Excellence in sport relies as much on mental factors as it does on physical, technical or tactical skills. What an athlete thinks and feels can impact significantly on their sporting performance. Using a combination of individual and group work, sports psychologists can assist athletes and coaches by addressing areas specific to preparation and competition, such as:
- Arousal and attention zone selection
- Motivational cues and triggers
- Focus and relaxation triggers
- Transition management
- Short term injury and setbacks
- Identifying performance inhibitors
Sports psychology uses principals and techniques derived from the science of psychology to help athlete achieve their goals and perform when it matters most. Sports psychologists can also assist athletes with their lifestyle choices as well as equipping them with the necessary skills to cope with the demands of being an elite performer.
In Ireland, sport psychologists have a professional background in Psychology or in Sports Science / Physical Education (or both).