Why is Sports Psychology Important?
Working with a sports psychologist may seem daunting to some athletes, or it may even seem completely unneeded. You may think, “I don’t need to work with one because there’s nothing wrong with me.”
But here’s the thing…there doesn’t need to be something wrong with you in order to work with a sports psychologist.
The field of sports psychology is important because of the impact it has on your mind and your game. This means that no matter if you are or aren’t struggling, the work will still be beneficial to you.
What is Sports Psychology
Sports psychology involves the study of how the mind impacts performance.
When discussing it in an actionable sense, and by this I mean outside of research and used directly with athletes, it involves using different tools and strategies to help improve performance.
The mind cannot be separated from the body. And so, as an athlete, you must be sure your mind and body are working in harmony.
A lot of times what’s between your ears turns out to be your worst enemy. Leading to distracting thoughts, self-doubt, anxiety, and many other unhelpful mindsets that lower your ability to perform at high levels.
Through sports psychology, your mind is strengthened and turned into an asset for your game. Something all athletes can benefit from, no matter what sport they play or their current skill level.
Why Sports Psychology is Important
There is an increase in attention being given to the mind in sports. No longer is it seen as purely physical for you to go out there and succeed. A strong and well developed mindset is equally important.
Though, there are still questions surrounding the work. Therefore, let’s examine some of the top reasons why sports psychology is so important for athletes.
Do you know why you do certain things? Why do you perform well in some moments, but choke during others? Why is it that sometimes you feel more confident than other times?
All of these questions require self-awareness to answer.
A sports psychologist will help you better understand yourself. They will teach you how to recognize patterns of thought which are leading to you feeling a certain way, and how those two then play into your behavior.
Through knowing yourself better, you can then manage yourself at a higher level, which will allow you to use your thoughts and emotions to increase athletic performance.
Many times low motivation and decreased performance on the field or court is due to you simply not enjoying the game any longer.
Why you’ve lost this love will vary. But for the most part, it will have to do with factors that are working against your ability to enjoy yourself while playing.
Some of the main factors include performance anxiety, high expectations, fear of failure, perfectionism, and pressure.
Sports psychology works to help you manage these factors, change your mindset, and once more find joy in performing.
It Strengthens Your Mind
In the introduction I said that a lot of athletes wonder if they should work with a sports psychologist because they don’t feel as though anything is wrong with them.
But here’s the truth, no matter who you are, if you play sports long enough, you will be faced with doubts, failures, insecurities, and pressure. How will you be able to manage all of that?
Sports psychology works to strengthen your mind proactively. That way, when these inevitable distractions present themselves, you will have the tools and strength necessary to manage them in a positive way.
Develops a More Positive Mindset
Having a positive attitude and outlook is necessary in sports.
There are going to be many times when you fail, make a mistake, or don’t live up to your own or other people’s expectations.
Through sports psychology you will develop a positive mindset able to take these challenges head on; bouncing back from setbacks without letting them tear you down.
If again and again you face defeat, and a negative mindset forms, this can lead to depression. Working to develop a positive mindset will help keep your spirits high even when all else seems bleak.
The mind-body connection cannot be overlooked in sports.
In conjunction with your physical skills, developing high level mental skills will lead to greater play on the field or court.
Sports psychology tools and techniques give you such skills.
In addition, when you work with a professional in this space, you will learn how to truly analyze your performances in a way that leads to more growth and as a result, greater success in the future.
If you are a serious athlete looking to reach your full potential, you need to be making use of sports psychology.
There are a tremendous amount of benefits it will have on not only yourself, but your game.
From a better understanding of your thoughts and feelings, all the way to developing a more positive mindset, this type of work is crucial to your success.
If you’re ready to make use of sports psychology, click below to learn more about the one-on-one mental performance coaching program offered here at Success Starts Within. Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of success in all that you do.
Contact Success Starts Within Today
Please contact us to learn more about mental coaching and to see how it can improve your mental game and increase your performance. Complete the form below, call (252)-371-1602 or schedule an introductory coaching call here.
Eli is a sport psychology consultant and mental game coach who works 1-1 with athletes to help them improve their mental skills and overcome any mental barriers keeping them from performing their best. He has an M.S. in psychology and his mission is to help athletes and performers reach their goals through the use of sport psychology & mental training.eli's story
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