Sport Psychology is a real thing!?
As you may know by now, my name is Mindy McCarthy. I am currently a Health Coach and Mental Skills Trainer located in Charlotte, NC.
Growing up an avid sports fan, I knew I wanted to find a job that kept me involved in the health and wellness fields somehow. In high school, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the field of psychology because I thoroughly enjoyed listening to my friends and peers difficulties and helping them find their own solutions. However, I did not realize until my freshman year at Appalachian State University that there was a field that combined these two passions of mine.
My freshman year, another student was actually giving a presentation in my Careers in Psychology class about pursuing his career in Sport Psychology. The presentation he gave was about how a sport psychology had been called to work with the U.S. Women's Olympic Ski Team after Lindsey Vonn suffered a terrible injury. The other players on her team were struggling with the thought of having to compete after they had seen her get so terribly injured. The fear of injury was inhibiting their performance. Enter: sport psychology.
While thinking about working with professional athletes seemed glamorous at the time, I realized that working with youth athletes was where my real passion lies. Working with youth allows you to continue to develop them not only as athletes but as people. You can shape their minds to focus on their goals or overcome adversity or whatever lies in their path. You can also teach them various life skills that they can use in all aspects of their lives. Being able to mentally prepare students for what may be in their future to help them continue to be successful is an important goal that I share with all of my clients.
Mental skills training is something that most athletes don't think about using or focus on this aspect as part of their game. However, your mentality is something that keeps you motivated, keeps you confident in your abilities, keeps you focused on the goal ahead, keeps your emotions in check, and so many other things. This piece of your training should not be ignored or put as a last priority.
What is sport psychology not? The biggest thing I hear when working with clients, especially new ones that have not heard of sport psychology, is that there is "nothing wrong with them, and they do not need any help." My relationship with athletes does not come from something being wrong but someone who wants to unlock their full potential. It can also come from coaches who want some additional resources to help their teams work more cohesively while they spend their practices focusing on the X's and O's of their game plans.
Interested in learning more about mental skills training? Reach out to schedule a consultation with me!