What is Sports Psychology?
While coaches typically focus on the physical side of sport, sport psychologists focus on athletes' and performers' minds. Sport psychologists can help performers and athletes, professionals and amateurs alike, improve their performance, achieve their goals, reach their potential and increase their enjoyment. They do so by facilitating the development and implementation of mental skills.
The mental skills sports psychologists develop and enhance include:
Performing Under Pressure
The Performance and Sports Psychology Center tailors an individualized game plan for athletes and performers utilizing the above mental skills in a way to maximize the use of their physical training and abilities.
Timothy M. Sigward, Ph.D.
Dr. Sigward is a licensed psychologist who has been in practice since 1995. He has worked with a variety of clients, including high school athletes, college athletes, professional athletes and adults looking to improve their performance and enhance their enjoyment. He has assisted athletes improve performance in a variety of sports including swimming, golf, running, soccer, basketball, competitive dancing and wrestling among others.
Dr. Sigward utilizes the Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) approach (Gardner & Moore). Instead of viewing control of certain thoughts and feelings as a necessary means for creating the ideal performance state, this approach emphasizes mindful, nonjudging awareness and acceptance of moment-to-moment cognitive, affective and sensory experiences. Mindfulness practice promotes mindful responding as opposed to mindless reacting to life events. The primary goal of the MAC program is to allow your skills and abilities to emerge automatically,with your mind being quiet and focused on only the task. The aim is to build mental toughness which is defined as the ability to act in a purposeful manner, systematically and consistently, in the pursuit of values that underlie, performance activities, even (and especially) when faced with strong emotions that we as humans naturally want to control, eliminate, or reduce (Gardner & Moore, 2007)