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Sport and Exercise Psychology - Essay Example

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Running Head: THE USE OF BIOFEEDBACK TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE IN ATHLETES Sport and Exercise Psychology [Name of Student] [Name of Institution] Review For an individual to perform optimally in sports and exercises there are numerous strategies or activities that he/she may incorporate in the sports or exercises undertaken…
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Sport and Exercise Psychology
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Download file to see previous pages Biofeedback refers to processes by which sportsmen become aware of the various physiological functions related to sports performance (Mullally et al, 2009). By use of instruments, which give vital information on the health and activities of these physiological functions and organs, athletes are in a better position to monitor and adjust their performance, unlike if they are not aware of their psychological status. The objective of monitoring the activities and health of these physiological functions is to help an athlete to manipulate the functions at will for the desired exercise/sports performance or results (Dickinson, 2006). Listed among these physiological functions that one may manipulate for desired sports/exercise results include heart rate, brainwaves, muscle tone, skin conductance and pain perception. Besides improving performance, biofeedback (the physiological changes), which takes place together with changes in behaviour, emotions and thoughts is also used to improve health. In fact, biofeedback has been proved to be effective in treating migraines and headache among other diseases. Although most of the times people tend to manipulate and change these physiological functions by use of equipment, at other times, it is possible to carry out these changes without the use of equipment. The rationale for this study on the use of biofeedback to improve health and sports/exercise performance by athletes is that biofeedback and related procedures such as neuro-feedback have been found to be important in the provision of the much needed evidence-based practices and approach to the health care and the sports science industries. Therefore, the concerned organisations, government/private agencies and individuals should collaborate to make, rate and categorise treatments and other interventions related to the clinical and exercise efficiency of biofeedback application (Shaffer & Schwartz, 2004). Through studies such as this one, it would be possible for standards, principles and guidelines on the efficiency of biofeedback and other sport/exercise-improving interventions. These efficacy standards should also target other functions of biofeedback such as disorders including hypertension, substance abuse, facial pain, attention deficit disorder and headache. Therefore, studying biofeedback and its effects on sports/exercise performance would also see the same efficacy standards being applied to the management and improvement of medical and psychological disorders. Defining Biofeedback Biofeedback has been particularly useful in the training of people to improve their health by controlling body processes such as blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and skin temperature, all of which often take place involuntarily. In most of the biofeedback techniques, electronic devices, otherwise referred to as electrodes are attached to one’s skin to measures these physiological processes. The results are then displayed on monitors. Upon learning the nature and health of these physiological functions from the monitor, it is possible for one to learn how to change his/her blood pressure and heart rate to improve or maintain performance and healthy body and mind functions. As mentioned earlier, one uses an electrode ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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