Mind Over Sports

Archive for August 2012

It’s easy to point the finger of blame when the outcome of a sporting event isn’t what you expected it to be, but I believe the USOC is primarily responsible for our athletes not bringing home more medals, and here’s why: If you google the US Olympic Committee website you’ll see they have a “sport psychology professional team” and they use sport psychologists who are members of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). And here are some of the things they teach their athletes: Develop and maintain a good attitude; dealing with (minor) distractions; expecting the unexpected; develop and stick to your routine; consider whether to attend opening ceremonies; opening ceremonies – energizing or energy sapping? The influence of family and friends; dealing with the Olympic Village; and being ready to handle the media. Nowhere on their website did I find any mention or reference to helping athletes who are experiencing personal problems and issues in the lives. And the reason for this is that sport psychologists are not allowed to do so or they could lose their license since that is the domain of the clinical psychologist or the licensed counselor. Now it’s possible the USOC employs some clinical psychologists and licensed counselors but I wasn’t able to find any listed. Only sport psychologists. And though it’s true that the USOC believes that psychological preparation is key to Olympic performance, evidently they don’t consider personal issues and problems falling into that category.


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