While sports psychology is not something that is incredibly popular, it is used amongst professional athletes across many sports. There are athletes in every sport who swear by this treatment and rave about their success as a result of it. But, what is sports psychology? Is it something that will benefit you, though you aren’t a professional athlete? Is it something you can afford? And where do you start?
What is Sports Psychology?
Sports psychology is the use of biomechanics, kinesiology, physiology, and psychology to better an athlete and try to overcome any obstacles they may have. It is believed that in some cases our mind holds us back and not our bodies. This is because our bodies view an obstacle or problem with certain tasks. This means that someone who has a fear of heights might be able to use sports psychology to work through that problem and rock climb or climb ropes in competitions. Someone who thinks they can only lift what they are lifting now might see a ten percent increase after some sports psychology sessions.
Benefits of Sports Psychology
Because sports psychology seeks to remedy psychological problems that might be a block for athletes, it is also beneficial in other areas of life. Removing these blocks is like lifting a psychological weight. Their removal also helps in personal matter and insight. It is also common for sports psychology to lead to the healing of other psychological obstacles in your day to day life. Sometimes even fears. While some find psychology to be wishy-washy or think they don’t need the help, sports psychology can offer them insight into how beneficial it can be and how therapy can be easy and helpful. It can lead to more sessions for therapy needed in other avenues.
Who Can Benefit From Sports Psychology?
Anyone can use sports psychology. And it doesn’t have to be for an extreme benefit. If you have a fear of deep water, sports psychology might be able to help you get past it. That will mean that you can learn how to swim. You can even scuba dive or snorkel on your next vacation! You don’t have to be a professional athlete or someone with an athletic career to feel the benefits of sports psychology. There are plenty of CrossFit competitors who use it, just to try to get an edge. But a lot of them will tell you that they are just regular people, and CrossFit isn’t an extraordinary sport. It is one that anyone can do and is based on simple body weight workouts. But, it allows you to free your mind of any limitations you may have during those workouts. And that is a benefit we could all use.
Where Can I Find a Sports Psychologist?
You want to make sure that the person you find is specifically practicing sports psychology. It might seem like something that any psychologist can do, but this is a very specific field. There are some psychologists who have multiple focuses, and that is ok. But, you don’t want to pick a psychologist who has never studied or practiced sports psychology before. They need to have an understanding of other disciplines and how they relate to your problem to help you. And this isn’t something they can just read over a weekend.
You want someone who has helped other people successfully and has a vast knowledge of sports psychology. Otherwise, you will be paying for a less effective treatment. You can start your search here. They will be able to tell you specifics about the process and prices. You’re likely to be very surprised about how cheap it can be compared to what you thought it would be.
Finding the Right Sports Psychologist
Remember that with sports psychology, like most counseling, the key is trust and communication. You cannot be afraid that you will seem silly when you say you have fear. And you have to trust that you won’t be judged when you are honest. This is the only way that counseling can help you. You have to be open to communicating the truth. Communicating it might be a problem and that is normal. It takes a little getting used to. But, you want to tell your counselor that; instead of closing up. They will help you find the words you need or ask you questions to get the information they need from you. Sports psychology is the same way.
Trusting the person that you are talking to is essential for them to find out the information they need. Usually, the questions are easy enough. But, if you feel like you don’t want to answer a question or feel offended by something you think might make you seem weak, you need to tell them. There are more tips for sports psychology to get you started here.