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✋ DON'T BE FOOLED: MENTAL PERFORMANCE COACHES EXPLAINED

mental performance coaches mental performance consultant mental preparation sport psychology professional sport psychophysiology Jun 20, 2023

Being trained in psychophysiological approaches to sport performance means that we look at hormones influence on performance, genetics influence on performance, circadian rhythms and sleep, and neurophysiological/physiological mechanisms of stress response and its impact on athletic performance and recovery. One of the tools we use to assess and train athletes is biofeedback.

The professionals working on the mental preparation of athletes have a graduate degree in Psychology or a related field and use the title “mental performance coach” to avoid the stigma behind the word "psychology" and to be seen as one more member of the team of professionals helping athletes succeed.

The role of sport psychology professional is of a consultant “mental performance consultant,” which means that we teach you skills you will use to overcome barriers in your athletic career. All professionals who have a graduate degree are affiliated with professional organizations and have ethical guidelines to follow.

Sport Psychology Professionals can come from different educational backgrounds, such as Clinical Psychology, Educational Psychology, Performance Psychology and Psychophysiology, Kinesiology, and Psychiatry, which gives them a different perspective and a different set of tools to help athletes.

Self-proclaimed “mental performance coaches” are NOT sport psychology professionals. It may sound rude, but beware of self-proclaimed "mental performance coaches" who lack credentials as sport psychology professionals. Social media promises can be misleading and even dangerous when it comes to enhancing your mental game. You will have to look for qualified experts in the field for optimal results.

On my website, blogs, and social media posts, I strive to simplify sport psychophysiology for my audience. However, it is important to clarify that while I aim for simplicity, the concepts are not so basic that anyone can equate biofeedback with breathwork or assume that mental training is a one-size-fits-all solution.

Your mental performance coach is pivotal in preparing you for top performance. So, it is your responsibility to check if the education standards are upheld. Then, you can trust your mental coach, who will guide you in mastering your mental game.

In summary, athletes must understand the difference between self-proclaimed “mental performance coaches” and qualified professionals. Interviewing mental performance coaches should involve asking about their training, qualifications, and certification in sport psychology. Last, awareness and knowledge of how sport psychology interventions can benefit athletes will help select the best professional for your needs.

If you want to discuss it further, schedule your free consultation.

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