What is sports psychology?

Sports psychology is a relatively new field of study, marking the intersection between research and sports. Research and interventions in this area cover everything from amateur sports or everyday participation to high-level professional performance, such as the Olympics. The importance of sports psychology lies in the power of the mind to affect performance and behavioral outcomes.

What is movement psychology?

This is a broad field that captures the inner workings of movement, from how movement is perceived to how movement is created. Thus, both motor and sensory systems are of interest here.[1]open in new window Movement psychology overlaps with many fields, including sports psychology but also personality and social psychologyopen in new window (especially when nonverbal communication is involved).

Sports Psychology Topics

  • Cognitive processes: from fundamental processes like attention and memory to more complex processes like self-confidence
  • Biobehavioral bases: like motor learning, eye movement, and CGR
  • Visual perception: the visual perception of a complex stimuli like gait that changes across time and how meaning is attached to this stimulus.
  • Goal setting: the process of setting a goal and making behavioral changes and adjustments in order to reach it.
  • Visualization: one of the most well-known tactics in sports psychology is the power of visualization, imagining an action or certain performance, and subsequently improving.

How to conduct research in sports & movement psychology using Labvanced?

  • Reaction Time:open in new window Record extremely accurate reaction times to stimuli (visual and/or auditory) by utilizing interactive experimental elements like buttons, text boxes, and more.
    • Example: Compare the reaction time of trained athletes to that of casual sports players.
  • Questionnaires: Create organized questionnaires using Page frames to collect activity information from your participants.
    • Example: Record how many hours of physical activity per week your participants take part in as compared to their performance on a task.
  • Head Tracking: Record head movements across your participants while they perform various tasks during the online experiment.
    • Example: Observing head movement differences between active and inactive participants across different age categories.
  • Eye tracking:open in new window Tracking participant’s attention through our eye tracking technology can be activated for any study.
    • Example: Extensive reviews have been conducted identifying ways that eye tracking can be used in the context of sports psychology, including studying visual perception for decision-making in the context of sports like football or volleyball.

What are the advantages of having your sports & movement research online with Labvanced?

  • Precision timing: Our reaction time and display of stimuli is ranked highly and trusted by other researchers, making it ideal for presenting visual and audio stimuli for studying sports psychology.
  • Affordable: Our platform is powerful and dynamic, offering you a great value to conduct your research whether you are an individual or a part of a research lab. For example, our eye tracking technology which can be activated for any experiment provides results that are verging on the level of industry standard equipment which costs tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Convenient: Providing your participants with the option of completing studies online helps them complete the study at their convenience.

Studies Using Our Public Experiment Library

There are several Library studies classified under sports and movement psychology, take a look! Some of our favorites are the following:

  1. Reaction Time Test:open in new window In this study, participants are challenged to stop a moving clock hand exactly at the position that marks 8:00. This study tests reaction time and inhibition and displays results after each attempt in milliseconds.
  2. Speeded Response:open in new window This study measures reaction time and sustained attention. Participants are instructed to watch and wait for an X to appear on the screen and as soon as they see it to press the X key as quickly as possible.
  3. Basketball Strategy:open in new window Using the context of a basketball game, participants’ mental rotation skills are challenged with this study. A pathway on a basketball is presented and participants are instructed to memorize it and then recreate the same path with mouse clicks.

Additional Use Cases

  1. Effects of acute exercise on short-term episodic memory function [2]open in new window
  2. The relationship of emotional intelligence and motivation in athletes [3]open in new window
  3. The impact of visualization (Kinesthetic motor imagery) in sports and exercise [4]open in new window


Kredel, R., Vater, C., Klostermann, A., & Hossner, E. J. (2017). Eye-tracking technology and the dynamics of natural gaze behavior in sports: A systematic review of 40 years of research. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 1845. Haynes IV, J. T., Frith, E., Sng, E., & Loprinzi, P. D. (2019). Experimental effects of acute exercise on episodic memory function: considerations for the timing of exercise. Psychological reports, 122(5), 1744-1754. Sukys, S., Tilindienė, I., Cesnaitiene, V. J., & Kreivyte, R. (2019). Does emotional intelligence predict athletes’ motivation to participate in sports?. Perceptual and motor skills, 126(2), 305-322. Ridderinkhof, K. R., & Brass, M. (2015). How kinesthetic motor imagery works: a predictive-processing theory of visualization in sports and motor expertise. Journal of Physiology-Paris, 109(1-3), 53-63.