Monthly Archives: June 2017

What Can Sports Psychologists Do for Athletes?

sports psychologistsAthletes seek out the assistance of sports psychologists for a multitude of reasons. Whether they’re having a performance issue that they want to address or there’s a general desire for improvement, sports psychology can be a solution for many athletes. Here’s a quick overview of what sports psychologists can do for athletes.
Enhance Performance
Enhancing performance is one of the most common reasons athletes will come to discuss different types of sports psychology. And one of the first skills they typically work on is mental imagery. This practice consists of five main categories: cognitive-specific, cognitive-general, motivational-specific, motivational-general mastery, and motivational-general arousal. Depending on the athlete’s specific goal, their sessions could fall into any one of these categories.
Recover from Injuries
Injuries may take a visible physical toll on an athlete, but there’s often a hidden psychological impact, as well. It’s the psychological harm that sports psychologists are tasked with healing. Things such as tolerating pain, adjusting to new limitations, and other performance issues will need to be addressed if an athlete wants to reach their highest potential after an injury.
Cope Under Pressure
Athletes are often under extraordinary amounts of pressure while they’re competing. Solo athletes in particular often struggle when coping with pressure. Rather than having a team to rely on, these athletes take 100% of the brunt of failure and the responsibility of success. Learning how to cope with this kind of pressure in a healthy, productive manner can not only improve performance, it can improve an athlete’s quality of life.
Enhance Motivation
Basic psychology has proven that intrinsic motivation is more powerful than extrinsic motivation. In short, true motivation comes from within. Unfortunately, mustering this kind of motivation takes practice. But help from a skilled professional or clinical psychologist can unlock an athlete’s best potential and inner motivation. Without this kind of assistance, many athletes may lose interest and motivation to perfect their performance.
Seeing a psychologist for sports is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it’s something that can help improve athletes’ performance beyond what they ever thought they could accomplish. Never underestimate the power of mental training!

3 Common Myths About Psychotherapy You Need To Stop Believing

psychotherapyWhen it comes to psychotherapy, many people don’t quite know what it is or how it can help them. But the fact is, psychotherapy has many different uses — 60% of anxiety prone people showed marked improvements in anxiety levels after 6-9 months of meditation, and there are plenty of other types of psychotherapy as well. Here are some common myths about psychotherapy.

  1. Myth: Any type of therapy is a sign of weakness.
    This myth is absolutely absurd, but it’s out there. In reality, many people need help overcoming mental troubles, and one of the best ways to get insight is by consulting a professional in the industry. Whether you’re interested in sports psychology techniques or want to talk to a licensed clinical psychologist, talking to a professional in the industry is always the right choice.
  2. Myth: Psychotherapy “fixes” people
    Although it may seem like psychotherapists and sports psychologists are miracle workers, it does take effort from the person receiving the therapy. Growth doesn’t happen overnight, and it certainly doesn’t happen without effort. Psychotherapy isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, nor is it a miracle cure for serious diseases or ailments. says, “For psychotherapy to work, you need to be an active participant, bringing your expertise about what life is like for you. The best solutions and insights will come from you, with the therapist acting more like a midwife than a psychic surgeon. In this way, you gain what you need to lead a better life, and are not dependent on the therapist to tell you how to live.”
  3. Myth: Psychotherapy results are always instantly visible
    Like physical medical treatment, results aren’t always visible right away, and it normally takes many sessions to notice visible improvement. Every single person reacts differently to different psychologists, and although it may take time to find the right one, results can be impressive when the patient has undergone enough treatment. Take time when evaluating whether or not sessions are successful. When patients keep attending sessions, results becoming more and more evident.

Ultimately, it’s important to understand the basics of psychotherapy before undergoing the treatment. For more information about the types of sports psychology, contact Sheryl Smith PhD.