Sport counselling can help professional and amateur athletes overcome problems,
enhance their performance, and achieve their goals. While coaches typically focus
on the physical side of sport, sport counsellors concentrate on athletes’ minds and
can help athletes achieve their goals.

 

We are not born mentally tough, but individuals can learn techniques and strategies
to master these mental game skills to consistently experience peak performances.
Mentally tough individuals are resilient; know how to overcome barriers; to control
focus, stress and anxiety; to be consistent performers regardless of circumstances;
and find ways to do the right things at the right times.

 

Some athletes seek help from a sport counsellor when they have a problem. For
example, they might become anxious or lose focus during competition. 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 sport counsellors when they’re having difficulties.
Sport counselling 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 counselling 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 side-
    lined.
  • Keep up an exercise program. Even those who want to exercise regularly
    may find themselves unable to fulfill their goal. Sport counsellors can help
    these individuals increase their motivation and tackle any related concerns.
  • Enjoy sports. Sports organizations for young people may hire a sport
    counsellor to educate coaches about how to help kids enjoy sports and how to
    promote healthy self-esteem in participants.

 

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

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