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When psychologists began studying sports in the 1930s and 1940s, they focused on motor performance and the acquisition of motor skills.Sports psychology emerged as a distinct discipline in the 1960s, dominated by theories of social psychology.
Techniques applied include anxiety management, progressive relaxation, autogenic training, biofeed-back, hypnosis, and cognitive behavioral therapy.One example can be seen in numerous research reports which have cited the benefits of jogging and other sports in alleviating depression. (Some studies have found that running is equal to psychotherapy in its ability to relieve depressive symptoms.) Sports psychology has also gained recognition through the popularity of such books as Thaddeus Kostrubala's The Joy of Running, David Kauss's Peak Performance, and Timothy Gallwey's "inner game" books. Since then, research has expanded into numerous areas such as imagery training, hypnosis, relaxation training, motivation, socialization, conflict and competition, counseling, and coaching.Specific sports and recreational specialties studied include baseball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, golf, fencing, dance, and many others.