Sports psychology attends to the mental health and well-being of athletes, as well as assisting them with reaching their maximum potential in their athletic career. The five main functions of sports psychology is to assist players with heightened performance, decreasing stress, recouping after an injury, maintaining a constant workout regimen, and assisting coaches with techniques to make sure players continue to enjoy playing sports.


The first step for me was not a healthy one. Toward the end of 2015, I had my gallbladder removed and I was battling kidney stones as well as ruptured ovarian cysts. I was in so much pain that I physically could not bring myself to eat or I would get sick. I spent two weeks in the hospital because I had dropped 60 pounds in two months. They wanted to put a feeding tube in me, but I had to fight it and essentially relearn to eat as well as exercise to regain all the muscle I had lost from being sick.
Trance is commonplace. People fall into traces many times without even being aware that it happened. Examples of this are: reaching the destination of a morning commute, but not recalling the passing of familiar landmarks; daydreaming while sitting in a college classroom; or that anxiety-free state achieved just before going to sleep. The difference between these altered states and clinically used hypnotherapy is that a professionally trained person is involved in helping the patient achieve the trance, which can be done in many ways.
Careers in sports psychology cover a range of areas. Sports psychologists may practice in a hospital, clinic, gym, physical rehabilitation center, high school or university. Some may work in private practice or provide contracted consulting services to clients in other settings. Professionals in this area are often employed as part of a team of specialists, assembled from a variety of disciplines to maximize health and wellness among athletes, coaches, teams, parents of athletes, fitness professionals and more. Whatever the nature of their practice, sports psychologists should possess the following skills and competencies:
Hypnosis is a wellness technique that works by promoting positive behavioral or cognitive changes. During successful hypnosis, the client should be eased into a state of deep relaxation in which the conscious mind takes a back seat and the subconscious mind becomes more active. The client is often able to let go of critical thoughts and become receptive to the therapist’s suggestions. In this state of hypnosis, motivating suggestions can bypass your usual mental resistance and internal defense mechanisms. For example, even if you want to quit overeating cupcakes, you may have some level of resistance that your rational mind can’t overcome. During hypnosis, the positive suggestions made by the hypnotherapist can bypass your usual blocks, helping you to achieve the formerly unachievable: stopping overeating, quitting smoking, mastering public speaking, or losing your fear of heights. The goal of hypnosis is to strengthen and empower the client’s motivation, commitment and focus. Consider working with someone who is not just trained in hypnosis but also is a licensed therapist or psychotherapist who can bring their academic background into your session.
It is pertinent to mention that the practice of applied sport psychology is not legally restricted to individuals who possess one type of certification or licensure. The subject of "what exactly constitutes applied sport psychology and who can practice it?" has been debated amongst sport psychology professionals, and as of 2011, still lacks formal legal resolution in the United States. For instance, some question the ability of professionals who possess only sport science or kinesiology training to practice "psychology" with clients, while others counter that clinical and counseling psychologists without training in sport science do not have the professional competency to work with athletes. However, this debate should not overshadow the reality that many professionals express the desire to work together to promote best practices among all practitioners, regardless of training or academic background.

Consultation and training. Team building; sports organization consultation; systems interventions with parents and families involved in youth sports participation; education of coaches regarding motivation, interpersonal and leadership skills and talent development; education of coaches and administrators regarding early identification and prevention of psychological difficulties.
Skill used to help improve group cohesion and individual interactions in a sport setting (e.g., athlete–athlete, athlete–coach, coach–parent). Techniques used with this skill include: (a) teaching active listening and communicating skills (reflecting, clarifying, encouraging, paraphrasing), (b) helping individuals create a free and open environment, and (c) assertiveness training.
Asking insightful questions to help people achieve their goals will always be central to good coaching. However, it is insufficient. We will see more operators with deep industry or leadership experience serve as coaches. The demand for "been there, seen that, done that" coaches will continue to rise, as they are better positioned to help leaders look around the corners. - Shoma Chatterjee, ghSMART

Dorian Denburg was in-house counsel for a public corporation when she became president of the National Association of Women Lawyers. She said she immediately realized the not-for-profit environment was radically different from what she was used to. She was going to have to make some shifts. Her coach helped her understand the big picture and the importance of context.


