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Go Beyond Sports Psychology and Take Major Action with Mental Toughness Training
You're going to find that much of sports psychology focuses upon the "why" questions. This is great if you want to become a historian of your past experiences that contributed to why you choked, why you lost your cool or why you hesitated, but for many athletes that isn't going to be of much help. The reason why is asking "why" questions leads you on a chase for the root cause of the "why" answer. Then you have to ask what is the root cause of the root cause... Don't get me wrong, I'm a strong proponent of self understanding but you already know what has to be done otherwise you wouldn't have made it this far in your sport, would you...?
Instead of focusing upon the past, start using applied sports psychology and mental toughness training to condition your mind and body for peak performance now!
Sports Hypnosis is the Key to Harnessing Your Innate Mental Toughness
Yes, you read that correctly - sports hypnosis is the key to harnessing your innate mental toughness. Mental toughness is a complex weave of your mindset, belief system, identity, personal history, training, physical capacity and more - all combining to result in an attitude that affects your behavior. Essentially, we're talking about mostly unconscious beliefs, decisions and meanings that were created by your paradigm. Since none of us is aware of all of these factors on a conscious level, sports hypnosis is one of the most effective ways to get your game face on...
There's a metaphor for you... Track back in your mind about every warrior culture you're aware of - the ones that lived had a method for getting their game faces on too. If they didn't, they weren't going to live...
Its a little different for you, but not entirely. You've got to train your mind and body to react without thinking. This means you've got to set aside all the mental chatter, negative kinesthetic feelings, nervous tells, and everything else that has been hindering your mental game. You can totally do it, you just need a mental toughness training system like Advanced Sports Imagery to make it happen.
Others' Insights on Sports Psychology, Mental Toughness and Sports Hypnosis
What Is Sport Psychology And How Can It Help Your Game?
Sport psychology is something that we often hear about, but may not know exactly what it is. It is the principles of psychology used in a sport setting. Consultants look at how psychological aspects control an individual's physical performance, and how competition in sport affects their psychological development, health, and well-being (Weinberg & Gould, 2003).
Unfortunately, it is often viewed as something necessary for the weak-minded competitor who has "issues." The reality is that the mental game of sports affects every athlete, no matter what their strengths or weaknesses may be. This discipline can help any athlete strive to meet their potential.
Fencing is one example sport that can be used: Fencing is both a physical and mental game. Fencers prepare for the physical game by developing muscle memory through repetitive bladework and footwork drills. The mental game is obvious to fencers; however, little is done to train this large portion of fencing. The majority of fencers who utilize specific psychological training are Division I fencers (Athanas, 2007). Consequently, many competitors are not fully prepared to meet all of the demands of their sport.
There are many benefits from working with a consultant. Applied sport psychology professionals are interested in how participation in mental skills training can help an athlete's development throughout their competitive career. The athlete may have trouble reaching goals, have an injury, or confidence difficulties. Through sport psychology, an athlete can gain the "mental edge" to reach their goals, recover from injury, or gain confidence. Techniques that are commonly used in sport psychological practices include (but are not limited to) imagery and visualization, relaxation, goal setting, building confidence, learning to focus, and regulating energy levels.
Through learning and practicing these techniques, fencer has the ability to reach their potential.
You may be wondering how to get started. However, you don't want to fall prey to scams. There are many people who claim to be "experts" in psychology but lack the proper training and education.
It is recommended that you only work with legitimate professionals. Before investing any money, ask the consultant questions about what their client population is, what their educational background is, if they are specialized in working with athletes, and how long they have been involved in sport psychology. Only certified consultants are recognized by the Association of the Applied Sport Psychology. If you are seeking a certified sport psychology consultant or you would like to know more about this topic, refer to www.aaasponline.org for more information.
It is important to point out that athletes of all divisions and experience levels can benefit from sport psychology. By working with a sport psychology consultant, you will be able to fortify your weaknesses and improve your strengths through mental skills training. Every sport has both physical and mental components. Many athletes already toughen their bodies through practice and physical fitness. Toughen your mental game through practicing applied sport psychology [http://www.fencing.net/category/mental-training-for-fencing/].
References: Athanas, E. H. (2007). Fear of failure, experience and division as predictors to state anxiety in USFA epee fencers. Georgia Southern University. Statesboro, Georgia. Unpublished Masters thesis.
Weinberg, R. S. & Goldberg, D. (2003). Foundations of sport and exercise psychology. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Books. [Read more]
Sports Psychology, Visualization, Mental Toughness and Sports Hypnosis
Sports Psychology And Visualization - Dealing With Injury
At any level of involvement, a sports injury that prevents you from doing what you normally do is extremely frustrating. Even if you normally just meet up with the lads for a kick-about once a week, an injury takes away your ability to play, to get some exercise, and to socialize in the process - it affects your life in many ways.
David Doermann of the University of Utah in the USA describes the emotional effects of long-term sports injury rehabilitation as being similar to the "Five Stages of Grief.'
Denial - Especially at elite level, a sportsperson considers themselves to be 'superior' in terms of physical strength - it's just not possible that they could be injured.
Anger - The realization that they are injured leads to anger, a period of being angry at themselves for having allowed the injury to occur.
Bargaining - At this stage, an injured athlete will try desperately to speed up their return to play by attempting to bargain with absolutely everyone. They'll plead with the physio, the coach, and passers-by in the street to be able to return to training - "if I do this exercise for a whole week, can I try playing next week?"
