We are the Champions

For as long as I can remember, I have loved and played organized basketball. The culmination of this adoration and dedication came during my senior year of high school when we won the state championship. I spent most of my childhood and adolescent years watching, practicing and playing this game. I played through all kinds of injuries and illnesses. I played with all kinds of organizations and teams. Now, I was the captain of the team of all teams: State Champions.

I’d reached the manacle of my basketball career. If we are looking at this significant event through the behavioral perspective of psychology, we see the ways in which it applies. The behavioral perspective allows us to look at the obvious observable and measurable behaviors as opposed to the internal and mental ones. It focuses on how behaviors are learned and reinforced. Practice was the driving behavior that allowed our team to succeed. Our coaches required us to practice the same plays over and over again. We practiced shooting drills over and over again.

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These things were reiterated until hey became second nature, and then we practiced them some more. Our philosophy was that we did not practice until we got it right, but we practiced until we could not get it wrong. Also, part of our preparation included watching videos of our opponents. This allowed us to learn their behaviors and tendencies in order to devise a plan to counteract them (Baron & Kessler, 2008). During the game of basketball, the cognitive perspective plays an important role. This perspective is concerned with the mental function: how things are perceived, remembered, reasoned, decided, or problem solved.

Before the game starts, a strategy is developed for the offensive and defensive side of the court. It has to be remembered by every member of the team along with all of the plays and signals to help the team function as one cohesive unit. We are also tasked with making split second decisions throughout the game in order to navigate the opponent’s defensive scheme (McLeod, 2007). Through this entire process, I learned that hard work would lead to great rewards. One of the ways this happened was through classical conditioning learning.

This type of learning involves “placing a neutral signal before a naturally occurring reflex” (Baron & Kessler, 2008, p. 161). In order to build our stamina to run up and down the court for a complete game, our coaches used a whistle. When the whistle was blown, we were required to run suicide drills. At the sound of a double whistle, we were required to stop running. The blowing of the whistle is an unconditioned stimulus and the act of running is an unconditioned response. Operating learning came in the form of positive reinforcements and punishments.

We were praised and received gifts for working hard in practice, for performing drills ND tasks flawlessly, and for meeting seasonal milestones. Our punishments came in the form of performing push-ups or having an extra early morning practice when we did not do what was expected. In addition, some of my basketball skills were acquired through observational learning. I watched Just as much basketball on television as I played. I took some of the things that I saw my favorite college and professional basketball players performed and worked to mimic them (Baron & Kessler, 2008).

This entire senior basketball season was very memorable. It was like ale with a story book ending. However, some of the details of that season was lost. This is because of retroactive interference. We played 23 games that year, and each game added a new memory. Because of the similarities in games, the details get clouded with the addition off new one. The championship game was different. That game is an autobiographical memory as it was a reward for what I had worked so long to achieve. This was the most important thing that Vive done up until that point.

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Sarah
Danielle
Wilson
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