Author(s)

Brian J. Guerriero

Abstract

Research has supported the benefits of psychological skills training (PST) programs such as improving the cognitive processes of athletes, which in turn can improve their performance and enhance its consistency (e.g., Blakeslee & Goff, 2007; Frey et al., 2003; Thellwell, Greenlees, & Weston, 2006). A PST program can help athletes to set more effective goals, manage stress more efficiently, build self-confidence, and improve concentration (Horn, 2008; Weinberg & Gould, 2011). In this project, I developed a psychological skills training manual aimed at youth baseball players. Achievement goal theory provides the framework for this PST program. Creating a task-oriented motivational climate will guide young athletes to focus on effort, improvement, and things within their control. In particular, the PST program will be presented in a manner to encourage a task oriented approach to mental skills and sport performance. This approach should enhance motivation, perceived competence, enjoyment, and overall positive experiences (Bortoli, Bertollo, Comani, & Robazza, 2011; Duda & Ntoumanis, 2005; Vesković & Milanović, 2011). The particular skills addressed include goal setting, self-talk, anxiety/activation control, and imagery. In each section, I describe the theory and research supporting the use of the skill followed by strategies and exercises that can be taught to youth baseball players. An athlete who becomes well-versed in utilizing these skills may experience benefits in his performance, mental approach to sport, and satisfaction.

Advisor

Vikki Krane

Second Reader

David Tobar

Semester

Fall

Year

2015

Degree

M.Ed.

Program

Kinesiology

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