The Psychology of Sports

When people talk about the psychology of sports, they are oftentimes referring to the mental or psychological aspects of a sport, envisioning these to be not very different from the physical aspects of a sport; thinking that the psychology of sports can be calculated and figured with similar mathematical accuracy.

While this is true in many regards –the psychology of sports can be isolated to some basic components that are crucial to every athlete in nearly all specific situations–yet to really get to the heart of the matter, and what sport psychology can do for you and your performance, we can do even better to look at sports psychology as more than the sum of its parts.

In order to dig deeper and get the most of out what sport psychology has to offer you as an individual, as an athlete, it can be very helpful to think about your own beliefs and attitudes as you approach each part of your sport or performance. After all, what we expect, believe, and think will happen tends to play a rather large part in how things actually happen. Thus the psychology of sports has everything to do with individual mental approaches.

Because personal sport psychology is formulated from our expectations and beliefs and the feelings we tend to associate with these, it can be surprising how effective it is to do some exploration in these areas of sport performance that oftentimes are overlooked for the more obvious physical factors.

It could be said the psychology of sports comes first and foremost, above the physical aspects of performance. As all athletes know, every little factor can add up to make big, real world differences. When it comes to sports psychology, I like to think of exploring and exercising the psychological aspects of ones sport as one of the most effective ways to improve performance across the board. When an individual explores their inner reactions, thinking processes or even related feelings, this tends to be like fine tuning an already well oiled machine, which allows us to achieve above and beyond previous results by making less obvious (though not any less effective!) internal adjustments.

At its best, the psychology of sports is a collaboration between the sport psychologist and client, and utilises a combination of addressing the more universal ways of improving overall psychological state and approach, with more customized focus on the areas where you most wish to excel. Oftentimes the net result of focusing on one’s ‘sport psychology’ is being able to efficiently improve one’s performance by identifying the areas where one can improve the most while exerting the smallest possible effort or making smaller adjustments.

I can assist you in assessing your current strengths and weaknesses, as well as to identify or further troubleshoot any issues you may be experiencing. If you are interested in fine tuning your performance using sports psychology, why not contact me for an appointment!