Positive Psychology in Athletics

As I mentioned in earlier posts, I am conducting a psychological research study with collegiate wrestlers to uncover their motivations and attitudes toward weight management and eating behavior both in and out of the season.

Well…things have changed.

After getting the appropriate approval from the IRB and my college, I was all set to contact coaches, ADs and players and begin. However, the summer was upon us and neither athletes or administrators were very good at answering emails or phone calls. So I waited until the semester started and made a bit of contact with a few coaches. I was still unable to get a single AD to call me back having emailed and left dozens of messages with their secretaries and staff.

I then decided to email athletes directly to get them to participate on their own. I then received an email from inside the coaching staff that told me I was going no where. The staff would not let the athlete be in my study while they were in-season. The problem with this is that they are in-season until about May, which is when I needed to be wrapping up my project.

I was very dismayed. I spent so much time and effort refining proposals, presenting at a conference and just becoming immersed in the information. Now I have to pick a new topic.

postive psych2

Good news is that my research thesis director who currently resides at the University of West Virginia will pick up the project and be the principle investigator. I will be the co-investigator and still get my name on the research paper, I just will not be doing the interviews. Whomp 😦

positive psych 3

Because I cannot do this project, I need to pick a different topic for my senior research thesis in the Honor’s College. This has been both scary and exciting. I am really interested in the mind-body connection surrounding positivity. Whether you believe you can or believe you cannot, you’re right [I may have stole that from a Dove chocolate…] I am especially interested in the effect of positive mental training for endurance athletes. Sometimes athletes [or the everyday runner who is also an athlete in my opinion] can get so downtrodden with negativity that they psych themselves out from either running in general or pushing themselves in workouts. Simply by changing the mindset the whole experience can be changed in a meaningful way.

postive psych

For my research thesis I am going to do a literature review on the impact of positive mental training in endurance athletes. I hope not only to learn a lot for my future potential career, but also for myself in my own training. I try to see the glass as half full most of the time, but I do sometime suffer from the running blues. I get in my own way by worrying about things I cannot change [like weather, friends, job, whether I’m doing the right workout etc.] I hope I end up both a better athlete and psychologist after doing this research.

How is school going for everyone?

Do you ever research on your own just for your own life?

For more information, this is an example of the papers I will be reading to write my thesis

The Broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions


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