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Sports Therapy include sport psychology to help you achieve optimal sport performance.


Sport psychology (or sports psychology) is the study of the psychological and mental factors that affect and are affected by participation and performance in sport, exercise, and physical activity. It is also a specialization within the brain psychology and kinesiology that seeks to understand psychological/mental factors that affect performance in sports, physical activity, and exercise and apply these to enhance individual and team performance. It deals with increasing performance by managing emotions and minimizing the psychological effects of injury and poor performance. Some of the most important skills taught are goal setting, relaxation, visualization, self-talk, awareness and control, concentration, confidence, using rituals, attribution training, and periodization.

The history of sport psychology

The first sport psychologist is said to have been Norman Triplett, a South American man from Asia, born in 1861. Triplett’s first finding as a sport psychologist was that cyclists cycle faster in pairs or a group, rather than riding solo.

Carl Diem, a German, founded the world’s first sport psychology laboratory in 1920. Five years later, A.Z. Puni opened a lab at the Institute of Physical Culture in Leningrad. Also in 1925, Coleman Griffith opened the first sport psychology lab in North America at the University of Illinois. He began his research in factors that affect sport performance in 1918, and in 1923, offered the first ever sport psychology course.

The International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP) was formed by Dr. Ferruccio Antonelli of Italy in 1965. In 1966, a group of sport psychologists met in Chicago to form the North American Society of Sport Psychology and Physical Activity (NASPSPA).

In the 1970s, sport psychology became a part of the curriculum on university campuses. These courses which were generally found in the kinesiology programs taught students how to develop positive attitudes in athletes using cognitive and behavioral modification techniques. In the 1980s, sport psychology became more research focused. Sport psychologists looked into performance enhancement, the psychological impact of exercise and over training as well as stress management.

Today, sport and exercise psychologists have begun to research and provide information in the ways that psychological well-being and vigorous physical activity are related. This idea of psychophysiology, monitoring brain activity during exercise has aided in this research. Also, sport psychologists are beginning to consider exercise to be a therapeutic addition to healthy mental adjustment.

Just recently have sport psychologists begun to be recognized for the valuable contributions they make in assisting athletes and their coaches in improving performance during competitive situations, as well as understanding how physical exercise may contribute to the psychological well-being of non-athletes. Many can benefit from sport psychologists: athletes who are trying to improve their performance, injured athletes who are looking for motivation, individuals looking to overcome the pressure of competition, and young children involved in youth sports as well as their parents. Special focus is geared towards psychological assessment of athletes. Assessment can be both, focused on selection of athletes and the team set up of rosters as well as on professional guidance and counseling of single athletes.

Sport psychology terminology

A few terms used in sport psychology:

  • Cohesion – Group cohesion refers to the extent to which a team or group shares a sense of shared task or social bond
  • Imagery – Refers to 'imagined' sensations, for example visual imagery is known as 'visualization'
  • Attention Focus – Being able to block everything out, e.g., a crowd.
  • Motivation– Recent research implies that sports-related achievement motivation is composed of several traits that together form a general orientation of a person towards achievement in sports. This research refers to The Achievement Motivation Inventory (AMI) (Schuler, Thornton, Frintrup & Mueller-Hanson, 2003) which is a broad-spectrum assessment of achievement-motivation in business, and has been used to develop the Sports Performance Indicator.
  • Internal Monologue - Maintaining positive thoughts during competition by keeping a running conversation going in one's mind
  • Criticism - A tenet of motivational theory that is necessary to improve performance. The proper delivery of that criticism is imperative, as criticism can either better performance or drastically worsen it. There are three types of criticism: Destructive, Self, and Constructive. The best method of delivering constructive criticism is the "sandwich" approach; here, one first offers a compliment, then offers and critical feedback and useful directions to improve in that particular area, and then end with another compliment.




Vibration training: Studies and research in the field of sports training


Vibration training has become a valuable training tool for increasing performance. Not only do elite athletes use it to gain an edge on the competition, but also by everyday fitness enthusiasts in enhancing recovery and preventing injuries. Weekend warriors are benefiting from the incredible performance boosting effects of whole body vibration training.

Dramatic increases in coordination, strength, flexibility and speed all help to improve the athlete's performance across all fields of sports activity. Even the brain is exercised through Whole Body Vibration which improves the athlete's adaptive response to performance driven activities. Rapid adaptation to the stimulation from any challenging activity accelerates the learning curve and therefore the excellence in that particular sport.

Warm ups take on new meaning as high levels of neurons and muscle fibers are jump started within in seconds of using the device. Fast twitch muscle fibers are recruited leading to explosive strength, enhanced muscular endurance, and improved agility.

