Psychological preparation and social requirements
of the sports psychologists

La preparación psicológica y las demandas sociales a los psicólogos deportivos


*Licenciado en Cultura Física en la Facultad de Cultura Física

Profesor de Psicología de la Educación Física y el Deporte en la Facultad de Cultura Física

de la Universidad de Matanzas. Máster en Ciencias y Juegos Deportivos

Doctor en Ciencias de la Cultura Física

**Licenciada Lengua y Literatura Inglesa. Profesora de idioma Inglés en la Facultad de Cultura Física

de la Universidad de Matanzas. Máster en Ciencias de la Educación Superior

Dr.C. Dencil Escudero Sanz*


MsC. María Elena Piñeda Sierra**








          The article is about the sport psychologists’ role in the preparation of sportsmen, making reference to emphasis on the function psychological preparation as an important component for competence preparation, considering its leadership when putting into practice the rest of the components of the sportsmen preparation (physical, theoretical and technical-tactical). At the same time, integral knowledge the sport psychologist should have is validated together with what he must know about training methodology in order to provide a right advising to sport trainers.

          Palabras clave: Psychological preparation. Sports psychologists.


Reception: 10/29/2014 - Acceptance: 11/23/2014.


EFDeportes.com, Revista Digital. Buenos Aires, Año 19, Nº 199, Diciembre de 2014. http://www.efdeportes.com/

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    Throughout all its history, sport has been evolving and with this, requirements have been getting higher for sportsmen, trainers and other sports professionals care of supporting sport performance.

    There are some elements that, according to the author’s judgment, have disregarded the necessity of this support from more capable specialists aimed at ensuring sports results. Decade after decade countries and sports practitioners have been incorporated into different sport disciplines and with all this, more experience and knowledge have been assimilated. On the other hand, technological development has taken an important role in the sport context in such a degree that it has paved way to the development of a variety of sporting disciplines.

    Moreover, trade around sports practice has found a fertile ground and not a few people bet on this stage to get profits in different ways and this is still another requirement to increase the quality of practitioners (participants), sporting facilities, equipment and competitive events.

    These facts have marked the development of different sports practices in what has occurred during trainings and competitions. It is also important to take into consideration, besides everything stated above, the social repercussion that the sportsman himself gains during his moments of competitions.

    Moreover, there are frequently more serious interests presented to the sportsman himself in favor of his performance results. All these elements are stimuli that fall into the hands of the sports practitioners and that according to their preparation may influence the competitive results.

    It is on this stage where there is outstanding interest on the different scientific disciplines that ensure the sportsman performance and as Psychology is not exempted, it requires a specialist to put it at the function of fulfilling the practitioners’ objectives.


    Sports preparation as an essential activity to reach an optimum result in a competition includes the combination of five components: physical preparation, technical preparation, tactical preparation, theoretical preparation and psychological preparation. They could be revised in the same order when consulting specialized texts. The importance of physical preparation has been understood because each time there is more equipment and technology available for its efficient fulfillment. Nowadays, the appearance of physical trainers who are only concerned with this type of practice is common.

    On the other hand, technological preparation has received the benefits from the technological development towards sport, and trainers are each time more prepared to use the technology so as to improve this component in their pupils (sports participants).

    There is a similar situation with tactical preparation; systems used to analyze the development of tactical operations are impressive in many sporting disciplines. The sports trainers also pay much attention to this issue so as to get good results in competitions.

    Theoretical preparation is not given much attention as the other preparations, there are just a few trainers who remember that it exists when they are conducting a training session, and the few ones that do, display limited knowledge related to rules and historical issues, etc and which do not involve the true usefulness that has this type of preparation, given the requirements of contemporaneous sport.

    As for psychological preparation it is not by chance in the order it has in specialized texts as well as with trainers. Many of them remember that it exists when competition is at hand. The right thing would be, according to Sainz de la Torre (2003) to conceive sportsman preparation in the following way:

High performance - Sports procedures

    It is important to analyze from the chart that psychological preparation is in all and each one of the other preparations for the sportsman so as to reach sports fitness

    It is contradictory the fact that almost all say that psychological preparation is important for sports preparation, however, in practice, they do not carry out a conscious and planned work to fulfill its requirements. The formation of human resources able to carry out the psychological preparation is also a topic that is worth to be applied from a different perspective because it is evident in many places the formation of sport trainers with good profile to carry out physical, technical or tactical preparation as well as the theoretical one, however, this is not achieved unless there is a curriculum pattern able to form a competent sport psychology professional to face the challenges that contemporaneous practice poses to the other disciplines.

    It is in this sense that the sport psychologist should be a professional with knowledge and preparation not only in psychology but also in other scenes that lead to the sports training process. Thus it is not common to use only pure psychologists but professionals of physical education performing with the support of psychology and both face the challenge compensating its absence in one or the other spheres.

    In relation to the latter, Weinberg and Gould (1996) state that sports psychologists should be professionals who have information for both disciplines

    That is why it is necessary, so as to perform as sport psychologists, to know movement actions as well as methodological bases that conform the training plan process.

    It should also be taken into consideration that Psychology in this case functions as a science which is applied to sport performance, so it is in sport training planning where most of the work comes out as a psychological preparation that should be included.

    Another interesting detail is the dichotomy between if the psychological preparation is the psychologists’ responsibility, if it is only the trainers’ or if it should be carried out by the trainers with the psychologists as consultants. Let’s begin with analyzing a basic principle of materialist psychology:

Principle of unit between consciousness and activity

    It is assumed that consciousness is inseparable from activity and the former is not only expressed in the latter but it is also formed during the activity. According to this principle psychologists should study the psychic process but not in an abstract manner but to concrete types of activity (Collective Team, 1974).

    Therefore, the trainer should be the person in charge of planning and leading the activity (training) that the practitioners are going to perform since he is the one who is close to the sportsmen –because throughout the activity he is able to plan the key for psychic manifestation and has the possibility of a positive influence on the sportsman. Hence, in his hands lay the greatest responsibility to carry out the psychological preparation of a sportsman.

    However, all these efforts would not be enough if the trainer lacked the advice of a sport professional psychologist. It is to this dual relation (trainer-sport psychologist) that a more efficient way of influencing the sportsman psychic is to be achieved.


    Psychological preparation is an essential component in sportsmen’s preparation and it is implicit in the context of the other components of all the process.

    The sport psychologist must be a professional including knowledge about psychology and Physical Education.

    A sport psychologist must be the one that gives advice to the trainer at any given time for him to put into practice the psychological sportsman preparation.


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