Sports Psychology & Motivational Counseling

Kansas City Psychotherapy – Sport Psychology, Performance Anxiety, and Confidence Building

Sport Psychology is the science and practice of mentally preparing for competition.  This includes techniques for dealing with stress, pressure, and anxiety, strengthening the connection between mind and body, moving through loss vs. getting stuck in it, and building a stronger sense of self-efficacy,  self-confidence, and self-image.

Together we work through issues surrounding performance anxiety, stress management, and dealing with failure.  We work on developing techniques for failing forward (turning mistakes into stepping stones for success), visualizing our goals through mental rehearsal (psychocybernetics), and developing SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic/relevant, and timely) that will deepen our internal motivation.

This includes developing effective relaxation techniques, strengthening coping skills, enhancing self-confidence, understanding the opposition (which begins with a deeper understanding of self), maximizing the benefits of modeling, strengthening our routines, mental focusing, visualizing mental imagery, forward-moving self-talk, and utilizing positive reinforcement or critical feedback.

Authors and Videos of Interest for Sports Performance Anxiety:

Martin Hagger – Sport psychology – inside the mind of champion athletes.  Developing strategies and techniques to get athletes minds in the best possible condition for optimal performance is increasingly important for sports teams and coaches.  This video explores the kinds of techniques that elite athletes use to prepare psychologically for their sport, give details of the scientific research into these techniques and how they work, and how the techniques might be used by competitive athletes and coaches to maximize performance…

Ivan Joseph – The Skill of Self Confidence – as Athletic Director and head coach of the Varsity Soccer team at Ryerson University, Dr. Joseph is often asked what skills he is searching for as a recruiter: is it speed? Strength? Agility? In Dr. Joseph’s TEDx Talk, he explores self confidence and how it is not just the most important skill in athletics, but in our lives…

Sean Richardson – Mental Toughness – Think Differently About Your World.  Dr. Sean Richardson takes lessons learned from the professional athlete’s locker room to provide an overview of the subtleties of human brain & behavior function to facilitate overcoming the normal & predictable human barriers to success…

Brendan Brazier – Find Your Athletic Edge.  Former Ironman Brendan Brazier believes that excellent nutrition is the key factor in building and maintaining a highly competitive athletic edge. Brazier is a performance nutrition consultant, author of the popular Thrive series and formulator of the award-winning line of Vega nutritional products…

Counseling Articles for Performance Anxiety:

Posture: Power over Performance Anxiety –

Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success –

Team Building: If You Have to Fail — And You Do — Fail Forward –

SMART Goals – Writing S.M.A.R.T. Goals –

On-Line Resources:

Mindfulness Videos (Instant Mindfulness) –

Stress Reduction – Do Nothing for 2 Minutes (Mindfulness) –

Calm Clinic (Anxiety Management) –

Half of Us – College Students Stress, Depression, Anxiety –

Statistics in America on Depression, Anxiety, etc. –

Mental Health WorkOut Skill Building (build confidence, reduce stress) –

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne

History of Motivation and Sports Psychology:

Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz – Video Book:

Motivational and self-help experts in personal development, including Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy have based their techniques on Maxwell Maltz. Many of the psychological methods of training elite athletes are based on the concepts in Psycho-Cybernetics as well. The book combines the cognitive behavioral technique of teaching an individual how to regulate self-concept developed by Prescott Lecky with the cybernetics of Norbert Wiener and John von Neumann. The book defines the mind-body connection as the core for succeeding in attaining personal goals.

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