What is sport psychology?
Sport psychology is the scientific study of people and their behavior in sport and exercise activities and the practical application of that knowledge.
What do sport psychologists do?
Sport psychologists seek to understand and help elite athletes, children and average participants achieve peak performance, personal satisfaction and personal development through participation. A good way to think of a sport psychologist is as a "mental coach" who educates athletes about psychological skills and helps with character development.
Arousal (anxiety) management, confidence development, improved communication, the use of imagery and relaxation are some of the areas sport psychologists address.
Why do people contact a sport psychology professional?
To improve performance. This is the most common reason for consulting a sport psychology professional. In general, performance may be enhanced through the teaching of mental strategies that either refine the practices of effective performances or help other performers overcome obstacles that prevent them from reaching their potential.
To deal with the pressures of competition. Athletes at all levels seek help with the pressures of competition. Such pressures may stem from parental and/or expectations as well as the athlete's own expectations regarding performance.
To enhance the experience of youth sport participation. Youth sport organizations may employ a sport psychology professional to educate coaches about how to increase the satisfaction and enjoyment of participants and about the coaches' role in promoting the development of healthy self-esteem.
To receive guidance in dealing with life challenges. Concerns with personal problems can adversely effect exercise and athletic performance. People often find that meeting with a psychologist helps to put things in perspective and allows for greater satisfaction in life, career and time management.
What services can a sport...