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Mental Training

What do you need to know? Here is an excerpt of important information about working with a professional sports psychology consultant. These points will always vary from consultant to consultant. Therefore, the points below are some that I find most important in my work.

1. A sports psychology consultant has the client, and ethics, as a main focus: This means, for example, that a sports psychology consultant works with a duty of confidentiality. This means that you, as a client, must be able to confide in your sports psychology consultant, without being afraid that your coach, the media, teammates, or others will know anything about what you entrust to your consultant. There are only a few cases where I would be forced to break the duty of confidentiality, and that is in the case of: 1) Suspected abuse (physical, sexual or neglect) of children, the elderly or the disabled. 2) Intention to cause harm to oneself or others: In cases where a client threatens to harm him/herself or others, I may have to break confidentiality and notify the appropriate authorities. 3) Court order: I am obliged to release a client's progress notes if a judge issues a court order forcing me to do so. In all the above cases, you as a client will be made aware that the confidentiality would be broken. That is, it will never come as a surprise, but it is always something that we will discuss first.

2. A sports psychology consultant works with the whole person - not just the athlete: This means that I, as a sports psychology consultant, focus on your general well-being, and not just on promoting your performance when it really matters. Fortunately, the general well-being is of course related to the performance in the long run, so in the end, one can easily call all our work as "performance focused". Do you have a specific problem with e.g. fear of trying a new maneuver, or anxiety in connection with an important match or competition, then this is of course where our focus will me. However, if you have problems with making everyday life cohesive, if your personal relationships in your everyday life affect your focus on training, or if you have problems relaxing and recharging when you are at home, this is just as important to work on. Basically, our focus will be where it makes the most sense to you.

3. A professional sports psychology consultant "keeps more than he/"she promises": If, for example, you meet a mental trainer or coach who promises you that by entering into a collaboration with them, you will increase your performance by 10%, then you should be skeptical. A professional sports psychology consultant does not promise something they cannot deliver on.

 

4. A professional sports psychology consultant works with optimization: The word "optimization" often tastes a little bitter in the mouth. But what it really means is that a sports psychology consultant is working to improve, to make you even better than you are. That is, the starting point is that there is nothing "wrong" with you - you just want to see how good you can actually become, how meaningful your journey can actually be, etc. You want to find out how to make the most of your potential. This can be contrasted with what a psychiatrist, or clinical psychologist, often focuses on, which may be to help their client, or patient, with dealing with depression, or clinical anxiety. If it turns out through our collaboration that you may be suffering from a clinical condition (eg. depression), then we will talk about this and try to find a qualified clinician in your area, to help you deal with this. In the event of a clinical referral, we can easily continue our collaboration, however, I will not be able to help you with the clinical condition, and we will instead focus on the sport psychological.

5. Sports and performance psychological work must be evidence-based: As a professional sports psychology consultant, it is important that you only work with methods for which there is scientific evidence that actually has an effect. For example, there are several studies that show that visualization can - if trained in the right way - have a positive effect on motor skills, self-confidence, and performance. If studies had not been able to show this effect, it would not be ethically justifiable to suggest to a client to work on becoming better at visualizing.

 

6. The client is also an expert: Both the client and the consultant should be considered experts in the sports psychological collaboration. The consultant, can be considered an expert in sport psychology, while the client can be considered the expert in themselves, their own experiences, their sport or area of expertice, and in what they need. That is why the collaboration works as a true partnership. This approach is based on Person-Centered Therapy, started by Carl Rogers. Read more about person-centered therapy here.

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