I offer extensive services to children/adolescents and families that are involved in youth sports and want to learn ways to have "fun," achieve their highest performance at the age appropriate level, avoid injuries (at best), and ways for parents to encourage on the side lines rather than be the "coach." I also work with youth sport organizations, and do various presentations on this subject. My approach is working with mental fitness (mental toughness), and use a goal oriented process to help the athlete through their inner struggles. Hockey player Crosbey uses process goals which are short-term goals to help him get through each play, game, and practice. Infamous Wayne Gretsky is known for 'visualizing' the ice prior to the game, having a 'pre-game' routine, and playing his best for each game and practice. Other known athletes have similar mental fitness games they play in their mind prior to a game, practice, meet, and/or race. Mental Fitness is just as important as the physical part of the game, meet, and/or race.
I personally have been involved in sports since a child, and personally know what if feels like to fail, win, compete, and be injured. I personally have been there, and have compassion for others that are dealing with this. "Do your best and forget the rest" as Tony Horton will say. This is a great motto to live by and I can help your child and family learn ways to live this way as well.
What to expect from Sport Psychology Mental Fitness Coaching:
How sport psychology helps athletes*
When basketball player Ron Artest of the Los Angeles Lakers credited psychological help for some of his success on the court, some commentators took that as evidence that he was crazy.
To the contrary: Professional athletes like Artest would be crazy not to seek help from professionals like sport psychology mental coaches.
While coaches typically focus on the physical side of sport, sport psychology mental coaches focus on athletes' minds. Sport psychology mental coaches can help athletes — professionals and amateurs alike — achieve their goals.
What sport psychology mental coaches do*
Some athletes seek help from a sport psychologist or other exercise and sport psychology professional when they have a problem.
They might become anxious or lose focus during competition, for example. They might have trouble communicating with teammates, controlling their temper or even just motivating themselves to exercise. Or they might choke at key moments during a game.
But athletes don't just consult sports psychologists when they're having difficulties. Sport psychologists can also help athletes:
- Enhance performance. Various mental strategies, such as visualization, self-talk and relaxation techniques, can help athletes overcome obstacles and achieve their full potential.
- Cope with the pressures of competition. Sport psychologists/mental coach/performance enhancement professional can help athletes at all levels deal with pressure from parents, coaches or even their own expectations.
- Recover from injuries. After an injury, athletes may need help tolerating pain, adhering to their physical therapy regimens or adjusting to being sidelined. Some injured athletes have difficulty returning to their sports once medically cleared. There is some type of 'fear' or mental block that is hindering their performance. A sports mental coach will be able to assess the situation, and help the athlete unblock their hidden fears so they can enhance their performance without fear.
- Keep up an exercise program. Even those who want to exercise regularly may find themselves unable to fulfill their goal. Sport psychologists can help these individuals increase their motivation and tackle any related concerns.
- Enjoy sports. Sports organizations for young people may hire a sport mental coach to educate coaches about how to help kids enjoy sports and how to promote healthy self-esteem in participants.
Sports psychology can even help people off the playing field . The same strategies that sport psychologists teach athletes — relaxation techniques, mental rehearsals and cognitive restructuring, for example — are also useful in the workplace and other settings.
*Some information came from apa.org (American Psychological Association),
Let's begin here and see what goals can be achieved!