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Nutrition News

Some athletes seek help from a sport psychologist or other exercise and sport psychology professional when they have a problem

What sport psychologists do

Some athletes seek help from a sport psychologist or other exercise and sport psychology professional when they have a problem.

They might become anxious or lose focus during competition, for example. They might have trouble communicating with teammates, controlling their temper or even just motivating themselves to exercise. Or they might choke at key moments during a game.

But athletes don’t just consult sports psychologists when they’re having difficulties. Sport psychologists can also help athletes:

  • Enhance performance. Various mental strategies, such as visualization, self-talk and relaxation techniques, can help athletes overcome obstacles and achieve their full potential.
  • Cope with the pressures of competition. Sport psychologists can help athletes at all levels deal with pressure from parents, coaches or even their own expectations.
  • Recover from injuries. After an injury, athletes may need help tolerating pain, adhering to their physical therapy regimens or adjusting to being sidelined.
  • Keep up an exercise program. Even those who want to exercise regularly may find themselves unable to fulfill their goal. Sport psychologists can help these individuals increase their motivation and tackle any related concerns.
  • Enjoy sports. Sports organizations for young people may hire a sport psychologist to educate coaches about how to help kids enjoy sports and how to promote healthy self-esteem in participants.

Sports psychology can even help people off the playing field. The same strategies that sport psychologists teach athletes — relaxation techniques, mental rehearsals and cognitive restructuring, for example — are also useful in the workplace and other settings.

How to find a sport psychologist

To find a sport psychologist or other exercise and sport psychology professional, talk to other athletes and coaches. In addition to names, ask how the professional helped them and what type of services were provided.

Your local college or university may also be able to provide referrals.

In addition, you can check with professional organizations, such as APA’s Div. 47 (Exercise and Sport Psychology), theAssociation for Applied Sport Psychology or the U.S. Olympic Committee sport psychology registry.

Who is qualified

When you’re seeking sport psychological help, ask about the professional’s credentials, experience and clientele. Also ask about membership in such professional organizations as APA and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, which certifies sport and exercise professionals.

Some exercise and sport psychology professionals are also licensed psychologists, who are doctorally trained individuals who have met their state’s educational and training requirements and passed a comprehensive exam. These psychologists undergo specialized postdoctoral training in how to optimize athletes’ performance and well-being. Only licensed psychologists may call themselves psychologists.

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About Elaine Sirt -Hastings, RD. Nutrition, Energy & Human Performance Expert

Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Elaine Sirt-Hastings, RD, LD/N, CSSD is the Founder of Associates in Nutrition and Sports Specialty and President of. Elaine Hastings and Associates, experts in Nutrition, Energy and Human Performance, a leader in the health, wellness, fitness and sports nutrition industries. Elaine is an engaging and informed Supplement, Performance and Energy Expert. Elaine is a go-to media source both nationally and internationally, with extensive knowledge in every aspect of nutrition. She has been a multimedia content contribute and media resource for some 20 years. Elaine specializes in human performance, wellness, energy, nutrition, fitness, eating disorders, sports and team nutrition. She is a highly sought after educator, author and spokesperson with excellent cross-cultural awareness. Being a former athlete and model Elaine knows how to help you Stay in Your Game! Stay in Your Game™ Eat and move for Top Performance in YOUR Life! …work. fitness. corporate. teams. athletes. kids.

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