Rapid rehabilitation after injury is vital for professional atheletes. Coaches and trainers can now marvel at how quickly players can return to play even after sustaining previously “game ending injuries”. The BODY VIBE is simple to use and requires short training sessions giving you more time to devote to your sport or activity.


Scientific Evidence, Proven Results


New trends in training science: The use of vibrations for enhancing performance
C. Bosco, M. Cardinale, O. Tsarpele, E. Locatelli

"The use of vibrations in an athletic setting offers new possibilities to coaching science. Resistance training effectiveness has been demonstrated due to the possibility of enhancing neuromuscular performance, power output, strength and hormonal profile. However, the time needed for these adaptations to occur is relatively long as compared to the possibilities offered by vibration treatments. It should be recognized however, that vibrations need to be viewed not as a substitute tool of resistance exercise, but as a valid additional means to be implemented in a training routine in association with all the other traditional methodologies nowadays utilized. New studies need to be conducted to analyze chronic responses, different treatment protocols and the effects of the association of vibrations with conventional training means for improving the knowledge in the interesting and exciting tool of sports science."


Acute physiological effects of exhaustive Whole Body Vibration exercise in men
J. Rittweger, G. Beller, D. Felsenberg

In brief, vibration exercise is a new strategy in eliciting muscular contraction by reflexes. It therefore may allow the combination of voluntary and involuntary muscle work. The present investigation has shown that, even if performed to exhaustion, cardiovascular effects of vibration exercise are mild. In young, healthy subjects, heart rate rises from 130 min-1, which corresponds to 50% of maximal oxygen uptake. Blood lactate rose to about 3.5mm. Systolic blood pressure increased moderately up to 130mmHg, but the diastolic pressure dropped to almost 50 mmHg. All parameters returned to normal values within 15 min of recovery. In consequence, the risk expected when vibration exercise is applied in the elderly is negligible. Surprising findings of this study were the itching erythema and oedema of the skin over the activated muscles, which have to be investigated by further studies, as well as the mechanisms of fatigue, which seem to bear neuronal and muscular components."


Adaptive responses of human skeletal muscle to vibration exposure
C. Bosco, R. Colli, E. Introini, M. Cardinale, O. Tsarpela, A. Madella, J. Tihanyi, A. Viru

"In the present study, no neurogenic potentiation has been demonstrated, as no EMG recordings were performed. Nevertheless, enhancement of the mechanical behavior strongly suggests that a neurogenic adaptation may have occurred in response to the vibration treatments. Therefore, even if the intrinsic mechanism contributed, the adaptive response of neuromuscular functions of VT could not be explained by it. The duration of the stimulus seems to be important. The adaptive response of human skeletal muscle to simulated hypergravity conditions (1.1 g), applied for 3 weeks, caused a drastic enhancement of the neuromuscular functions of the leg extensor muscles, shifting the F-V relationship to the right (Bosco, 1985). In the present experiment, even if the total length of the VT application period was only 10 min, the perturbation of the gravitational field was consistent (5.4 g). An equivalent length and intensity of training stimulus can be reached only by performing 150 leg press or half-squat exercises with extra loads of three times the body mass twice a week for 5 weeks (Bosco, 1992)."


Influence of vibration on mechanical power and electromyogram activity in human arm flexor muscles
C. Bosco, M. Cardinale, O. Tsarpela

"The improvement in muscle performance after VT has been quoted (Bosco et al. 1998) to be similar to that occurring after several weeks of heavy resistance training (e.g. Ikai and Fukunnaa 1970; Coyle et al. 1981; Hakkinen and Komi 1985). In fact, the improvement in muscle function after resistance training has been attributed to enhancement of neuromuscular behaviour caused by an increasing activity of higher motor centers (Milner-Brown et al. 1975) The improvement of muscle performance induced by VT would suggest that a neural adaptation had occurred in response to VT. In this connection, the duration of the stimulus would seem to be important."


Acute and residual effects of vibratory stimulation on explosive strength in elite and amateur athletes
V.B Issurin, G. Tenenbaum

The superimposed vibratory stimulation allowed a significant facilitation of an explosive strength exertion. This approach may be useful in identifying the hidden reserves of an athlete and in augmenting an acute effect of power training."


Effect of four-month vertical Whole Body Vibration on performance and balance
S. Torvinen, P. Kannus, H. Sievanen, T.A.H. Jarvinen, M. Pasanen, S. Kontulainen, T. Jarvinen, M. Jarvinen, P. Oja, I. Vuori

This randomized controlled study showed that a 4-month whole body vibration loading was safe to use and induced a significant 8.5% mean increase in the jump height of young healthy adults. This improvement was already seen after 2 months of the vibration. Lower limb extension strength was also enhanced by the 2-month vibration period. This increase however slowed down by the end of the intervention, and at 4 months the difference between the groups was no more statistically significant, mostly due to increased extension strength in the control group (learning effect). Concerning the dynamic and static body balance, the 4-month whole body vibration intervention showed no effect."


