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The ultimate quest for sport psychologists is to establish what psychological factors produce the winning formula or to try to establish a profile of the successful athlete Within the psychological framework attempts to determine the ideal athletic personality have only been marginally successful Morgan 1980 in White 1993 One of the categories observed in order to understand and move towards the ideal athletic personality is that of Psychological Skills Training PST It is contended that mental skills training is a significant part of sport psychology and is of particular importance to athletes and coaches Rushall 1995 p03 Programs have been developed to help athletes develop their psychological skills Many researchers within this field have concluded that Psychological Skills Training programs were effective in improving athletic performance These PST programs combine various skills eg imagery relaxation goal setting with physical training in order to improve athletic performance Researchers have evaluated PST programs to assess their effectiveness in relation to the performance enhancement process These research studies Daw Burton 1994 Kendall Hrycaiko Martin Kendall 1990 Lerner Ostrow Yura Estrel 1996 concluded that sport performance significantly improved as a consequence of PST This essay will examine Thomass 1990 model for performance enhancement with the contention that performance enhancement processes are different for different sports and between elite and non-elite athletes This view argues consultants must take into account these considerations when implementing a program Thomass 1990 seven-phase closed loop model reflects the general approach emphasised by most of those writing in sport psychology Hardy Jones Gould 2000 and therefore provides a good framework for the analysis of this statement Phase one of the model Orientation focuses on the purpose objectives and level of commitment of the athlete An example would be whether the athlete desires help and to what extent Differences in the enhancement process will be minimal between sport groups in this phase Elite athletes non-elite athletes and beginners will be
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