Sports Psychology page - A heathy mind in elite sport
"Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them -- a desire, a dream, a vision.” -Muhammad Ali
Sports psychology concentrates specifically on helping athletes break through the mental barriers that are keeping them from performing up to their peak potential. By focusing on the mental skills needed to be successful in any sporting competition, mental game coaching seeks to achieve the overall goal of performance improvement.
Sports Psychology is about improving your attitude and mental game skills to help you perform your best by identifying limiting beliefs and embracing a healthier philosophy about your sport
STRUGGLING IN SILENCE
Sportspeople who have revealed their own battles with mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and self-harm, have encouraged others to go public with their own experiences; however, the number who struggle in silence is unknown. Athletes who are still playing and competing have expressed concern about the impact revealing or asking for support for a mental health problem can have on their career showing there is clearly still a stigma attached to mental health.
Asking for help for anything other than sports-related goals may initially be outside the comfort zone of many athletes, especially those performing at higher levels.
“There’s a stigma about seeking counselling — ‘Oh, I’m a high-profile athlete; I don’t need counselling’ — especially for men,”
The question of confidentiality often comes up in sports counselling, especially in situations when the counsellor directly or indirectly works for the organisation that sponsors the athlete or his team. Emphasizing the privacy of the counselling experience to athletes is key.
We adhere to ethical codes regarding client confidentiality, an athlete talking to us/me doesn’t mean I’ll tell their coach, but that’s always a concern, they may regard the idea of unburdening themselves to a counsellor as frivolous or weak. Sports counsellors must find ways to overcome such hurdles and help athletes to feel strong about their choice to seek counselling.
It is important that coaches and managers understand the value of mental health and wellbeing, and be engaged in support of athletes, for change to happen at a club level.
Individual clubs have a responsibility as employers to proactively support the mental health and wellbeing of players and support staff, mitigating the impact of the changeable and uncertain characteristics of this unique working environment.
Athletes experience the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat and everything else that comes between the highs and lows of competition. Sometimes, though, they need help managing the accompanying feelings, unlike sports psychology, which focuses primarily on game-time performance, sports counsellors take a more holistic approach by also paying attention to the mental well-being and pyschoemotional needs of athletes.