Why ‘Mental Conditioning or Mindset’ and not ‘Sport Psychology’?
In the field of applied sport psychology there is a lot of confusion and inconsistency in how people represent themselves, from their title and services, but also their background and training. This statement is intended to help you understand our services and our areas of expertise and to demystify some of the issues that can be confusing. All of our consultants have graduate school training in applied sport psychology, but it’s important to emphasize that we are not psychologists. What’s the difference you might ask?
In the United States, the term ‘psychology’ is protected by law and refers to the licensed practice of psychology that in working with athletes largely refers to mental health counseling or clinical psychology. Professionals trained in this field have extensive academic and supervised experience working with people dealing with mental health problems such as depression, eating disorders, anxiety disorders and attention deficit disorders.
Many of the best ‘Sport Psychologists’ in the world are not in fact psychologists. These professionals, like Bob Rotella, Ken Ravizza and Terry Orlick were trained with Doctoral or Master’s degrees through sport science and education programs. This is why many will refer to themselves as ‘Mental Coaches’,‘Performance or Mental Conditioning Consultants’, etc. It’s important that you understand the difference and that even though a mental coach might not be a psychologist, they may have the expertise and training to help an athlete perform at a higher level. Both areas are valid; the key is whether or not the consultant is right for you.