UNH News Release: Expert Available to Comment on Psychological Issues in Olympic Athletes
July 26, 2012
Expert Available to Comment on Psychological Issues in Olympic Athletes
Heather Barber
Heather Barber, associate professor of kinesiology at the University of New Hampshire and an expert on psychological issues in athletes. Credit: Jeremy Mayhew, College of Health and Human Services, UNH.

DURHAM, N.H. – Athletes competing in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London will face a range of psychological issues, including pressure and anxiety associated with expectations, that are unique to this event, says Heather Barber of the University of New Hampshire. Barber, associate professor of kinesiology in the sport studies option, specializes in sport psychology.

Heather Barber is available at heather.barber@unh.edu or 603-568-0813 (cell).

“The Olympics are a unique event in that performance is judged primarily by medals. The focus on besting others rather than creating your best performance creates a different focus that can negatively impact performance. Athletes in individual and team sports create their own special mechanisms for dealing with this added pressure,” says Barber.
Barber’s research centers on motivation, and girls’ and women’s participation in sport. As a certified consultant of the Association for Applied Sports Psychology, she is a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee Registry of Sport Psychologists. Barber has worked with elite athletes in individual and team sports at all levels. She is also a former coach at Wellesley College.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.

Photograph available to download: http://www.unh.edu/news/releases/2012/jul/img/HB-Wall-Pic.jpg
Caption: Heather Barber, associate professor of kinesiology at the University of New Hampshire and an expert on psychological issues in athletes. Credit: Jeremy Mayhew, College of Health and Human Services, UNH.

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Media Contact: Beth Potier | 603-862-1566 | UNH Media Relations | @unhnews
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