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Guide to Understanding the Basics of Sports Psychology

sports psychologistWhen it comes to the field of psychology, there are several interdisciplinary and specialty subjects that are continuing to emerge. One unique field of psychology that many people are becoming aware of is sports psychology. Sports psychology is a combination of mental skill and mental toughness training that can help athletes perform better on the field.
 
Sports psychology focuses on the large impact the mind has on the quality of physical performance.Mental training includes, among other things, increasing focus, recovering concentration after a mistake, managing one’s self under pressure, and achieving a balance between thinking and trusting your sensory-motor system. These interventions typically include; goal setting, positive self-talk, motivation, stress management, and more.
 
A sports psychologist can help athletes from amateurs to professionals achieve their physical and mental goals. Many elite athletes report that at least 50% of superior athletic performance is the result of mental or psychological factors.
 
When it comes to setting goals, a sports psychologist can help athletes set goals that are challenging, yet realistic. As opposed to having a simple and short-sighted goal such as ‘winning the game’, a sports psychologist broadens the athlete’s horizons and helps him or her aim for more specific goals such as achieving process goals, having better communication with teammates, or maintaining a good attitude throughout the game.
 
Concentration skills are also strengthened in sports psychology. Athletes can learn how to refocus unnecessary noise and other distractions and focus only on the process of performing well in the moment. This can be an extremely useful technique to help athletes get in ‘the zone’ — a state where athletes act without thinking.
 
Another major aspect of sports psychology is assisting in the process of coping with injuries. For many athletes, their sport is a large percentage of their identity. When an athlete gets hurt, being out of practice and away from the team may seem to cause the entire world to come crashing down. A sports psychologist can help athletes learn healthy coping techniques and teach them to utilize their recovery time for mental training.
 
Overall, sports psychology offers many benefits to athletes of any age and skill level. The mental training skills learned with a sports psychologist can accelerate your development. If you’re interested in receiving high-quality treatment from a sports psychologist, contact me.