You’re physically fit, and injury-free, and you should be at the top of your game. Yet, something stands in the way and the odds are good that it’s your head. There’s a good reason why so many athletes refer to, “being in their head too much,” because your brain can throw up formidable hurdles that prevent you from performing at your best.
The good news is a sports and performance psychologist can help you clear this hurdle. Here at Choulet Wellness, Brook Choulet, MD, has cultivated an extensive team of mental health experts, including a dedicated sport and performance psychologist, Jamye Shelton, Psy.D.
Here’s a look at how sports and performance psychology can help your physical and mental health work together for optimal performance.
Sport and performance psychology isn’t exclusive to professional athletes. Any person who wishes to improve their performance can benefit from this therapy.
As an example of how your mental health can affect your performance, perhaps you’re a mountain biking enthusiast who took a bad tumble, and now you’re unable to relax when you ride because your confidence feels shattered.
Or, perhaps you’ve been training for quite some time, and you feel as if you’ve hit a plateau, and you’re lacking motivation.
Or, maybe you’ve been injured, and you’re not coping well with being sidelined.
Whatever your performance-related issue, if there’s something non-physical that’s standing in your way, you’re a candidate for sport and performance psychology.
Every athlete understands that there are days when nothing seems to go right, and others when everything seems to go great. Through sport and performance psychology, our goal is to have you experience far more of the latter — those days when your head and body work together beautifully, making you feel like you can accomplish almost anything.
To get you to this enviable place, Dr. Shelton focuses on several areas that can help you improve your performance, including:
One of the first steps toward optimizing your performance is to create the ideal mental image. Perhaps it’s one of you lifting that extra weight or smacking that home run with ease. These visualization techniques are mental rehearsals that train your mind to realize successful outcomes. When your mind is trained for this type of success, this can help your body follow.
Lack of confidence, anxiety, stress and other factors can hamper your performance. Instead of allowing these negative thoughts and circumstances to overshadow your performance, Dr. Shelton guides you through mental skills training to help you focus on more positive thoughts.
If you’re experiencing setbacks that are affecting your performance, such as an injury, Dr. Shelton works with you on ways in which you can accept the setback and use it to your advantage.
In each of the three areas mentioned above, Dr. Shelton uses a wide range of techniques, including the following:
Relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing
Body awareness exercises
Stress and anger management
The techniques Dr. Shelton uses to enhance your performance depend on the issues you’re trying to overcome.
If you want to experience what it feels like when your head and body consistently work together, we can help. To learn more, call 480-442-9599 or book an appointment online with Choulet Wellness today. We’re based in Scottsdale, Arizona, and we also serve the Paradise Valley area.