Sports psychology: a question of magic?

In the world of physical activity and sportPsychology is a discipline that still has a long way to go. There is a lot of confusion about the role of psychology and the benefits it brings.

In my opinion, despite the progress that sports psychology has made today, its importance has not yet been understood.

There are people who see psychology as a fundamental part, others think that it only works at the individual level with athletes, others that it should be dedicated only to high performance or that it is only used for the training phases, there are those who “don’t believe” it, those who think that it only serves to work on motivation, and so on.

    Sport psychology and its scope

    There are many ways of thinkingThis makes sense given that people’s thinking differs a lot from each other. However, this one is sometimes too similar.

    In these views on the psychology of sport there seems to be one which, in my opinion, is unfortunately shared by many professionals (or not so many) in the world of sport. I have observed it in the comments, the questions people have asked me, requests for help, etc., both from people who value our work in this area as something important, and from others who do not have it, so much confidence in its usefulness.

    Either for extra confidence or a lack of knowledge, or a reaction caused by frustration resulting from a competitive situationMany times, coaches and athletes continue our research when “already (almost) all the fish are sold” to see if we are able to resolve a situation that they have been trying for a long time, or not, in a matter of hours.

    I would like to know what kind of magic psychologists think they can do to think that we can turn their situation 180 degrees, by dedicating a tenth of the time that they have spent an entire season, without succeeding. Because a reality is that, many times, we rely on our work when there is no other option, “Fire extinguishing”, forgetting the preventive tasks. And these times, they often coincide with situations that are already difficult to save.

    The worst part of all this is that in the end, in most cases, the situation does not change enough, reinforcing the idea that the sports psychology professional should not be playing sports and should be limited to a clinical consultation, Following the medical model, the most popular in our industry.

    I dedicate this article to commenting on this situation, without wanting to convince myself of the importance of my work, with the sole intention of helping to understand that psychologists do not have a miraculous pill that changes things overnight.

      No shortcuts: change takes effort

      Like any physical or technical-tactical training, psychological training takes time, work and dedication. If a runner is looking to increase his endurance, he will not be successful in two workouts, but will require constant work through which over time it will get a series of improvements until it achieves the desired performance. Likewise, if this runner wishes to optimize the management of concentration and relaxation before competition, a day or two of practice would not be enough to acquire this skill.

      As with training, so is the work of the sports psychologist. Just as a coach who is new to a team needs to gain the confidence of the group, to make him believe in his work and to follow him in his objectives; a sports psychologist needs to get to know the people with whom he is going to work and fundamentally, to gain their confidence so that they can work and develop their proposals, convinced that this will help them achieve their goals.

      Any job well done, in the long term, depends on the same factors: time, dedication, perseverance; miracles do not exist. Success in achieving goals is preceded by the combination of interdisciplinary training that covers the physical, technical-tactical and mental fields; and the training will be of better quality, as every aspect of it is carried out by a professional in this field.

      Fortunately, all is not so dark. Every day, the importance of our work in the world of sport and physical activity is recognized and we acquire greater relevance as another important figure in the field of sport. I look at reality with hope, confident that with work and perseverance we can make our way, let go of this and other myths that are being created around us and give way to a reality in which we are considered. like a professional again. It takes time.

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