Yes, believe it or not, sports and activities we think don’t require a lot of thinking involve a lot of thought. There’s an entire branch of psychology focusing on sports appropriately named “sports psychology.”
What Is Sports Psychology?
Sports psychologists are licensed psychologists who focus on an athlete’s performance, their mental and emotional ability. Sports might take a good deal of physical athletic ability, but there’s a lot of mental and emotional skill. A sports psychologist helps an athlete focus by teaching them techniques for drowning out distractions. When athletes struggle with motivation, they turn to a sports psychologist to help them find motivation within.
What Else Does A Sports Psychologist Do?
Sports Psychology might sound relatively easy, but there is more involved than helping an athlete focus and find motivation. Sports psychologists are still psychologists and need to have the knowledge and skills required to maintain an athlete through mental health conditions they suffer from, such as stress and anxiety. They need to be able to teach breathing and other relaxation techniques to athletes who are having off-field issues. They also need to be available to athletes who have problems coping with injuries sustained during training or competition.
Sports psychology isn’t limited to professional athletes. Anyone who participates in physical activity can seek out a sports psychologist for a number of mental or emotional issues. Whether you’re an athlete, a coach, a gym-goer, or anyone who leads an active lifestyle, you can seek out a sports psychologist who can help you mentally improve your physical activity. They can help you with mental strategies, dealing with internal or external pressure, motivate you to keep up with an exercise program or educate you on different relaxation techniques you can use in sports or in your professional life.