What is sports psychology?

Sports psychology is the study of the psychological factors associated with participation and performance in sport, exercise and other types of physical activity. Sport psychologists, counselors, and consultants focus on helping athletes use psychological principles to reach higher performance levels and a greater enjoyment of their sport. Additionally, some sports psychologists research how sports and exercise contribute to improved mental health.

Applied sport psychology is the study and application of psychological principles of human performance in helping athletes consistently perform in the upper range of their capabilities and more thoroughly enjoy the sport performance process. Applied sport psychologists are uniquely trained and specialized to engage in a broad range of activities including the identification, development and execution of the mental and emotional knowledge, skills and abilities required for excellence in athletic domains; the understanding, diagnosing and preventing of the psychological, cognitive, emotional, behavioral and psychophysiological inhibitors of consistent, excellent performance; and the improvement of athletic contexts to facilitate more efficient development, consistent execution and positive experiences in athletes. (from American Psychological Association)


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