You’ve seen your child practice, train, and compete more than anyone else. And regardless of whether they’re an all-state point guard or working to crack the varsity roster, they’ve got untapped potential, more gas left in the tank, an extra gear.
That extra gear is your athlete’s ability to get more, to go further, in sport and performance. Sport psychology is the pursuit of that gear, and a way for your athlete to find it.
What It Means to Have an Extra Gear, and How Sport Psychology Can Unlock It
Athletes frequently talk about an extra gear as the capacity to play beyond expectations. It’s the ability to fight through disappointment or fatigue, to see performances differently than their peers, or to find the motivation to persevere against long odds or in adverse conditions.
So it follows that having an extra gear allows athletes to give more to their sport. It enables them to perform more consistently and intentionally. It allows them to find more in themselves, and to apply their best efforts to goals and challenges that are meaningful to them. When it comes to performance, finding that extra gear can be the difference between a good player and a great player, a role player and a team leader, an indifferent player and a difference-making one. It allows athletes the confidence to learn through difficult times, and power through performance barriers.
“As an athlete becomes more skilled physically, the mind can become an obstacle and have athletes thinking about the things that could go wrong instead of right,” Premier’s Dr. Ben Merkling says. “Sport psychology can take those barriers and turn them into catalysts for great performances. It unlocks the potential of the body.”
More importantly, finding that additional gear allows athletes to get more from their sport. It clarifies an athlete’s values and allows sport to become a proving-ground for learning and personal growth. Lessons learned on the field lead to healthier, more examined lives beyond sport. Values-based performances lead to values-driven lives.
“Sport psychology focuses on questions like, ‘how do you show up? Why do you show up? What are you trying to do?'” says Premier’s Vice President of Operations, David Plummer. “Attitude. Attention. Intention. Those can translate to everything in life.”
For you as a parent, that extra gear is the satisfaction of watching your child grow, persist, and re-define their best on the field, and seeing it carry over to their performance in the classroom, in their relationships, and in their ability to understand their potential, and their value to themselves and their communities.
“When you think of why a parent wants their kids to do well, it’s because they want the best for them. They want their kid to be successful and happy, to be purposeful and content,” Plummer says. “Sport psychology helps connect them with that.”
At it’s simplest and at it’s best, sport psychology builds pathways between the demands of sport and the challenges of everyday life.
“Sports should be a forum to learn,” Plummer says. “Performance is important, but it isn’t the only thing, and sometimes it’s not the most important thing.”
Premier Sport Psychology works with athletes of all ages and ability levels to realize athletic potential and to maximize mental health and sport enjoyment. No goal is too small to support, no obstacle is too large to overcome. Individual and team services are available through in-person and remote sessions. To learn more about how sport psychology can contribute to your athlete’s development, visit our Resources for Parents page, or Contact Us directly. We’re here to help.