Sport Counseling Works If…
- You are looking for a competitive edge.
- You are concerned with your child’s experience in youth sports.
- You are looking for a way to get more out of your exercise experience.
- You or the athletes you coach….
- …lose focus during competition.
…lack confidence during games.
…choke during important competitive events.
Is your training program out of balance? Many coaches and athletes devote a large percentage of their time to physical, strategic, technical training for competition. Yet, coaches, players and parents often attribute non-performance mental factors as the culprit of why a player didn’t perform up to his/her capabilities. This is illustrated in comments such as, “He didn’t want it badly enough,” She doesn’t handle pressure well,” “He had a great warm up but couldn’t execute when it counted,” “She become so anxious she can’t think clearly,” “I don’t understand why I practice we’ll and rarely perform at the same level in a match/game.”
These comments are frequently heard in post-game analysis by coaches, players, parents, but rarely do you hear the coach, player, or parent say that the player has not been taught the psychological/physiological skills and strategies for emotional management and focus in competition. After a loss a large percentage of post-match recap is generally attributed to mental and emotional pieces of the game but almost no time is spent incorporating these tools into a mental training routine. More frequently a player returns to the coach and they continue to work on a new physical strategy or increase practice time. This isn’t without benefits but doesn’t address the bigger picture.
The fight/flight/freeze response, otherwise know as the alarm reaction or startle response creates muscular bracing or over activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Stress response can occur when there is an imbalance between demand and believed ability to respond to that demand. The stress response can be triggered by cognitive worries of athletic performance outcomes, even days before competition begins. Simple errors in a match/game can also trigger the stress response. Emotional mismanagement in the competitive environment disables performance.
The most common reasons for participating in Sport Psychology Services is to.…….
1. Improve performance. Teaching athletes of any level of ability, mental strategies can refine the practices of successful performers and help ineffective performers move beyond their mental/emotional roadblocks.
2. To develop strategies to embrace the pressures and challenges of competition. Competition is an opportunity to prepare yourself to perform when the outcome matters. Pressures and challenges arise from the athlete’s own expectations regarding quality of performance as well as parental and/or coach expectations.
3. Work with parents to help their child develop confidence and have a satisfying sport experience. Topics for parents include understanding their influential role in their child’s sporting experience, tips for defining success in their child’s sport skills, do’s and don’t for parents of young and adolescent athletes, relaxation skills for parents during their child’s competition, identifying parents athletic dreams vs. the child’s vision of sport involvement.
4. To provide psychological assistance with injury rehabilitation. Injury is typically an unexpected occurrence. The initial shock and over time frustration of finding oneself on the side-lines instead of participating in practice and competition can result in strong emotional reactions. Developing skills such as goal setting, imagery, communication with coaches and other healthy traits provides a forum for athletes to develop positive coping skills and self-management techniques during recovery from injury.
Are you performing up to your potential in competition? Is your mental game up to the demands of your physical game?
Peak Performance programs and training prepare you to share the success enjoyed by a wide variety of athletes at every level, from professional to recreational. Learn about the athlete you are and the athlete you can become.