Who uses a sport/performance psychologist or a performance coach?

People from all walks of life who recognize that they have skills, and want to develop their potential to its fullest.  It may be an athlete wanting to make the Olympic team, a business person wanting a promotion, a performing artist wanting to make an audition, or a recreational athlete wanting to enjoy a regular exercise routine.  People often come seeking more confidence or focus in their efforts; others want to enjoy the process more.

What exactly does a performance enhancement specialist/sport psychologist do?

We focus on the mental and emotional aspects of performance.  The process generally involves  (a) clarifying what you would like to achieve; (b)  together with you assessing your strengths and liabilities;  (c) working with you to develop a plan to help you achieve your goals; and then (d) serving as an on-going consultant as you experiment with changes to reach your goal.

Don’t you have to be a “head case” to need a sport psychologist or performance consultant?

Not at all.  The US Olympic teams have long recognized the value of sport psychology and mental skills consultants for athletes of all abilities.  Contrary to popular belief, mental skills are not an automatic by-product of training, practice or experience.  Not everyone has the same capacity for developing mental skills, just as not everyone can run a 5 minute mile— but few people develop their mental skills to the fullest.

What about confidentiality?

All conversations and even the fact that we are working together are confidential and cannot be disclosed without your consent.

What about working with athletes, performers or business persons that compete against one another?

Just as a coach may work with several athletes at one time, there are occasions when I work with individuals that may compete against one another. In these situations my goal is for each person to maximize his or her physical and mental potential. Information shared by one individual is never used to provide an advantage for another.

How can I find a good sport/performance psychologist?

The Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) is the leading organization in the world for sport/performance psychologists who consult to help people improve their performance in sports, performing arts, high-risk occupations and business.  AASP provides resources for individuals, coaches and parents of performers, as well as a “Consultant Finder” to help locate professionals who have achieved the AASP Certified Mental Performance Consultant status. You can learn more about AASP by clicking here.

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