Sports psychology with blokes

One of the biggest battles I think we face in the area of sports psychology is getting guys to go along to a sports psychologist and truly face and open up about what is going on for them. Despite all the great work by Sir John Kirwan it is still a real challenge for men to step up and admit that they are vulnerable, have self-doubts and anxiety about their performance. What sports psychology does is to assist men to normalise their experience and to open up and talk about what their fears are in a confidential and supportive environment. Guys often worry that it might be “touchy feely” but sports psychology is far from that.  Instead it focuses on practical ways to improve performance and manage fears. It is not meant to be long term weekly therapy, though sessions can span out over months throughout a season to check in and monitor performance and in between session tasks.

Steve was typical bloke who was dubious about what sport psychology could do for him.  He came along due to a dip in his performance and wanted this to change.  We spent several sessions working together talking about what might be causing this and the internal and external triggers were soon discovered.  Several routines were developed which he practised both at trainings and game day. The outcome was an overall better mental preparation and an improved game day performance.  He left wiser and happier for the experience with a sports psychologist.

When I first began competing in gymnastics, I had the common and frustrating experience of thriving in training and crumbling in competition. With Paula, I was able to learn psychological strategies for managing my performance anxiety and work through personal issues that were inhibiting my ability to perform to my potential.

Phoebe NZ Gymnast