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DR PAUL MCCARTHY BSC, MSC, PHD, CPSYCHOL, REG. PSYCHOL.

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IS THERE A SPORT PSYCHOLOGIST FOR ME?

Do I need to consult a sport psychologist?

This choice is yours. If you feel you need help and you can muster the strength to ask for help, then that is what you should do for yourself. You will need to find someone that you feel you can work alongside. The sport psychologist needs to assess if s/he can work with you for your best outcomes. Sometimes this fit is just not right and we search for another sport psychologist. 

What if I don't believe in sport psychologists? 

Working with a sport psychologist is a choice. If you do not believe in sport psychology or what a sport psychologist does, that is wholly understandable. You might wish to explore your reluctance or fear about working with a sport psychologist in a pre-therapy session and then choose what you would like to do. In a pre-therapy session, you can explore whatever questions you might have with the sport psychologist. 

What if I feel psychology is a waste of time and money?

We all hold different opinions, attitudes, values and beliefs. These are neither right nor wrong but a way of seeing and being in the world. Thinking or feeling that something is a waste of time is worth exploring because we usually are not sure why we think or feel this way, and searching for an answer is challenging and might leave you feeling vulnerable. You can take your time to learn more about psychology and understand the benefits or drawbacks it might have in your life.

What does a sport psychologist do?


A sport psychologist works with athletes, teams and coaches to improve performance and help them to enjoy what they do. To improve performance, a sport psychologist will help an athlete, team or coach to think better, feel better and do better. A sport psychologist works with their clients to judge what is best. Sometimes an athlete might wish to figure out what’s going on in her mind; another athlete might wonder why he can't stay motivated; a coach might wish to speak more confidently with his athletes. Remember that sport psychologists focus on being with people rather than doing things to them.


How long does the work take?


Many issues depend on the circumstances of the client. But most issues fall within six to twelve sessions. For example, some athletes might struggle with low self-confidence. By working with a sport psychologist and working on the tasks set between sessions, an athlete can raise his or her self-confidence. Once the sessions have ended, the athlete will continue to work on his or her mental fitness without the continued support from a sport psychologist. Some athletes, coaches and teams wish for the sport psychologist to work with them across one season or many seasons.


Why should you choose to work with a sport psychologist?


You should choose to see a sport psychologist if you are not performing to your potential or if you are not enjoying your sport. Think of a sport psychologist as a personal coach to help you improve your success in psychological training and well-being.


Why do some athletes, coaches and teams not seek the help of a sport psychologist?


There are several reasons; however, the most common reasons are not understanding how a sport psychologist might help them, the cost of the sessions, the fear and stigma of working with a psychologist, and the worry that others might feel they are mentally unfit.

How much does a sport psychologist cost?


The fees for a chartered psychologist vary depending on location, travel and status. Charges vary from £80 to £300 per consulting hour (often 50 minutes). Sports psychology is a growing profession and the services of a sport psychologist are in high demand.

What should you do now?


The choice is and always will be yours. Choosing to help yourself improve and enjoy sport is a worthwhile investment in you. You will learn many things about yourself that will help you in other areas of your life. A sport psychologist is like a personal coach to help with mental training and mental fitness by building knowledge and skills from sport psychology. Choose what you feel is right for you.

 
 

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