Introduction to Sports Psychology and Body Positivity Webinar (FISAF)
Phew, it's been a very busy few months navigating the challenges of lockdown whilst trying to continue with PhD data collection and supporting my therapy clients. But it also gave me the opportunity to present a webinar on sports psychology and started discussions on body image and body positivity.
I shared my experience as a former FISAF competitor, athlete, coach, judge, and now clinical psychologist. Body image concerns are prevalent in athletes in any sport that is focussed on leanness. But being aware of risk factors, potentially dangerous eating habits, as well as positive body confidence can go a long way to ameliorate problems associated with body dissatisfaction. I conducted research on Australian female athletes in the early days of my clinical training and my findings were consistent with international research- that female athletes in leanness or weight focussed sport were more likely to report body dissatisfaction, more competitive athletes (elite level) were more likely to report pressure from coaches or parents, and elite athletes competing in leanness or weight focussed sports were most likely to experience body image concerns and disordered eating habits. However, my findings also showed that sport is a protective factor for female athletes, as they recognised that having a stronger body would enable them to perform in their sport, and that having a much leaner or thinner body might not enhance their performance.
There were approximately 50 attendees (athletes, coaches, parents, even judges from NZ and Australia) who used the chat function to engage in meaningful discussions throughout the webinar. It's not the end of these important discussions on body image, building confidence, managing stage fright , competition pressures, positive self talk, maintaining motivation etc. Thank you for the invitation FISAF International.
Video from webinar (recorded by FISAF International) below.