Mental Conditioning – Why Use a Sport Psychologist?

What Does Mental Training Do for an Athlete?

Many people lack a basic understanding of applied sport psychology, yet the world’s best athletes are likely to use one.  Why?  Have you ever thought about how a strong foundation of mental conditioning skills might benefit you or your team?  Those that have explored this question long enough to study the principles and apply the techniques in honing an athlete’s “inner game” need no convincing.  Don’t you think its time to quit looking for inspiration out there and begin the process of developing your own internal resources?  If you would like to know more about how this training can give you a boost from the inside-out, craft your ‘MOJO’ into a formidable part of your competitive edge, and make you a better athlete or coach – consider the gains of those who have worked with Stephen Walker, PhD in the past several years?  Dr. Walker is the Editor-in-Chief of Podium Sports Journal, an on-line magazine in applied sport psychology in addition to serving in his capacity as Director of Health Sport and Performance Associates. He has designed a program that focuses on the top ten mental skills most likely to enhance athletic performance and add to your joy in sport.  Your collaboration with him will endeavor to help you in the following ways:

  1. Learn just HOW you can craft and develop your mindset in sport and in life with A POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE.
  2. Discover the PASSION you already have – and align it properly to GET & KEEP MOTIVATED.
  3. Employ the proper methods in planning your athletic development – SET GOALS you can ACHIEVE & CONTROL.
  4. Understand how synergy and team cohesion begin with YOU! – WORK BETTER with teammates, coaches, parents & officials.
  5. You know that everyone talks to themselves – learn HOW to create, script and use POSITIVE SELF-TALK.
  6. IMAGINE & VISUALIZE your success using procedures PROVEN to stimulate both your mind and your body’s most effective neural pathways.
  7. CONTROL your stress and recovery patterns so that you MANAGE anxieties routinely – and – BUILD CONFIDENCE in the process.
  8. Strong emotions can help or hinder – learn exactly HOW to PROPERLY USE anger, disappointment, joy, fear and confusion.
  9. Learn how to CHANGE the CHANNEL of your attention – manage distractions – FOCUS & CONCENTRATE efficiently.
  10. Having your Mind/Body synchronized is known as “being in the zone” -  learn how to USE it to RECOVER QUICKLY from injury.

 

When skills such as these are learned and practiced in reps and sets just like circuit training, athletes begin to naturally develop mental toughness.  Dr. Walker’s program for teaching these skills is called BrainToughTM and it can help you compete better and enjoy your sport more.  So if you want to acquire a stronger sense of team cohesion, practice with a purpose and a focus that helps you prepare better and perform your best – Stay Tuned!  Read Podium Sports Journal regularly and enjoy the process of training even more.  The benefits will always be gratifying and your results may just astound your competition.

People in the field of sport psychology who provide these services are not all the same.  They should be affiliated with Division 47 Exercise & Sport Psychology – American Psychological Association – and – certified by the only legitimate credentialing agency in this field – the Association for Applied Sport Psychology – AASP. Some providers of these services have achieved the special distinction of being a part of the United States Olympic Committee’s Registry of Sport Psychologists. Even though these designations are not a guarantee of results, they provide the most rigorous credentialing assessing the practitioner’s understanding of both sports sciences and psychology.  Many are licensed health care professionals in addition to being certified by AASP.