Glossary – G L

Gratitude: is feeling appreciation, being thankful and having a sense of abundance. This emotion is relevant to sport psychology for two reasons: 1) When expressing gratitude athletes and coaches strengthen their relationships. 2) When feeling grateful (as opposed to feeling entitled) it is possible to see opportunities instead of despair. 

Locus of control: Through our set of beliefs and life experiences we develop our locus of control, which is the place where we think the control of what happens to us, our successes, and failures is. This interpretation – irrespective of whatever happens is within someone’s control or not – is important when coping with stress. When faced with scenarios like: “whether an athlete did not get a good score due to not training efficiently, or due to the judges not scoring fairly”; answers about the perception of the locus of control could range in a continuum. On the one extreme it could be internal (e.g., attributing success or failure to ourselves), and on the other externally (i.e., due to luck, fate, chance or powerful others). Those with an internal locus of control hold themselves accountable for what happens to them and try to exercise that control; whereas those with an external locus of control do not usually exercise control about what happens to them. Having an internal locus of control is empowering because it leads individuals to think they can influence events in their lives and motivates them to be responsible for their actions. Nobody can control everything happening to us, however what everyone can do is controlling the reactions to what happens, i.e., what we think and do about it. Some of the relevant theories to the locus of control are: Locus of control theory, Social learning theory. The locus of control has been researched and measured on a wide variety of contexts such as health, academic achievement, parenthood, economic behaviour, prison environment, and driving behaviour.

Kaizen: Word of Japanese origin referring to the commitment to continuously improve, (e.g., setting new goal each time we reach one) and understanding mistakes as opportunities to learn.

Photograph by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash