The 19th century can be characterized as a time of avid public interest in team and spectator sports. As diverse and challenging new sports were developed and gained popularity, many articles on a rudimentary sport psychology began to appear in cultural magazines in the United States and Great Britain. Athletes, physicians, educators, journalists, and members of the public wrote on topics such as profiles and psychological studies of elite athletes, the importance of physical training, exercise and health, and the detrimental effects of professional sports to the role of age, gender, and culture in sports. Although a scientific foundation for such observations was largely absent, some of the ideas expressed in early cultural magazines anticipate contemporary interests in sport psychology.
D. Brett King, Brittany L. Raymond, and Jennifer A. Simon-Thomas are with the Department of Psychology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Campus Box 345, Boulder, CO 80309-0345.