Depression - As the weeks of enforced rest continue, a player begins to feel sorry for themselves and can become increasingly withdrawn as they feel out of sorts with life. It's at this stage, a player might lose hope of ever fully recovering and give up on their sport completely.
Acceptance - At this final stage of acceptance, a player realizes that focusing on the physical rehabilitation process is the way forward.
To be able to make the leap from "depression" to "acceptance" takes considerable strength of character. The most important factor contributing to psychological acceptance - and therefore recovery - is mental skill training.
The most effective way to recover from injury and to remain positive and motivated throughout the rehabilitation process is to use the sports psychology technique of goal setting. Just as a player uses goal setting to get them to peak match fitness, the goal setting process can also take them from injury to recovery.
Many world class athletes knows the pain of missing important, games, matches, tournaments, and finals, but learn how not to focus on missed opportunities due to circumstances beyond their control. They are firmly fixed on the opportunities that are yet to come upon a full recovery. They also know that visualization can be a part of the rehabilitation process. [Read more]
Consider Reading this Sports Psychology and Mental Toughness Book
Applied Sport Psychology: Personal Growth to Peak Performance
Common Questions about Sports Psychology
Facts About Sport Psychology
Sport psychology is a field that involves the observation of behavior and how it affects sports performance. When a sport psychologist is working with an athlete, the athlete's behaviors are observed and the sport psychology professional determines how those behaviors are impacting sports performance. Sport psychologists also work to determine how participation in sports affects the physical and emotional health of athletes. Achieving these basic objectives can help sport psychologists to form individual action plans for each of their clients.
How can a sport psychologist help athletes?
There are many ways in which a sport psychologist can help athletes.
Goal setting: Sport psychologists can work with athletes and help them to set small, attainable goals. Achieving these goals will help athletes to stay motivated and can also help with the achievement of larger goals.
Improving focus: Athletes can become distracted by many different things including spectators or the pressure to succeed. This loss of focus can impede their performance and make it difficult to win. Sport psychologists can help athletes to learn the skill of focusing and maintaining focus throughout competitions.
Dealing with pressure: Many athletes face intense pressure to perform well and carry their teams to victory. Dealing with this pressure can lead to a lot of stress, which can actually distract athletes from performing. Sport psychologists can help athletes learn to cope with pressure and use it as a positive motivator instead of a stressor.
Where do sport psychologists work?
Sport psychologists can work in many different settings and with a wide variety of people. Consultants can work with athletic teams or individual athletes so that performance is improved. Fitness clubs or the creators of fitness programs may hire sport psychologists to review their programs and make any needed changes. For example, someone creating a fitness program may need the input of a sport psychologist to be sure that the program is motivating enough for participants. Sport psychologists can also work as teachers or researchers. Sport psychology teachers may teach college courses or supervise students who want to learn this discipline. Researchers may work with specific groups of athletes to determine how their behavior affects sports performance or how sports affect children. This research can be used to develop sports programs and help athletes improve their performance.
Sport psychology is a valuable field of study that can impact the lives of many athletes. With the right sport psychologist, you can work on removing obstacles to success and improving focus and determination. This can help you become more successful on and off the playing field. [Source]
How do I become a sports psychologist?
[QUESTION TITLE] How do I become a sports psychologist? - Asked on 2011-11-09
[Question] - I was studying sports science but within that course there was a sports psychology module and I found it amazing. I know now I'd like to become a sports psychologist but the problem is I cant find any degree course for this subject. All I can find are online programs and a mickey mouse diploma course that is acredited by nobody.
How does it work, do you do an undergraduate degree then a post grad in sports psychology or is there a full time 4 year degree course?
[Answer 1] - What Type of Degree Do Sports Psychologists Need?:
Entry-level positions with a bachelor's degree are rare, usually taking the form of internships. Most positions require a master's or doctorate degree in clinical, counseling or sports psychology as well as direct training and experience in apply psychology to sports and exercise.
The American Board of Sport Psychology offers a few different professional certifications. The highest level credential is the Board Certified Sports Psychologist-Diplomat, which "...signifies that the holder has advanced training and experience in Sport Psychology and is especially aware of ethical, methodological, and research issues associated with the application of methods to enhance the psychological performance of athletes." Many who hold this certification are also certified or licensed clinical, counseling or health psychologists.
Because there are few graduate programs offering specialized degrees in sports psychology, it can be difficult to determine what exact combination of training and experience qualifies a professional to be called a 'sports psychologist.' Division 47 of the APA suggests that sports psychologists should be licensed psychologists with "experience in applying psychological principles in sports settings." Additionally, an extensive educational background and training in sports, motivation management, performance and athletics is also recommended.
If you meet these criteria, you can become a Certified Consultant in the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP), an independent professional organization. If you are a member of APA and a Certified Consultant in AAASP, you can qualify to become a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee's Registry of Sport Psychologists. The Executive Committee of the Division 47 (Exercise and Sport Psychology) of the American Psychological Association recommends that you obtain AAASP certification in order to practice sport psychology or call yourself a sport psychologist.
Olympics 2012 - The Importance Of Sports Psychology
Tom Bates talks about the importance of sports psychology, on the BBC, during the Olympics.
Take Your Mental Toughness to the Next Level with Advanced Sports Imagery
Change your game, cultivate mental toughness and use sports psychology to your advantage with Advanced Sports Imagery.