Sports psychologists mentally train athletes. They consult with and treat sports professionals for specific conditions, or they may work with them on a regular basis. They work as any other psychologist in that they diagnose and treat psychological issues, but they serve only athletes.
There are a variety of different specialties and capacities that a sports psychologist may work within, so the responsibilities vary accordingly. These mental health professionals see athletes to help them cope with stressful situations, get focused, or understand what they are struggling with in their given sport. These psychologists may also treat patients who are dealing with issues outside of their sport but which is affecting their performance. There are a variety of reasons why a sports psychologist may be sought out, but ultimately they help to treat athletes with a variety of different conditions and treatments.
Usually sports psychologists focus on research, patient consultations, and treatment. They perform research to understand how physical performance may be affected by mental or emotional situations. These medical professionals also may perform research to understand and properly treat specific conditions. Sports psychologists provide a support system to athletes who are dealing with stressful life situations that are affecting their performance.
Sports psychologists may follow certain patients from consultation through treatment. The responsibilities for a sports psychologist may vary based on the specialization or specific role that the individual serves in. If they work within their own practice, these psychologists may also be responsible for all of the functions of running a business as well.
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