Mental conditioning is something many athletes, from amateurs to professionals, require to perform at their best. Self-limiting beliefs are an athlete’s kryptonite. When this happens these negative thoughts start to affect performance. This is when a sports psychologist steps in. Here’s a definition of the profession, who should be seeing one, and five tell-tale signs that it might be time to visit your local sports psychologist.
What Does a Sports Psychologist Do?
Sports psychology is concerned with how an athlete’s mind affects his or her athletic performance. This includes diagnosing any psychological barriers as well as devising effective solutions to ensure that an athlete performs at their peak, every time, all the time.
Some sports psychologists work directly with individual athletes and coaches while others are involved with team sports. Professional sports psychologists are also able to assist amateur athletes – or those who have taken to performing a particular sport for the first time – with the motivation needed to follow a sports and exercise programme and take back their wellness.
Who Should Be Seeing a Sports Psychologist?
Sports psychology becomes very important when looking at the upper levels of professional sport. This is where the pressure to perform is felt the most and it is this pressure that sports psychologists work through with their clients. Those who visit sports psychologists include:
- Professional solo athletes (golfers, swimmers, cyclists, tennis players)
- Professional sports teams (rugby players, cricket players, hockey players)
- Sports coaches
- Sports referees
- Amateur athletes (school children, club sports)
- People who are lacking motivation for exercise
- Families of professional athletes
5 Reasons to See a Sports Psychologist
There are a number of reasons why an athlete would use a sports psychologist and how they would benefit from regular sports psychology sessions. We’ve listed five below:
Gain a positive attitude
Sports psychologists exude positivity and know just how to get athletes out of a funk and into a permanent positive frame of mind.
Discover hidden passions
Looking into your life as a third-party observer, a sports psychologist will spot your hidden passions and help you leverage them on the field, on the court, or on the tarmac.
Set and achieve fitness goals
Professional athleticism is reliant on the setting and achieving goals to systematically get an athlete where they want to be. Sports psychologists know how to do this better than most fitness professionals.
Improve your team cohesion
Often, especially when on a losing streak, sports teams can become despondent and irritable. A sports psychologist is able to unite the team mentally and prepare them for a comeback.
Build your confidence
An athlete cannot perform at optimal levels if they do not believe in their own abilities to do so. Sports psychologists can see an athlete’s untapped potential and knows just how to make them believe in themselves.
Study Sports Psychology with Trifocus Fitness Academy
Learn how to effectively motivate clients and further your sports psychology knowledge with a personal training course from Trifocus Fitness. Our Platinum personal training qualifications feature bespoke courses on sports psychology which will teach you, among others:
- What is mental skills training
- How mental skills training is required for successful sports performance
- What is a sports coach’s role in mental skills training?
- What is the role of a sports psychologist?
- How to work with groups, teams and individuals in a sporting environment?
- How to design mental skill programmes?
- How to get the athlete to deal with sports injuries mentally
- How to deal with discrimination in sports
- How to get people to foster personal motivation
- The benefits of recreation and leisure activities
Together with our flagship Personal Training Diploma, our personal training platinum package gives any aspiring personal trainer a solid foundational understanding of this important aspect of overall health and wellness.
For more information on this package as well as our other online fitness courses, visit our website.