Oi, ref! 'Av you got perceptual flash lag or what?

July 29, 2005

Sean coughlan leads a warm-up for a sporting get-together

Conference: 11th World Congress of Sport Psychology. August 15 to 19. Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, Australia. Fee £334, discounts for students and International Society of Sport Psychology members

What is it about? This is an international gathering for specialists in sport and exercise psychology and people working in related areas of health research, hosted by the International Society of Sport Psychology, the College of Sport Psychologists and the Australian Psychological Society.

Exercise junkies: With all these gym-loving sporting thinkers around, there's a provocative discussion on whether "sport science students are at greater risk of exercise addiction than the general exercising population".

Post-match banter: Did you know there are 58 sport psychology courses available in UK higher education institutions? These include combined courses in "applied criminology with sport and exercise psychology". You can do your own jokes about criminals making a quick getaway.

Thought that counts: We all want to be fitter, but what thought process makes people decide to start exercising? This is examined in "Increasing physical activity in sedentary individuals: In search of the Golden Fleece". Presumably the Golden Fleece is the pub round the corner where all the sedentary folks are watching sport channels.

In which we serve: There are some seriously detailed topics under investigation such as "does the task constraint of cricket bowling lead to similar patterns of run-up variability as long-jumping?".

Starting line: Among the earliest sport psychologists was Norman Triplett, who in the 1890s published research in the US that asked why cyclists riding in a group recorded faster times than riding alone. He considered factors such as "brain worry" and observed that social interaction was important in racing, as well as physical ability, and that "winners can because they think they can".

Goal finger: The psychology of being successful at sport can also be applied to other areas, such as business. Dan Gould from Michigan State University will lead a workshop on how sport psychologists can use their skills to create corporate superstars.

Sing Sven you're winning: Sport psychology is now included as an official element of the Football Association's training programme. "FA Learning" offers its own qualification - the FA psychology for football diploma.

Ashes to ashes: Anyone visiting Sydney this summer will not be allowed to forget the cricket matches taking place between England and Australia. And anyone wanting to dazzle in the bar-room analysis should attend "Attunement to constraints: From where do skilled cricket batsmen pick up information to anticipate a bowler's intent?"

Dummying down: There's an attempt to explain the mystery of how rugby union players "sell a dummy" in a talk on deception and anticipation. In future, there might be a talk from football managers about how to buy a dummy.

Academic referee: Are you blind or what? Refereeing difficulties will be explained in "Errors in judging offside in football: Test the optical error versus the perceptual flash-lag hypothesis". Told you he was miles offside. It's always the same old perceptual flash lag.

Smart casual: This is how you have to dress for the welcoming reception, but it's only a Pringle sweater away from Alan Partridge's trendsetting "sports casual". The next day's golf club social event requires "golf attire" and the dinner cruise requires "smart evening attire".

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