While it might sound counterintuitive to eat something before you head out to a restaurant or party, showing up famished to the event will likely make it all the harder to stick to your weight loss goals. Eating something small (about 100 calories) with fiber (two to four grams) is a great way to readjust your appetite so you can show up and mingle a bit before diving into the cheese dip. Choose a whole food to take the edge off, like an apple or handful of nuts. For example, 30 pistachios are just 100 calories and offer two grams of fiber, along with protein and healthy fats, to truly take the edge off your appetite while providing a satisfying pre-party crunch. Enjoy your mini snack with a tall glass of water before the festivities to reduce your chances of post-party weight gain.


The landscape of leading organizations is changing, and more companies are turning to coaches to increase their effectiveness and sustainability. To meet that demand, our Certificate in Executive Coaching takes an innovative approach to developing the skills students need to improve the performance and satisfaction of individuals and teams to achieve organizational goals.
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.”
Kwit is inspired by gaming and incorporates game thinking, game mechanics, and game design. Gamification helps to keep quitting smoking fun and is used as a tool to help people stick to their decision, stop smoking, and change their behavior. As time goes on and you make headway to becoming the "Ultimate Kwitter," you reach higher levels and rankings.
Learn From Your Personal Time-Line: Describe key turning points in both your career and personal life, with an eye to what shaped your values, attitudes and behavior; how your career decisions and experiences have affected your personal development. Identify the consequences, both positive and negative. What does this knowledge point you towards, in terms of reclaiming and growing dormant or neglected parts of yourself?
Health coaching is becoming recognized as a new way to help individuals "manage" their illnesses and conditions, especially those of a chronic nature.[21] The coach will use special techniques, personal experience, expertise and encouragement to assist the coachee in bringing his/her behavioral changes about, while aiming for lowered health risks and decreased healthcare costs.[22] The National Society of Health Coaches (NSHC) has differentiated the term health coach from wellness coach.[22] According to the NSHC, health coaches are qualified "to guide those with acute or chronic conditions and/or moderate to high health risk", and wellness coaches provide guidance and inspiration "to otherwise 'healthy' individuals who desire to maintain or improve their overall general health status".[22]
Positive psychology is the scientific study of what's right with people, of what makes people thrive and flourish. In the coming years, executive coaches will be using the scientific principles of positive psychology to help their clients create more positive, more productive, and more profitable workplaces, and also apply these principles to their own lives. - Laura Belsten, CEO PARTNERSHIP
Careers in sports psychology typically begin with graduate study through the doctoral level, as many states require a doctoral degree in order to become licensed as a sports psychologist. Even if being licensed isn’t required for a particular job, a doctoral degree is a de facto standard for those who want to be psychologists, including those with an eye toward sports psychology.

Criticism — A tenet of motivational theory that is necessary to improve performance. The proper delivery of that criticism is imperative, as criticism can either better performance or drastically worsen it. There are three types of criticism: Destructive, Self, and Constructive. The best method of delivering constructive criticism is the "sandwich" approach; here, one first offers a compliment, then offers and critical feedback and useful directions to improve in that particular area, and then end with another compliment.


I was a smoker for thirty years, two packs a day. I never thought I would be able to quit without going through agony and torment. I tried the gum and the chantax and cold turkey and everything, but I never lasted more than a day without smoking. Last week I went to see Rita and it was quite an amazing experience. She made me look at the activity of smoking in a whole new way. It wasn't filling the void, it was creating the void. With that in mind, I left her office able to discontinue this crazy void-creating habit without too much struggle. Of course, there were moments of weakness where I thought I might give in to the craving, but her hypnosis helped me motor through those. I have not smoked for nine days now and I feel free at last. Thank you Rita.
It’s a really tough time for athletes. They would go through a period where they are questioning themselves, their work, and their skills. As a psychologist, I’d like to give them time to digest what’s happened, especially at the Olympic games for which they’ve been training for four or eight years. Then they can come to me and reflect on what’s happened. I’d like to be a mirror so that they can talk and open up. To be a sounding board for the athlete, and to start rebuilding if they are ready to do so.

