Sports Psychology refers to how the psychological factors that are involved will lead to affecting one's participation in the sports area and in turn the exercise will also affect his physical as well as the psychological factors. Sports Psychology may involve working with the athletes, the coaches or even the parents concerning ones injury, communication process, rehabilitation or even career transformation. It has contributed to the expansion of the Sports Psychology about how it can be maximized to be of help to ones human activity and as well as his/her social life. There is also need for the people involved in the sports Psychology to be also interested in the social activism sector.
Sports can be used to promote social missions such as the creation of awareness such as the establishment of HIV prevention and as well as create awareness about it; it can be used to empower the privileged people in the society through the physical activities. It can be employed in the promotion of peace and also to support the community, for example, to raise funds for sports to fund a project for the benefit of the society. International Society of Sports Psychology helps in support and promotion of such missions.
The sports activity was seen as a way of setting up of an exhibition and also development in the Ancient Greek. It was a way of promoting ones life and benefit the society as a whole. It was evidenced in both the Greeks and as well as the ancient traditions in sport. Peace was established through the combination of the sport with the principles of humanitarian as well as with the Olympic Festival. Through international sports, it creates understanding other peoples cultures since they interact with each other and share about their diverse cultures. This helps in elimination of certain stereotypes that are associated with a given culture or a particular group of people in the society and instead promote social integration.
The social missions were possible due to the effort that Olympic athletes invested in it. Skater Olav Koss led such missions. He raised funds which were used to help those children with disabilities and the disadvantaged children as well; he did this through the Olympic Aid Program which later partnered with the UNICEF.
According to various research that has been carried out, one of the disadvantages that are related to the development of sport is that some of the programs are used for the disadvantaged people or community as well. The level of ethics and morals applied in the practices still is questionable. It is becoming a challenge for the researchers and the practitioners to be in a position to enhance empowerment and sociocultural equality by using the decolonizing methods. According to most activist researchers, their policies are mainly focused towards changing policies that are considered as not favorable, the governing structures and as well as institutions. The policy-based research can act as an intermediary between groups that are considered as disadvantaged with the statutory bodies so as to help such a group. These activists will tend to challenge power as well as its domination in different sectors.
Why the sports sector should be interested in social activism
Through the sports industry, there can be the achievement of social justice. Values such as equality, to empower the community and promotion of human rights is of great importance to Psychologists. Psychologists can assure this is achieved through acting professionally. It can also be promoted through training and setting up of policies that promote social justice. The psychological community has a huge responsibility towards the promotion of social justice (Kinderman, 2007).They should empower those groups that tend to be marginalized.
Athletes can use their status so as to help in the promotion of social justice. Athletes can act as activists of social equality, enhance ability rights and as well as political persecutions (Kaufman, 2010).There are possible barriers towards athletic activism. These obstacles may include stereotypes that are referred to athletes, lack of the required infrastructure and amenities. Some of the factors that can promote athletes activism include the development of a social consciousness and applying of athletic skills and promotion of values that enhance the social justice work. Through the experience that one has he/she can motivate people, create room for an understanding of power, bring progress as well as fearlessness.
In the context of sports, it can be used in promotion of social missions. The contexts of sport can be carried out in a way that promotes the social justice missions such as the promotion of equality, removal of discrimination and this will lead to social activism such as ensuring the community is in a better-placed position.
Social activism in the society can be understood through the culture of sport. The Cultural Sports Psychology can be used in the questioning of the prevailing assumptions as well as those that are dominant, it can be used to evaluate the theories that are related to power and understand the cultures and experience of the marginalized groups in the society. Culture is of great importance since it will determine how a person will think, feel as well as behave while in a given situation.
Psychology researchers can deal with the challenge of the rapid technological change and the socio-political change through the formation of future inquiry. While dealing with various research questions, the values of social activism should be highly considered.
Social activism can lead to behavior change. The sport and also the psychology exercise in the community tends to incorporate a variety of theories which are related to the behavior change so as to make people understand more about the importance of participating in sports. Some of these theories include the social cognitive theory, the self determination theory and lastly the planned behavior theory.
In conclusion, there should be social justice in sports development. It is because most games are considered to be for the male, and hence the women are left out in this case. Strategies should be set up so as to develop and promote sports psychology. The sports community at large should show great interest towards social activism. This is because it is through these activists that will lead to the promotion of social justice.
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