Have you ever wondered just how they do it? Those athletes who achieve such great levels of success they seem almost preternatural. Athletes who are practically machines, like Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Serena Williams. How do they do it? What is the secret to their successes? Well, hard work, sacrifice, and dedication all play a huge role, as does a wonderful support network and training team. But, there might be something else involved as well. We’re talking, of course, about the world of sports psychologists.
So who are sports psychologists? Well, they are the men and women behind many of the remarkable athletes we see today. They provide an essential service and play a big role in the life and career of those they work with. In recent years we have seen much more of a reliance on sports psychologists, and the role they play has never been bigger. They provide a valuable service in helping inspire and motivate athletes to find their inner champion, and use that to achieve success in high-profile and pressurized situations.
But what are the secrets of these mysterious men and women? And how do they get to the positions they are? Well, in a bid to understand this better, we need to look at the secrets of sports psychologists, and how they manage to achieve what they do.
Anything that is worth doing takes hard work and dedication, and this is no different. It takes years of experience and training to get to the stage where you can become a successful sports psychologist. Completing the relevant education and undertaking supervised work is essential, and people must get qualified before they can practice.
Though some sports psychologists do work with professional athletes – the English national soccer team recently hired a team psychologist – many sports psychologists work with junior athletes on the college circuit. That’s not to say that they can’t work with professionals, but it’s important to have realistic expectations.
It’s important to be adaptable
Sports psychologists work with many different kinds of athletes across all different sports. That is a lot of contrasting personalities to be working with, so being adaptable is hugely important. A good psychologist hands to be able to read and understand a particular athlete so they can be sure they give him or her the best possible help, support, and advice.
Sports lovers only
It should go without saying, but, it’s essential for sports psychologists to be lifelong sports lovers. They have to know the sport they are working with and the machinations of how the game works. Only then can they develop an understanding of what is required to win, and how to inspire confidence in their athletes.
Mind and body are one
Sports psychologists also need to understand that the mind and body are inextricably linked. There is a direct correlation between what an athlete is thinking and feeling and the way they perform. This is a fascinating connection and one that provides the basis for much of what sports psychology is all about.