Based on this definition, sports psychologists can participate in various activities, mostly focused on working to understand what motivates athletes and how athletes can improve their performance. These activities can range from counseling athletes who might have anxiety issues that hamper their performance to instructing athletes (individually or in groups) on methods of mental conditioning (e.g., visualization, concentration and relaxation) to helping athletes deal with injuries. To put all of this in another way, a sport psychologist is working from the perspective that success in sports relies on both the body and mind. To add one other important point, sports psychologists are often found working with elite athletes—Olympians and professionals. However, sports psychologists can be found working with athletes at all levels as well as with coaches and sports administrators.

Cally Stewart, OTD, OTR/L, CH joined the Center for Healthy Living in January 2017.  She was certified in hypnotherapy in 2009 and has practiced in a variety of health care settings including cancer care, family medicine, rehabilitation from injury or surgery, and chronic disease self-management.  Cally has a B.A. in psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.  She received her master's and doctorate in occupational therapy at Tufts University and is a licensed occupational therapist in Massachusetts.  She also holds a certification in hypnotherapy through the International Association of Counselors and Therapists. 


When Garvin was confronted by a second decline in sales, this one precipitated by the FNG syndrome, he had no idea that Nelson’s activities had caused the problem. In fact, because he believed that Nelson was expert in all matters of personnel functioning and efficiency, Garvin increased his reliance on his friend’s counsel. He had become a victim of what, in the language of psychiatry, is called “transference”—a dynamic that gave Nelson extraordinary psychological power over Garvin.
Your hypnotherapist will begin your first session by asking questions about your medical history and the issue that brought you in. He will likely give you an explanation of hypnosis and how it works, and then will guide you into your first trance. The therapist will also probably teach you some self-hypnosis techniques, so you can reinforce the hypnotherapy on your own. Hypnotherapy sessions typically last about an hour.
In both individual athletes and group therapy applications, performance enhancement strategy is one of the primary concerns addressed by sports psychologists during treatment. Qualified sports psychologists may provide counseling services to athletes, coaches, trainers and parents, offering methods of optimizing mental response to team sports and athletic activity.
Applied sport psychology is the study and application of psychological principles of human performance in helping athletes consistently perform in the upper range of their capabilities and more thoroughly enjoy the sport performance process. Applied sport psychologists are uniquely trained and specialized to engage in a broad range of activities including the identification, development and execution of the mental and emotional knowledge, skills and abilities required for excellence in athletic domains; the understanding, diagnosing and preventing of the psychological, cognitive, emotional, behavioral and psychophysiological inhibitors of consistent, excellent performance; and the improvement of athletic contexts to facilitate more efficient development, consistent execution and positive experiences in athletes.
Unfortunately, the managers and coaches did not take Griffith's recommendations seriously. Manager Charlie Grimm did not see a need for a psychologist as a consultant on a baseball team. Even though Griffith's recommendations were not taken seriously with the Cubs, he was still given the honor with the title of 'America's first sports psychologist' by University of Massachusetts professors Walter Kroll and Guy Lewis in 1970.
Rita is the real deal. First, you have to believe it is going to work... then you go see Rita and she will make your dreams come true.  I saw Rita for smoking...  I had smoked on and off socially since college.  Then I picked up the nasty habit full time because all my co-workers were doing it and I thought it relieved stress. Here I was... a 30 year old woman smoking 2-3 packs a week and buying cigarettes when I really shouldn't have been spending my money that way.  Not long after I couldn't breath, was hacking up my lungs, and embarrassed of the smell and reputation of being a "smoker"... I tried to quit and after many unsuccessful attempts I thought about hypnosis.  It was almost comical but I was willing to do anything to stop this nasty addiction.  
The answer is simple: Executive coaches offer seemingly quick and easy solutions. CEOs tell me that what they fear most about psychotherapy is not the cost in dollars but the cost in time. A coaching engagement typically lasts no more than six months. Psychotherapy, by contrast, is seen as a long-term treatment; people joke that it takes six months for therapist and patient just to say hello. What’s more, therapy requires a greater time commitment than the standard 50-minute sessions; it also involves travel to and from the therapist’s office, taking even more time away from work.
Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking, according to the largest ever scientific comparison of ways of breaking the habit. A meta-analysis, statistically combining results of more than 600 studies of 72,000 people from America and Europe to compare various methods of quitting. On average, hypnosis was over three times as effective as nicotine replacement methods and 15 times as effective as trying to quit alone.
Hypnosis, when using proven therapeutic procedures, can be a highly effective form of treatment for many mental, psychosomatic, and physical disorders. For example, through the use of regressive techniques, an adult patient may mentally voyage back to a point in youth that was particularly troublesome, allowing the healing of old emotional wounds. Another patient can be led to understand that emotional pain has been converted to physical pain, and that the pain can be eliminated once the source has been addressed. Or, a person suffering from chronic pain can be taught to control the pain without use of medications. There are a number of techniques for correcting dysfunctional behaviors such as self-destructive habits, anxiety disorders, and even managing side effects of various medical treatments and procedures.
Stop smoking easily with this proven programme, a combination of state of the art hypnosis sessions and video interviews from Darren Marks one of the UKs leading hypnotherapists and trainers. Hypnosis can’t make you stop smoking against your will but if you’re determined to stop this App will make it much easier and even a relaxing, empowering and enjoyable process.
One of the most popular behaviorist solutions is assertiveness training. This technique is most often used to help individuals cope with situations that evoke intense negative feelings—for example, helping drug addicts to “just say no” to temptation. Executive coaches use assertiveness training in a number of contexts. For instance, many coaches working with executives who appear to be lacking confidence employ the technique in an effort to get them to perform better. Unfortunately, learning effective responses to stressors often fails to help corporate executives deal with their intrapsychic pressures.

