Kansas State University is one of a handful of NCAA universities to provide a Sport Psychologist for its student-athletes. This unique resource provides performance enhancement with teams and individuals (athletic, academic, interpersonal), personal counseling, and consultation with coaches, trainers, and physicians.
The overall goal of this service is to help K-State student-athletes get the most out of their experiences at K-State and prepare them for lifelong success once they leave the university. Sport psychology sessions take on differing forms. They range from a five-minute discussion in passing to a brief talk at practice to a 50-minute session in an office. However, sport psychology sessions are often slightly more instructional and solution-focused than most counseling sessions.
Services for Varsity student-athletes are provided as many experience "peaks" and "valleys" during their college athletic career. I associate sport with enjoyment, excitement, and prestige, yet there are also unique pressures facing college athletes. These pressures include, but are not limited to, managing a rigorous schedule filled with classes and practices, traveling to competitions, dealing with injuries, fatigue, high expectations from coaches, media exposure, public appearances, and being a highly visible member of the university community. Many student-athletes cope effectively with these pressures. For example, athletes may talk to family or teammates about their concerns. However, at times some demands can exceed an individual’s resources, and meeting with a sport psychologist can be helpful.
Additionally, high level athletes are always looking for ways to gain a competitive advantage. Sport psychology can be an important piece of the performance enhancement puzzle. In essence, sport psychology is all about helping athletes to better understand what it means to be ready to play. Mental readiness is a combination of proper activation, positive emotion, and performance focus. These mental states can be managed through proper use of psychological skills such as relaxation/energizing techniques, imagery, positive self-talk, use of focus and coping plans, and development of performance routines. The overall objective of these mental skills is to assist individual student-athletes and athletic teams to perform at consistently high levels.
In some cases, student-athletes performance suffers due to mental health issues, unfortunate life circumstances, or personal problems. Some common challenges faced by student-athletes include anxiety, depression, family issues, dating problems, homesickness, injury, sleep problems, low self-esteem, grief issues, substance abuse, disordered eating, history of abuse, sexual assault, and relationship problems with roommates, teammates, or coaches. Sport psychology counseling is available to help student-athletes deal with these types of obstacles so they can feel better emotionally and stay focused in the classroom and on their sport performance. Successful counseling will better equip student-athletes to cope with past and current problems. Student-athletes will learn strategies that will help them proactively manage their lives in the future by developing healthier ways of thinking and behaving.
Who Provides the Services?
How Do I Make an Appointment?
K-State Athletics Sport Psychology Services are a unique resource to Kansas State University Athletic Department and Sports Medicine. My goal is to help K-State student-athletes get the most from their experience, on and off the field, while competing for the Cats.