Welcome to the UNT Center for Sport Psychology and Performance Excellence website. I appreciate you taking this opportunity to learn more about our Center and the work we do at the university and in the community. The Center for Sport Psychology is a national leader in (a) providing services to athletes, coaches and teams, (b) educating future sport psychologists as well as current coaches and sport administrators, (c) conducting research with exercisers and sport participants, and (d) working with the community, such as youth sport programs, to make sport a more enjoyable and meaningful experience. Simply put, our mission is to help you reach your performance goals, whatever they may be, and find passion in what you do.
The most common educational path starts with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. From there, students move on to a master’s degree, then finish with either a PsyD or a PhD at the doctoral level. Some schools offer joint degree programs, allowing students to get a master’s and doctorate degree at the same time. After graduating, students are eligible to test for licensure and may pursue real-world experiences.
I find it extremely rewarding to be able to make a difference in people’s lives, not just in the quality of their performances, but also in their life satisfaction and overall well-being. When athletes are able to see the fruit of their work in developing performance skills and reducing performance barriers, it is rewarding to have been a part of that process.
9. Power Words: Make positive self-statements continually. Negative thinking is common; everyone has an inner critic. Become aware of these thoughts early on. Don’t fight with them; simply acknowledge their presence, and then substitute positive power words. (e.g., When you’re thinking: “This hurts too much, I want to lay down and die”; say to yourself: “This feeling is connected with getting healthier and doing my absolute best.”)
Although this book is fascinating, without the guidance of a live instructor it cannot really be used as a practical learning tool. Although it seems there is almost nothing Dave Elman can't handle successfully with hypnosis, the reader may be left feeling a bit inadequate, as his physician students often did, when trying to duplicate his efforts. Obviously there is a lot to be said for intuitive skill in this area.
People come to coaching for several reasons: They could be “stuck” and can’t think of what else to do in order to move the organization forward; there may not be anyone at their level that they can have confidential conversations with, or they believe if they were to change/improve something within themselves, the greater organization would benefit. Maybe they are ready to do something different but are not sure what that “something” is. Perhaps they are looking for change, a different perspective, or have important goals to reach. Executive or “business” coaching focuses on helping individuals go from where they are, to where they want themselves and their company to be.
Becoming a sports psychologist could be an exciting career choice for many psychology students, especially those who have a strong interest in sports and physical activity. The American Psychological Association describes sports psychology as a "hot career," suggesting that those working in university athletic departments earn around $60,000 to $80,000 per year. If you are interested in this career, learn more about the educational requirements, job duties, salaries and other considerations in this profile of careers in sports psychology.
Performance Consultants specializes in evaluating the impact of coaching engagements and estimating the return on investment (ROI). We use our in-house coaching evaluation tool, Coaching for Performance ROI, to measure the baseline at the outset of the coaching relationship and the growth and development that has occurred during the coaching sessions. Depending on the position of the coachee within the organization, it is possible to trace the impact to the bottom line – see the easyJet Case Study for example. Please note that the confidentiality of the coaching is not compromised through this method.
I might be biased, but I do believe that the best sport psychology candidates are those who have partaken in an elite sport or performance domain (like competitive dance or professional music). I am a firm believer in the sport psychology consultant using their as-lived, phenomenological experience from their own sporting experience to really relate to and provide hands-on tools to the athlete. Kind of like a ‘been-there-done-that’ phenomenon: the consultant has already been there themselves, so they have a better understanding of what tool will make the difference with the athlete/high performer. This is not to say that you have to have been an elite athlete/performer to be an expert sport psychologist, I just happen to think those that have competed in an elite sport or its equivalent have a leg up.
That's in part because there isn't enough data. While some studies have shown positive results, they differ too much for anyone to draw a solid conclusion. Few studies that have been done over the years met HHS’s inclusion criteria, owing in part to the vast array of methodologies used. “There was no common or standard intervention technique to analyze,” the guidelines read. “Moreover, an independent review of nine hypnotherapy trials by the Cochrane Group found insufficient evidence to support hypnosis as a treatment for smoking cessation.”
"Dr. Kirby works with individuals and couples in his practice. Many of his clients are "worried well," adults who are generally functioning well, but adjusting to difficult life situations or recurring emotional and relational patterns. When these situations are causing anxiety, stress or depression, therapy can help. Dr. Kirby is known as a direct, smart, caring clinician. As a therapist, he helps his clients set and move forward with their life goals, improve relationships, and create more meaning and purpose. Whatever brings you in, Dr. Kirby prioritizes transparency and collaboration throughout the therapy process."
A survey of advanced and contemporary theories in the study of organizational coaching and of the leading scholars who have made important contributions to the field. Topics will include formal and informal coaching relationships; internal and external practices; and advance coaching-related skill development. Students will develop coaching skills through in-class and out-of-class practice.
Over the past 15 years, it has become more and more popular to hire coaches for promising executives. Although some of these coaches hail from the world of psychology, a greater share are former athletes, lawyers, business academics, and consultants. No doubt these people help executives improve their performance in many areas. But I want to tell a different story. I believe that in an alarming number of situations, executive coaches who lack rigorous psychological training do more harm than good. By dint of their backgrounds and biases, they downplay or simply ignore deep-seated psychological problems they don’t understand. Even more concerning, when an executive’s problems stem from undetected or ignored psychological difficulties, coaching can actually make a bad situation worse. In my view, the solution most often lies in addressing unconscious conflict when the symptoms plaguing an executive are stubborn or severe.
Much research shows that such capacities are essential personal strengths; certainly important to effective senior leadership. Moreover, studies find that you can grow them with conscious effort. The emotionally detached, un-empathic person, unaware of his or her personal motives or truths is not going to be very effective as a CEO or senior leader. We see examples of the consequences from time-to-time, when a CEO resigns or is fired.
Both sport psychology (focusing on the dynamic interplay between psychological factors and athletic performance) and sport and exercise psychology (focusing on using psychological insight to increase exercise and activity levels) are essential components in empowering performance. Whether that be for professional athletes or the general population, an understanding of how the mind works can have a huge impact.
Thanks for this article, Nadine. Well said. In my experiences working with executives in my communication capacity, I can usually tell which have been exposed to coaching. They are consistent in their approaches and often have methods for stress reduction that they regularly employ. Their teams often reflect their approach so good executive coaching leads to better team response and production. I am looking forward to reading your book.
Make it descriptive rather than evaluative. This means that the feedback should focus on the facts, as opposed to saying what is good or bad. This also helps the recipient be less defensive. Instead of saying, “Your follow-through is poor,” it is more effective to say, “The team was in a real crunch today, trying to get the presentation slides to the client to be reviewed. I was counting on having the highlights of your report included in the presentation. This caused us to be late in getting the slides to the client. Next time we have a deadline like this, I’d like to see you deliver your portion on time.”
The BLS reports that the job outlook is best for sports psychologists with a doctoral degree in their specialty. Positions for potential psychologists with master's degrees are limited and candidates may face intense competition for the available jobs. Sports psychologists with master's degrees may expect to work as assistant counselors or in research positions, directly supervised by licensed psychologists. Time spent volunteering with sports teams or interning under the supervision of sport and exercise psychology professionals may also be helpful in obtaining full-time positions.
Modern hypnotherapy is widely accepted for the treatment of certain habit disorders, to control irrational fears, as well as in the treatment of conditions such as insomnia and addiction. Hypnosis has also been used to enhance recovery from non-psychological conditions such as after surgical procedures, in breast cancer care and even with gastro-intestinal problems, including IBS.