Ethical Security Solutions

Thursday 21 May 2020

Performance and Sports Psychology in Security Practice

What can the security industry learn from Sports Psychology

War, combat, sports, and security is as old as history itself, and in some cases, they overlap. This overlap for example of work and play can be seen when countries play "war games". Both the USA and Europe through, NATO perform "war games" to test each member state's military personnel readiness for combat or all-out war. Even the term "war games" has the element of the word "games" in it. The goal is to exhibit the skill, strategy, and mental fortitude to defeat the "enemy".

What can security managers learn from the psychology of sports? Or in this case, the psychological need to play, have a game, compete in sports or start and stick with and exercise? (And I do not mean physical exercise here but ongoing security expertise to develop a security culture). Can security managers motivate employees to exhibit proper security practices in their organizations to secure the property, people, information, or data? 

How can security managers utilize sports psychology as a means of encouraging an ongoing security culture in the workplace? What is sports psychology you may ask?  Below are the two definitions of sports and exercise psychology. For the sake of time and space, I am using them interchangeably in the context of mental and psychological benefits towards building a security culture in an organization.

American Psychological Associations definitions of sports psychology and exercise psychology
"Sport psychology is a proficiency that uses psychological knowledge and skills to address the optimal performance and well-being of athletes, developmental, and social aspects of sports participation and systemic issues associated with sports settings and organizations" (American Psychological Association, 2008).

What Is Exercise Psychology and Sport Psychology?
Exercise psychology and sports psychology involve the scientific study of the psychological factors that are associated with participation and performance in sport, exercise, and other types of physical activity. Sport psychologists are interested in two main areas: (a) helping athletes use psychological principles to achieve optimal mental health and to improve performance (performance enhancement) and (b) understanding how participation in sport, exercise, and physical activity affects an individual's psychological development, health, and well-being throughout the lifespan (American Psychological Association, 2011).

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