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Certificate Programs Module Descriptions 1-10

Module Overview

1. History and Overview of Sport Psychology  

This module is an overview of the history of sport psychology and a broad survey of sub-fields, theoretical orientations, and major constructs in sport psychology. Students will learn about the field’s progression from its inception into the era of modern sport psychology. Theoretical orientations regarding intensity  including those of Hanin, Hardy and Fazey, and the original Inverted-U theory will be reviewed. Emerging perspectives in performance enhancement will be addressed along with prevalent current intervention modalities including imagery and cognitive behavioral approaches. Assessment in sport psychology will be reviewed relative to prediction of performance. Controversies centering on assessment in sport will also be covered. Brief reviews will also cover social sport psychology, youth intervention, public programs in sport and exercise psychology, psychopathology in athletes, gender and ethnicity issues, as well as careers and consulting in this fast growing domain of psychology. Students completing this module will have gained broad general exposure to most areas in the field of sport psychology.

Course Content:

  1. History of Sport Psychology
  2. Theories of Performance
  3. Assessment of Athletes
  4. Enhancement of Performance
  5. Exercise Therapy
  6. Community Based Programs
  7. Psychopathology in Athletes
  8. Gender and Ethnicity
  9. Working with Athletes
  10. Ethics in Sport Psychology

2. Motor Learning  
Practitioners engaging in performance enhancement need to be familiar with motor learning processes and technical parameters of specific sports. Consequently, in this module students will learn about motor skills and performance as they pertain to specific sports and general movement in sport. Theoretical perspectives in cognitive motor learning will be reviewed, including those of Bernstein, Bartlett, Schmidt, and Shea & Morgan. In addition, students completing this module will receive exposure to practical methods for assisting athletes better integrate technical patterns into long-term/procedual memory, assessing motor skills and learning, and working with coaches to improve technical skills of athletes.

Course Content:

  1. Cognitive Motor Learning and Skills Acquisition
  2. The Cognitive Advantage
  3. Symbolic versus the Connectionist Perspective
  4. Expertise
  5. Direct Perception Approaches
  6. Applied Motor Learning
  7. Technical Parameters of Popular Sports
  8. Tactile Learning
  9. Assessment of Motor Learning
  10. Working with Coaches to Improve Technique

3. Neuropsychology/physiology and Cognitive Sport Psychology  
This module covers neurophysiological and neuropsychological processes that mediate and reflect motor learning. This course is an extension of the motor learning module. It will expose students to the bereitschaftspotential, EMG markers of cognitive and motor preparation, Fattapposta and colleague’s neurophysiological studies of motor skill consolidation, as well as neuropsychological/EEG studies delving into cortical processes prior to and during motor action. Students will also learn to use the line-bisecting test to assess basic cerebral laterality in athletes as well as Schiffer’s laterality manipulation method for inducing positive affect. Students completing this module will have learned about neurophysiological processes involved in cognitive motor learning and their relationship to emotions and attention in athletes, as well as practical approaches to enhancing performance using neuropsychological methods.

Course Content:

  1. Neuropsychology and Sport: An Overview
  2. Information Processing
  3. Reflex Action and Reactions
  4. States of Consciousness
  5. Cognition
  6. Attention
  7. Neural Learning and Memory
  8. Neuropsychological and Neurophysiological Research in Sport
  9. Subliminal Neurophysiological Markers of Motor Learning
  10. Applied Neuropsychology in Sport

4. Sport Psychophysiology and Biofeedback   
This module is a didactic course in sport biofeedback. The course will cover psychophysiological measures and biofeedback modalities having relevance to sport performance, including heart rate deceleration, heart rate variability, respiratory sinus arrhythmia, electromyography, EEG and neurofeedback. Special attention will be paid to research in biofeedback and psychophysiology having implications for sport including Lacey’s, Boutcher and Zinser’s and Carlstedt’s findings on heart rate deceleration, general findings on muscle tension and reaction time, and theoretical perspectives on neurofeedback as an attention enhancing intervention. Critical methodological issues in sport biofeedback including ecological validity are also discussed in this course. Advice regarding hands-on training in applied biofeedback, professional organizations, equipment and software in biofeedback will also be given. Students completing this course will have learned about theory and research in sport biofeedback as well as practical methods for regulating psychophysiology using inexpensive equipment such a finger thermometer, Polar heart monitoring equipment, and breathing and relaxation techniques requiring no special equipment.

