Noticeable in the literature associated with the application of psychology to the area of sport and sports performance in particular has been the increasing frequency of references to the use of cognitive intervention in the sports context. Currently utilised in clinical psychology and behavioural medicine, and receiving increasing attention in sports psychology, are a number of intervention techniques primarily oriented towards altering the individual's level of arousal. These techniques, which have been advocated for use by sports performers as an aid to adapting and coping during competition, have been largely concerned with arousal reduction. This paper presents an alternative approach, the case of reversal theory, a new general theory of psychology concerned with motivation, and emphasises the conceptual implications of this new approach for the use of cognitive intervention techniques in sport.
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