If you’ve reached the point where you’d like some sport psychology support, the first step is to find an accredited sport psychologist. An accredited practitioner is someone who has completed rigorous training through a ‘governing body’ such the British Association of Sport & Exercise Science (BASES) or the British Psychological Society (BPS). They are practitioners who adhere to high standards and work under their governing body’s code of conduct.
So where do you look?
Word of Mouth
When searching for a sport psychologist, you may be able to get recommendations from people
If you’re thinking about a career in sport psychology then I don’t blame you! Working in sport psychology is a fantastic career path with multiple opportunities in a range of sports. Since I became an accredited practitioner, I’ve enjoyed working with athletes from grassroots to elite. It’s a rewarding role and every experience is different. Still interested? Read on for my four steps to get you into the profession.
1 – Choose your Accreditation Route
Before we start, I should clarify a couple of things. Firstly, I’m talking about how to become
Are you an athlete that struggles with motivation? Does your lack of motivation hold you back from achieving your full potential? The truth is that athletes in all sports and all levels struggle with motivation. If you’re working towards a long term goal, It can be difficult to stay motivated for a long period of time.
The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to stay motivated. I work with athletes from grassroots through to elite to help them understand how they can harness motivation, even at
I’m Ali Mahoney, a Sport Psychology Practitioner who provides One to One and Group workshops on a range of topics. I also run an on-demand Running Psychology Programme.
My passion for working in this field stems from supporting athletes to reach their full potential. Traditionally, sports people focus on their physical, technical and tactical development. Building mental strength is just as important, but this is often left to chance. That’s where my work comes in.
Why do Young People need Sport Psychology?
A question that I’m often asked is
If you like watching sport documentaries and are looking for some new suggestions then check out my top 5 below. They’re in no particular order. I’d also love to hear your own recommendations too so please drop me a line with your own favourites!
THE LAST DANCE
What’s it about? Basketball, winning, team culture, high performance, goal setting, team politics, champion mindset and much more. This documentary series follows the life and achievements of Michael Jordan, a legend of Basketball. The insight into the achievements of both Jordan and the Chicago Bulls
What is it?
Sport Psychology can be described as the study of how psychology influences sports performance. Our thoughts, feelings and behaviours can all have an impact upon the way we approach sport, but quite this area of sports performance can be left unchecked.
Traditionally, there is a focus on the technical, tactical and physical aspects of sport. For example, teams and individuals might spend hours improving fitness, technical ability and tactical aspect of performance. But…how much time do we allocate to improving our mental fitness to perform?
There’s an urban quote that suggests:
“Sport is 90% physical and 10%
The use of Sport Psychology support has been gaining momentum in recent years. More athletes, coaches and team managers understand the benefits of engaging with it, but there are still some myths flying around. So here’s a few that I’ve debunked:
It involves sitting on a couch and sharing my problems
No! Not usually! Sport Psychology support comes in a range of shapes and sizes depending on your needs. When I work with individual sportsmen and women, I often meet in a venue that the athlete is happy with. This could be
When we first think about the term ‘disruption’ we might automatically think of its negative connotation. If someone disrupts what you’re doing it can be annoying, frustrating and prevent you from achieving whatever it was that you were doing. Disruption is akin to an interruption:
“Disturbance or problems which interrupt an event, activity, or process”
However, causing disruptions in sport can have some fantastic positive effects, be it technical, tactical or psychological.
HOW DISRUPTING THE STATUS QUO RESULTS IN A NEW TECHNIQUE
If you follow athletics you’ll probably be aware of high jumpers using
One thing we love about competitive sport is observing how different individuals and teams respond in different situations. How do they perform under pressure, how do they cope with adversity, how do they manage their own and other’s expectations? Also, how do they respond to being the favourite or the underdog?
WHAT IS AN UNDERDOG?
The weaker of two competitors, or anyone not expected to win a competition
As well as not being expected to win, we might also expect the underdog to be well beaten in their competition. On paper you’d pick the
By it’s very nature, participation in sport can lead to various injuries and sometimes leave you with an unhelpful fear of re-injury.
Your first point of call with a sports injury might be to focus on your physical recovery. Turning to physical rehabilitation techniques and / or the input of physiotherapists and other professionals can help you to make a speedy return to sport. However, what do we do if we’ve developed a fear of re-injury?
WHAT IS FEAR OF RE-INJURY?
Also known as kinesiophobia, fear of re-injury describes the negative thoughts associated with