What is sport psychology?
Getting your mind to work for you, rather than against you:
We all think and our thoughts influence our mood, feelings, emotions, behavior and ultimately performance. When we control our thoughts, we can aim our thoughts toward improving how we hit, throw, run, tackle, kick, etc.
It starts with awareness:
In order to learn to control our thoughts, we must first become aware of how we think when we perform well and when we perform poorly. Once we become aware of our thoughts and behaviors, we practice the right kind of thoughts just like we practice the correct physical mechanics. You’re good at what you practice!
Sport psychology is not clinical psychology:
There is a stigma that if someone works with a sport psychology professional that something is wrong or needs fixing. The only requirement to work with a sport psychology professional is for someone to have a desire to improve his or her performance. I do not focus on clinical disorders such as depression, eating disorders or anxiety. My background is performance-based.
Rehabilitation is a performance much like sport. Sport Psychology concepts translate well. In a study done by Ross & Berger (1996), they showed that athletes who used sport psychology skills (self-talk, imagery, goal setting) recovered faster and better than athletes that did not.
Fear of Re-injury:
Fearing that an injury can happen again is the most common occurrence I see in patients. I help athletes improve positive self-talk, which directly influences how they approach therapy and sport. I also help athletes create and manage goals to stay on task throughout therapy. I also use various types of imagery to help with pain, motor learning, and returning to sport.
Return to Sport:
Ochsner’s Therapy and Wellness clinics provide great environments for athletes to practice athletic skills before going back to the playing field. With me, athletes also have an opportunity to improve mental skills before they return to play. Athletes undergoing rehabilitation have a great opportunity to sharpen mental skills before getting back into competition. If you are interested in sport psychology, you can contact me at 504-638-5475 or firstname.lastname@example.org.