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Sport Psychology

Are the Services of a Sport Psychologist for You?

  • Do you or your athletes:
    • have trouble staying focused during competition?
    • lack confidence during practice or games?
    • perform better in practice than in competition?
  • Are you looking for a competitive edge?
  • Are you concerned with your child's experience in organized youth sports?
  • Are you struggling to begin or continue an exercise program?
  • Have you lost confidence or motivation after an injury?
  • Are you looking for a way to improve your sport or exercise experience?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, working with Dr. Jones may be for you!

Common Psychological Skills in Sport Psychology

Anxiety or Energy Management

Skill most commonly used to help individuals who experience arousal at a level that is not effective (i.e., too high or too low) for optimal performance. These techniques can be used for anxiety, stress, and anger management. Common treatments include: (a) breathing exercises (e.g., diaphragmatic breathing, rhythmic breathing), (b) progressive relaxation, (c) meditation, (d) imagery or visualization, and (d) cognitive techniques (e.g., thought stopping and cognitive restructuring).

Attention and Concentration Control (focusing)

Being able to focus one’s awareness on relevant cues so they can deal effectively with their current situation. These skills help them maintain their mental intensity within a situation. Common techniques include: (a) attention control training (to avoid distractions) and (b) techniques to expand awareness (e.g., attending to performance cues and bodily sensations).

Communication

Skill used to help improve group cohesion and individual interactions in a sport setting (e.g., athlete–athlete, athlete–coach, coach–parent). Techniques used with this skill include: (a) teaching active listening and communicating skills (reflecting, clarifying, encouraging, paraphrasing), (b) helping individuals create a free and open environment, and (c) assertiveness training.

Goal Setting

Skill commonly used for enhancing motivation, focusing attention on the aspects of performance that are most in need of improvement, or facilitating rehabilitation from injury. The establishment of a goal-setting program often includes several common components, including: emphasis on skill development (not the outcome, such as winning), identifying target dates for attaining goals, identifying goal achievement strategies, and providing regular goal evaluation.

Imagery, Visualization, Mental Practice

Skill using all of the mind's senses (e.g., sight, sound, taste, touch, hearing, kinesthetic/muscular feel) to re-create or create an experience in the mind. Uses include: (a) mental preparation, (b) anxiety control, (c) attention, (d) building self-confidence, (e) learning new skills, and (f) injury recovery. Common components include the evaluation of imagery ability, the establishment of the proper physical and mental setting (i.e., relaxed and quiet), and practice creating vivid and controllable images.

Self-talk

This is what you say or think to yourself. Self-talk patterns are related to how people feel and act. Changing self-talk is commonly used for (a) prompting a specific behavior, (b) improving self–confidence, (c) attention control, (d) motivation, and (e) arousal control. Common components include the identification of negative or irrelevant thoughts, challenging these thoughts, the creation of positive thoughts, and the substitution of positive thoughts for the negative thoughts.

Team Building

This is the process of helping the members of a group enhance their ability to work cohesively through the improvement of communication, group objectives, trust, and respect. Team building strategies are often used at the beginning of a season to help group members become more familiar and trusting of each other. Common techniques include group introductions of each other, ropes courses, and individual and team goal setting.

Time Management/Organization

This is the ability to plan and maintain one's regular schedule in a way that avoids confusion, conflict and undue stress. Common time management techniques include: (a) teaching how to use a planner, (b) learning about the demands of a task, (c) setting legitimate goals for tasks, (d) understanding the demands of one’s life (managing role conflict), and (e) developing pre–performance routines.

 


 

Dr. Jones is the grandson of golfing great Bobby Jones, the only person to win golf's Grand Slam, all four major championships in the same calendar year. Dr. Jones knew his grandfather well and spent many weekend afternoons with him watching golf on TV and absorbing the wisdom the great champion had to offer. When Dr Jones began studying psychology, he developed a keen interest in how excellent athletes developed and maintained their skills. As a clinical sport psychologist, Dr Jones has worked with athletes from many sports and at every level of athletic competition.

A popular speaker, Dr. Jones has given numerous talks on his grandfather and sport psychology. He has appeared on almost every major television network including NBC, CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, and Golf Channel.

To arrange a consultation with Dr Jones, please go to the "Contact Me" page.

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