Her boss presumed Mansfield was having an assertiveness problem, so he hired a coach from a consulting firm that specialized in behavioral treatments to work with her. The coach assumed that Mansfield needed to learn to set limits, to constructively criticize her subordinates, and to avoid the trap of doing other people’s work for them. Within two months of what her coach deemed successful training, Mansfield began to lose weight, grow irritable, and display signs of exhaustion. At the time, I happened to be coaching the software company’s COO, and he asked me to talk to her. It didn’t take long to see how assertiveness training had unearthed a problem Mansfield had managed to keep under wraps for years.
The ultimate aim is for student-athletes to graduate with strong self-regulation skills and be equipped with the necessary mental skills to cope with sport competition, training, and general life challenges. As active members of multi-disciplinary service teams, the sport psychologists collaborate in an interdisciplinary way with coaching, sport science and medical professionals to help student-athletes reach their potential. Research is also carried out in this section which is both applied and relevant to core business.
Depending on practical application of skills and various licensing organizations, sports psychology may be considered a specialty under either applied or clinical psychology. Applied sports psychologists typically advise teams, coaches, trainers and managers in methods of stress-management, relaxation and visualization designed to optimize performance in the game. Clinical application of these skills tends to involve counseling athletes in personal crisis; addressing performance issues, anxiety or mental or physical injury rehabilitation; and more.
Goal setting is the process of systematically planning ways to achieve specific accomplishments within a certain amount of time. Research suggests that goals should be specific, measurable, difficult but attainable, time-based, written down, and a combination of short-term and long-term goals. A meta-analysis of goal setting in sport suggests that when compared to setting no goals or "do your best" goals, setting the above types of goals is an effective method for improving performance. According to Dr. Eva V. Monsma, short-term goals should be used to help achieve long-term goals. Dr. Monsma also states that it is important to "set goals in positive terms by focusing on behaviors that should be present rather than those that should be absent."  Each long-term goal should also have a series of short-term goals that progress in difficulty. For instance, short-term goals should progress from those that are easy to achieve to those that are more challenging. Having challenging short-term goals will remove the repetitiveness of easy goals and will give one an edge when striving for their long-term goals.
Take Jennifer Mansfield, vice president of training and development at a large software manufacturer. An acknowledged workaholic, Mansfield had followed a traditional path within her corporation, rising through the ranks by fulfilling every assignment with stellar results. When she was promoted to a managerial position, however, Mansfield’s self-confidence began to slip. As a boss, she found it hard to delegate. Accustomed to delivering 110%, she was loath to cede control to her direct reports. She also found it impossible to give negative feedback. As a consequence, her work and that of her subordinates started to suffer, and she was missing deadlines.
Practice in the field of applied sport and exercise psychology usually involves a combination of individual and group consulting or counseling depending on the style of the professional conducting the intervention and the needs of the client. Although there are many specific concepts within applied sport and exercise psychology (e.g., goal setting, concentration, motivation, relaxation, imagery), the general goal is to teach mental skills necessary to perform consistently in training and competition, increase adherence to exercise programs, and to help individuals realize their potential.
Although there are different techniques, clinical hypnotherapy is generally performed in a calm, therapeutic environment. The therapist will guide you into a relaxed, focused state and ask you to think about experiences and situations in positive ways that can help you change the way you think and behave. Unlike some dramatic portrayals of hypnosis in movies, books, or on stage, you will not be unconscious, asleep, or in any way out of control of yourself. You will hear the therapist’s suggestions, but it is up to you to decide whether or not to act on them.