Sports Psychology involves the study of how psychological factors affect performance in sports and exercise. It also involves how participation in sports and exercise affect psychological and physical factors.
A sports psychologist works with the individual athlete, coach, trainer or parent in many different areas. They will talk about improving motivation, performance, communication, and team building skills. Sports-related injury and rehabilitation is also looked at.
Sports Psychology Helps with:
- Anticipatory Anxiety
- Attentional Skills
- Mental Calm
- Mental Toughness
Dr. Diane® is a neuropsychologist, board-certified sports psychologist, board-certified health psychologist and is published in the fields of hypnosis, neurofeedback and brain injury. Dr. Diane® was trained in sports psychology at Boston University by the world-famous Pan (Am) American coach, Dr. John Cheffers. Dr. Cheffers also was on Dr. Diane®‘s dissertation committee.
She has worked extensively with athletes at all levels of ability in all physical competitions including, but not limited to, the Olympics, football, basketball, golf, gymnastics, running, cycling, swimming and skiing.
From this personal training with Dr. Cheffers, Dr. Diane® uses her experience and modifies it to help individual athletes and sports teams with performance and clinical (injury) issues. She understands what drives an athlete – what motivates them, what makes them perform better or what inhibits their performance. She helps athletes and teams deal with the pressure and challenges they face, and overcome hurdles inhibiting peak performance.
Sports Psychology – Three Main Objectives
First, in sports your mind needs to be relaxed, even while your body is alert. When dealing with anticipatory anxiety, you are taught internal ways to control the nervous system with methods such as hypnosis, HRV breathing, and TFT (Thought Field Therapy). In conjunction with CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) which helps you view any upcoming sports events.
Concentration and Focus
Secondly, you’ve heard the old saying, “don’t take your eye off the ball”. It’s true. Whether it’s keeping your mind focused on the rhythm of the wheels in a cycling event, or keeping your eye on the tennis ball that was just hit to you. One of the major keys to success is learning how to stay focused. There are many methods that can help build focus including hypnosis, neurofeedback and visual imagery. A basketball game or a world series can be lost, simply because someone didn’t keep their eye on a ball.
The third key area is behavioral changes. For example, when you are skiing, you need to modify your movements based on the conditions of the slope. So, if there are icy patches, you need to be able to adjust in an instant. You will also need to adapt to different equipment or poor weather conditions.
All Three Objectives
A perfect example of all three, is the process an athlete must go through in an Olympic biathlon event. In the event the athlete has to cross country ski, stop, and then shoot a gun. While doing this the athlete must keep calm, control anxiety, remain focused, adapt to different settings and adjust their actions as needed.
Other Focus Areas
- Attentional skills and concentration training
- Biofeedback training
- Counseling for acute performance anxiety
- Emotional energy management
- Goal-setting skills
- HRV (Heart Rate Variability) helps gain inner control, focus and concentration.
- Hypnosis for pain control and healing
- Imagery skills training
- Improving mental toughness
- Neurofeedback to help with concentration and being in the ‘Zone’
- Peak performance programs
- QiGong to help with inner balance and mental awareness and protection
- Self-confidence and motivation enhancement
- Strategy selection
- Stress management
- Training to overcome performance slumps
Achieving Peak Performance
As an athlete, you condition your body in many ways, but always with the goal of achieving your best performance. Often, you’ll properly train your body, but find you are still unable to reach your goals. So that means there is some hurdle keeping you from achieving the success you’ve dreamed of, and your Peak Performance.
Dr. Diane® can help you teach your athletes to overcome these hurdles! In many cases, the hurdle stopping them from achieving the desired level of success has to do with activity in the brain. By using a technique known as Neurofeedback, Dr. Diane® can teach you how to effectively and efficiently strengthen your brain to enhance you or your athletes’ performance.
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