Student-athletes learn the psychology behind sports and competition

Ruby Yuan, Staff

Dr. Adam Naylor, Boston University sports psychologist, gave a lecture to student athletes and coaches in the Hackney Theater on Sept. 30 from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Dr. Naylor said he gained interest of sports psychology from his parents.

“My parents value sports. My father is council of minister for basketball. They supported me,” he said.

He said students who have an interest in a sports psychology career should choose kinesiology or psychology for their undergraduate degree.

“[They] have to attend graduate school, [and] at least have a Masters degree,” he said, “Ph.D. will be a lot more helpful.”

Under Dr. Naylor’s instruction, athletes sat together as a team. The lecture began when Dr. McCormick introduced Dr. Naylor and explained their relationship tracing back to when Dr. Naylor served on his dissertation panel.

At the beginning of the presentation, Dr. Naylor displayed pictures of various sports.

“Actually all sports are team sports,” he said.

The lecture was primarily built upon interactions between Dr. Naylor and the athletes. He asked a series of questions and gave his opinions after the athletes discussed and provided their answers.

Dr. Naylor first asked the audience how to observe if athletes are competing without knowing scores.

After hearing their answers, Dr. Naylor gave his method that he would take a picture of the first five minutes and a picture of the last five minutes of a game. If the two pictures presented a constant dedication of the athletes, then it is clear that athletes are competing.

The main theme for the second part was emotional resilience.  Dr. Naylor explained that young children do not worry when they are losing.

“Anxiety is part of sports,” Dr. Naylor said, “We lose our emotional resilience when we become teenagers.”

The third question was “What [would] you like to hear from your teammates?”

Dr. Naylor asked athletes to always give encouragement to their teammates. He said athletes should not be afraid to make mistakes because they help with personal development.

He encouraged the athletes to contribute to the community and suggested athletes, coaches, and the faculty members to use the Twitter hashtag #Oakstrong to share one thing they learned from the presentation.