What is it?
In a simple way, sport psychology is the science that studies the behavior of human beings in a sports context. In other words, it is the definition of psychology, but in the world of sports.
The sport psychologist is an expert who intervenes to help (psychological support, coaching, mental preparation,...), prevents problems (e.g. stress, exhaustion...), or carries out research or teaching activities.
It is applicable to every person involved in the sports world: athletes, parents, coaches, managers, sports executives,....
Sport psychology: the main areas
Mental preparation, also called "mental coaching" in the sports field, is the most studied field and exercised with high-level athletes and coaches: it is the matter of psychologically preparing for competitions. It is also referred to as "mental training", insofar as the mind (for example, the ability to concentrate or manage stress) can be the object of learning and specific training.
If one trains the technique and the physical aspects of his sport, the mental is also fundamental if one wants to achieve the optimal performance: concentration, mental relaxation (stress management), self-confidence and cohesion in the team are areas that deserve attention.
In this article we go deeper into mental preparation.
Professional reconversion after a career as an athlete
Towards the end of a career at the highest level, the athlete can be professionally disoriented. The athlete is often lost during the down time, and the sports psychologist is there to help the athlete or coach make new choices.
The clinical psychology of sport
These are mental health problems that can be encountered by the athlete (or people in his environment) such as generalized anxiety, problematic stress, depression, eating disorders...
Psychological support, maintenance of technical gestures by imagery and especially preparation for the return to competition are part of this program. This is an exciting time to start working with a sports psychologist or a mental trainer as the athlete has the time and can prepare a positive return to the competition.
What does the sports psychologist do?
There are various ways in which a sports psychologist can provide his help:
• individual or group mental coaching sessions
• psychological support
• professional retraining