Made with Xara MYTHS: Looking at the Misconceptions about Sport Psychology Myth 1: All individual and team sports have the same psychological and personal demands.   FACT: The demands athletics can place on an individual cannot be quantitatively defined.  The mental requirements needed for success will differ depending on your level of performance, and future goals. Myth 2: Only weak athletes need a Sports Psychologist’s services. FACT: Labeling an athlete as “mentally weak” implies there is something inherently wrong with the their ability to perform – this is not the case considering many elite athletes are quite mentally strong and still seek the services of sport psychologists.  Working with a sport psychologist simply improves an individual’s mental skills and athletic performance in any given sport.  Myth 3: Sports Psychology cannot improve my athletic performance.  FACT: Sports Psychology can enhance an athlete’s ability to manage the mental aspect of the game and help them achieve their performance goals.  It can help elevate people to levels of performance they have been working toward for many years.  In fact, ongoing collaboration with a Sports Psychologist can help athletes surpass the initial goals they had planned for themselves.  Myth 4: Sports Psychology is a quick fix to all performance road blocks. FACT: While there are some techniques and skills you can learn from a sports psychologist that work quickly after a single session, for more long-standing and consistent benefits, extended and dedicated application of these skills is needed. Myth 5: Only elite athletes can benefit from the services offered by Sports Psychologists. FACT: Athletes and coaches of any level, age, gender, and sport can benefit from the discipline and skill of a sport psychologist.  Sports Psychology is not geared toward the athlete’s level of performance, but more toward enhancing the athlete’s mental game to get them to that next level (whatever that next level may be), regardless of athletic status.     Myth 6: Sports Psychology is incompatible particular religious beliefs. FACT: Sport psychology does not have any religious basis.  The techniques used (i.e. meditation, visualization) are not rooted in any particular belief system. Myth 7: Sports Psychology requires many sessions before any positive effects are obtained. FACT: Some benefits can be realized immediately, whereas other techniques need more time to have an effect on the athlete’s performance.  For example, you would not expect a long standing problem to be resolved quickly.  Furthermore, a higher degree of performance outcome desired will require more rigorous mental work. Myth 8: The core of Sports Psychology is visualization and positive thinking. FACT: Although these approaches are helpful, they are only two of many approaches used by sports psychologists to improve an individual’s sport performance.  Each athlete will require a different array of strategies to reach their specific performance goals.  Talk to someone who can help! Call Amanda Baird or Erin Hawkins at 780-428-9223 Sport@ARCH   Psychological Services