Do Sports Psychology Exercises Work?

Sports Psychology

Sports Psychology Strategies

Are sports psychology exercises valuable to athletes and coaches?

Yes, they should be part of your mental training program. However, many athletes are not familiar with what sports psychologists and mental game experts do.

Doing exercises in sports psychology is much more than visualization and goals seeing.

Can these exercises help athletes? Yes, absolutely, but sports psychology coaching involves much more because exercises are a small part of the entire mental training package.

I teach my certified Mental Game Coaching Professionals (MGCP) a four-step process in mental skills education, which includes:

  1. Awareness
  2. Education
  3. Practice
  4. Application

Each of these steps in the sports psychology coaching process is vital to athletes’ success with improving mental toughness.

Most sports psychology exercises are useful under all these stages of learning.

In the awareness phase of learning, we help athletes uncover the mindsets and beliefs that impede their performance.

We do this using a sport psychology assessment, the AMAP assessment, and a follow up interview called a discovery.

In addition to uncovering ineffective mindsets, we ask athletes to recognize when they are engaging in unhealthy thinking, such as when athletes worry too much about what others think; they become too self-conscious.

We call these awareness exercises, which bring mental game barriers into the athlete’s attention.

In the education phase, we use sports psychology exercises to help athlete understand the changes they want to implement in practice and competition. For example, athletes learn how to do role-playing to be more objective about their thinking.

We also apply sport psychology exercises to our workbook program including The Confident Athlete series and The Confident Sports Kid series.

We design the workbook exercises to help athlete uncover distractions, for example, and learn how to refocus after distractions.

In the practice phase of learning mental game skills, athletes learn how to integrate what they are learning into their regular training routines.

Here, we teach athletes to use the refocusing strategies in practice.

In addition, we ask athletes to use mental rehearsal to both review and practice sports psychology strategies.

This exercise involves athletes mentally rehearsing their refocusing statements. They might imagine becoming distracted and using their refocusing statements.

In the application phase, athletes learn how to apply sports psychology strategies to competition. This is a vital step in the mental coaching process and without it no behavior change can take place.

We use several sports psychology exercises to help athletes with this vital step in mental training.

For example, the use of a pregame routine is one way to apply mental training to competition. Here, athletes use mental imagery, self-talk, relaxation, and confidence-building exercises to help them prepare mentally for competition.

What about post-competition sports psychology exercises?

Mental training can also be effective for post-competition as well. We teach athletes how to assess their mental game performance using a post-performance journaling exercise.

The exercise helps athletes to monitor their improvement with mental training and also record a few ideas to discuss with their mental game coach.

If you want more information about mental training programs or products to improve your mental game, please visit Peak Performance Sports’ sports psychology coaching programs.

Related Sports Psychology Articles:

Boost Your Self-Confidence With Expert Mental Game Coaching!

Expert mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues in sports with personal coaching. We do mental training with athletes of all levels and ages–about 12 years and up. And mental training is not just for elite or professional athletes.

You can work with us in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone from anywhere in the world. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer

If you are interested in mental coaching, try our free 15-minute introductory session. Contact Peak Performance Sports today with your name, sport, and what mental game challenges you are having.

You can learn more about our mental coaching programs for athletes here.

Leave a Comment