Share on Facebook Share on Google+ Share on Twitter

SportPsychology India

SportPsychology India

Q. Who hires a Sport Psychology Consultant?


Q. How can working with a Sport Psychology Consultant help improve my performance?


Q. Do I only need a Sport Psychology Consultant if I have a specific problem?


Q. Why would I hire a Sport Psychology Consultant if I’m not a professional athlete?


Q. What is Mental Skills Training?


Q. People usually say that great performers are talented, suggesting that they are born with unique capabilities that make them excel. So can performance really be improved? Can mental skills be learned?


Q. Can I expect immediate results?


Q. If I see a Sport Psychology Consultant, doesn’t that indicate that I am mentally weak?


Q. Isn’t Sport Psychology for athletes who are depressed or have an eating disorder?

 



Q. Who hires a Sport Psychology Consultant?

Athletes in every sport and at every ability level can enhance performance and enjoyment in their sport by attending to their mental game. Many athletes choose to hire a consultant when they are seeking another way to improve their performance. Often athletes hire a Sport Psychology Consultant when they have a specific performance related issue; they may be feeling some performance anxiety, feeling the effects of burnout, needing to build confidence returning to sport after being injured, be thinking about retirement, etc. Athletes who want to perform to their potential realize how important psychological aspects are and dedicate the time and effort necessary to work on that aspect of their performance along with their physical training.

 

Q. How can working with a Sport Psychology Consultant help improve my performance?

Continued advances in the science of training and conditioning are enabling athletes to become faster, stronger, and more physically skilled. At an elite level, all athletes possess similar technical and physical skills, but the person who wins is the one who is mentally strongest. No matter how much hard work you put in, if you do not train your mind, you will not achieve peak performance. From recreational to elite, athletes of all ability levels can learn, practice and improve aspects of their mental game. Once learned and mastered, these specific skills and techniques can be utilized during training and competition to achieve peak performance. Working with a consultant can’t replace your physical and technical training, but it can give you a performance edge.

 

Q. Do I only need a Sport Psychology Consultant if I have a specific problem? 


Athletes or teams often contact Sport Psychology Consultants when they are in the midst of a crisis or have a specific performance related problem (this is a great time to utilize the expertise of a Sport Psychology Consultant). However, many athletes contact Consultants because they are looking to perform more consistently through controlling the mental aspects of their performance. The tools and techniques of sport psychology not only address performance related issues, but also help athletes to perform to their potential consistently over a period of time. Working with a Sport Psychology Consultant helps athletes who are looking to break through a plateau in their performance to get to the next level.

 

Q. Why would I hire a Sport Psychology Consultant if I’m not a professional athlete? 


Anyone looking to improve their performance--at whatever level they are, will benefit from working with a Sport Psychology Consultant. Working with a Sport Psychology Consultant is about giving yourself the opportunity to be the best athlete/performer that you can be. The ability to control the mental aspects of your sport helps you to perform with more confidence, consistency, and enhances your enjoyment of performing at any level. The mental skills that we work on together not only help improve athletic performance, but are skills that can be transferred to all parts of your life. Irina is also trained to assist athletes, family members, coaches, and staff who are experiencing emotional, behavioral, or relationship difficulties that may or may not be related to sports participation. Issues include: coping with life stresses, time management, coping with injury, career transitions, eating and substance abuse disorders, etc.

 

Q. What is Mental Skills Training?

Mental toughness, like physical conditioning, is achieved through a systematic and consistent practice of specific skills and strategies. Mental skills training is a process of learning skills and techniques for enhancing different aspects of performance. Mental Skills are mental strategies that an athlete or performer uses to achieve peak performance more consistently and effectively. Some of the many mental skills a Sport Psychology Consultant works on are goal setting, visualization, concentration, self-talk, stress management, arousal control, and motivation.

 

Q. People usually say that great performers are talented, suggesting that they are born with unique capabilities that make them excel. So can performance really be improved? Can mental skills be learned?

Yes! Like getting physically stronger entails hours of toiling in the gym, to get mentally stronger one needs to put in time practicing mental skills. Though it's true that we often use the word "talent" to describe successful performers, most evidence points to the fact that what looks like talent is actually the result of intense, effortful practice over time, strong motivation and dedication, and the availability of opportunities to train and perform. Dr. Anders Ericsson, one of the most world-renowned researchers of expert performance, calls this the iceberg illusion. When we see "talented" performers, the processes and practice they've engaged in for years in preparation of this performance is invisible to us, so we mistakenly assume they are born with a natural ability to perform well.

 

Q. Can I expect immediate results?

While a "quick fix" may sometimes be necessary and effective, mental skills need to be learned and practiced just like any other area. Quick fixes can help athletes who have trained their minds over time, but only temporarily. Irina will provide you with resources that you can use to make the most of your abilities, but you need to realize that mental training is similar to physical training. You cannot master physical skills in one day – it takes a lot of practice to see success, and mental skills work the

same way. During this learning process, it's important to build a solid foundation with frequent sessions initially and then continue for regular check-ins and maintenance.

 

Q. If I see a Sport Psychology Consultant, doesn’t that indicate that I am mentally weak?

It’s actually the opposite – the ability to realize that you want to make the most of your athletic potential should be viewed as a strength. The majority of Olympians and numerous professional athletes and teams utilize mental training because they realize that it gives them an invaluable edge over their opponents.

 

Q. Isn’t Sport Psychology for athletes who are depressed or have an eating disorder?

There are two different types of Sport Psychology Professionals. Clinical Sport Psychologists are licensed psychologists who help athletes predominantly with issues such as depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, and family problems. Irina is an example of the other type of Sport Psychology Professional – she helps athletes with the mental side of their performance, just as a coach helps athletes with their physical preparation. However, Irina’s dual Masters degrees have prepared her for assisting athletes with performance enhancement, as well as counseling athletes to help them deal with emotional, behavioral, or relationship difficulties which may or may not be related to sports participation.