Physical factors: what type is it? have you suffered something like it before? what’s the cause? Mental factors: what’s your personality? what’s your best coping mechanism? how do you think about yourself? Situational factors: what kind of sport you are in? what level of competition you are at? Social factors: the influence of coach, family, friends, team-mates.
For many people, playing sports is a fun way to stay fit, and compete with friends and peers. A select few might also make a pretty decent living by playing professional sports. But what makes some strive to play sports, to compete? What makes some push themselves to their limits for nothing more than the satisfaction of winning? How does playing sports affect people mentally and emotionally?
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.
The services of an Executive Coach can be engaged to support a Board President in building and empowering the board to clarify and accomplish its mission. Mentorship may also come from an experienced past board president—either at your organization or at another organization who can share their experience and lessons learned. Executive recruiters who specialize in placement of board members will likely know or have access to many such individuals. A coach is different than a mentor in that the coach helps YOU determine the solutions that are going to work best by asking the right questions and probing in the right places, layering in advice only after the have helped you to come up with the solution on your own, and will likely have facilitation abilities to work with the board as a group. You can find an Executive Coach through referrals, or by conducting an internet search for coaches in your area, or through professional associations.
There are a few other important points to make about getting a graduate degree in sports psychology or a related Psychology area. First, every graduate program has unique requirements. Before you jump into applying to a program make sure you have done your homework and thoroughly checked out the program. Second, if you plan on getting a doctoral degree it is likely the case that you will be required to complete a one-year internship where you will get additional training in an applied setting. For more info about a graduate degree in sports psychology go to careersinpsych.com. Third, it is always to your benefit to stick with graduate programs that are accredited by the American Psychological Association. For example, certain jobs require that you were trained at an accredited school. Fourth, it is to your benefit to be certified as a sports psychologist by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. Fifth, if you complete a counseling or clinical program you will almost surely apply for licensure. You will need to meet your state’s educational and training requirements and passed a comprehensive exam. Being licensed is very important, not only to be able to work with clients and be employed in various position, but also because only when you are licensed can you legally call yourself a “psychologist”.
We don’t aim to use scare tactics because research from the field of neuropsychology has shown that scaring smokers doesn't help them stop (1) In fact what most smokers do when they’ve been scared is…reach for the cigarettes. Scary anti-smoking pictures of, for example, diseased lungs have been show not to deter smoking but stimulate a part of the brain known as the “craving spot.” (1) (2)
The American Society for Training and Development does an annual survey of training programs in general, and provides some valuable metrics. They also have good publications on leading leadership development strategies and programs. I suggest that you talk to peers in your industry to benchmark since practices vary widely from industry to industry, and depending on organizaion size. Finally, your executive team might want to come up with your own benchmarks for success since every organization and culture requires something different (i.e., decision making may be a big issue for leaders in one organization, but no problem at all for leaders in another organization). A question for the executive team to ask is “How will we know that our leaders are being effective?” Then, determine a metric that will best measure that success factor.
Margaret, a 90-year old (not a typo!) musician from Manhattan, has been tobacco-free for a whopping 26 years, after a pack-a-day smoking career that spanned six decades. She’d quit before, cold turkey, but lasted only two days before she relapsed. Years later, she decided to try hypnosis at the recommendation of a trusted friend. “It wasn’t scary,” she remembers. “I was quite unaware that I was being hypnotized. The hypnosis was just deep enough for everything she said to take root. She told me that I shouldn’t ever touch another cigarette, not to think I can smoke and get away with it, and that one cigarette can restart the addiction over again. It was very easy. I was really quite surprised.” Margaret hasn’t taken a puff since.
Sports psychology is an interdisciplinary practice that explores the link between psychological and physical factors affecting performance in competitive sports and athletic activity. This specialty incorporates the science of physiology, kinesiology and biomechanics to assist sports psychologists in treating a wide range of mental health issues commonly experienced by athletes and sports industry professionals in a clinical setting.
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.
Hypnotherapy is guided hypnosis, or a trance-like state of focus and concentration achieved with the help of a clinical hypnotherapist. This trance-like state is similar to being completely absorbed in a book, movie, music, or even one's own thoughts or meditations. In this state, clients can turn their attention completely inward to find and utilize the natural resources deep within themselves that can help them make changes or regain control in certain areas of their life.