Do You Need Sport Psychology?
Sport psychology was accepted and used for quite a time. It’s quite a debate that it’s necessary or not. So, do we, especially athletics, need sport psychology?
What is sport psychology?
Sport psychology is a study of psychology which is associated with sport performance and activities. Sport psychologists are called consultants or trainers but mostly consultants. The sport psychologists are to help athletes or whoever participates in sports perform up to their potential and study how sport participation affect their psychology and well-being.
The practice of sport psychologists is mostly about helping the athletes improve their performance through psychology strategy or program. They don’t deal with all abnormal behaviors or mental illness. What they do is to help the athletes deal with anxiety, stress, negative thoughts, et cetera: Relate to sports or affect sport competition and practice for better performance.
Why do we need sport psychology?
In sports, people mostly focus on the talent of human physical. We keep being excited at how a person can do and perform such physical techniques and movement. We forget that mental and physical cannot be separated in one person. Mental do affect physical performance.
The audience may not be as well aware as the athletes that sports are mind or psychology games. The fact is the athletes keep being put under high pressure, guess what’s in mind of opponents’ head, take advantages of other anxiety as well as ease the self-nervousness, and so on. Therefore, if the athletes mind can’t be stable, so do the performance. That’s the main reason why the sport psychology was born, studying to help athletes make their best performance. And, who doesn’t want that?
Sport psychology results in psychology programs, strategies, skills which help athletics in four main ways:
- Make athletes work well with coaches, teammates and other people: We don’t understand and work well with people all the time. In facts, we usually misunderstand people and have problems with people communication. The sport psychologists also called consultants can help athletes develop skills which help them cooperate better with teammates, coaches. They also give advice and consultancy when conflicts happen.
- Make athletes perform up to their potential: Sport psychologists are famous with their programs and strategies which train psychology skills for athletes. From there, the athletes can interpret what is happening to them and what needs to do for managing their behaviors and emotions. For instance, the skills help athletes calm themselves while being freaked out in critical moments. Frankly, this is the most common reason why a sport psychologist is hired, to train skills which guarantee mental state of athletes to be stable for their best performance.
- Help recovery after injuries: After injuries, the mental of the athletes might affected. They may have negative thoughts which result in slow recovery or worse. That’s the time the sport psychologists come in and help them pass through the hard time by consulting with them and with their doctors or physicians.
- Motivate the athletes:A coach and anyone with talking skills can motivate athletes. But, sport psychologists do with their own ways. Talking is not efficient if it lacks understanding factors. A sport psychologist is to identify athletes’ real doubts, thoughts which don’t give them any good in practices and competitions, then change or erase the doubts and negative thoughts or emotions.
Why is sport psychology neglected?
Since most people see mostly physical elements in sports, there’s no doubt that psychology is neglected. Physical qualities are also easy to see results while psychology skills are slower to show theirs. Moreover, some people think the psychology qualities cannot be trained as they’re born qualities of a person. Plus, when we think about psychologists many people will think that there are unusual problems with the people who are consulted. As a result, many talents have been passed since they can’t perform well because of lacking practiced psychology skills. We should think about what athletes can gain if they can perform up to their physical talents.
When do we need sport psychology?
Many people call for sport psychologists as a last resort when athletes show signs of performance decrease or meet some barriers they can’t overcome. Psychology skills in sports are claimed to be long term training. They don’t shortly work. Therefore, it is recommended to see a sport psychology from the beginning if we intend to go pro or at least when showing some early signs of bad performing.
Sport psychology is needed, physical is the body then it’s the soul. Not everybody is born with strong mind and no one can be sure that strong mind can last forever. People have stress, anxiety and negative emotions result from many aspects. Therefore, to have the best performance, those must be dealt with and that is sport psychology function.