sports counseling psychology chicago

Sports Athletic Counseling

Take a look at some of the most successful athletes, regardless of their game, and consider why they are so different from the rest of their teammates and counterparts. The most successful athletes have something that sets them apart from the rest and it is an inner drive to perform at the top of their game every time they hit the field, track, or court.

This noticeable inner drive stems from acute focus, focus that not everyone has the ability to achieve on their own. Through cognitive therapy and mindful approaches to wellness such as meditation and learning about positive based psychology, there may be a way to help you achieve the same level of focus to enhance your athletic performance here at Guy Counseling in Chicago.

So what is sports counseling exactly?

As suggested by the terminology, sports counseling is a type of counseling that is primarily aimed at athletes and sports players used primarily to boost athletic performance. Through the use of imagery, voice, and goal setting, a therapist works to help you find a relaxed state of being first.

Once achieved, the focus is on providing performance-boosting thought and encouragement through coaching and therapy. There are three different principles or disciplines of sports counseling that I focus on here at Guy Counseling in Chicago:

Positive Expectation and Self-Image

Even though you may not realize it consciously, your own self-doubt and negative self-image can get in the way of you achieving to your highest capabilities, whether it is during competition or through training. If you expect that you will perform poorly, there is no way that you can do your best.

This is because your physical motivation to perform is easily clouded by what your expectations of your performance will be. By combining mindful approaches to wellness as part of counseling, such as acceptance and commitment therapy, I may be able to work with you to clear your mind of the doubts that cloud your focus and stamina. This can be incredibly beneficial before a big game or if you are in the process of training for a big event.

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Building the Proverbial Bridge for Mind and Body Connection

Even though through history there has been a tendency to treat the mind and body separately, the two are intertwined with each other within your body. Your physical health often depends on your emotional and vice versa, because the mind and body are in constant communication with neural signals that travel to and from in your nervous system.

Through the use of mindful approaches to wellness such as CBT at my office, I work to encourage the appropriate signals between mind and body and teach you new techniques that can be used when you are in the middle of sports performance. For example, we can help you learn how to achieve a more relaxed mental state through meditation, which would allow you to be more relaxed and focused when taking a swing or making a shot. 

Implementing the Power of Visualization and Mental Performance

Consider this: If you can visualize something happening, such as running faster or seeing your golf game become more accurate, you have a better chance of seeing these things happen. Most people have no idea that the mind cannot discern something that is happening physically from what is being envisioned instead. The same thought processes occur and your muscles may even react accordingly.

This is why mental visualization and rehearsal works so well with cognitive approaches to wellness for sports and athletic performance. By helping you visualize specific actions in your mind, with the clarity of thought and relaxation that comes along with mindfulness, you actually encourage the same reactions to take place when in action.

Where did mindfulness for athletic performance come from?

Meditative approaches to peak performance, including cognitive therapies and guided meditation has been used with some of the most famous athletes, but also ordinary people who are just looking to improve their stamina and focus.

It is no new information that being a capable athlete has just as much to do with psychological stamina as physical stamina, even though it is not uncommon for people to assume otherwise. In fact, sports psychology has been around since the 1920s, and involves attention to how psychological factors interplay with sports performance for athletic performers.

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Can Mindful Observation Help with Sports Performance?

Since the original developments in sports psychology, the popularity of mentally training athletes has grown to be a popular idea in various sports platforms, even the Olympics.

Some of the most well-known teams have helping professionals trained in psychology that travel with the team to offer counseling, including meditation for endurance and stamina, regularly. Mindfulness for athletic performance is just one area of sports technology and is often used as an effective wellness tool.

The unconscious mind is directly involved in sports and athleticism, even though you may not know to what extent. Here at Guy Counseling, I want to help you achieve a well-balanced physical and emotional state so you can obtain peak performance.

As a college educator who has instructed courses in Exercise Physiology, Strength Training and Sports Psychology to military students for over 15 years, I have helped scores of athletes reach important athletic goals.  

If you would like to learn more about sports counseling for athletic performance, feel free to contact my office in Chicago for more information or to set up an appointment at 773.704.5300.

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