These are just a few of the questions that sport psychologists try to answer. Sports psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on how individuals are affected by playing sports as well as how to improve a person's mindset in order to excel at sports. A sport psychologist understands that individuals who play sports must be healthy in both their bodies and minds in order to succeed. At times, some athletes need help overcoming psychological issues that do not allow them to play to their full potential. Reducing stress and extreme anxiety before events often leads to better performances by athletes.

The practice as it's followed today generally traces its origins back to the 1840s, when Scottish surgeon James Braid built upon the idea of what he called “nervous sleep,” or, more specifically, “the induction of a habit of abstraction or mental concentration, in which, as in reverie or spontaneous abstraction, the powers of the mind are so much engrossed with a single idea or train of thought, as, for the nonce, to render the individual unconscious of, or indifferently conscious to, all other ideas, impressions, or trains of thought.”

Returning to play after an injury can sometimes be difficult for many athletes depending on the nature of the injury. Athletes are often left with “mental scars” long after an injury is physically healed. A sports psychologist can help injured athletes cope better with the pressures associated with returning to a prior level of performance–pre-injury.


"DONALD LEE, earned his B.A. from Brandeis University. He earned his M.A., M.Ed., and Ed.D. in counseling psychology from Columbia University. He is also a Licensed Professional Counselor. He provides individual psychotherapy to children, adolescents, and adults, as well as, providing marital and family therapy. He treats individuals with anxiety, depression, ADHD, substance/alcohol abuse, and adjustment issues. Dr. Lee has taught courses in individual therapy, group counseling, and racial-cultural counseling at the graduate level. His clinical experiences have involved work with the chronically mentally ill, victims of trauma, and has consulted at agencies working with victims of domestic violence."
I work with athletes and performers at every level, from novice and recreational to elite and professional, so the situations that I address are constantly evolving, bringing different challenges each day. I may give training to an entire team, meet with an individual client at my office, or observe a client at practice or at a competition. I may speak with their coaches or families; it just depends on what we are trying to accomplish. We work on developing the mental side of their game and performance. This involves building skills in areas such as focus, concentration, motivation, goal-setting, managing intensity, overcoming performance obstacles, stress management, and learning how to perform optimally even under pressure. We also address issues such as performance anxiety, burnout, lack of confidence, recovering from an injury, and handling performance pressures that come when new levels of achievement are attained.
I've been a smoker for 45+ years, tried quiting with the patch, Chantix, other hypnotist with zero… I've been a smoker for 45+ years, tried quiting with the patch, Chantix, other hypnotist with zero results. One afternoon with Rita and my wife, my mother-in-law and myself have all been non-smokers for six months today!  Best money I have ever spent.  I AM A NON-SMOKER AND WILL BE A NON-SMOKER FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!  Thank you Rita! Read more
It might take the full 10 years, but coaching will begin to rise in popularity over consulting. Aging demographics will demand a vast transfer of institutional, industry and professional wisdom. Consulting augments gaps in knowledge, but coaching emphasizes the transfer of wisdom. Smart young leaders will seek to learn, as talent becomes harder to "rent." - Jim Vaselopulos, Rafti Advisors, Inc.
Nadine Greiner, Ph.D. is the CEO of On Target Solutions, which provides full-suite contemporary Organization Development Solutions.  Dr. Greiner teaches in masters and doctoral programs, coaches and trains other consultants, and wrote The Art of Executive Coaching.  Since she first served as a CEO at the age of 38, she understands leaders’ experience first-hand.  Nadine Greiner offers her clients the expertise that comes along with 30 years of consulting success, and a dual Ph.D. in Organization Development and Clinical Psychology.  She loves animals and Zumba.
No amount of executive coaching could have alleviated Bernstein’s disorder. Narcissists rarely change their behavior unless they experience extraordinary psychological pain—typically a blow to their self-esteem. The paradox of Bernstein’s circumstance was that working with his executive coach had only served to shield him from pain and enhance his sense of grandiosity, as reflected in the feeling, “I’m so important that the boss paid for a special coach to help me.” Executive coaching further eroded Bernstein’s performance, as often occurs when narcissists avoid the truth.
Thanks for your article Nadine. There is now further evidence of the Coaching Ripple Effect in the groundbreaking research by Dr Sean O’Connor & Dr Michael Cavanagh (2013). They are in fact colleagues of Tony Grant at the University of Sydney. To give a balanced view, Tony’s article on ROI as a poor measure of coaching success (2012) is also worth a read.
In 1979, Devi at the University of Illinois published an article ("About Smocks and Jocks") in which he contended that it was difficult to apply specific laboratory research to sporting situations. For instance, how can the pressure of shooting a foul shot in front of 12,000 screaming fans be duplicated in the lab? Rainer Martens contended: "I have grave doubts that isolated psychological studies which manipulate a few variables, attempting to uncover the effects of X on Y, can be cumulative to form a coherent picture of human behavior. I sense that the elegant control achieved in laboratory research is such that all meaning is drained from the experimental situation. The external validity of laboratory studies is at best limited to predicting behavior in other laboratories."[16] Martens urged researchers to get out of the laboratory and onto the field to meet athletes and coaches on their own turf. Martens' article spurred an increased interest in qualitative research methods in sport psychology, such as the seminal article "Mental Links to Excellence."[17]

