A person in the athlete’s life may be causing him or her extreme stress. Whether it is a coach or a parent or someone else who has put unrealistic or unwanted goals and expectations can cause the athlete to freeze and be unable to perform.
Sometimes a trauma completely unrelated to the sport can also cause the athlete to be unable to perform at the normal level. Something from the athlete’s past can be causing the athlete to have negative messages that are preventing the athlete from succeeding. Hearing that voice in his or head that says, “I can’t do this”, will make the athlete fail every time.
What I want to tell all those athletes out there, whether they are student athletes, weekend warriors or the elites in their fields, there is help. You are not permanently damaged. There are many ways to help you through and perform at your expected (or even better!) level. Sports psychology is a vibrant field with many ways of helping you to heal. You have choices! Please contact me or a sports psychology practitioner in your area to achieve all that you can! And to enjoy the competition while you are at it!