A sport psychologist is a specialist and, in some cases, a doctor. Athletes should use a sport psychologist as such.
When we have a common cold we usually all respond in a similar fashion. We think about house-hold remedies to fight the cold and return to health. This may include drinking a lot of fluids, staying warm, getting rest, and giving it time. Sometimes we add chicken noodle soup, vitamin C, hot bath/shower, steaming your face over a pot of hot water, etc. If these remedies are unsuccessful we will usually take some form of over-the-counter medication. If we are still feeling ill, we sometimes will call mom to find out if we are missing anything. When all of our resources have been exhausted and the cold persists we will go see a doctor for help.
Athletes are fully capable of facing challenges, overcoming adversity, and pushing themselves. Athletes learn life lessons from their respective sport and can manage these skills across different domains. Similar to a common cold, however, when an athlete has exhausted all of their resources (self-reliance, coaches, teammates, parents, etc.), it is time to work with a specialist or doctor to overcome the obstacle.
Reasons to work with a Sport Psychologist:
1. Overcoming Fear
2. Overcoming Setbacks
3. Breaking a Losing Streak
4. Sustaining a Winning Streak
5. Return from Injury
6. Achieving Peak Performance
7. Struggling with a New Skill/Coach/Team
8. Switching Gyms/Teams/Schools/Levels
9. Thinking about stepping away from your sport