Is Sports Psychology mental training for athletes the missing key to ultimate sports performance? What makes the difference from an athlete to a champion athlete? Many are finding out it is the mind training the athlete gets that makes all the difference in a poor athlete, a good athlete and a great athlete.
The Akron Legal News reported this in an editorial.
Sports Psychology Mental Training For Athletes
Athletes famously undergo uncountable hours of rigorous training to get to the top of their sport, as the recent London Olympics continually reminded us.
But there is another side to athletic training, which may be the difference between success and something less than success on the playing field: the mental attitude of the athlete.
Sports psychology is a very small and relatively new area of psychotherapy, but two of the leading lights in this field practice in northeast Ohio: Dr. Jack Lesyk, who is the current president of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and founder of the Ohio Center for Sport Psychology in Beachwood, and Dr. Charles Maher, who teaches at Princeton and is the in-house psychologist for the Cleveland Indians (he also works with the Cavaliers).
Maher is the author of The Complete Mental Game of Baseball: Taking Charge of the Process, On and Off the Field, which he published in July, 2011.
Lesyk works primarily with amateur athletes, from the age of 13 (or younger) through high school and college, and primarily with high school-age athletes. Maher works primarily with professional athletes, especially throughout the entire Indians minor and major league systems.
But they both use the same basic methods, and call their work with these athletes much more “mind training” than formal “therapy.”
How much does the athlete’s mental side affect his or her performance on the field? The answer may be surprising.
“When I ask young athletes how much their mental attitude affects their play on a percentage basis,” said Lesyk, “they usually say ‘in the 90’s.’ That figure is not accurate, and the real process is much more subtle than that.”
Lesyk, who became interested in the psychology of sports when he began training as a marathon runner in the 1980s, said that the real effect of an athlete’s psychology is as a part of the balance that an athlete needs to perform at a high level. Therefore, the answer to that question will be different for each athlete.
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As an individual with a PhD in Energy and Sports Psychology I feel at present it is the closes help we can provide in ultimate sports performance.