First off, I want to say that I am NOT a psychologist or sports psychologist and in no way do I want to portray myself as such. I am a mental toughness trainer based in Regina, Saskatchewan Canada, educated in mental toughness and I coach athletes on how to play to their potential. There are times when a coach is needed and times when a mental health professional is needed. Seek advice from your medical professional if mental health issues are suspected or I would be happy to refer you to a mental health professional from my vast referral network of professionals.
This post is solely to provide some Q & A’s and some information on sport psychology.
What is sports psychology?
Sport psychology is defined by the American Psychological Association as: a proficiency that uses psychological knowledge and skills to address optimal performance and well-being of athletes, developmental and social aspects of sports participation, and systemic issues associated with sports settings and organizations. APA recognizes sport psychology as a proficiency acquired after a doctoral degree in one of the primary areas of psychology and licensure as a psychologist.
What do sports psychologists do?
The Canadian Psychological Association states that the practice of sport psychology includes working with primarily athletes and coaches on the objectives outlined by the CSPA, in addition to working on psychological issues. This can range from teaching how to apply performance enhancement techniques to consulting with organizations on programs to counselling difficulties in one’s personal life and the resulting impact that this has on the ability to perform or participate in sport. As a psychologist, you can also work with individuals outside of sport by conducting therapy or assessments in a range of areas and different populations, depending on what type of training and education you obtained through your psychology program.
How does what I do differ from a sports psychologist?
Again, I am not a psychologist or sports psychologist. I coach athletes to develop and practice their mental game skills just as they do their physical game skills. I develop mental toughness by decreasing the athlete’s mental interference so they are able to play to their true potential. My career has been a registered massage therapist for the last 22 years and a medical acupuncturist for over 10 years. I have assisted thousands of athletes in their physical rehabilitation and injury management working closely with physicians, specialists, psychologists, therapists and many other health care providers. As a NCCP trained baseball coach I have worked with athletes developing the physical skills needed to compete in baseball plus developing the non-physical aspects of sport such as sportsmanship, self-esteem, confidence, focus, respect and leadership skills that are needed to be a successful athlete and person. All of this combined with my mental toughness training gives me a unique perspective and skill set to help athletes succeed with their mental game. If mental toughness training is what you need, I AM your mental toughness trainer!!!
Sports psychologists deal with issues that may exist and be outside the realm of my mental toughness coaching. Issues that may require counseling and clinical interventions such as eating disorders; substance abuse; grief, depression, loss and suicide; sexual identity issues; aggression and violence; identity crises, etc. As a parent, coach or athlete, if these issues are suspected, medical advice should be sought.
There is no question that every athlete needs to train, develop and practice their mental game. Some may require a mental health professional to fix a psychological problem, some a mental toughness trainer to get their game to the next level. My mental toughness coaching provides proven strategies used by athletes around the world to develop the mental toughness needed to compete at the next level.
Fill out the form below and send me any questions that you may have NOW while you are thinking about them. Do not wait or you will forget. I want to answer your questions so you or your athlete can start playing fearless!!
Ken Ansell - Your Mental Toughness Trainer