Athletes are one of the most profound and prestigious populations in the country. To be considered an athlete at any level places you in an elite bracket that can transcend you past your peers. While this is a great accolade, it can be hard to manage this lifestyle on one’s own. For an athlete to perform at their best, they have to feel confident in themselves and their game. Athletes who suffer from anxiety, self-limiting beliefs, or other mental health barriers find this can have a negative impact on their performance. These athletes benefit greatly by seeking individual counseling for anxiety, life coaching, or sports counseling.
The world of sports counseling is a complex mixture of the physical and mental being of the athlete. The goal is to help the athlete overcome any barriers so they can converge their best physical and mental self to produce the talent on the playing surface.
What happens when the athlete is suffering from deeper issues that cannot be seen on the surface of sports? How does this affect his performance on the turf, grass, court, or field? How does an anxious athlete work past their inner mental state and produce a consistent performance for their teammates, coaches, family, fans, etc.?
Having a healthy mindset and good mental health is the quickest way for any performer to stay at the top of their game. Unfortunately, some athletes don’t work through their mental health issues and the result of this affects their performance on the playing surface. Athletes choose to not seek mental health counseling and expertise due mainly to a fear of judgment from their peers and thinking that there is something wrong with them.
This is a stigma shrouded in the world of athletics and is a stigma that needs to be unearthed and changed. Individual counseling for athletes provides a safe, judgment-free space away from teammates, coaches, fans, and even family members. This sports counseling experience has proven successful in allowing the athlete to connect with their inner mind and deeper version of themselves to answer the question “What do I need?”
By working with the athlete to change their behaviors about themselves and their performance, they can create an ideal reality where they are able to handle the pressures of coaches, fans, and adversity from opponents.
The need for sports counseling at the high school and collegiate level is even higher with student-athletes having their athletic abilities utilized without the reward of education or a balanced lifestyle. When working with athletes, it is the goal to address their mental health concerns and how these mental health concerns have impacted their performance on the field/ice/court and what they can be doing differently to take care of themselves.
Statistics have shown that counselors who have played a sport in high school and college have more of a success rate working with athletes than counselors who do not have a strong background in sports. Teaming with a counselor who has similar work ethics, and experience in the commitment level it takes for sports has proven to increase success rates. It provides an athlete an opportunity to create their ideal self on, and off, the playing surface.
It is good when others are proud of the athlete, it is great when the athlete is proud of themselves!
Be proud of yourself and if you’re struggling, contact a life coach or individual counselor so you can be at the top of your game. Get started today by calling 407-592-8997 or contact the author of this article for more information.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.