What Do Sports Psychologists Do?

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7 Things Sports Psychologists Can Do

Today, a sports psychologists can do several things to help athletes with sports and performance. A sports psychologist role is more accepted today as a part of the regular coaching staff for teams and for individual athletes–than 10 years ago. A sports psychologists can do are numerous, but they primarily teach athletes mental game skills to improve their performance and learning.

What Do Sports Psychologist Do?

The areas sports psychologists teach vary from one person to another depending on their experience and qualifications. Below are the top roles of an applied sports psychologist, a mental game coaching who helps athletes improve performance via mental training…

(1) Help Athletes Cope with Performance Fears

Sports psychologist can help athletes overcome fears, such as fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, and general performance anxiety. This is common among athletes who are perfectionists or highly dedicated athletes that worry too much about what other people think about their performance.

(2) Help Athletes Improve Mental Skills for Performance

The most common role for a sports psychologist is to teach mental skills for enhanced performance. A mental game expert can help you improve confidence, focus, composure, intensity, and trust in athletic performance. These mental skills help athletes improve performance and can help in other areas of an athlete’s life.

(3) Help Athlete Mentally Prepare for Competition

Another common role of a sports psychologist is to help athletes mentally prepare for competition and practice. This includes many of the mental skills mentioned above, but applied to specific situations on the athletic field.

(4) Help Athletes Return After Injury

Returning to play after an injury can sometimes be difficult for many athletes depending on the nature of the injury. Athletes are often left with “mental scars” long after an injury is physically healed. A sports psychologist can help injured athletes cope better with the pressures associated with returning to a prior level of performance–pre-injury.

(5) Help Athlete Develop Pregame Routine

As part of mental preparation, the role of a sports psychologist includes helping athletes develop mental skills used during pregame or prerace routines. Athletes learn how to focus on the process instead of results and be more proactive with their confidence prior to competition.

(6) Help Athletes Develop Preshot Routines

Preshot routines are another common role of a sports psychologist. Here, athletes learn how to use mental skills to prepare for a specific motor skill, such as a golf shot, free throw, or field goal kick.

(7) Help Athletes Improve Practice Efficiency

Another common role of a sports psychologist is to help athletes improve the quality or efficiency of their practice. Many athletes, such as collegiate athletes, have limited practice time. Coaches want to help these athletes get the most out of their practice time by understanding principles of motor learning and performance.

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