Why Athletes Will Benefit From Sports Psychology

Professional sports is good money. And when we say ‘good money’ we mean really good money. According to Global Sports Matters, there are 106 sports franchises globally and each of these is valued at more than $1 billion each. These franchises each generate millions of dollars each year.

To make sure that these sporting franchises continue to generate money, they have to make sure that their fans are kept happy and, most importantly, keep watching. They will keep watching if their team is winning, so everything needs to be done to keep the athletes in tip-top condition so that they are able to perform their best in every single game.

What Keeps An Athlete At The Top Of Their Game?

For an athlete to keep at the top of his or her game, a number of factors need to be in place. For example, their bodies need to be in peak condition, and they need to know the theory – and practice – of their chosen sport like the back of their hand. In addition, they need to be eating the right foods and taking the correct supplements, which will fuel their performance.

However, they can do all the training and eat all the proper food that they want, but unless they have honed their minds and believe that they are going to excel in their sport, they have wasted their time putting in all of that preparation. Before every shot, acclaimed golfer – Tiger Woods – would imagine where he wanted the shot to go. With this picture in his mind, he would then hit the ball and – nine times out of ten – the shot would go as planned.

So, for an athlete to truly succeed in his or her chosen sport, they need to condition their mind and focus themselves on winning. This is where a sports psychologist can help.

What A Sports Psychologist Is Not

A sports psychologist is not like a ‘traditional’ psychologist who sits in a chair, faces his patient – who is usually sitting or lying on a couch – and gets the patient to talk about their feelings and so work through anything that’s bothering them.

According to the American Psychological Association, a sports psychologist is a trained psychologist who uses psychological principles and techniques in order to help athletes maximise their performance. So say, for example, a basketball player is having difficulty taking a specific shot. The sports coach has worked with him, but nothing that they do helps.

The sports psychologist will work with the player and uncover the reason why they are unable to take the shot. They will help the player to get to the point where they can overcome their fears and ultimately be successful in what they’re doing.

Seeing a sports psychologist isn’t a sign of weakness or an indication that a player is bad at his sport. A sports psychologist will simply help a player to become the best that they can be at their game.