Published on 01 November 2021

Is Sports Psychology Real?

Sports Psychology is-sports-psychology-real
Table of Contents

If you are an athlete, you know the amount of pressure you have to deal with not just before the game but after the game, too, if you end up on the losing side. It would be best to have a solid mindset to tackle these challenges so that the mental pressure doesn't eat you up.

You might wonder, "I don't think a player's mindset matters in a game." Well, it does. You can be physically at your best form by hitting the gym and training every day for long hours, but if your mind is not in the right place during the game, it will affect your performance. This is where sports or performance psychology comes right into place. But you should know sports psychology in detail.

What Is Sports Psychology?

Sports psychology refers to using psychological knowledge to optimize an athlete's performance. It studies how psychological factors affect an athlete's performance and how it can be improved to perform at his best.

Psychology influences the mindset of an athlete person toward the game. Psychology investigates how participation can improve the mind and health of the sportsperson. 

Sports psychology does not work only on a professional athlete. It may be helpful for the person who is not an athlete but exercise daily. Sports psychology influence and motivate them toward exercise. 

Types Of Sports Psychology

Like there are different types of psychologists, such as; development psychologists, forensic psychologists, and clinical psychologists, sport psychology also has varieties.

Educational Sports Psychologists

Educational sports psychologists use the psychology method to help athletes to improve their game and level of performance. It includes teaching them techniques such as goal setting, self-talk, or imagination. That allows them to perform well on the field. 

Clinical Sports Psychologists

Clinical sports psychologists work with sportspersons undergoing mental illnesses, such as; Anxiety and depression. We can treat it with both sports psychology and psychotherapy. Clinical sports psychologists help to improve athletes' mental health and as well as the performance of them.

Exercise Psychologists

An exercise psychologist works with non-athletes who exercise daily and help them stay focused and work out regularly. This work includes the technique used by other sports psychologists, such as practicing Mindfulness, goal setting, self-talk, and motivational techniques.

Frequently asked questions

Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Aaron Judge, and Nick Faldo are famous pro athletes who use sports psychologists and mental health coaches.
Many psychology techniques work differently: some work to reduce Anxiety, and some work to improve self-confidence. But every method has a common goal, and that goal is to make an athlete perform well.
Sports psychology has many benefits. It Improves self-confidence, reduces Anxiety, and helps improve performance. It also allows non-athletes to stay focused on their workout and exercise routine.

Why Does An Athlete Need Sports Psychology?

Sports psychology has various benefits for an athlete. If you ask any sportsperson about the significance of sports psychology, they will tell you that it is an essential aspect of sports training. Below are a few reasons why athletes require sports psychology.

  • Sports psychology can often help an athlete enter the 'zone.'
  • If an athlete has suffered an injury, sports psychology can help that athlete to recover faster, both physically and mentally.
  • It helps in increasing focus so that they aren't distracted easily.
  • It helps the athlete to create a solid mindset to handle defeats, setbacks, and failures.
    It helps athletes boost their confidence if they doubt whether they will perform well.
  • To develop better game plans and strategies.
  • It helps to develop better communication skills in the team.

It's safe to say that sports psychology is a vital part of sports after looking at all its benefits to an athlete.

Impact Of Sports Psychology

According to the study, the person who uses sports psychology has seen improvement in their performance and mental health.

Sports psychology improves the performance of all athletes, from young gymnasts aged 8 to 13 to some of the Olympians. Sports psychology improves all aspects of sports performance.

Non-athletes and everyday exerciser are also seen a good change in themselves. They gained confidence and focus, which helped them to do exercises regularly. 

Techniques In Sports Psychology

Some professional psychologists use one similar technique while helping their clients; other psychologists use a wide range of sports psychology techniques, such as;

Progressive Relaxation

This technique is used to improve self-confidence, better concentration, and lower the level of stress. All of which will enhance the performance of athletes.


Some health professionals use hypnosis to the clients quit smoking. A sport psychologist uses hypnosis to help their clients to perform better.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

CBT therapy is used to help all humans to identify themselves better and stay away from distractive behavior. It enables the athlete to understand themselves better and change distractive though, which allows them to improve their performance.

Real-Life Example Of Sports Psychology 

"Is it real?" you might be wondering this just because you haven't heard of any of your favorite sports people talking about it. Well, to answer that, yes, it is genuine. Sports psychology has helped a lot of athletes to recover from their bad form and helped them in becoming the best version of themselves on the field. Here are a few athletes who have used sports psychology to better their game.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady is a legendary NFL football player. He has won the super bowl five times in his career, the super bowl MVP title, and even two league MVPs. He is considered one of the best players in NFL football history. However, his game started developing because of the mental coaching he used to take back at the University of Michigan. Brady is a huge believer in the mental aspects of sports. He says, "Football is so much about mental toughness."

Nick Faldo

Nick Faldo, one of the greats in the golfing world, has worked with sports psychologist Richard Coop for almost six years. Their relationship has borne the fruits with 39 professional wins, 30 victories on the European tour, and six major championships.

Nick Faldo has never backed out in highlighting Coops' involvement in the success of his career. Golf is mentally an extreme sport, and Coop is all about making sure his athletes don't face any mental blocks. He says, "I try to help athletes identify and eliminate interference that limits their success. Performance equals potential minus interference."

Laura Wilkinson

During the 2000 Olympics US trial, Diver Laura Wilkinson broke 3 bones in her ankle. She worked with sports psychologists and created a routine involving visualizing a series of complex dives performed flawlessly every time. 

Consulting a sports psychologist helped her qualify for the 200 Olympics. She even managed to clinch the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics despite having a foot that wasn't completely healed and good practice.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solution

Yes, sports psychology is real and has helped many athletes recover from lousy forms and even perform excellently on the field. There are a lot of athletes out there who have even talked about the importance of sports psychology. 

To quote American football team goalkeeper David James, "Of course, sports psychologists can help-it's certainly helped me. People think you must be a cracker if you need a psychologist but psychology is a part of building bricks to make a top athlete.

We hope this blog is helpful for you to understand sports psychology, its types, and its advantages.

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