Five Sport Psych Myths: Part 2

Last week in Five Sport Psych Myths Part 1 we talked about the first three sport psych myths. So you’re aware of the following:

Myth #1. Sport psych is a hoax.

Myth #2. You’re either born with mental toughness or you’re not.

Myth #3. Sport psych is only for “problem” or struggling athletes.

Your wait for the final two myths ends today! Let’s dive right in.

Myth #4. Sport psych is a quick fix.

Let’s say you’d like to improve your game. You’d like to be able to refocus quickly on the field. You see a sport psych consultant. They drop some knowledge & “fix” you. You win the championship and live happily ever after. Sounds nice, but not super realistic.

First of all, you don’t need to be “fixed,” you’re great. You just need to learn some new skills.

Let’s take my first introduction to the field of sport psych as an example. I was adapting to college life, a new team, and a new coaching style. AND I was struggling for the first time in my athletic career.

After going 0-6 at the plate in my first two games, I met with a sport psychologist. Before college, I didn’t even know it was a thing! I implemented the imagery and self-talk skills she explained and I was back on track. I went on to have a record breaking season. Super easy-peasy, right?

The part I left out is that she didn’t just wave a wand & poof! back on track, I had to do the stuff. I was motivated.

  • I spent some time each night practicing my imagery.
  • I set goals for each game and each practice.
  • I worked on my self-talk daily.
  • When I caught myself being negative, I changed it.
  • I made time to meet with my sport psych for check-ins & support.

So worth the effort. You gotta do the do to get the get, right?

To truly learn and be able to consistently implement the skills when the pressure is on, you’ve got to put in the mental reps.

Like anything, it’ll take a bit to master, but once you do, look out competition!

Myth #5. My coach teaches us mental skills so I’m good, thanks.

She has you visualize your match before you take the court. She uses positive reinforcement and helps you set SMART goals. You have great team cohesion, due in part to your weekly team dinners. You’ve even done some concentration grids to help test your focus.

I’m pumped that you have a coach who gets it. That is awesome!

It’s a great way to get an overview. Since you’ve got this background, you’ll definitely be ready to take it up a notch. Just like you’d seek out specialized coaching for the technical aspects of your event or position, you’re going to want a dedicated mental game coach too.

Even if you have the best, most supportive coach, if you’re like many athletes I work with, you may be concerned about letting your coach down by expressing concerns.

You’re probably not going to say, “Hey coach, I know this weekend is the District Championship, but I’m not feeling super confident.”

This is where your sport psych/mental performance coach comes in, so don’t worry. We’ve got your back. Your coach does too, but we don’t make playing decisions and we don’t work for your organization. We’re Team You!

Now that you’re in the know about the sport psych process, elevate your game by signing up for a free mini session! We’ll look at the specific thoughts and feelings influencing your performance and develop a mental game plan.

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