Guidelines on Choosing a Sports Psychologist
A sports psychologist helps amateur and professional athletes, coaches, and referees live up to the demands of their roles. If you are an amateur seeking to go pro, there is a chance that you will start doubting yourself. If you are a pro, you will want to continue performing at peak efficiency throughout, which can be stressful. As a couch, you will want help if you experience problems working with your athletes. Understand that only the right psychologist would be worth hiring, meaning that you should take your time when choosing one. Below are guidelines to help you make an informed decision.
Choose a service provider with respect to the particular types of services you are seeking. A psychologist for individual athletes would help you focus skills, eradicate self-doubt, pre-competition planning, counter perfectionism, goal setting, dealing with mistakes, among others. If you are a coach, you need support in areas such as team leadership, how to create team confidence, freshman athlete integration, among others. Choosing a professional that can offer all the services you need warrants convenience. In case you need a practitioner that would handle the entire club from athletes to coaches, choose one with that in mind.
Take note of training and expertise before choosing any psychologist. It could be that a professional is willing to offer sports psychology services. If they lack the training and expertise to deliver the services in question, however, choosing them would be a bad decision. You should look for a provider that has been offering the services in question for an acceptable number of years. It pays to choose a provider with training in a myriad of services. To avoid falling prey to dishonest providers, ask to see their documentation and credentials. It pays to choose among providers that belong to a reputable association such as AASP (Association for Applied Sport Psychology).
Make sure that they are free enough to give each of their clients an acceptable level of personalized support. Understand that such providers service many different people. Since they have to make a living, chances are that they will have a large client base. To be on the safe side, it is important to know how busy your potential provider is before hiring them. If you have suffered an injury that is likely to keep you on the sidelines for long, you need a provider that will walk with you throughout. Beware of providers that are likely to sign you up, only to refer you to another provider.
What are their fees? You should familiarize yourself with your potential psychologist’s billing method before making a decision. Most professionals bill clients on an hourly basis. However, you should not assume that your potential one works on such a plan. If you are on a budget, it pays to choose among experts that are willing to work with it. It pays to compare fees across a couple of sports psychologists to choose one you can afford. Ensure that your potential expert does not have any surcharges.