Course Content:

  1. An Overview of Sport Biofeedback and Psychophysiology
  2. Psychophysiological and Autonomic Correlates of Imagery, Attention, and Reactivity/Intensity
  3. Heart Activity and Heart Rate Deceleration/Variability Biofeedback
  4. Electromyographic Biofeedback in Sport
  5. Neurofeedback in Sport
  6. Critical Issues in Sport Biofeedback
  7. Methodological Issues in Biofeedback
  8. Critical Thinking in Sport Biofeedback
  9. Getting Started: Simple Applications (RSA and Temperature training)
  10. Professional Issues, Advanced Training Sources, Instrumentation

5. Promotion of Wellness through Sport Psychology 
This module reviews the role sport psychology can play in promoting wellness and mental-physical fitness in individuals through personal as well as community-based initiatives involving exercise. Students will be exposed to theoretical models of exercise initiation and community-based based programs for adults and adolescents including the SUPER program. Students completing this module will have a framework for initiating wellness programs for groups, individuals and community organizations such as schools and recreation departments.

Course Content:

  1. Exercise Initiation: AReview
  2. Benefits of Exercise
  3. Theoretical Models in Exercise Research
  4. Exercise Compliance
  5. Interventions Using Exercise
  6. Community-based Programs
  7. Life Skills Promotion through Exercise
  8. The SUPER Program
  9. Developing Community-based Programs
  10. Program Evaluation

6. Assessment in Sport Psychology 
This module reviews assessment in sport and athletes focusing on some of the most commonly used instruments. Emerging models including the High Risk Model of Threat Perception will also be presented. Tests of imagery and hypnotic ability and physiological reactivity will be explored. Special attention will be paid to ecological validity in the assessment. Issues centering on face-validity will be discussed. Concurrent and criterion referenced validation techniques are presented and illustrated in the context of psychophysiological assessment. Students completing this course will learn to select and use and monitor the predictive validity of individualized assessment protocols and implement an integrative approach to assessment in sport psychology.

Course Content:

  1. History of Assessment in Sport
  2. Psychometric Issues in Sport Assessment
  3. Assessment of Athletes: Issues
  4. Assessment Instruments in Sport Psychology: A Critical Overview
  5. Ecological Validity and Assessment
  6. Concurrent and Criterion Referenced Validation
  7. Neuropsychological Assessment of Motor Learning and Cerebral Laterality
  8. Psychophysiological Assessment of Attention, Imagery Ability, and Intensity
  9. The HRMTP Paradigm in Sport
  10. Recent Personality Assessment Research in Sport
  11. Ethical and Professional Issues

7. Interventions in Sport Psychology 
This module will expose the student to the most common methods of mental training interventions including mental imagery/visualization, as well as cognitive based techniques such as goal-setting, self-talk, and cognitive restructuring. Emerging interventions including active-alert and self-hypnosis, sport biofeedback and neurofeedback, brain-laterality manipulation, and RSA/HRV training will be presented. Methodological issues associated with outcome and efficacy research of applied interventions will be discussed, especially longitudinal approaches to the study of mental training interventions . Factors influencing the ability to benefit from specific forms of interventions including hypnotic susceptibility, absorption, neuroticism, physiological reactivity and cerebral laterality will be discussed. Students completing this course will have learned about theory and applications of the most common mental training interventions and a critical and cautious approach to the evaluation of diverse intervention strategies.

