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Sport Psychology

Sport psychology services are designed enhance the quality of performance in both training (practice) and in competition (game day). My goal is to teach athletes how to become psychologically skilled, just as they would be physically skilled. Since 1986, I have helped athletes perform beyond expectations on a consistent basis. This is what I would like to see for you. This area of my practice is also designed to help coaches and parents of athletes.


Below are examples of some experiences I will address when working with an athlete, coach and/or parent. I will guide the process of developing a psychological training program to assist with some of, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Improve motivation – off-season, during the season, with strength & conditioning, dietary habits, rehabilitation exercises during recovery from an injury, etc.

  • Improve ability to relax and gain mastery to transcend worry, doubts, fears (aka helping the “butterflies fly in formation”)

  • Improve overall confidence and then confidence within specific aspects of the sport, i.e. shooting free throws, putting, playing defensive aggressively, diving on the 3 meter board, giant slalom, etc.

  • Learn to use perfectionism to one’s advantage while at the same time recognizing there is a “dark side” to this tendency.

  • Being able to control being obsessive (overthinking) to decrease the risk of added pressure.

  • Recognize signs of over-training, over-reaching and under-recovery to prevent burnout and injury.

  • Learn how to not only achieve, but maintain a zone-like state during both practice and competition.

  • Help the athlete learn to enjoy his/her sport when the fun may have been lost.

  • Understand the profound nature self-limiting beliefs can have on performance and how to annihilate them.

  • Teach the athlete how to set goals most effectively and to learn the connection between setting goals and the belief factor.

  • Encourage athletes to expand their minds and learn how to perform beyond expectations on a consistent basis.

  • Guide athletes with injuries through the healing process so they potentially emerge on the other side of being injured more mentally and physically skilled than before the injury (Yes, this is possible!)

  • Ultimately, train athletes to apply sport psychology skills in all areas of life.

  • That rest/recovery is an essential part of any training program, and how under recovery puts an athlete at risk for injury and burnout.

  • Sport is the best classroom on the face of the earth.


  • Help with leadership development among the captains.

  • Improve communication between coaches and the team.

  • Teach every athlete the importance of learning to inspire each other on a daily basis.

  • Develop the ability to counteract potential swings in momentum, common in sports like volleyball, tennis, fencing, and badminton.

  • Learn how to maintain composure and rise to the occasion, for example, down by 5 points with 45 seconds left in basketball.


  • Learn how to use psychological skills to enhance his/her own performance. (This is where it really begins.)

  • Learn how to incorporate psychological skills training during physical training sessions.

  • Develop intuition and the ability to “read between the lines” to understand their athletes better.

  • Accept that when all you have is a hammer, you treat everything as a nail – in other words, a one size fits all approach does not work, and how to diversify one’s repertoire.

  • Embrace the fact you can have more impact on your athlete’s lives than anyone else in their world.


  • Clarify your intentions and motives for encouraging your child to pursue athletics.

  • Understand what “position” you play in your child’s life as an athlete and “play that position."

  • If you are your child’s coach, learn how to wear both hats and differentiate one role from the other.

  • Cook them a hot and hearty breakfast every morning and pack a nutrient dense lunch with snacks for the day.

  • Monitor you and your children’s use of technology, i.e. no cell phone in the bedroom at night. 

  • Learn how to help your son/daughter enjoy psychological victories.

  • Avoid falling victim to “five ring fever."

  • For more suggestions and evidence-based ideas see chapter xxx entitled in Dr. Jowdy's book, The Gold Medal Mind: Becoming a Psychologically Skilled Athlete (2021).

Sports Medicine Staff

  • Educate on how to make a referral and minimize the potential the athlete feels you believe their injury is “all in their head."

  • Educate on how to assess for depression and drug/alcohol abuse.

  • Maintain contact to ensure continuity of care.

  • Teach trainers and physical therapists how to incorporate mental training into the physical rehabilitation process.

  • Know how to assess for passive and active suicidal ideation and know how to intervene in a therapeutic manner.

  • Know how to assess for problematic drug and alcohol use and how to intervene in a clinically indicated manner.

Click Here for Resources on Sport Psychology

"As an athlete, coach and now sport psychologist I have come to believe that there is no greater place to learn about oneself than through sport and physical activity. To some degree, I think that is one of the reasons we all play. To find out who we truly are."

Doug Jowdy, Ph.D.

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