I am interested in studying the psychological influences involved with unexpected performance failure (i.e., slumps and choking under pressure). Why is that some performers can bounce back after an unexpected performance failure and others struggle? My hunch is that some of the performers that subsequently struggle have internalized the unexpected performance failure at an emotional level akin to a traumatic event.
It is well known that the experience of a traumatic event can somatically manifest in the body. Following this logic, what becomes manifested in the body (think psychical energy that gets stuck) can conceivably cause subtle alterations in a performer’s motor program. These changes are perhaps imperceptible to the performer and by coaching observation.
It is my belief that the holy grail of sport and performance psychology lies in assisting individuals to understand the functioning of their minds and bodies on a pedagogical level. Thus, my dissertation topic is not only of interest to myself but could add to the field’s knowledge base regarding performance resilience.
CURRENT DOCTORAL RESEARCH THROUGH THE UNIVERSITY OF THE ROCKIES
Carlstedt, R.A., Agashe, V., Perlstein, Pastor et al. (2013; 35 additional contributors) Mental toughness of major league baseball players: An analysis of 30 teams, 4860 games, 360 players. Poster session at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii.
RESEARCH WITH THE
AMERICAN BOARD OF SPORT PSYCHOLOGY