Sport & Exercise Psychology Services
Sport & exercise psychology is the application of psychological concepts and skills in a sport or exercise setting. Many athletes utilize psychological skills training to gain better control over their minds and bodies to optimize their athletic performance. Athletes of all ages and skill levels can benefit from such services. Performance enhancement issues may include:
Performance anxiety (“choking”)
Fear of injury/re-injury
Recovering from injury
Difficulties sustaining focus and concentration
Burnout and motivation enhancement
Career transitions out of sport
Athletes may also experience mental health concerns that negatively impact their physical performance and require the knowledge and skills of a mental health professional, including:
Sexuality/sexual orientation issues
Past sexual trauma
Caretaking for a loved one
General adjustment issues
Consultation sessions for coaches can assist coaching professionals who want to support an athlete experiencing emotional or performance issues, who want assistance improving their own coaching style from a psychological stand-point, and/or to have support in dealing with their own emotional issues.
Sport and exercise psychology services are not only for athletes. Everyday exercisers (beginner to advanced/elite) can also benefit from these services to enhance their performance and help them reach their fitness goals. These services can include:
Body image issues
Goal setting for weight loss/fitness success
Controlling problematic eating behaviors
Social anxiety in a group fitness/gym environment
As a fitness enthusiast and spin instructor, Dr. Hayes also loves applying her knowledge and skills about sport and exercise psychology in non-clinical settings. Check out an article in the Houston Chronicle about her use of sport and exercise psychology principles in a gym setting.
Group or team meetings are also available and can enhance trust among teammates, improve communication, reduce conflict between team members, or develop leadership in captains. Team dynamics can be a crucial part of a team's success, and mental skills training can help to improve them.