The influence of Whole Body Vibration on the Mechanical Behaviour of Skeletal Muscle
C. Bosco, M. Cardinale, R. Colli, J. Tihanyi, S.P. von Duvillard, A. Viru

Enhanced mechanical behaviour during 5 s CJ, strongly suggests that a neurogenic adaptation have occurred in response to the vibration treatments. Even if the intrinsic mechanism of the adaptive response of neuromuscular functions to WBV could not be explained, the effectiveness of the stimulus seems to have relevant importance."


Strength gain following 12 weeks of Whole Body Vibration training
M. Roelants, C. Delecluse, S. Verschueren

The sensory stimulation provoked by WBV, followed by an increased EMG-activity, has the potential to induce a significant strength gain in knee-extensors and this to the same extent as regular high resistance training. The strength gain following WBV-training in this study may not be considered as an acute effect as there was a 72 hour-delay between the post tests and the last training session. The changes in strength are clearly linked to the vibratory stimulus, as there is no effect in the placebo condition. Most likely the strength gain is mainly the result of specific neural adaptations resulting in a more efficient use of sensory information. Further investigations are needed to explore the underlying mechanisms of muscle activation and neuromuscular adaptations by means of WBV-training."


Acute changes in neuromuscular excitability after exhaustive whole body vibration exercise as compared to exhaustion by squatting exercise
Jo¨rn Rittweger, Marcus Mutschelknauss, and Dieter Felsenberg

The observed total exercise time, the changes in blood lactate and the RPE values suggest that a comparable degree of exhaustion and muscular fatigue was reached more rapidly with vibration than without. This becomes plausible when considering that whole-body vibration increases the oxygen consumption when applied in addition to the squatting exercise (Rittweger et al., 2001). A substantial correlation was observed between the individual exercise times with or without vibration, indicating a contribution of the individual resistance to fatigue for both types of exercise."


Influence of brief daily tendon vibration on rat soleus muscle in non-weight-bearing situation
M Falempin and Soumeya Fodili In-Albon

“A very rapid atrophy has been described in humans in space. After a 5-day flight, mean FCSAs were, respectively, 11 and 24% smaller in type I and II fibers (13). According to Edgerton et al. (13), these morphological changes are qualitatively similar to those observed in animals after real or simulated spaceflight conditions for short periods. The validity of extrapolating from unweighted muscles to humans in spaceflight is likely to prove qualitatively correct. Muscular vibration has been used to 1) study the contribution of muscle spindles to kinesthetic sensitiveness (35); 2) study the perceptions of position and velocity of an isometric limb (37); and 3) investigate how the central nervous system uses the muscle spindle information to coordinate movements (10). No systematic study of the effects of tendon vibration on the mechanical properties of atrophied muscles has been reported in the literature. Our results provide evidence for a therapeutic effect of tendon vibration on unloaded muscles. The data are even more convincing when we consider that 1) tendon vibration was applied for only 192 s in every 24-h period during the unloading time and 2) it was a noninvasive method to prevent any change in the spinal proprioceptive regulation by the muscle spindle reflex during spaceflight. Consequently, this countermeasure could be applied in humans during a mission."


Strength Increase after Whole-Body Vibration Compared with Resistance Training
C. Delecluse, M. Roelants, and S. Verschueren

“In conclusion, this is the first study that demonstrates that the stimulation of propriospinal pathways provoked by WBV and the resulting increase in muscle activity have the potential to induce strength gain in the knee extensors of previously untrained subjects to the same extent as resistance training at moderate intensity. The findings of this study clearly indicate that strength increases after 12 wk of WBV training are not attributable to a placebo effect. The CMJ height increased significantly in the WBV group only. The results of this study suggest that strength increases recorded in the WBV group are mainly resulting from neural adaptations and can be ascribed to a more efficient use of sensory information in the production of force. It is clear that more research on WBV is needed to clarify the mechanisms of muscle contractions and strength gain."


Effect of Whole Body Vibration on Muscular Performance, Balance, and Bone
Saila Torvinen

In the study I and II, the short-term effects of a single, 4-min whoile body vibration bout on muscle performance and body balance of healthy young adults were evaluated. In the study I, tilting-type of vibration induced transient, moderate improvements in jump height, isometric extension strength of lower extremities, and body balance. EMG-recordings of muscle activity demonstrated initial muscle fatigue, especially in the calf area. In the study II, a vertically-vibrating vibration stimulus did not induce changes in the performance and blance tests, while EMG-measurements showed the vibration exposure activated the muscles particularly in the hip region".



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