What is Sports Psychology?

The field of sports psychology helps athletes and performers enhance their performance by strengthening their attitudes. By examining personal and environmental factors that impact performance, a sports psychologist can develop techniques to improve the way an athlete feels, thinks, and ultimately performs. An athlete’s perceptions, thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, expectations, and emotions create mental agility to support and enhance physical capabilities. Becoming as mentally fit as you are physically, plays a vital role in helping you to perform consistently well. No matter what your talent level, strengthening your attitude will help you have a successful and rewarding sports career.

What does a Sports Psychologist do?

Assist athletes in achieving their competitive goals by teaching them how to utilize and grow their mental skills to achieve optimal performance.

Provide athletes with a comprehensive mental fitness regime that may include: goal setting, focusing, controlling pressure, dealing with frustration, energy management, imagery, and self-talk.

Examples of areas of your game that can be improved by working with a sports psychologist:

  • Adjust to new teams and organizations

  • Anxiety and energy management

  • Attention and concentration refinement

  • Career transitions (early, mid, and retirement from the sport)

  • Communication (on and off the court)

  • Goal setting

  • Grit development

  • Growth mindset

  • Imagery and visualization

  • Improve consistency

  • Manage off court life and pressures

  • Mental toughness

  • Mindfulness training

  • Perform under pressure

  • Preparation and routine development

  • Self-talk and managing emotions

  • Team building

  • Time management and organization

What’s the difference between sports psychology and therapy?

Unlike psychotherapy, sports psychology doesn’t use couches, prescribe medicines, or work with abnormal behavior. Instead, the goal of a sports psychologist is to train athletes on how to be more confident, improve focus, stay composed under pressure, practice more efficiently, and develop better pre-performance routines. The main difference between a sports psychologist and a therapist is that sports psychologist works with athletes on sports performance enhancement and the therapist works with psychological conditions and related concerns.

How do you choose a Sports Psychologist?

Among the things you should consider are your comfort levels with the person providing your care, their credentials, and their areas of expertise.  It’s important to find a genuine experienced, confidential Sports Psychologist who listens, understands your goals, takes your goals seriously and operates in a practical, direct manner.  Working with Dr. McIntyre is an investment of your time, money, and dreams. The best way to get started is to give him a call to get a sense of him to determine if he is a good fit for you.  Dr. McIntyre will meet you where you are at and give you the guidance and support you need to reach your goals. He is a behind the scene professional who has your back.

When should I work with a sports psychology expert?

The most common sign that a professional athlete needs to work with a sports psychologist is when he or she find themselves falling short of reaching the next level of performance, experience a slip in performance or struggle to maintain their consistency in performing at an elite level.  These situations are all opportunities for the professional athlete to improve with the right guidance and support of an experienced sports psychologist.

Growth mindset athletes, as well as their coaches and agents, recognize the signs and signals their performance is off and the athlete needs help to evaluate and develop a plan to re-set.  The foundation of a growth mindset is one’s ability to learn, take feedback and create new pathways to success. Dr. McIntyre is skilled at assessing a problem, collaboration and developing a road map to achieve the desired goal.

Another situation to work with a sports psychologist is when an athlete is excelling and wants to strengthen tap into the power of their mind to take their performance to the next level.  These days professional sports teams and athletes recognize the importance of the mind-body connection and incorporate sports psychologists as part of their daily training team members to help their athletes dial in and tap into every resource available to them.

If you are performing at the highest level injuries are a part of the game.  Athletes and teams utilize sports psychologists to enhance their training and performance after an injury or in the recovery stage of injury to facilitate growth and the healing process.  It is well documented that athletes recover best when they incorporate the mental skills as part of their healing process.

Can I use my insurance to pay to the services of a Sports Psychologist?

Unfortunately, insurance companies do not reimburse for the services of a sports psychologist.

What is it like getting started with Dr. McIntyre?

It’s all about relationship building, Dr. McIntyre is in the business of performance, supporting athletes to pursue their goals, achieve their dreams and doing so in a respectful, conscious manner. Dr. McIntyre gives athletes the space to build a trust relationship where change can take place. Successful athletes never achieve the heights of performance on their own, they have a team of people in their life who are committed to doing their part to get their athlete to the podium. The best way to start is to have a conversation with Dr. McIntyre and learn how he can join your team to help get you where you want to go.