Are you thinking of working with a sport psychologist, but feeling a little nervous? Or unsure of how it will help you?
Here at InnerDrive, we have years of experience working with athletes of all levels, including Premier League footballers and Olympic athletes. We therefore have a depth of knowledge about what it’s like to work with a sport psychologist and what you are likely to expect if you are thinking of taking that step to improve your performance.
A good sport psychologist will tailor their support to your own needs and challenges, so no two will be alike – but some elements are key to the practice. So, here’s what we think working with a sport psychologist can look like…
what does a sport psychology session actually look like?
Challenging you to improve
At times, working with a sport psychologist may push you out of your comfort zone. We want to push you to become a better version of yourself, and this involves opening up and acknowledging uncomfortable things. But this is how you can improve and become an even better athlete.
Sometimes, we can also challenge you to think in different ways, challenge your opinions and the reasons why you have been doing things a certain way too.
A big part of what we do is actually offering practical techniques and methods to help you with the areas you are struggling with. For example, we might help you improve your confidence, or provide techniques to calm your nerves right before you compete. Once an athlete understands the exercise, they will need to practice it, working with the psychologist to implement the technique into real-life practice.
We work closely with each individual, ensuring you are using the methods that work best for you. Some things may work for one athlete, but not for another. So, we offer different ways to help you, ensuring we find the best fit for each of our athletes.
Yes, we may ask a lot of questions and offer a lot of advice, but this comes with a lot of listening. We spend a lot of the time in sessions figuring out what isn’t working for you and how we can best offer our support.
We think that offering you the platform to speak your mind and give you a chance to be heard in a supportive, confidential space is central to working with a sport psychologist.
An enjoyable experience
All the other parts are key, but we also want the experience to be enjoyable. We are in your team and there to support you and be another person you can lean on for support. You may think everything that sport psychology is about is helping you with the hard things like nerves and negative thoughts. However, just as much of it is celebrating your successes, talking about what went well and sharing your positive experiences!
We aim to make the experience enjoyable for our athletes by doing practical skills, having important conversations and learning new things, and creating a genuine link – not just having you sit there whilst we lecture you.
What a sport psychology session isn’t
There can be a lot of myths and ideas floating around when it comes to psychology. But it isn't just lying on the sofa whilst we over-analyse your thoughts. It isn’t just for athletes who choke all the time. It isn’t just for elite athletes. And it isn’t just therapy for athletes. There is a lot more to it.
We are working with you, just as your coach does to improve your skills, or a PT does to improve your strength. But rather than focusing on the physical side, we focus on the mental side, offering strategies that will prepare you mentally for the rigours of training and competing. We are working with you to help you perform consistently to the best of your ability.
If you’re struggling to perform to your best and want that extra competitive edge, a sport psychologist can help you do just that. We are there to help you reach your full potential, overcome your fears and perform with confidence. So, get in touch with our team today to discuss how we can help you achieve your goals – we’re always happy to talk sport psychology.