Are you making the most of your talent?
Are you an athlete with a sense that you could do better but something is getting in the way? Perhaps you could benefit from a consultation with a sport psychologist to give you a mental edge.

What is a sport psychologist?
Psychologists are individuals with a Ph.D. and over 10 years of education and training in the field of psychology. In their training, they learn how to conduct, evaluate and apply research, particularly in the area of improving the human condition. A sport psychologist is a licensed psychologist with a specialty in sport psychology.

What is sport psychology?
Simply put, sport psychology uses research to enhance athletic performance and improve the lives of athletes.

What does a sport psychologist focus on?
A sport psychologist will spend time with the athlete or team discussing goals. Together they will identify
strengths to build on and weaknesses to improve. Common goals include
• Increasing focus and intensity
• Tuning out distractions
• Decreasing performance anxiety
• Dealing with adversity
• Coping with loss/failure
• Achieving optimum level of arousal
• Increasing confidence

What will a sport psychologist do to help me?
After discussing goals and identifying areas to work on, the sport psychologist will apply knowledge of research and training to effect change. Some techniques the sport psychologist will use include but are not limited to the following:
• Role-play
• Visual imagery
• Group exercises
• Discussion
• Written work

• Hypnotherapy
• Reinforcement of desirable behavior
• Education
• Relaxation and breathing exercises

Sometimes there are life problems and issues that inevitably interfere with sport performance. People may experience stress related to work/school pressures, grief from relationship conflicts, and anxiety over troubling events. As a clinical psychologist with a holistic approach, I can help with overall life issues in addition to specific sport-related concerns.

Even though a sport is a job for some, a sport is still something we “play.” Hence, sports are designed to improve our quality and joy in life. Generally, when we play our best we have fun. Are you having fun? Are you making the most of your talent?

Dr. Anderson is a retired professional athlete along with being a sport psychologist. In addition to her private practice she is currently the sport psychology consultant for PLEX and for Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute.