According to West Chester University, sports psychology is the "study of the psychological and mental factors that influence and are influenced by performance in sport, exercise, and physical activity, and the application of the knowledge gained through the study to everyday settings."
There are many benefits of sports psychology. Sports psychology can be beneficial for sports teams as well as individual performance. Team cohesion is an extremely important factor of team performance. It is important for team members to understand and respect one another as individuals as well as function as a single unit. Sports psychologists can help with team building both on and off the field.
Sports psychology counseling can help athletes improve their attitude, tap into their true motivation for performance and improve their mental game skills. Counseling can help increase self-confidence, improve focus and develop strategies for dealing with distractions during competition and achieving optimal performance. Sports psychology services can also be beneficial for athletes recovering from injuries. Injuries often affect the confidence, motivation and attitude of an athlete, and a skilled and experienced sports psychologist can offer the support and guidance necessary to restore these essential characteristics.
Sports psychology professionals can choose to focus on clinical counseling services specific to athletes or consulting geared toward coaches. Teaching and research in sports science and performance is another appealing career path option for many sports psychology professionals.
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