SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY

Sports Psychology particularly caters for individuals within a sporting environment whether you’re an elite, semi-professional or amateur athlete.

In short it is a specific study of people’s behaviour in sport. It is a specialisation within the brain as well as kinesiology (human movement) that seeks to understand the mental factors that affect performance in sport and physical activity. The knowledge and understanding of these factors may then be applied through various techniques to enhance individual and team performance.

2 images - and X-Ray cross section illustration of head and brain and a stack of sports psychology books

The use of Sports Psychology is catered on an individual basis to help you improve your psychological issues through a variety of different techniques. These techniques are designed for you to use them in a competitive environment to optimize their performance.

The 4C’s, otherwise known as concentration, control, confidence and commitment, are the main psychological factors that are used to help you improve your performance.

  • Concentration is the ability to focus & maintain awareness
  • Control is the ability to remain calm, sustain emotions & to avoid distractions that may hinder performance
  • Confidence is the ability to maintain motivation & believe in oneself
  • Commitment is the dedication to continued improvement

To help achieve the 4C’s a number of techniques can be used such as goal setting, relaxation skills, visualisation/mental imagery, positive self-talk and concentration training. It is also possible for you to produce a mental routine the night before or minutes before your competition to assist with an increase in your performance.

Sports Psychology can also be used in conjunction with injury rehabilitation to help speed up your recovery. Having a positive outlook can have a positive physiological impact to aid and speed up your recovery.

During a consult, a lengthy questionnaire is filled out with both yourself and your consultant. Once the main issues have been highlighted it is essential for you to understand the importance of psychology and how it can affect performance. Once a strategy and techniques have been employed, regular assessments are required to ascertain your progress. Then you may develop your skills and techniques through regular practice and competition for optimal performance.