In short, the duty of a sports psychologist is to build an athlete’s mental fitness, while trainers and coaches concentrate on the physical aspect of helping them to realise their full potential.
It can mean dealing with any anxiety or loss of focus that the athlete may experience due to the pressure that accompanies competitive sport, or simply keeping them motivated to follow the necessary exercise programme. The field of sports psychology is wide and varied, but always requires total dedication to an individual’s or a team’s ultimate success.
Having a particular set of sporting skills can be seen as less of a gift when others expect these to be exhibited constantly, and much of the initial joy of being recognised as talented can be lost. Such pressure can even lead to an athlete’s early retirement from a sport that they love, and it is up to a sports psychologist to prevent this from happening. It is an awesome responsibility, but it also offers awesome rewards when victory is achieved.