Welcome to the Club

Table of Contents

Who is a mental coach?

Definition

In the field of sports psychology, a mental coach assists athletes in strengthening and sharpening their minds’ abilities to achieve success. This mentally accumulated assistant can help them overcome pressures put on by others from without as well as reach achievement through life goals. While mental coaches usually are not psychologists as such, they do possess the ability to use psychological methods in a sports environment.

Role and Responsibilities

Performance Enhancement: Helping athletes create a mental game to help with their performance (Weinberg & Gould, Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology).
Goal Setting and Motivation: Getting athletes to see clearly (Locke & Latham, A Theory of Goal Setting and Task Performance).
Mental Skills Training: Raising such advantages as teaching skills in visualization, self-talk and concentration (Vealey & Chase Self Confidence in Sport).
Stress and Anxiety Management: Teaching methods to deal with stress and anxiety is something that the competitive environment should be able to provide (Jones, Stress and Performance in Sport).
Personal Development: Aiding the development of physical, cultural and life education other than sports (Gould et al., Psychological Characteristics and Their Development in Olympic Champions).

Qualifications

Educational Background: A mental coach Typically holds a degree in sports science, psychology or similar.
Certifications: Most of these also hold degrees from an established sports coaching or psychobogy organization.
Experience: Actual experience of dealing with the athletes. Most come from sports people themselves and this is also an important criteria for evaluation.

Differences from Sports Psychologists

The difference is that while sports psychologists are licensed professionals, mental coaches have less training and can simply apply psychological principles to athletics even if they don’t come from the background of a psychology major.

Academic Sources and Theoretical Foundations

tube and features a book by Weinberg & Gould called Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology.
There is the work of Clemson professors Locke & Latham, which works out some theoretical bases for coaching methods.
Jones ‘Stress and Performance in Sport examines stress management from the perspective of he mental coach.

Ethical Considerations

The mental coach abides by the fundamental ethics, typically following principles set out from organizations such as AASP (Association for Applied Sport Psychology).