What Is Performance and Sport Psychology? Learn how mental skills training also known as psychological skills training helps you improve your performance in various performance domains.

What Is Performance and Sport Psychology?

performance and sport psychology uses mental skills also known as psychological skills to help individuals reach their peak performance like this man who reach peak performance by climbing to the top of the mountain

What Is Performance and Sport Psychology?

Driven to Peak Consulting aims to educate individuals on performance and sport psychology. What is performance and sport psychology? Driven To Peak Consulting answers this frequently asked question in this blog post. Performance and sport psychology focuses on the mental side of performance, which is often neglected by individuals in all performance domains.  Performance and sport psychology involves using mental skills training, also known as psychological skills training, to strengthen the mind to improve performance. 

Individuals in all performance domains need to understand that improving the mental side of performance is as important as improving the physical side of performance.  By improving the mental side of performance, individuals improve their physical aspect of performance. 

To strengthen the mind and their performance, individuals in all performance domains work with a performance enhancement consultant to learn performance enhancement skills.  This includes goal-setting, self-talk, routines, confidence, motivation, focus, performance anxiety, returning to performance from injury, and peak performance. For more information on goal-setting, checkout Driven To Peak Consulting’s blog post Maintaining Motivation To Achieve Long-Term Goals.

A performance enhancement consultant is also known as a mental skills instructor, mental skills consultant, mental performance consultant, mental performance coach, sport psychology consultant, sports performance consultant, and SPC.

What Are Performance Enhancement Skills?

Performance enhancement skills are also known as psychological skills, mental skills, and performance psychology techniques.  The skills used to help individuals involved in sports are known as sport psychology techniques.   

The biggest weapon for all human beings is their own body.  One of the most important body parts is the brain.  Think of performance/sport psychology as giving your brain the power for you to perform up to your peak physical capabilities.

Professionals in other fields use performance enhancement skills.  However, a performance enhancement knows more performance enhancement skills and goes more in-depth on these skills. 

brain lifting weights symbolic of performance and sport psychology, which aims to help individual's brain to gain strength to improve performance by learning mental skills from a performance enhancement consultant

What Can A Performance Enhancement Consultant Do For Me?

performance and sport psychology focuses on helping people learn performance enhancement skills also known as mental skills to increase and reach their peak performance symbolize by woman reaching her peak performance by climbing mountain to reach her top performance by reaching the mountain top

A performance enhancement consultant aims to help individuals increase their performance.  He or she focuses on helping individuals improve their mental side of performance.  This means improving their mindset.  The obstacle that prevents individuals from showing the world what they are capable of is their mind.  By improving the mental side of performance, it unlocks individuals’ best performances. Next, we will cover common myths related to performance and sport psychology field.

Performance and Sport Psychology Myths

Below, we cover common myths related to performance and sport psychology field.

The Biggest Misconception About Performance and Sport Psychology

The biggest misconception about performance/sport psychology is that performance enhancement skills are only useful in sports and can only be applied to help professional athletes improve their performance. 

A performance enhancement consultant is trained to help individuals in different performance domains improve their performance.  All individuals benefit from working together with a performance enhancement consultant to increase their performance.  We can all improve our performance.  In the context of sports, parents, youth athletes, young athletes, recreational athletes, professional athletes, coaches, and athletic trainers benefit from working together with a performance enhancement consultant.  The term athlete does not mean that an individual has to participate in sports formally.  An individual who plays sports for fun benefits from working together with a performance enhancement consultant to learn performance enhancement skills to improve his or her performance. 

When Are Mental Skills Training Relevant?

We prefer to use the term performance enhancement consultant because it implies that a performance enhancement consultant helps people in various performance domains improve their performance. Mental skills training is used every day and in a variety of ways.

Performance enhancement skills, also known as mental skills, are used to help individuals begin, maintain participation, improve, and reach peak performance in exercise along with a non-traditional approach to exercise than a fitness professional. Businesses, the military, and music are some of the various fields that use mental skills training to help individuals improve their performance.

Does Seeing A Performance Enhancement Consultant Mean That Something Is Wrong With Me?

Another common myth related to performance and sport psychology is that seeing a performance enhancement consultant means that something is wrong with me.  Individuals often hesitate to seek the help of a performance enhancement consultant because they are afraid of getting viewed that something is wrong with them or that they are weak. This is a false belief.  Individuals do not have to wait until they are performing poorly or struggling to see a performance enhancement consultant for help.  He or she helps individuals reach peak performance and maintain a high level of performance by focusing on improving the mental side of sports that enables individuals to perform at their optimal level physically.  Confidentiality is an important aspect of this field.  This means that nobody has to know that you are working with a performance enhancement consultant. 

Is Performance and Sport Psychology A Quick Fix For Performance Issues?

A third common myth related to performance and sport psychology is that a performance enhancement consultant provides quick fixes to solve performance issues.  However, this is not the case. 

Everything takes time and the best time to implement a performance enhancement skills program in sports is during the off-season.  The earlier that individuals learn about the benefits of psychological skills training the faster that individuals in different performance domains improve their performance. Performance enhancement programs are designed to meet each individual’s needs. Skills that we have become proficient in our lives require practice.  The same practice is needed to learn these skills to improve performance.  These techniques are not a quick fix. 

Are Sport Psychology Consultants The Same As Sport Psychologists?

Performance Enhancement Consultant’s Educational Background

The next myth that we will discuss related to performance and sport psychology is individuals often believe that a sport psychology consultant is a sport psychologist.  These are two different professionals.  Contrary to popular belief, a sport psychologist does not have a PhD in either performance or sport psychology.  A sport psychologist obtained a PhD in either clinical or counseling psychology.  He or she completed graduate coursework as part of their graduate education in performance or sport psychology.  A sport psychologist specializes in helping individuals on the mental side of performance and on mental health issues such as generalized anxiety disorder or depression.  A performance enhancement consultant only helps people with the mental side of performance by offering to help individuals learn performance enhancement skills to overcome mental obstacles that prevent them from performing at their peak.

Basically, a performance enhancement consultant does not provide mental health services. An individual with a PhD in sport psychology, sport and exercise psychology, or performance psychology is still a performance enhancement consultant.

Are you ready to improve your performance? Click the button below and book your appointment today with a performance enhancement consultant!

15 thoughts on “What Is Performance and Sport Psychology?”

      1. This was really interesting to read! I’m a Psychology student and although this isn’t my chosen psychology route it’s always really interesting to hear about other fields of psychology and the content within them.

    1. Mental agility and toughness do, indeed, have a strong impact on performance. Some have argued that mental toughness is even more important than physical shape. Your post explains this well.

  1. Mindset is so important, in sports and life! It’s easy for athletes to fall into a negative mindset, I see it in my kids all the time. Great to know about your services!

  2. Everything is about living the life you want to and investing in yourself is the only way to achieve that. While ee can often find our own way forward, sometimes it does take someone else to break through when we have stagnated.

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