Updated: Nov 4, 2019
Sports psychology utilizes psychological approaches to boost wellness and performance.
Sport psychology is the application of psychological and/or psychiatric practices to the care of athletes. Psychological practices involve psychotherapy, counseling and behavioral techniques. Psychiatric practices usually involve biological interventions like medications.
Sport psychologists work with the person as a person, not just a player, to delve into any emotionally difficulties they may have. Some may be obvious and some may be unconscious or not so obvious. Some may be related to sport, but often they have nothing to do with the sport. By doing this on a personal level, the patient can achieve an overall feeling of wellness which would promote optimal performance on the field.
The reason that one would employ these techniques with the athlete does not really differ from the reasons that anyone would seek help from a psychologist or psychiatrist: to feel better emotionally. You don’t have to be an athlete to suffer from things like performance anxiety, OCD, depression, substance abuse, etc. The goals of treatment, however, can differ depending on whom you ask.
At the Pre-Pro Institute for Sports Psychology, the goal is to make the player feel better emotionally and thereby hopefully beneficially affect performance on the field. Therefore, the goal is measured in how the person feels and not in wins and losses. Ask the coach or Athletic Director what he/she would like from sports psychology and they would probably say better performance only.