PREMIER SPORT PSYCHOLOGY HELPS ATHLETES OF ALL AGES CONTEND WITH THE RIGORS OF SPORT, ACCELERATE GROWTH AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, AND LIVE HEALTHIER, MORE EXAMINED LIVES
WHAT IS SPORT PSYCHOLOGY?
Sport psychology addresses many aspects in sport, aiming athletes toward optimal performance and well-being. Like many athletes, your child works very hard on the physical and tactical training required to be successful, but few spend the same time training their mind to perform on-demand. Mindset training is the final frontier of performance optimization, and encourages athletes to build skills that will help them perform better in sport, the classroom, and in life.
Premier Sport Psychology’s sport psychologists want to help athletes of every age become physically strong and mentally stronger. Whether the goal is to improve focus, motivation, or confidence, perform with more consistency, or simply feel better about their sport or their role on their team, we can help.
The goal of sport psychology sessions is simply to identify how student-athletes have thought and behaved when they performed at their best, how they have thought and behaved when they have performed at their worst, and to build the mental skills to steer into those productive thoughts and behaviors, and away from the destructive ones. This is their performance toolbox, and they will be able to carry it with them anywhere, whether they are performing in sport, in school, or at home.
01 FOCUS ENHANCEMENT
05 SUCCESSFUL COMMUNICATION
06 RECOVERY SKILLS
07 GROWTH MINDSET
09 MANAGING EMOTIONS
How We Help
ONE-ON-ONE SESSIONS WITH ATHLETES
Individual work with athletes emphasizes the social and developmental aspects of sport participation, and targets every athlete’s personal growth within and outside of athletics. Your student athlete can expect to build stronger and more intentional focus, more consistent motivation and energy levels, better confidence, and a more balanced perspective on his or her role and identity as an athlete.
Sessions with parents will vary based on need, but common topics include: introducing your athlete to sport psychology, reinforcing healthy values, handling winning and losing, maintaining constructive lines of communication, managing sport/life balances, and establishing household wellness routines.
Our family sessions prioritize healthy, fulfilling dynamics between you and your athlete. Participation in sport can enhance these relationships. It can also test them. Our family sessions can address family and athletic values, constructive lines of communication, expectations, conflict resolution, and how to handle winning and losing as a family.
Premier Sport Psychology is a licensed provider of ADHD testing for all athletes 16 years of age and older. In addition to testing, we can assist athletes in understanding their diagnosis, recommend next steps, and when necessary, provide medical consultations and documentation for academic accommodations and medical exemptions.
Our sport psychologists, athletic counselors, and mental performance consultants have developed therapy techniques to meet the needs of athletes of all ages and developmental levels. Our therapy techniques generally operate from the inside out, beginning with your athlete’s “why?”—why do they participate in sport, why do they love their sport, why do they want to improve—before moving from the outside-in, and tacking your athlete’s “what?”—what do they want and what stops them from getting it? We will then work with your athlete to develop a plan to get them from where they are to where they want to be. Your athlete does not need to prepare for these sessions, but arriving rested and alert will make our sessions more productive.
Our providers all have athletic backgrounds and speak the language of sport culture, and our youth athlete specialists have extensive experience working with children and youth teams. You can rest assured that your athlete will be in good hands.
Engaging your youth athlete on the idea of sport psychology can be difficult, but we’ve got some tried and true methods that can make this process easier.
Do your research. Watch our videos. Bring us your questions. Let us know your reservations. Gather the information you need to make a decision on whether sport psychology is the right path for your family and your athlete. The more confident you are in the value of sport psychology, the more comfortable your child will be giving it a try.
Treat sport psychology like another training session.
Tell your athlete that, like the physical strength and conditioning training required to excel in their sport, the goal of sport psychology is to give your athlete the mental strength and conditioning to consistently perform at their best. The brain is just another muscle that needs training, too.
Remind your athlete s/he is not alone.
While Premier Sport Psychology has worked with hundreds of youth athletes and has a division devoted to youth athletics, youth athletes are not the only clients we see. We work with professional athletes in the NFL, MLB, MLS, NBA, WBNA, NHL, and PGA. We work with student-athletes at all collegiate levels, including the Power-5. We work with Olympians, and medal winners in the last four Olympic Games. If your child has a hero in sport, the chances are good that this athlete has a sport psychologist or mental performance consultant, and might even work with one of the team here at Premier. Athletes at every level want to perform better, to feel better, and to be better. Your athlete isn’t alone, and we can help.
Emphasize that everything they share in their sessions is confidential.
As a parent, you can be as involved as you’d like to be in your athlete’s care. In most cases, however, your athlete’s sessions will be one-on-one with his or her sport psychologist or mental performance consultant. These are opportunities for your athlete to speak freely in a safe environment about his or her feelings, goals, fears, relationships, and mental states. Like any counseling session, we use this information to understand and advocate for your athlete, and create strategies and build skills to help him or her feel and perform better.
Let your athlete know s/he will not just be sitting and talking during the session.
The image of a traditional talk-therapy session will likely elicit groans from youth athletes. But sport psychology sessions, while drawing from many of the techniques used in talk therapy, are interactive and dynamic, including games, exercises, and problem-solving that will help your athlete learn important life skills in a fun and interactive way.
“Bottom line” it. Sport psychology works.
Will your athlete learn to better manage emotions? Build communication skills? Create support networks and a healthy sport/life balance? Yes to all of the above. But most athletes simply want to know whether it will help them play better, more often. And it will. The mental skills introduced in sport psychology sessions teach athletes to better focus, to be more confident, to be more motivated, to manage setbacks, to handle pressure, and to steady themselves against the highs and lows of competition. All of these skills are scientifically correlated to more consistent performances and growth over time. We can’t teach talent, but we can teach resilience and grit, which are better predictors of success than talent. Sport psychology doesn’t replace time spent in the gym, or studying the playbook, or working hard in practice, but it gives them another set of skills to draw from when the going gets tough, or the pressure is on, or the season gets long, and your athlete needs that extra gear to keep going and meet the challenge.
Why Sport Psychology?
WHAT IMPROVES PERFORMANCE, IMPROVES WELL-BEING
Your athlete is likely concerned with his/her performance on the field, the court, the rink, the track, or the mat. We’ll help with that. Rest assured, however, that every step in that process will require your athlete to identify those elements of his/her life that are healthy, and those that are unhealthy. Sport psychology reinforces this kind of awareness, and provides athletes with the skills to nourish what’s best in their lives, and address what’s holding them back.
Sport psychology gives athletes a language to describe their emotions, their thoughts, their hopes, and their fears. It encourages them to communicate with their teammates, their coaches, their friends, and their family members– whether it be to create accountability and structure in their routines, or to gain strength and understanding from their support systems. This opens the door to healthy, productive conversations that many athletes previously found difficult.
A BALANCED TOOLBOX
Sport psychology seldom offers singular approaches to performance enhancement. We view performance dynamics holistically and treat them holistically by accumulating a network of complementary skills and routines. This leaves athletes with a variety of tools to unlock their potential, and meet the challenges of their sport, and their lives.