What Is Sports Psychology?
- Posted on: Oct 17 2012
Sports and psychology – we don’t often associate the two with one another, but sports performance and mental state are actually inherently tied. Drawing knowledge from kinesiology and psychology, sports psychology is one of the most important emerging new fields in the world of mental health counseling. So, what’s it really all about?
The goal of sports psychology is simple: to help an athlete better understand the connection between their emotions, attitudes and behaviors and their success as an athlete. The field empowers athletes to work better with coaches, teammates and parents, improve motivation and concentration and help athletes overcome the emotional and physical setbacks of a sports-related injury.
Want to learn more? Read on!
Bouncing Back After an Injury
As an Orthopaedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Physician, one of the hardest parts of the job is telling an athlete he or she will have to be out of the game for three or four months. Not only does this mean he or she is dealing with the physical pain of an injury, but the emotional hit as well. These are the types of situations where a sports psychologist can be most helpful.
Following an injury, many athletes experience …
- …A hit to their self-esteem. For many athletes, their sport is inherently tied to how they feel about themselves – it reinforces their skills and serves as a source of pride to family and friends. Following an injury, it’s common for athletes to feel like a failure and struggle with confidence.
- …A loss of identity. When you literally become your sport, what happens when that sport is taken away? An injury can make an athlete question who they are and what makes them them. And, this loss of identity can make an athlete feel stressed, insecure and unsafe.
- …Feelings of depression. Feelings of persistent sadness and hopelessness are not uncommon among injured athletes. Unable to play their sport and be there for their teams, athletes can begin to lose interest in other aspects of their lives, including school and social activities.
So, how can a sports psychologist help? A sports psychologist – like any psychologist – counsels patients one-on-one. They work in tandem to create goals, eliminate negative “self talk” and provide tools for getting back in the swing of things. In the end, it’s all about finding out what’s holding you back and overcoming it!
Sports Medicine in Worcester
Of course, when it comes to getting back in the game, healing your body is just as important as healing your mind. And, while your gut may tell you to fight through a painful sports injury, it’s important to take the time to consult with a sports medicine physician. This is vital in preventing an injury from worsening – an injury that could ultimately take you out of the game for good!
Suffering from an injury? Contact us today and schedule a consultation. Our offices are located in Worcester, and you can reach us directly at (508) 363-6363. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Posted in: Sports Injuries