The edited volume, Psychology Gets in the Game, has just been released by the University of Nebraska Press. Edited by Christopher D. Green and Ludy T. Benjamin Jr., the book’s chapters explore sports-related research conducted by a number of late-nineteenth and early twentieth century psychologists.
Each chapter recounts a different episode in the history of sports psychology research including: the background of Norman Tripplett‘s bicycling research, archery research conducted by John B. Watson and Karl Lashley, research on fencing and other sports by E.W. Scripture at Yale University, football research conducted at Stanford University by Walter Miles, the use of hypnotism by the St. Louis Browns‘ baseball team in an effort to improve their performance, football coach Paul Brown‘s use of psychological tests to improve his teams’ performance, the pioneering athletic research laboratory established by Coleman Griffith at the University of Illinois, and the psychomotor evaluation of Babe Ruth done in Columbia University’s psychology lab (which was recently replicated by Albert Pujols). Contributors to the volume include, David Baker, Frank G. Baugh, Günther Bäumler, Angela H. Becker, Ludy T. Benjamin Jr., Stephen F. Davis, Donald A. Dewsbury, Alfred H. Fuchs, Stephen T. Graef, Christopher D. Green, C. James Goodwin, Matthew T. Huss, and Alan S. Kornspan.
The book is described as follows:
Although sport psychology did not fully mature as a recognized discipline until the 1960s, pioneering psychologists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, making greater use of empirical research methodologies, sought to understand mental factors that affect athletic performance. Though the psychologists behind the studies described here worked independently of one another and charted their own distinct courses of inquiry, their works, taken together, provided the corpus of precedents and foundations on which the modern field of sport psychology was built. The essays collected in this volume tell the stories not only of these psychologists and their subjects but of the social and academic context that surrounded them, shaping and being shaped by their ideas.