Passion, making it about the athlete and not about you, and clear communication. You have to be willing to say what the athlete doesn’t want to hear and to go in deep with what’s stopping them. They might, and probably will resist, so you have to really present the coaching in a way that’s not confronting, but rather in which they can really see the opportunity that’s available in taking the coaching.


It has been 48 days and counting without burning a single cigarette, and it is all thanks to Rita Black. The first 2 to 3 days were definitely the hardest, but the freedom and the confidence I gained after I saw her has been far more rewarding. After a single session with her, I am now empowered to be healthy, I took back control of my life and I will continue to do so for years to come. Thank you Rita for helping me want to burn calories and not cigarettes.

The birth of sports psychology in Europe happened largely in Germany. The first sports psychology laboratory was founded by Dr. Carl Diem in Berlin, in the early 1920s.[3] The early years of sport psychology were also highlighted by the formation of the Deutsche Hochschule für Leibesübungen (College of Physical Education)in berlin germany by Robert Werner Schulte in 1920. The lab measured physical abilities and aptitude in sport, and in 1921, Schulte published Body and Mind in Sport. In Russia, sport psychology experiments began as early as 1925 at institutes of physical culture in Moscow and Leningrad, and formal sport psychology departments were formed around 1930.[4] However, it was a bit later during the Cold War period (1946–1989) that numerous sport science programs were formed, due to the military competitiveness between the Soviet Union and the United States, and as a result of attempts to increase the Olympic medal numbers [5] The Americans felt that their sport performances were inadequate and very disappointing compared to the ones of the Soviets, so this led them to invest more in the methods that could ameliorate their athletes performance, and made them have a greater interest on the subject. The advancement of sports psychology was more deliberate in the Soviet Union and the Eastern countries, due to the creation of sports institutes where sports psychologists played an important role.


The history of sport psychology began back in the late 19th century, with Norman Triplett. Triplett was a psychology professor at Indiana University during this time, and he conducted research on cyclists. The results of his research showed that the cyclists in his experiments typically performed better when they were riding with others in a group, compared to when they were riding alone. In 1920, the first sport psychology laboratory was founded by Carl Diem in Germany. Coleman Griffith, who worked with athletes from the Chicago Cubs, soon followed suit and founded the first sport psychology laboratory in the United States. It wasn't until 1987, though, that the American Psychological Association created the sport psychology division, Division 47.
Hypnosis is not a psychotherapeutic treatment or a form of psychotherapy, but rather a tool or procedure that helps facilitate various types of therapies and medical or psychological treatments. Only trained health care providers certified in clinical hypnosis can decide, with their patient, if hypnosis should be used along with other treatments. As with psychotherapy, the length of hypnosis treatment varies, depending on the complexity of the problem.
×