In my role of Calgary sport psychologist, I help athletes and other performers reach their potentials by focusing on the mental side of their activities in sports psychology counselling. I help these performers by learning skills in sport psychology counselling which they can apply to their performing endeavors.
Athletes who set goals tend to perform at a higher level than athletes who don’t. Learn how to set long-term, short-term and daily goals to maximize your potential. Also learn how to focus on process goals—activities and behaviours which are within your control–as the best way to achieve results.
An athlete’s state of internal arousal plays a major role in whether they perform to their capabilities. Athletes perform at their best when they are at their optimal level of arousal—neither too little nor too much arousal. Learn techniques to lower your arousal when you are beyond your optimal level and raise your arousal when you are below your optimal level.
REBOUNDING FROM ADVERSITY
Athletes face obstacles and adversity at times such as falling behind in a game or getting a bad call from a referee. Athletes who perform at their best learn how to rebound from adversity so that they continue in pursuit of success. Learn psychological skills to achieve this goal.
The best performers have high levels of self-confidence. This belief in oneself sets in motion a positive self-fulfilling prophecy in which the athlete’s expectation of a good performance leads to their performing to their potential. Learn how to develop this positive mindset leading up to and during your athletic performances.
Being able to focus on the task at hand is critical to performing at your best. Successful athletes enter the state of flow in which their attention is immersed in the actions they are performing during a competition. This involves being able to concentrate in the midst of external and internal distractions. Learn how to focus in the midst of these distractions.
The best performers use visualization regularly. Successful athletes prepare to give a top performance by visualizing the sequence of actions leading to this performance. Visualization is also effective in anticipating possible obstacles the athlete may face and anticipating how to overcome them. Learn these and other fundamental visualization skills.
POSITIVE THINKING AND SELF-TALK
Positive thinking and self-talk help the athlete attain a state of self-confidence which leads them to perform at their best. Learn skills to get your thinking and self-talk working for you as you perform.
Having well-practiced pre-performance routines help the athlete enter a comfort zone in which they can focus on the actions they need to perform to succeed. Learn how to develop and practice these routines and see the positive effects on your performance.
Just as with individual athletes, teams are more likely to perform to their potentials when they use sports psychology skills. Building team cohesion, facilitating top performances among teammates with different roles, dealing with adversity and conflict among team members, and performing and delegating leadership functions are among the skills that can be implemented with success at a group or team level.
Learn more about sport and performance psychology on my blog:
- Inspiration from M*A*S*H: How to persevere to overcome adversity
- Burnout: How to prevent it and recover from it
- Dr. Pat on the Arena Podcast
- Tracking progress in rebuilding a relationship: Like in a marathon or a triathlon
- What to do if you’ve decided that therapy doesn’t work for you
- How to enhance your performance in front of an audience: Use the social facilitation effect
- Pleasure and mastery: Two kinds of activities are better than one
- My experience at Ironman Coeur d’Alene: Lessons I learned which apply to many areas of life
- Practicing skills: A formula for success inside and outside your psychologist’s office
- Being a fan of a sports team: How to enjoy the psychological benefits while minimizing the psychological costs