Commonwealth Games and the importance of sport psychology

The Commonwealth Games always brightens the focus of the media and the general public on elite sport. Not coincidently, this focus also touches on how athletes deal with the pressure of big events like the Commonwealth Games.

I was recently interviewed by ABC 720 Perth in reference to my work with athletes at the WA Institute of Sport. For many of these athletes, competing in the Commonwealth Games will likely represent between 7 to 10 years structured training. During that time, the majority of athletes will utilise sport psychology services to boost their performance and well-being.

Even though all WAIS athletes have access to sport psychology services it might surprise you to learn that not all athletes access these services.¬†Unfortunately, elite athletes (like the general public) can feel that seeing a sport psychologist must mean that you have “a problem”. The reality is that both within WAIS and within my practice at Performance Boost that the vast majority of athletes of all differing ages and abilities are just fine. They don’t have any “mental problems” or “mental issues” and not a single one ever has been “crazy”

They just want to get better at their sport, exercise, or performance. And sometimes there is a barrier or hurdle that gets in the way.

And the bottom line is that is what we do – we improve performance and improve well-being of highly functioning people. People who are already good at what they do but who want to get better.

Are you letting the stigma that some people hold about sport psychology get in the way of overcoming your barriers and hurdles?