Sports Psychology

What is Sports Psychology?

Sports psychology refers to the study of psychological factors that affect participation in sports, exercise, and any other physical activity. It seeks to understand these psychological mechanisms and apply a variety of skills to enhance individual and team performance.

Sports psychologists look at how participation in these activities enhances personal development and well being throughout the life span. Sports psychologists provide assistance in a range of areas including the following:

• Anxiety and stress management

• Mental preparation (i.e., focus and concentration)

• Team cohesion

• Leadership

• Over training and burn out

• Performance enhancement

• Communication and problem solving skills

• Conflict resolution

Weight management

• Sleep hygiene

• Injury rehabilitation

• Emotional regulation

• Grief and loss (i.e., getting dropped from a team, retirement)

• Valued living and balance (i.e., sport, study, employment and family life balance)

Some of the most important skills taught by sports psychologists include goal setting, visualisation, self-talk, awareness and control, concentration and focus, and cognitive behavioral strategies.

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