The body follows the mind. To perform at your best, you have to be physically and mentally tough. Athletes spend countless hours improving their physical skills, but very few spend any time developing mental skills. Additionally, being a student-athlete is stressful. Balancing academics and athletics, competitive pressures, attending to relationships with teammates and coaches, and managing multiple time demands create significant challenges. It’s no wonder that about half of all student-athletes report that the stress they experience from their sport significantly affects their mental or emotional health.
VCU Sport Psychology Services is here to help student-athletes negotiate these challenges successfully, as well as to learn specific mental skills to build mental toughness to enhance their sport performance. Individual consultations are available for:
- Mental skills training – Learning skills such as goal-setting, imagery, psyching up and psyching down techniques, and self-talk strategies can help student-athletes build mental toughness, strengthen concentration, stay positive, increase confidence, manage emotions, and cope with adversity.
- Injury recovery – Utilizing certain mental skills can also help with injury recovery, enabling student-athletes to manage pain, optimize healing, and return to sport with more confidence and less anxiety.
- Personal counseling – Individual, confidential counseling for stress, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, relationship problems, overtraining and burnout, and all other psychological concerns is available to help student-athletes improve their mental wellness.
Dr. Dana Blackmer
Director of Sport Psychology
Siegel Center, Room 208