What Happens During a Sports Psychology Session?

Whether you’re an athlete and think you might need one, or you’re an aspiring fitness professional looking to learn more about the area of sports psychology, sports psychologists are becoming more and more popular in the world of health and wellness. Why is this? Who should be seeing one? What happens during a sports psychology session? Let’s find out!

Sports Psychology Defined

According to the American Psychological Association, sports psychology uses psychological insight and mental techniques to address lifestyle and performance issues faced by athletes. These issues range from performance barriers, social problems, issues with management, and self-limiting beliefs.

Sports psychologists can also assist other sports stakeholders, like sports coaches and families of professional athletes, do deal with issues that arise as a result of their loved ones taking part in the professional world of sport. Playing in the big leagues brings immense pressures and sports psychologists help athletes – as well as their families – deal with these in a positive way.

A Typical Sports Psychology Session:


The first step in a sports psychology session is to assess exactly where the athlete or athletes are mentally. If it’s the very first session, sports psychologists might want to assess an athlete using a mental aptitude profile (MAP). This will reveal their psychological strengths and weaknesses. It highlights which areas require the most work.

Goal Setting

Once a sports psychologist has an idea of how an athlete is feeling and where their head is at, they’ll proceed to set specific goals to be achieved before the next sports psychology session. Athletes new to sports psychology will receive a ‘goal roadmap’ at this point. This plan shows the overall outcome that the athlete wants to achieve (like playing for the A team) and a timeline of steps required to get there.

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With a game plan in action, a sports psychologist will then share specific mental and emotional exercises with athletes. These are the techniques used to keep them in the zone, or to get them over that hurdle they’re facing in training. Some of these exercises are used when the athlete is exercising while others are used in-between performances during down time.


Once an athlete is given the mental and emotional exercises, they’ll need to practise them under observation. This is when the sports psychology session might move to the field or workout It’s a no-pressure environment where the athlete and the sports psychologist work on implementing psychological techniques in the heat of the moment.

Together with seeing a sports psychologist, an athlete must make sure that he does the basics in order to ensure that he conditions his body and eats cleanly in order to give themselves the fuel that they need in order to perform at their optimum.

In terms of diet, an athlete needs to make sure that they eat in a balanced manner. They need to eat from all five food groups and make sure that they don’t take in more of one nutrient than they need. Before a big meet or an important race, they will need to carbo-load so that they have enough energy to sustain themselves. However, this doesn’t mean that they need to go wild and eat all the pizza and pasta in sight! Athletes need to make sure that they eat the right types of carbs when they carbo-load (such as low GI carbs) which will release energy slowly into the blood stream so that they can have a sustained energy release throughout the race.

What Does Fitness Mean in Sports Management?

Sports management can be loosely defined as the administrative side of sport. Derby days don’t just happen on their own; these types of public events require a level of planning few ever consider. The duties of a sports manager range from executing communication and booking sports teams, to managing finances and facilitating injury response protocols. So, where does the fitness side come in? Let’s find out:

Fitness in Sports Management

The above might give off the impression that sports management is all work and no play, but it really isn’t. When a sports management course is combined with a personal training diploma, entrepreneurial sports enthusiasts have the tools to build wildly successful careers as personal trainers, group exercise instructors, sports team coaches, and more.

Sports management has essentially become sports and fitness management, due to the high number of people wanting to land jobs in the booming fitness industry. In this context, a sports and fitness manager – like a personal trainer – would also be responsible for developing fitness programmes. In our exercise science certification course, which falls under sports management, students learn fitness fundamentals like the energy systems, the FIIT principal, and learning how to motivate clients to improve their fitness.

Some other fitness-related roles sports managers need to fulfil could include:

Managing Trainers & Classes

A sports and fitness manager needs to facilitate the fitness lifestyle itself. They do this by ensuring that group exercise classes are scheduled and run smoothly. This might also include sourcing sports managers specialising in various fitness programmes. We buy houses in Alabaster

An athlete has various requirements that need to be fulfilled in order for him or her to be at the top of their game. For example, they will need personal trainers to make sure that they are in peak physical condition in addition to nutritionists to ensure that adequately fuel their bodies so that they perform at their best. The sports manager will be in charge of sourcing these professionals for the athlete.

Maintaining Exercise Equipment

Facilitating fitness in a gym and sports environment also includes the managing of exercise equipment used in the fitness process. People need machinery to get fit, and that machinery requires repair from time to time – even replacement. Hey, someone has to keep the medicine balls in good shape!

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Before using any equipment check that it is safe and stable and that there are no loose nuts or screws on the machine. If the machine rattles or works with a jerking motion while doing an exercise stop immediately. Unplug any equipment when it’s not being used. Check cables on the weight machines to make sure that they’re not frayed or damaged. Make sure that cables are covered with a protective sleeve. When buying a machine that need electrical power, make sure that the electrics are covered by the warranty.

Sourcing New Clients

Another responsibility of a fitness or sports manager might include sourcing clients for their fitness centre, personal training business or sports facility. This would involve marketing the establishment, planning open days, canvassing for local clients, and facilitating public relations activities.

A great way to make this happen is through social media. Use visually based platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to showcase pictures of your fitness and sports facility. Only put your best pictures onto these platforms as you want to show the best side of your organisation.

Retaining Existing Clients

Getting new people into fitness and well-being is one thing, but a sports and fitness manager can also endeavour to retain those clients and enhance their fitness journey with programmes and fitness incentives. Make them feel special and that they matter to you. Give them perks that other fly-by-night customers aren’t eligible for so that they stay with you for longer.