What is a sports psychologist?

When people ask “What is a sports psychologist?” I’m sometimes tempted to list off the various more common reasons one might seek a sport psychologist, or the many potential benefits of working with a sport psychologist. Yet I’ve found that ‘what’ a sports psychologist is or does is largely determined by each individual’s specific goals and challenges.

For some people the reason to seek consultation and therapy with a sports psychologist is quite clear– they have an issue, concern or injury they want to focus on improving, but when it comes to improving performance by exploring psychological aspects of athletic excellence, there is not so much a ‘right’ course of action than that dedicating oneself to the process of working with a sports psychologist will ensure best odds at improvement!

The question ‘What is a sports psychologist’ can become a very creative, shared process where the client and sports psychologist work together to explore psychological vistas of enhanced performance. In such therapeutic interactions, the sports psychologist will optimally follow the individual’s lead and can assist with introspectively considering the various factors at work in one’s sports performance and experience.

As humans we are not always good at seeing that which is right under our noses, so as with more general psychotherapy, one advantage of working with a sports psychologist is getting an outside/objective point of view in addition to one’s own or those of peers. A sports psychologist not only functions as this unbiased perspective, but can more easily identify potentially underlying issues and make suggestions based on years of specializing in professional sports and fitness related psychology.

Because we’re all so unique as individuals, the experience of teaming with a sports psychologist can be a very personal and meaningful journey and so can vary quite significantly from person to person, yet the overarching goals of working collaboratively and the spirit of “making the most of what you’ve got” will guide us through the process together.

They say the greatest journeys begin with one step, and this is certainly the case with utilizing sport psychology to raise one’s expertise, skill, and even enjoyment of sport to the next level of Personal Best! If you are willing to explore these facets of sport psychology and how it they can improve not only your personal mastery and enjoyment, but all objective performance, what are you waiting for? Contact me or another Performance Boost sport psychologist to set up an appointment!

There is no special preparation that needs to happen before making an appointment to meet with a sport psychologist, yet I’ve found it helpful for individuals to spend some time thinking about what they’d like to get out of the therapeutic relationship. Even if one’s goals are not exactly clear, asking oneself “what is a sports psychologist in my case? What do I envision being the best possible outcome of this process? What role do I see this professional playing in my own development goals?” –can help get one into a positive and receptive state of mind, which only helps us work together toward achieving your highest goals!