Sports Psychology in Northern New Jersey
To maximize sports performance, the mind and body must both be carefully conditioned. To help athletes in Totowa, Little Falls Township, Woodland Park and the surrounding areas in New Jersey achieve their potential, Psycho-Educational Associates provides a number of sports psychology services.
What is Sports Psychology?
Sports psychology studies how the mind influences sports, physical activity, athletic performance, and exercise. Some sports psychologists work with professional athletes and coaches by helping to increase motivation and improve performance. Other sports psychologists use sports and exercise to improve people’s lives now and as they get older.
Major Topics within Sports Psychology
A few topics are of particular interest to sports psychologists. Some of these psychologists will focus on one specific area, and others will focus on a wider area. A few of the major topics sports psychologists deal with are:
- Imagery- This aspect involves visualizing performing a task.
- Motivation- The study of motivation looks at intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Intrinsic motivators come from within a person while extrinsic motivators involve external rewards, like money, social recognition, and trophies.
- Attention focus-Involves helping athletes to focus on the task at hand and tune out distractions, like a crowd of screaming fans in a stadium.
How can Sports Psychologists Help?
Athletes may seek help from a sports psychologist when they have a specific problem they are dealing with. For example, it may be difficult for them to focus during a competition, or they may experience high levels of anxiety. Other difficulties athletes could experience are trouble communicating with their teammates, motivating themselves to get the right amount of exercise, or controlling their temper.
Athletes will turn to a sports psychologist in difficult situations, but some will turn to them when they are not having difficulties as well. Sports psychologists can help athletes in the following areas:
- Enhancing performance- A variety of mental strategies, like visualization, relaxation, and self-talk, can be useful to help athletes achieve their full potential and overcome difficult obstacles.
- Recovering from an injury- Athletes may need help learning to tolerate pain after they have experienced an injury, or are dealing with the difficult emotions of being on the sidelines.
- Dealing with the pressures of competition- Athletes can get help from a sports psychologist to deal with pressure that may come from their own expectations, their coaches, and/or their parents.
- Sticking with an exercise program- A sports psychologist can help individuals increase their motivation and overcome obstacles that are stopping them from getting the exercise they need.
- Enjoying sports-A sports psychologist can be hired to help coaches who work with young people in sports organizations. They will teach the coach ways to promote healthy self-esteem in their players while helping them enjoy the sport.
The strategies and techniques used by sports psychologists can be helpful in other settings. For example, these professionals use relaxation techniques, cognitive restructuring, and mental rehearsals that could be useful in the workplace.
Sports psychology can give you a competitive edge that can’t be achieved with physical training alone. Here at Psycho-Educational Associates, we have experienced, caring professionals standing by ready to provide you with sports psychology and a variety of other services Contact us today to schedule your appointment!