). Personality traits and the prediction of personal goals. Personality and Individual Differences , 699-704.