I have a BSc. in Human Kinetics and a Master’s of Arts in Human Kinetics concentrated in Sport Psychology, which I completed over 10 years after earning my BSc. In those 10 years, I competed for Canada on the World Beach Volleyball Tour. Having been a lifelong competitive athlete, I discovered first-hand the need to train the mind alongside the body. My national team coach once said to me “Kara, you make the hard stuff look easy and the easy stuff look hard,” and it was true. The easier it was, the more time I had to think about it.

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.
Motivation: A major subject within sports psychology, the study of motivation looks at both extrinsic and intrinsic motivators. Extrinsic motivators are external rewards, such as trophies, money, medals or social recognition. Intrinsic motivators arise from within, such as a personal desire to win or the sense of pride that comes from performing a skill.
Hypnotherapy has been used to stop self-destructive and addictive habits like smoking. It has also been used to curb the urge to eat for overeaters, to stem the disruptive actions of tics, cure insomnia , stop bed-wetting, and minimize anxiety. Excessive stress can be generated from any number of sources and can be the springboard for anxiety. Some of the more prominent sources of anxiety and stress for which people seek hypnotherapy are: public speaking, test taking, and job stress. Hypnotherapy also works well for other anxiety disorders such as phobias and has proven to be an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression. In one study, hypnotherapy was used in conjunction with traditional cognitive therapy, to assist persons who had severe aversion to needles. The treatment was necessary, because it was essential that each participant receive periodic medical injections. However, the participants would have become non-compliant without the adjunct intervention of hypnotherapy. In another case, involving care for terminally ill cancer patients, it was concluded that hypnotherapy was more effective at enhancing quality of life and relieving anxiety and depressive symptoms, when compared to others who received traditional care.
This is the process of helping the members of a group enhance their ability to work cohesively through the improvement of communication, group objectives, trust, and respect. Team building strategies are often used at the beginning of a season to help group members become more familiar and trusting of each other. Common techniques include group introductions of each other, ropes courses, and individual and team goal setting.
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At first meeting, coach Sean McNulty was impressive. He had a bodybuilder’s physique and a model’s face. Although he had been cocaptain of the football team at the Big Ten university he had attended, McNulty always knew that he was too small for professional sports and not studious enough for medicine or law. But realizing he had charisma to spare, McNulty decided, while an undergraduate business major minoring in sports psychology, that he would pursue a career in executive coaching. After earning an MBA from a leading university, McNulty soon became known in the local business community as a man who could polish the managerial skills of even the ugliest of ducklings.
Therefore, a hypnotherapist can provide you with more positive suggestions that “stick.” In other words, you’re setting up roadblocks for the automatic, top-down processes that are keeping the addiction in place. So when you experience a smoking trigger, the mind doesn’t automatically react – it slows down and “listens” to this new information you’ve provided.
Upon receiving your graduate degree, you will see there are a lot of options for you as far as jobs. These include being a faculty member at university where you would teach and conduct research. You could work at a hospital, physical rehabilitation center, or gym. There are job possibilities with the military, given their concern with keeping troops mentally fit for battle. Finally, you might decide to open your own practice, where you can work with individual athletes and/or teams. Your private practice might even lead to working with individuals you might not typically think of as athletes. This could include dancers, or even those in the business world who may be dealing with high-pressure jobs. As far as what you will earn in a job, collegeatlas.com lists the mean salary for a sports psychologist at $57,000. However, I have seen higher estimates when reading various Internet sites about sports psychology.
Since hypnotherapy is an adjunct form of therapy, used along with other forms of psychological or medical treatment, there are many applications. Hypnotherapy can be used to treat anxiety, phobias, substance abuse including tobacco, sexual dysfunction, undesirable spontaneous behaviors, and bad habits. It can be used to help improve sleep, learning disorders, communication, and relationship issues. Hypnotherapy can aid in pain management and help resolve medical conditions such as digestive disorders, skin issues, and gastrointestinal side effects of pregnancy and chemotherapy. It can also be used by dentists to help patients control their fears or to treat teeth grinding and other oral conditions.
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