Sport & Performance Psychology
As an athlete, performing artist, or business leader, you are often placed high on a pedestal. The sports culture, the executive world, and the media regularly tell us that weakness is failure. At Century City Counseling I help athletes, performing artists, and executives leave behind that mentality and tailor a plan for their success.
Sports competitions and executive life can be very demanding, but not just from a physical aspect. While everyone experiences different types of stress, many athletes, performers, and executives experience both internal and external pressure. The mental part of the game needs to be taken into consideration as well. Today, mental health training has become an essential role of athletic and corporate success, in addition to strength, and endurance training. There are strategies to help address the challenges you face to achieve goals. Just like anything in life, having the correct mindset allows you to perform at your peak and exceed the expectations we often set for ourselves.
As both a clinical and sports therapist, I aim to help you reach peak mental fitness. At Century City Counseling I work with individual athletes and executives from all walks of life to develop personalized treatment programs to meet their specific needs. Combining this with proper physical training is what truly separates an elite athlete from a great one.
Training Your Mind
Let's consider your mind a muscle, a mental one if you will. You can improve performance by learning new mental techniques and skills that can be used to approach the mental blocks that negatively impact athletic performance. By focusing on your mindset, you will develop a healthier outlook about your sport or job.
Several different mental skills can be acquired to benefit your performance. Here are just a few of the numerous strategies:
Setting goals: Begin with baby steps. Do not focus on any outcome expectations. Instead, focus on the process as a whole. This will help boost your ability to adjust to adversity and change. Make the goal measurable for it to create steppingstones along the way, leading you to the main goal you initially set. Remember, Rome was not built in a day.
Body scan: Pay attention to your body when you are training. Ask yourself: "Am I over-doing it; am I breathing correctly; are my shoulders and neck relaxed; am I keeping a good rhythm?"
Confidence: When you set a realistic goal, you will want to have a belief in your ability to be successful. If you use positive thinking and trust your skills, you will overcome obstacles. With positive self-talk, you will allow yourself to perform at your full potential.
Recovering from mistakes: Letting go and accepting a mistake will help you bounce back quicker to achieving your goals. No athlete is perfect, and mistakes will be made. When you stay focused on the present and not the past or future, you will accomplish what is in front of you sooner. When you learn to cope and lose the fear of messing up, you will maintain your confidence throughout the process.
Overcoming Anxiety: Performing in front of a large crowd, playing against your number one rival, or having someone you know in the crowd- Being prepared for these moments and managing the anxiety can make all the difference. When you learn how to reduce negative thought patterns, believe in yourself, and self-meditate, you will create healthier habits.
Reading the above, you may wonder if you could easily do these things on your own. Being an athlete, you eat, sleep, and breathe the sport you participate in. That makes it more difficult for you to deal with failures or moving on to another goal. Seeking professional help will allow you to manage obstacles using an individualized treatment plan.
As humans, we tend to build up our barriers. These barriers are blocks that stop us from ascertaining our full potential. I want to encourage my clients to unlock their full potential by teaching and empowering them how to knock these barriers down. It is much easier to say “I can't” versus “I can”. Allow me to show you how to break down your walls and to how to faster achieve your “Mamba” mentality.
You carry the whole weight of the game on your shoulders. People unknowingly put pressure on you, whether it is your coach expecting you to perform, or the proud parent in the crowd cheering you on. You can learn how to alleviate these feelings and perform under stress.
Other outside factors can also affect you. Circumstances beyond our control often influence emotions that we can control. Learning to deal with emotions evoked from situations we do not control allows us to have greater control of ourselves when performance is necessary.
When Do You Need to See a Sports Therapist?
If you believe that your performance is suffering from your mental state, it could be a potential sign to consult with a therapist. Here are a few indicators:
You want to improve your mental state.
You lose focus during crucial moments.
You struggle with self-confidence.
Body image disorders, weight management, and eating disorders.
You feel down after an injury.
You no longer enjoy what you do.
I use evidence-based methods to help you increase your cognitive and emotional skillsets. Together, we will strive to learn more about yourself, your reactions, outcomes, and how to raise your situational awareness.