What is a sports psychologist?

sports psychologist
Life Coaching Blog

The pressure of competing in sport can take a major toll on an athlete. Not only do you need to be mentally strong to deal with an intense training regime and its effects on the body, but you also need to find the motivation to contend with fierce competition. This is where a sports psychologist can help.

While a sports coach will typically help with the physical side of sport, a sports psychologist can assist with an athlete’s mind. Whether you are a professional athlete or an amateur, a sports psychologist can help you to achieve your goals.

Shows you how to deal with negativity

Sports psychology involves helping professional and amateur athletes overcome certain mental issues to enhance their performance and achieve their goals. It does this by dealing with:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Pressure from others
  • Pressure from oneself
  • Negative feelings of self-doubt
  • A lack of motivation
  • Sports injuries
  • Negative emotions caused by injury
  • Mental distress during competitions
  • A lack of focus
  • Controlling temper and outbursts
  • Communication issues with teammates

Particularly after an injury, an athlete will need help dealing with feelings of frustration and depression as they recuperate. Not only can sports psychology help you tolerate the physical pain of your injury, but it can assist you with adjusting to the mental consequences of being side-lined. Sports psychology is probably at its most useful directly after an injury.

It enhances your performance

A sports psychologist isn’t only beneficial when you have a problem. Sports psychology is also useful for improving an athlete’s overall performance with mental strategies, relaxation techniques and visualisation.

Sports psychology can enhance an athlete’s performance by:

  • Developing confidence in abilities
  • Improved focus by dealing with distractions
  • Developing coping skills for setbacks
  • Helping sports teams with communication and cohesion
  • Instilling a healthy belief system
  • Improving motivation to succeed
  • Recovering mentally after an injury
  • Developing game-specific strategies

A sports team that cannot work together will benefit from the advice and guidance of a sports psychologist. The only way to succeed is by working together.

Improves other areas of life

Sports psychology can even help with areas of your life that exist outside the gym. The same strategies that are taught to athletes; such as relaxation techniques, visualisation and self-talk; can be just as useful in the workplace.

Self-talk can be particularly useful for work situations. It’s something that you do naturally without even thinking about it, but you’ll probably find that most of your self-talk leans towards the negative. However, if you can master the art of positive self-talk, you will find that you are more confident, motivated, and productive at work. For example, compare the following two thoughts:

“I’m going to speak to my manager about my new idea because I have something important to contribute.” vs. “I can’t speak to my manager about my idea because he’ll probably think it’s stupid.”

Positive self-talk is supportive and affirming while negative self-talk will just set you back, the same way it would on the field or in the gym.

It helps young athletes

Sports psychologists are often hired to help educate sports coaches about how to deal with children in sport. For young people especially, promoting healthy self-esteem is essential for performance. As is the case with adults, mental game training can help young athletes to perform well in competition, especially if they are frustrated or feel like quitting. Sports psychology helps kids to:

  • Build their confidence
  • Define and manage high expectations and beliefs that lead to frustration and discouragement
  • Increase focus and confidence before competitions• Move on quickly from mistakes, losses, and setbacks
  • Manage distractions and negative self-talk
  • Deal with pressure and unrealistic expectations from parents or teachers

Contact Trifocus Fitness Academy today

Trifocus Fitness Academy is offering you an opportunity to become a soft skills sports psychologist by mastering the theory of mental skills coaching. Trifocus Fitness Academy is a leader in health and fitness education, offering an extensive array of health and fitness qualifications at competitive prices. By enrolling in a sports psychology course, you will be able to help athletes improve their performance and excel in their sport. To find out more about our sports psychology course or another internationally accredited fitness course, speak to one of our qualified consultants at 0861 444 765.