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Sports Psychology

Applied Sport Psychology has the goal of optimising performance and enjoyment of Sport through the use of Psychological Skills.
There are different areas of Sport Psychology:
1. Psychological skills education or ‘Mental’ Coaching
The aim is to maximise sport performance by being aware and utilising  psychological skills training e.g. goal setting, imagery rehearsal, relaxation, self talk, key words, pre performance routines.
This writer takes the view that in all sports codes there is an optimal state to achieve, often described as a  ‘Peak Performance State’ or being ‘ In the zone’.
The challenge is how to recreate this state, and manage the distractions(e.g. negative thoughts, tension, fatigue) that allow athletes to sustain this optimal state.
The psychological skills include developing a detailed mental plan dealing with events leading and during a performance, and identifying the self management strategies that work best.
As with physical preparation, mental preparation involves peaking and tapering to conserve resources and remain fresh.
Once a Mental skills plan is worked out the Sportsperson focuses on refining the self-management skills.
Then it’s a matter of self-monitoring, and reviewing ongoing performance and  making adjustments if further ‘distractions’ emerge.
There now exist considerable evidence based literature showing the benefits of Psychological Skills training.
Many sports people this writer has seen often comment that they wished they had been introduced to the Sport Psychology knowledge and skills earlier in their careers.
2. Life Skills Management.
A growing area in Sport Psychology is assisting the Professional Sportsmen and women to manage the pressures the Sport Role brings, and planning for life after Sport.
This includes the opportunity to discuss goals, gain balance in life with Sport,  leisure, relationships etc  and deal with the associated demands of Professional Sport  e.g. Media, publicity.
This category also focuses on how to maximize psychological recovery from Injuries.
3. Clinical Sport Psychology interventions.
This area involves the assessment and treatment of serious psychological issues such as depression, severe anxiety, substance use, addictions, eating disorders, compulsions etc.
There are a range of well-researched treatment approaches developed  from Clinical Psychology literature to assist  athletes with these issues.
A further category is recovery from Concussion; the knowledge and skills to maximise recovery from brain trauma.
Graeme is trained both as a Clinical Psychologist and a Sport Psychologist and has extensive experience  and skills to assist athletes with these issues .
  • Unit 10, 35 Riccarton Road
    Christchurch 8011
    New Zealand

    Phone: (03) 348 5595