Bridging mind and body
Class delves into sports psychology
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 17:02
Some people believe that sports are just physical activities athletes partake in to fill in their free time.
With the newly offered Psychology of Sports class here at Contra Costa College, counselor Andrea Phillips hopes to prove all of those people wrong.
“This class is for looking at sports from a psychological standpoint,” said Phillips, the teacher of the class.
“Sports change people’s behaviors whether they know it or not,” she said. “We’re looking at connecting the mind and the body.
“This class is a required class for psychology majors to graduate with their associate degree in psychology” she said. “But the class isn’t just for them. It is also for students who are interested in enhancing their performance on and off the field.”
Psychology of sports allows students to gain another point of view on the sports they play, and how those sports affect them.
“The class gives students a nice perspective on how to better themselves,” Phillips said.
Focusing on a particular theme each week, the class emphasizes a marriage between health and wellness, she said.
For example, one of the first themes addressed is youth sports.
“These parents are playing a huge role in their child’s development. We (the class) will watch the documentary ‘Little Big League,’ a film that shows just how far parents are willing to go to have their children succeed,” she said.
“Every theme has a psychological perspective behind it.”
Having a deep understanding and passion for sports, Phillips looks out for her students, with the hope that they will succeed in their goals.
“I want students to leave here with an understanding that sports is a business, and the stakes are very high,” she said, “It’s a very good road to lead to that other side of sports. I want them to dig a little deeper.”
Phillips will have her students track their health habits for them to understand their current physical condition.
To better understand their current mental point of view, she wants her students to ask the question, “What kind of person am I?”
Psychology major Tiara Reed is planning on becoming a sports psychologist one day and enjoys her time in the class.
“I really like it,” she said. “It’s interactive and not boring.”
Reed described Phillips as being a “down to earth” and “unintimidating” teacher.
“She knows her craft,” Reed said.
During the second class session Phillips had her students complete a questionnaire that asked what sports they had played when they were younger and asked them to define the word sports.
Psychology major Victoria Franco defined sports as something physical that involves athletes competing against other athletes.
“Not everyone had the same definition in my group,” Franco said. “I learned to open up a bit to their ideas.”
Franco, who did not play sports as a young child, is taking the class as a transfer requirement.
“I watch individual sports like wrestling and tennis,” she said, “I wanted to learn more about those and the field of sports psychology.”
Not having much background in sports, Franco still finds a way to connect to the class and Phillips.
“The class is awesome,” Franco said.