What is Sport and Exercise Psychology?

So perhaps you have not heard of this area of psychology before and you are curious as to what it is. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), Sport psychology and Exercise psychology involve the scientific study of the psychological factors that are associated with participation and performance in sport, exercise and other types of physical activity. Sport psychologists are interested in two main areas: (a) helping athletes use psychological principles to achieve optimal mental health and to improve performance (performance enhancement) and (b) understanding how participation in sport, exercise and physical activity affects an individual’s psychological development, health and well-being throughout the lifespan.

The expertise of Sport and exercise psychologists is not limited to just athletes and sport performers, rather they are also interested in how they can better understand how participation in not just sport, but also exercise and physical activity can affect an individual’s psychological development, overall health and welfare throughout their life.

What can a Sport and Exercise Psychologist do for you?

Do you sometimes feel that as an athlete you are unable to perform optimally, or perhaps you are finding it difficult to perform your chosen means of physical activity or other performance related activities? Well then, an applied sport and exercise psychologist can assist you to meet your desired goals and achieve your maximum potential, through the use of various psychological tools and techniques. Some areas are:

  • Building self-confidence and self-efficacy levels
  • Improving concentration and focus
  • Developing better communication, dealing with conflict management
  • Decreasing performance anxiety levels
  • Development of team building strategies and team cohesion
  • Injury recovery and rehabilitation
  • Implementing mental skills training such as imagery, visualisation techniques, mindfulness, etc.
  • Motivation
  • Improving self-awareness
  • Improvement of general well being associated with diet and exercise