It’s fair to say that we’re all pretty darn obsessed with sport. Whether you just can’t get enough of playing it or whether you’re one of the WFA types (watch from afar) there’s something about watching some of the greatest athletes on the planet do their thing that really makes us happy. Yet, have you ever wondered what the secret of their success is? Of course, there’s a lot of hard work and dedication involved in becoming a successful athlete. After all, Usain Bolt didn’t just rock up to the Olympics and walk away with a gold medal in his hands. As well as their own training, many sports stars also enlist the help of sports psychologists to get them into the winning spirit. But who the heck are sports psychologists and what do they do?
It takes a lot of hard work to be a psychologist
Like anything in life, you can’t just decide one day that you want to become a sports psychologist and have all of the qualifications to be one. Instead, you have to have relevant experience within the realm of sport and psychology, and you also need to train for numerous years to be able to call yourself a professional sports psychologist. In fact, before you can sit down with an athlete of any kind, you have to have all of the qualifications required to practice. Most of the time, this means you have to have a degree!
It’s important to set yourself realistic expectations
If you’ve always wanted to be a sports psychologist, you may have had dreams of working with huge names such as David Beckham, Tiger Woods, Anthony Joshua or more. Yet, it’s very seldom that new recruits within the sports psychology world get to work with the greats. Instead, you need to set yourself realistic expectations and realize that you have to work your way to the top. You will need to start small and work with local athletes before making your way up. When you’re there, you can do a Drake and say, “Started from the bottom now we’re here.”
You need to be adaptable
Just because you love American Football doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to work within this world as a sports psychologist, and even if you do – you’ll soon realize that football players and golf players are hugely different in the way that they approach sport and how they deal with their careers. Because of this, it’s important to be adaptable. As a psychologist, it’s your job to read a situation and a person and know exactly how to help and support them within their craft.
You need to be a sports lover
This one really should be obvious. After all, what’s the point in working with sports stars if you have no idea what it is they do? It’s important for sports psychologists to know how a specific sport is played, what the sport expects of their players or athletes, and how you can help your clients to be everything they want and more. Without this knowledge, you have no chance of being a sports psychologist.
It’s important to understand the connection between the mind and body
As a sports psychologist, it’s not only your job to aid your athletes to win their matches or win their races, but it’s also important to understand the connection between the mind and the body – and how they are linked. Without the proper mindset or emotional wellbeing, an athlete has little chance of succeeding. It’s your job to ensure that they are at their best mental capacity to ensure they are at the best physical capacity.
Have you always dreamt of being a sports psychologist? Well, if you abide by all of these secrets you’re one step closer to achieving your dream.