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From The CriticsReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: As can be seen by the proliferation of books in this area in the last few years, sport psychology is a growing field. This book focuses on psychological factors and individual psychological differences that play a role in competitive sports. Previous editions were published in 2002 and 1992.
Purpose: This edition updates the reader on the current literature, and begins to take a look at the interaction between socioenvironmental factors and individual differences.
Audience: According to the editor, this book is intended for graduate students enrolled in research-oriented sport psychology programs.
Features: The four major sections include an introduction to sport psychology, individual differences, socioenvironmental factors, and psychological skills and intervention techniques. Each major section begins with an introduction to the topic. The chapters also have brief introductions, well labeled sections, concluding paragraphs, and future research directions. The topics are relevant for students, including the early discussions of research methodology. Later chapters discuss self-confidence, motivation, and achievement orientation. Group performance, social influences, and coaching effectiveness are also covered. These topics are intertwined with the concept of sports performance and each chapter provides a building block in the sport psychology process. Empirically grounded suggestions are made for enhancing performance that could easily be taken from the classroom to the playing field. Illustrations, figures, and tables summarize and help consolidate the learning process. The abundant references clearly have been updated. The only complaint I have is that they are listed at the end of the book, instead of being readily available at the end of each chapter, requiring a lot of extra page turning.
Assessment: This would be a sensible choice for instructors as a text for graduate students. It is well written in an interesting and informative manner. The references are plentiful and current, and the organization makes it easy to teach in sections. Additionally, the wide array of topics with practical guidance enhances its learning quality. It would be worth updating to this third edition.