An obvious area is volleyball and beach volleyball athletes, given that those were my sports. I’m also an expert at working with youth up-and-coming athletes, starting as young as nine years of age. I really enjoy working with athletes on the origin of their fear and providing tools for them to breakthrough whatever it is that’s preventing them from getting to the next level in their sport.


There are varying theories throughout both the medical and psychological arenas as to how the process of hypnosis works. Some experts believe that people who practice hypnosis effectively are predisposed to this therapy or have developed enhanced cognitive and interpersonal abilities that allow them to respond accordingly to hypnotic cues and conditions. Recent studies have shown that this form of communication actually alters elements of a person’s neurological and physiological mechanisms.
Coleman Griffith worked as an American professor of educational psychology at the University of Illinois where he first performed comprehensive research and applied sport psychology. He performed causal studies on vision and attention of basketball and soccer players, and was interested in their reaction times, muscular tension and relaxation, and mental awareness.[11] Griffith began his work in 1925 studying the psychology of sport at the University of Illinois funded by the Research in Athletics Laboratory.[12] Until the laboratory's closing in 1932, he conducted research and practiced sport psychology in the field. The laboratory was used for the study of sports psychology; where different factors that influence athletic performance and the physiological and psychological requirements of sport competitions were investigated. He then transmitted his findings to coaches, and helped advance the knowledge of psychology and physiology on sports performance. Griffith also published two major works during this time: The Psychology of Coaching (1926) and The Psychology of Athletics (1928). Coleman Griffith was also the first person to describe the job of sports psychologists and talk about the main tasks that they should be capable of carrying out. He mentioned this in his work “Psychology and its relation to athletic competition”, which was published in 1925.[13] One of the tasks was to teach the younger and unskilled coaches the psychological principles that were used by the more successful and experienced coaches. The other task was to adapt psychological knowledge to sport, and the last task was to use the scientific method and the laboratory for the purpose of discovering new facts and principles that can aid other professionals in the domain.
Imagery (or motor imagery) can be defined as using multiple senses to create or recreate experiences in one's mind.[56] Additionally, the more vivid images are, the more likely they are to be interpreted by the brain as identical to the actual event, which increases the effectiveness of mental practice with imagery.[57] Good imagery, therefore, attempts to create as lifelike an image as possible through the use of multiple senses (e.g., sight, smell, kinesthetic), proper timing, perspective, and accurate portrayal of the task.[58] Both anecdotal evidence from athletes and research findings suggest imagery is an effective tool to enhance performance and psychological states relevant to performance (e.g., confidence).[59] This is a concept commonly used by coaches and athletes the day before an event.
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.”
In the 1950s, Milton H. Erickson developed a radically different approach to hypnotism, which has subsequently become known as "Ericksonian hypnotherapy" or "Neo-Ericksonian hypnotherapy." Erickson made use of an informal conversational approach with many clients and complex language patterns, and therapeutic strategies. This divergence from tradition led some of his colleagues, including Andre Weitzenhoffer, to dispute whether Erickson was right to label his approach "hypnosis" at all.[10]
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