What is sport psychology? What does sport psychologist do? What are benefits of working with sport psychologist? How to choose the best specialist? It’s not a first time when I talk about the basics of sport psychology. However, for many of you it may still be enigmatic what cooperation with sport psychology specialist looks like. Although, though sport psychology has been a field of study for more than 100 years, it has not been a traditional part of training for most sports. It’s hard to believe that mental training isn’t treated the same as physical and technical training.
Full article about what is the sport psychology I write HERE. In short, sport psychology is “the application and development of psychological theory for the understanding and enhancement of human behavior in sport” (APA, 2020). Accordingly, „sport psychologists may work in such specific areas as clinical sport psychology, educational sport psychology, or research sport psychology, depending on their education, training, and focus in the field” (APA, 2020). Therefore, sports psychologist might help you enhance your mental game so you do better at sports, exercise, or general physical activity. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to benefit from sports psychology. I work with both professional athletes and amateurs who want to achieve more in sports and life. Contact with me also if you need support and techniques to boost your mental and physical wellness.
During my trips, I have worked with athletes and coaches from the U.S., Poland, Spain, United Kingdom, France and Sweden. This greatly enriched my workshop skills and allowed me to look at aspects related to cultural differences in sport with an open mind. The most important question that has emerged during my sport psychologist career involves the role of mental preparation in athletic development. When I work with athletes and coaches, I ask them how important the mind is to sport success. Practically always the response is that the mind is as or even more important than the physical and technical aspect of sports. As a sport psychologist, I’m not to look like objective but in my opinion the mind is an essential piece of the sport performance puzzle. Any kind of work with your mental aspect will always brings you benefits. I often compare preparation in sports to a chair that needs 4 legs to stand stably. It is similar with the preparation of the athlete, because athlete at the highest level is characterized by excellent preparation at the physical, technical, tactical and mental levels. Sport psychologists can help you overcome problems, achieve your goals and enhance your performance. You can contact with sport psychologist (face-to-face or online) or you can follow free materials shared in the Internet. I regularly post some free materials or advice on my website, Instagram and podcast (WWW, Instagram, PRO Business Mindset podcast). There’s a lot of books related to sport psychology, mental training and self-development. In my opinion, cooperation with sport psychologist makes your work more effective and shorter but it always up to you which way you choose. Nowadays, we live in a society where it is increasingly difficult for us to find time to devote to ourselves. Timetables for going to the surfing, to the gym, playing football, work, studies, etc., are often causing states of anxiety and stress due to poor time management and/or overload of activities. It is because of these types of situations that online psychology becomes more prominent. Moreover, it allows to work with a specialist who speaks your language if you live abroad. Online sport psychology support can be helpful for athletes who travel a lot without interrupting your training sessions.
When an athlete decides they want to improve their performance with a sport psychologist, it’s important to pick the right person. Each sport psychologist works in a slightly different way. Choose one with whom you feel comfortable and at ease. Anyone seeking the services of an exercise and sport psychology professional should ask about the entitlements, specialist courses, professional’s credentials, clientele and experience. What is crucial for me? In my psychological practice I emphasize on combining scientific knowledge with practical experience. Already during my studies at the University I started to think about how to gain practical experience in sport psychology. After Master studies I started to work with athletes and coaches. Mostly in football (soccer) and basketball. Of which football is the closest to me to this day, because it has always been an important element of my sports interests. In the same time I completed courses, workshops and internships in sport psychology. I had an opportunity to work with athletes and coaches in the U.S., Poland, Spain, Germany, etc. – it enriched my knowledge and made me more open minded person. I also had a chance to study one year Ph.D. in sport psychology in Barcelona but all the time I continue my practice work as sport psychologist (consultation, workshops, sport camps, creating materials, etc.). Often people ask me if sport psychologist have to train a specific discipline to work in it? Generally no… but they must know all rules and specifics of that discipline. Of course it is possible to apply psychological techniques and general mental training to each discipline. However, I believe that cooperation between sport psychologist and athlete/coach is more effective and authentic where sport psychologist tried their hand at this field. That’s why in my professional work as sport psychologist I am focus on counseling in disciplines that I’ve had a chance to try, like: football (soccer), basketball, volleyball, water sports (like surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, etc.), snowboarding, track and field athletics, gymnastics and dancing. And despite the fact that I tried to play tennis, I know better specialists in this field and I will gladly consult interested people with them.