There is an intense mental toll of reaching—and remaining—at the pinnacle of a sport. “The top six inches of the body matter just as much the rest,” says Matthew Cunliffe, a sports psychologist, who spoke with Quartz about what goes through the minds of elite athletes and how psychologists can help them win. The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Certification as a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC)® demonstrates to clients, employers, colleagues, and the public at large that a certified individual has met the highest standards of professional practice, including completing a combination of educational and work requirements, successfully passing a certification exam, agreeing to adhere to ethical principles and standards, and committing to ongoing professional development.
Just how expensive and time-consuming is executive coaching? Although there is tremendous variation in fees and arrangements among coaches, be prepared to pay a C-level coach what you pay your top attorney. If this seems excessive, consider that a coach must have the experience and expertise to quickly grasp a leader's situation, challenge assumptions and choices, and bring credible, fresh ideas to the table. Doing this with your best and brightest is not easy. And given the influence a coach can have on an executive's decisions and actions over the course of a typical six-to-12-month engagement involving bimonthly meetings, regular phone calls and e-mail check-ins, a bargain coach whose sophistication does not match the client's is a big mistake.
Performance profiling can provide a rigorous evaluation of psychological characteristics and can be used in conjunction with existing measures of physical ability to provide great insight for players, athletes and coaches. Psychometric assessments can help athletes explore their own unique characteristics, such as self-confidence, motivation, resilience and mental toughness. This greater self-awareness can help athletes to shape their development and can encourage them to take ownership of their performance with a significant impact on focus, drive and achievement.
Professional sports psychologists often help athletes cope with the intense pressure that comes from competition and overcome problems with focus and motivation. They also work with athletes to improve performance and recover from injuries. But sports psychologists do not just work with elite and professional athletes. They also help regular people learn how to enjoy sports and learn to stick to an exercise program.
With the above in mind, you should first understand that sports psychology is really an interdisciplinary science. Besides psychology, it is also concerned with disciplines such as biomechanics, physiology, and kinesiology. As a definition, the American Psychological Association’s Division 47 (Society of Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology) states the following:
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This is what you say or think to yourself. Self-talk patterns are related to how people feel and act. Changing self-talk is commonly used for (a) prompting a specific behavior, (b) improving self–confidence, (c) attention control, (d) motivation, and (e) arousal control. Common components include the identification of negative or irrelevant thoughts, challenging these thoughts, the creation of positive thoughts, and the substitution of positive thoughts for the negative thoughts.
The third element is suggestibility. The person becomes more responsive to suggestions given to him or her. Fourth is what he calls “involuntariness.” That means when you come out of hypnosis, you feel subjectively like you haven't done anything, but that something has been done to you. You may recognize that you're being told to lift you arm, for example, but you feel as if it is being lifted by some external force. Which makes sense, since when I reach for a cigarette, especially when I know I don't need it, I’m being governed by similar subconscious impulses.
Athletes aren't the only ones that can benefit from sport psychology, however, although they are the most likely. Some individuals who are in the middle of high stress and highly competitive careers might also benefit from a few counseling sessions with sport psychologists. This can include professionals such as business people, performing artists, and politicians.
Ajay Jagtiani, a principal with Miles and Stockbridge, had just hired a coach to help him navigate the environment at his new law firm when he had a heart attack. He had planned to use the coach to adapt to the new culture, decode political factions and crush it on the way to becoming managing partner. The heart attack changed everything. “I was young enough to survive it, but old enough to appreciate it,” he explained.
interpersonal communication. They need to deepen the social and emotional intelligence that are so essential in executive leadership roles. They need to pay closer attention to nonverbal communication as manifested in their body language, tone of voice, and facial expression. They need to improve their stress management skills, so that they don’t come across to others as frustrated, irritable, or dismissive.
David Lesser (1928 - 2001) was the originator of what we today understand by the term Curative Hypnotherapy. It was he who first saw the possibility of finding the causes of people’s symptoms by using a combination of hypnosis, IMR and a method of specific questioning that he began to explore. Rather than try to override the subconscious information as Janet had done, he realised the necessity- and developed the process- to correct the wrong information. Lesser’s understanding of the logicality and simplicity of the subconscious led to the creation of the methodical treatment used today and it is his innovative work and understanding that underpins the therapy and is why the term ‘Lesserian’ was coined and trademarked. As the understanding of the workings of the subconscious continues to evolve, the application of the therapy continues to change. The three most influential changes have been in Specific Questioning (1992) to gain more accurate subconscious information; a subconscious cause/effect mapping system (SRBC)(1996) to streamline the process of curative hypnotherapy treatment; and the ‘LBR Criteria’ (2003) to be able to differentiate more easily between causal and trigger events and helping to target more accurately the erroneous data which requires reinterpretation.