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The success and morale of a sports team depend on a multitude of aspects, whether they are internal, external, controllable or uncontrollable. Some of these aspect include:

  • Leadership
  • Talent
  • A good balance of challenge and sport
  • Healthy communication
  • Commitment
  • Cohesion
  • An unclouded vision and plan
  • Values that people buy into
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Great coaches and support staff

These are seen as the fundamentals that make an effective team, but there is a whole lot going on behind the scenes that most people wouldn’t know about.

From an individual perspective, how does an athlete/sportsman operate? How do they maintain form, well-being, motivation and mental health? We all know that when one person in the team is out of sorts and under-performing, it can have a severely negative effect on the overall team performance.

A fantastic team is not just about life and activity on the training grounds or on the field, but also about life away from the game. There are many facets that affect a player and, unfortunately, not everything is in the coach or fellow team members’ control.

This is where a Sports Psychologist  can support the team. You may be wondering what the role of a Sports Psychologist is? In this blog, we’re going to look at what a sports psychologist is, what they do and what the benefits of having one are.

So, let’s get started:

What is a Sports Psychologist?

A Sports Psychologist draws knowledge from a broad variety of related fields, including subjects such as biomechanics, physiology, kinesiology, and psychology.

Sports Psychology involves the study of how psychological elements in humans affect performance. It also focuses on how the constant participation in sport and exercise affects psychological and physical elements in the human mind and body respectively.

What does a Sports Psychologist do?

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The role of a sports psychologist is to assist athletes, helping them reach their optimum performance level..

They can be full-time or part-time consultants, assisting performers with the following

  • Assist with factors that influence success on the field like confidence, motivation, team dynamics, communication, focus, etc.
  • Post-injury (psychological factors that come with injury).
  • The effects that sport and athletic involvement has on an individual.
  • Assist with factors that influence success on the field.
  • Off-field factors.
  • Mental effects of career transition (moving clubs, making the first team etc.).

In a nutshell, they assist in enhancing an athlete’s performance, as well as helping them cope with the pressures and commitment that comes with participating in competitive sport. Ensuring that they are on top of their game mentally so that they can also enjoy what they do.

What are the benefits of having a Sports Psychologist for your team?

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The benefits of having a Sports Psychologist assist a team and its individual members are remarkable. The benefits aren’t only apparent when things aren’t going well. They are also applicable to athletes and sportsman who want to prepare themselves for the future. It can help them reach the next level. Psychology tools can help them with:

  • Setting goals (helping determine realistic ones and goals that probably aren’t achievable).
  • Methods of relaxation before and after the game.
  • Assist in off field factors.
  • Mental training – including concepts like self-talk & preparation routines.
  •  Managing distractions – keeping a clear focus on the things that matter under pressure.
  • Helping sports people to be independent learners and curious about their own performances, so they can reflect and put into action incremental performance gains.

Think about it in this way – how much of your performance in sports is down to your mental state? Sports psychologists help with mental training in the following ways:

  • Improving your confidence.
  • Assisting in faster technique acquisition.
  • Managing your emotions.
  • Improving your self-talk.
  • Helping you set realistic goals.
  • Helping you improve your focus.
  • Enhancing your motivation.
  • Helping you discover and harness more effective practices.

According to Believe Forum, “Sports psychology is not just about improving athletic performance. Sports psychology plays a much more significant role than that regarding overall performance.

It can be about developing interventions which help to prevent mental health among the athletic population. It can also be about be about teaching athletes transferable skills that they can use in not only sport but also in work and family life.

If you are wanting a sports psychologist personally or one for a sports team that you are coaching/managing, we have one available for you. Head over to our website, we’ll bring out your ability.

 

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