What Does A Sport Psychologist Do?
More About what a sport psychologist does

With an educational background in providing mental health treatment, a sport psychologist can provide mental health treatment while keeping in mind the unique challenges and experiences of an athlete. A sport psychologist could provide expertise in educating parents, athletic departments, and coaches on signs and symptoms related to mental health.
Sport psychologists might work with a team to provide systemic support and cultivate an affective culture with strong communication skills, great leadership, and mental toughness.  

In therapy, a sport psychologist bears witness to the narrative of the athlete. Through dialog, reflective questions, assessment, psychoeducation, experiential learning, and validation, a sport psychologist’s job is to help the athlete in the chair reach their personal goals. A typical day might consist of a client-doctor dialogue, exploration of treatment options, and an endorsement of a therapy plan. This may be to improve overall mental health, learn coping skills, or enhance their mental fitness. 

Athletes that want to work with a sport psychologist often seek mental health support. Like the general population, athletes struggle with mental health challenges including but not limited to depression, anxiety, substance use, and eating disorders.
Some athletes see a sport psychologist because they’re experiencing life stressors that may be related or unrelated to their sport. These challenges may consist of injury recovery, relational challenges, competitive fears, difficulties with a coach, transitioning out of sport, sustaining confidence under pressure, or balancing athletics with other life demands. In this instance, a sport psychologist may provide counseling support.
Other athletes may seek a sport psychologist not because they are experiencing any adversity but because they understand the importance of the mental game when it comes to reaching sport goals and performing to the best of their ability. In this capacity, a sport psychologist may take on more of a coaching role while introducing the athlete to a variety of evidence-based mental skills.  

It is important to note that every sport psychologist comes from a different educational background and professional experience; thus, there are many different approaches when working with a client. For this reason, it is important to ask your prospective sport psychologist about their own experiences and approach when identifying the best fit for you.  

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