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Where to find a Sport Psychologist?

“Where to find a Sports Psychologist?” or “Sport Psychologist near me?”

When looking for Sports Psychology support it is important that the person you are working with is qualified. To provide Sports Psychology support in Ireland or the UK requires the practitioner to have completed a degree in Psychology or Sports Science, a Masters in Sports Psychology, and undergone a period of Postgraduate supervision. The practitioner should be registered with the Irish Psychological Society, the Irish Institute of Sport, the British Psychological Society or the Health Care Professionals Council. This ensures that those calling themselves Sports Psychologists are qualified to provide you with evidence-informed practice.

Why does using a qualified practitioner matter? To give you an example, an Australian Rules Football Team employed the services of a “mind training firm”during a per-season training camp. The company advertised themselves as being able to provide the winning formula and help people and teams become winners. However, none of the company employees were qualified Psychologists. What were the consequences of this? First the company and the cut ties with the company have way through the year. The camp has caused tensions within the squad and reports suggested some players were offended by the work carried out.

However you may be thinking there may not be a Sports Psychologist near you. This is why practitioners are offering services to clients online. It offers flexibility while providing the interaction required for effective consultations. If you would like to discuss arranging a session then you can drop me a message info@psychologyinsports.com

Now you know what to look for and where to find a Sports Psychologist, how do you know what an effective Sports Psychologist is? First of all they should be qualified or on a training route outline above. Effective Sports Psychology support has been described as a “Science and an Art”. A Sports Psychology practitioner should have a good understanding of the theories and evidence that underpins performance and well-being in sport. However the scientific and theoretical knowledge is not enough. The art is the ability to apply apply the right theoretical knowledge in the right way at the right time to meet the clients needs. This is reflected in the research on effective Sports Psychologist which has found the that they can develop relationships with those they work with, provide practical advice, experienced in applied practice and have knowledge of their subject area (Anderson, Miles, Robinson and Mahoney, 2004); Tod & Andersen, 2005). Did you notice the factor that came first? “develop relationships with those they work with”. An interesting quote from some of this research is “the sport psychologist is the primary consulting tool and the practitioner-athlete relationship is the main intervention” (Tod & Andersen, 2005). This means the Sports Psychologist has to pass the “good guy or gal test” to develop the relationships required for good sports Psychology support to occur.

This is why I undertook my training with the BPS through studying at Liverpool John Moores University. Throughout my time on the course I was exposed to different ways of working as a Sports Psychologist. This included

 

    • How to practice ethically

    • How to underpin applied work with evidence based practice.

    • Identifying the needs of clients

    • Developing bespoke interventions that meet the clients needs

    • Carrying out research to develop solutions to problems I encountered in practice

    • Becoming a reflective practitioner to constantly improve and meet the needs of those I work with.

Despite all of this knowledge and experience being developed on the course, one thing never changed. The importance of developing working relationships in sport. So when you are looking for a Sports Psychologist an important consideration is can you work with them? So before you type in “Where to find a Sports Psychologist?” or “Sports Psychologist near me?” ask yourself:

 

    • Are they qualified or are they on a recognized training route?

    • Do you know what you are looking for in the Sports Psychologist?

    • Do you know what an effective practitioner is like?

    • Now you can start looking for “a Sports Psychologist near me” or “where to find a Sports Psychologist”?