Course Content:

  1. Traditional Performance Enhancement Interventions
  2. Goal Setting, Self-Talk, and Cognitive Restructuring
  3. Mental Imagery
  4. Active-Alert Hypnosis
  5. Relaxation Techniques
  6. An Overview of Emerging Interventions in Sport Psychology
  7. Goggle-Laterality Manipulation
  8. Heart Rate Deceleration and HRV Training and Biofeedback/Neurofeedback
  9. Factors Affecting the Efficacy of Select Interventions
  10. Efficacy and Outcome Research and Applied Study Models for Practitioners

8. Research Methods in Sport Psychology   
This module extends on some of the topics and issues addressed in previous courses. The primary focus of this course is the concept of ecological validity and in-the-field paradigms for studying the performance of athletes, coaches, and teams. This course will also emphasize the role of the dependent or criterion variable in research of performers. Dependent measures often are not meaningful or powerful enough to reveal potential relationships between or among personality, neuropsychological (attention), and physiological variables and performance. Students completing this course will be able to study performance phenomena from new as well as classic perspectives and design efficacy studies.

Course Content:

  1. Research Design and Applications in Sport Psychology
  2. It Depends on the Dependent Variable: Micro-operationalizations of Dependent and Criterion Measures
  3. Correlational Study in Sport Psychology
  4. Experimental Study in Sport Psychology
  5. Multiple and Other Regression Methods in Sport Psychology
  6. Validation and Outcome Studies in Sport Psychology
  7. Bio-statistics, Longitudinal, and Trend Analysis Studies in Sport Psychology
  8. Qualitative Research in Sport Psychology
  9. Applied Methods for Practicing Sport Psychologists: Keeping Track of Your Work and Athlete Data
  10. Critical Evaluation of Published Research in Sport Psychology
  11. Designing Your Study: An Experiential Exercise

9. Ethics and Critical Thinking in Sport Psychology   
Sport psychology is booming at the practitioner level. Clinical psychologists are well positioned to take advantage of this boom, perhaps more so than coaches and other practitioners. This module will cover ethical issues associated with entering the field of sport psychology and issues faced in every day practice with athletes from a non-clinical performance-enhancement viewpoint. Neophytes to the field will be exposed to issues of competence, especially the need to learn about the physical and technical demands of a sport. The need to understand a sport and athlete from a non-clinical perspective may be crucial to establishing rapport and providing services that are helpful. Outcome and efficacy studies will also be addressed in the context of ethical issues. Relationships with teams, coaches, individual athletes, and the media will also be discussed. Students completing this course will gain insight into ethical issues associated with the athlete or sport culture, its coaches and teams as well as more abstract issues related to competency, dual relationships, confidentiality, promotion and advertising, and media relationships.

Course Content:

  1. An Overview of Ethical Issues in Sport Psychology
  2. Nine Vignettes: Ethical Scenarios

10. Sport Psychology and Psychotherapy 
An emerging body of evidence suggests that certain psychophysiological afflictions including depression and headache can be attenuated through exercise. Exercise as an adjunct to psychotherapy has been shown to exert a positive effect on brain chemistry, possibly increasing endorphin activity and reducing general perception of stress. This module addresses the application of exercise in the clinical practice. Initiating exercise and exercise compliance are discussed. Specific forms of exercise including walking, running, dance therapy, exercise in group and health club settings, as well as hobby sports such as golf and tennis are discussed. Students will learn how to introduce exercise to their clients, use cognitive-behavioral methods to motivate clients to initiate participation as well as comply to exercise over time. Students will also be exposed to Wickramaskera’s High Risk Model of Threat Perception model as a means for assessing pre-exercise stress states and evaluating the effects of exercise on psychological and psychophysiological health.

Course Content:

  1. Psychopathology in Athletes
  2. Counseling Athletes
  3. Career Issues
  4. Injured Athletes
  5. Post-Career Issues with Professional Athletes
  6. Assessment of Athletes: Non-Performance Related
  7. Drug Abuse in Athletes
  8. Adjustment Reactions
  9. Anxiety in Athletes
  10. Psychotherapeutic Approaches

 A Top Network Site 
American Board of Sport Psychology