What’s the best time to engage in a sports psychology coaching program?
Should you start your sport psychology program during in-season when you are competing, off-season, or preseason? My short answer would be that we like to begin our sport psychology programs prior to the start of competition or pre-season. We prefer to cover the basic mental skills before you enter competition.
You could argue that mental training should happen everyday and all year long, but not every athlete has the budget to do long-term coaching with a sports psychology expert. We think post-season or off-season is not the ideal time for us to do a mental training program because you have to rely on your memory to discuss the challenges with your mental game.
On the other hand, many athletes and sports parents contact us in the middle of the season to do sports psychology coaching. They see that they are not performing as well in competition as they do in practice (a big sign that mental coaching is needed). And that’s a good time too as long as you are still competing and have a few games left in the season.
Several factors influence the decision to do a sport psychology coaching program.
Every athlete is different because of the changing competitive environment. We usually recommend to athletes and parents that the decision will depend on each athlete’s unique situation, such as the sport, when you season starts, and the challenges with your mental game. However, we do like to begin with the athletes prior to their start of the season, as I suggested in the preseason.
Ideally, we prefer to begin a sports psychology coaching program about one or two months prior to the start of your season for longer programs. If you enroll in a shorter program, of one month, I would recommend that we begin about two weeks prior to the season. If you enroll in a three-month sports psychology program then the best time to begin your program would be about one month prior to the start of your competitive season.
The main reason we like to work with you in-season is so we can help you apply the sports psychology strategies you’re learning. It’s important to work with you after games, performances and races so we can tweak and modify the mental strategies you learn, if needed. For this reason, we like to start your mental training program about three to four weeks prior to the competitive season and follow you through part of your season. This way, we can coach you prior to competition and after competition.
The key to your sports psychology training success is to help you apply the strategies to competition.
In addition, competition is always a fluid or changing scenario for athletes. We like to help athletes with the daily and weekly mental game challenges that may arise. For this reason, we can modify the program depending on the specific adversity you may encounter during competition, such as injury or a change in playing status.
For example, maybe you begin to struggle with a part of your game and want us to help you overcome the challenges in that area of your game. Each athlete is unique with his or her unique mental game challenges. We don’t apply a cookie-cutter sports psychology approach to every athlete.
Please contact us today via phone at 888-742-7225 or via email at Peak Performance Sports for a free 15-minute introductory session to see if you can benefit from sports psychology.
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What are our mental coaching students saying?
“To play well, you have to believe you can play well. Confidence goes a long way in golf. Dr. Cohn has developed a great system that helped me improve confidence and my overall mental approach to golf.”
~Brian Watts, 11-time Winner on the PGA Japan Tour
“The mental side is everything in golf—the ability to see your shot or line and trust that you can hit that shot or putt. Dr. Cohn has helped me trust my game and putting stroke.”
~Frank Lickliter, PGA Tour, Nike Tour Winner
“To win at any level, you have to train both your mind and body. Dr. Cohn does an excellent job of teaching you how to develop confidence and touch around the greens, both of which are vital to any player’s success. Dr. Cohn has taught me excellent practice drills for putting that have helped me become a better putter.”
~J.L. Lewis, PGA Tour winner
“I am so grateful for your insights and experience. My focus is sharp and I feel relaxed but ready to meet whatever challenge comes up. If I make a mistake, I am able to let it go and move on immediately. You have really helped me to get back on track and get things going again.”
~Suzanne Strudwick, LPGA Tour