What is Sport Psychology?
Most athletes experience poor performances from time to time. However with the use of well-structured mental skills interventions these can be reduced to ensure an athlete is competing and training at a consistently high level.
These skills are also crucial for athletes experiencing success as they need to maintain the motivation and drive to stay at the top of their game.
Sport psychology include issues such as confidence, concentration, goal setting, arousal, preparation, relaxation, team cohesion, mental toughness, injury rehabilitation, aggression and motivation, etc. There is a wide range of techniques and tools which can be used to help athletes and coaches developing these areas.
Support can be delivered during training, at competition or outside the sporting environment. Both team and individual sports can benefit from the use of applied sport psychology.
How Does Sport Psychology Help Athletes?
Every athlete needs to have the ability to maximise performance under pressure.
Delivered in an appropriate manner mental strategies have ability to:
- Regulate arousal levels to a desirable and optimal level to ensure peak performance
- Challenge athletes to maintain appropriate attention on their individual training and competition goals with regular review and monitoring
- Relax and focus under pressure
- Help athletes develop a sound performance routine and effective behaviour regulation
- Assist in improving an individual’s ability to sustain concentration and focus on the right things at the right time
- Use coping strategies to deal appropriately with both success and setbacks
- Develop an individual’s levels of intrinsic motivation for both training and competition
- Provide appropriate imagery and simulation training strategies
- Impact on team building and development
- Cope with injury, de-selection, loss of role, etc.
- Enhance mental aspects of recovery
- Facilitate confidence in an individual’s own ability
- Provide athletes with strong preparation routines to minimise distraction