Sports Psychology Reseach Project - using dissociative and associative strategies for helping concentration.

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Cameron Jukes

Year 12 Physical Education


That if a subject from a Year 12 Physical Education class imposes a dissociative and associative strategy (Mackenzie, p.126, 127) for maintaining concentration over a four week period, then there will be a noticeable improvement in that subject’s performance in Water Polo. If the dissociation technique (listening to music) were to occur before engaging in physical activity, it would focus the subject’s thoughts away from any bodily ambiguities. In addition, an associative technique (breathing control) during a competitive environment would create an assertive state of mind for the subject and allow for complete focus on the goal at hand. Both techniques, implemented correctly of the time period, would promote concentration during Water Polo and would enhance the overall quality of subject’s team (provided each team member improved on the most prominent individual weakness)  when performing, because of a development in team cohesion and psychological understanding of Water Polo.


Prior to the Research Project

  1. A Team of year 12 Physical education students where separated into two teams of similar skill standard
  2. All team members decided upon one aspect of sports psychology to implement a mental skills training plan
  3. All students then developed a mental skill training plan to help develop the chosen mental technique

Beginning of the Research Project

  1. Team members gathered at the pool and set up required equipment
  2. All performed personal mental skills activities in order to be prepared for the training session (see logbook for details on personal mentals skills training)
  3. Team 1 then gathered in a group for a stretching session and the briefing of the training program for that day
  4. The team member running that training then lead the warm up of 2 pool widths free swimming and then 2 pool widths swimming with a ball
  5. The team then progressed into a dry passing drill
  6. Afterwards the team would then practise eggbeating with arms out of the water
  7. Depending on the length of the lesson, the team would then either progress into shooting practise or a 3 vs 2 attacking drill
  8. Finally a stretching/warm down seeion would take place along with a training debrief.
  9. This was repeated in a similar fashion for all training sessions, keeping the mental skills training constant whilst changing the physical training to suit the teams needs
  10. At the end of the beginning phase of research, both team competed in a  2x5 minute halved recorded water polo game
  11. Each team’s game performance for 2X5 minutes halves was videoed. The video was transferred to onto the computer in order for the students to view the game and record data.
  12. Each team viewed videos of their performance in the classroom, using laptop pods or data projector. Games statistics were recorded for each team as a whole. All successes and error had to be recorded.
  13. Immediately after 1.12 students were to complete the Video Analysis Sheet for their team. The three phases of the data collection were marked in a different colour or symbol.
  14. At or about the same time students completed the SELF EVALUATION SHEET. This was used to generate personal player and team data.
  15. Students completed journal entries by responding to the focus questions provided.
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Middle of the Reaserch Project

2.1. Steps 1.1-1.15 were repeated during the middle phase of the research project

End of the Research Project

3.1. Steps 1.1-1.15 were repeated for the end phase of the research project

3.2. All research was collated in order to complete the report


Table 1: Team 1  Water Polo Physical Self-Evaluation


Table 2: Team 1 Water Polo Mental Self Evaluation

Using the information from these table, graphs can be ...

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