These are the most common frequently asked questions concerning sports psychology.
How does this consultancy work?
You contact Level 3 Sports via email or through the Contact Form and briefly tell us about what is happening pertaining to yourself or the athlete you represent. We will get back to you and arrange an initial free pre-consult to discuss how we can serve you. When you are ready to proceed, you select a package that fits your needs and schedule. They include:
- Pay As You Go Consultation - You pay for each consultation prior to the meeting. This is a way for you to test the water before you commit to a package. These types of consults are not that conducive to long-term changes since they tend to be themed much like a seminar. Most clients want a personal approach to their consult. This consult is more like an introduction to mental skills training.
- Package of 6 - This package is designed for the client who may not need or have the desire for an in-depth consultation. This is geared towards the athlete who already knows a little about mental skills training but may have never brought in an outside professional for further observation. This consult usually lasts for about 6-8 weeks depending on the client's schedule.
- Package of 12 - (Most Popular) This consult gives us time to really get to know the client on a personal basis. It also gives the athlete time to allow the suggestions we make to manifest themselves in competition. Remember, mental skills training takes time to implement, just like learning a new mechanical move. This consult usually lasts about 12-14 weeks depending on the client's schedule.
- 6 Month Contract - This consult is designed for the traveling athlete or professional who is very serious about improvement. Think of this consultation as a retainer. You will have access to Level 3 Sports on a weekly basis as frequently as needed via phone, Skype, or text.
- 1 Year Contract - This consultation is used by professionals or top amateurs who play or train year round. Like the 6 Month Contract, you will have unlimited access to speak to Level 3 Sports every day of the year if needed.
After you select the package that fits you best, we will send you several forms to fill out that include an Athletic Needs Assessment and other documents that outline legalities and expectations. After you send back the forms, we make an assessment of our thoughts based on what you have communicated and post a video of the interpretation online in a private setting that only you can watch. After you view the video, we'll get back in touch with you to discuss our thoughts based on your feedback to discuss a plan that seems logical and agreeable to you. You start to implement the suggestions in practice and then after a significant session, you fill out a post-practice form to let us know the things we have suggested are either working or not. Afterward, we'll make another video based on your feedback. This goes on for the length of the consultation. You'll use the same form after a competition as well. Your feedback helps us determine if we are on the right track. If the techniques we suggest are not working, we'll explore other keys that will help open your mental doors. What are those keys? Level 3 Sports uses a 3 prong approach to sports psychology. They include Athletic Counseling, Mental Skills Training, and Strategic Sport Execution. What does that mean? Athletic Counseling deals with the beliefs and philosophies of the athlete. Why do they believe what they believe about their game? Why are they playing the game? What purpose or function does playing a sport serve the athlete? Addressing these subjects brings the athlete closer to becoming more self-aware of themselves in an effort to foster a healthier relationship with their chosen sport. Mental Skills Training consists of sports psychology techniques that can assist an athlete in the improvement of the mechanics of their sport through visualization, relaxation, self-talk, goal setting, managing expectations, and emotional regulation through mindfulness. Strategic Sport Execution involves the psychology of actually playing the game. An example of this includes golf course management and examining the decisions a player makes while actually playing a round of golf. Since Dr. Trammel played the game professionally and has taught golf for 30 years, his insights into playing strategy are unique to golf. Dr. Trammel has also caddied for many of his clients as well at no additional charge. He loves golf and has a burning desire to help his golf clients improve their game. We operate with 2 different business models: An applied model for clients living in Alabama, Georgia, or Florida and the other for clients outside of those states. For our local clients (AL, FL, GA) we will be available for you at your event at last twice for the 12-week package or once for the 6-week package. If you live in Central Alabama, you have the choice to visit our main practice facility in Birmingham as often as you want. As far as we are aware, no other consultancy offers this type of personalized service. You don't come to an office environment; Instead, we come to your golf course, your tennis court, your soccer field, your basketball court, your boxing ring, your rink, your stables, and your practice field. The model for clients outside those Southern states utilizes telephony via Skype, text, or cell. Sometimes it is not necessary for a Level 3 Sports consultant to be on site with a client due to a travel schedule. Most athletes just want someone to discuss a thought or situation with them at their convenience. Most of our professional athletes fall into this category. They want to check in weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly to talk about techniques, situations, or circumstances that they think may be helping or hurting their performance. What they need is competence and an objective, professional ear to talk to. That is why Level 3 Sports can become a part of your training team no matter where you are located in the United States. And if you wanted a consultant at your side for an important event, we would also be available to you no matter where you are playing.
What is sports psychology?
Sports Psychology involves the study of how psychological factors affect (athletic) performance and how participation in sport and exercise affect psychological and physical factors. In addition to instruction and training of psychological skills for performance (enhancement), applied sports psychology may include work with athletes, coaches, and parents regarding injury, rehabilitation, communication, team building, and career transitions. (WIKI)
Applied sport and exercise psychology involves extending theory and research into the field to educate coaches, athletes, parents, exercisers, fitness professionals, and athletic trainers about the psychological aspects of their sport or activity. A primary goal of professionals in applied sport and exercise psychology is to facilitate optimal involvement, performance, and enjoyment in sport and exercise.
There's nothing wrong with me. Why do I need a sports psychology consultant?
Sports psychology is not about treating those with mental illness. That is a clinical diagnosis. People that are challenged with mental illness, eating disorders, drug or alcohol addiction or things like debilitating depression use clinically trained psychologists to hopefully overcome those types of challenges. Sports psychology is the art of applied theory specifically designed to help athletes perform better in their sports with the use of cognitive training techniques. In other words, sport psychology consultants work with athletes who want to improve their mental game in an effort to perform at their best in their sport. Sport psychology consultants do not treat or evaluate people with mental disorders. They would refer that kind of diagnosis to another qualified professional. A sports psychology consultant focuses on performance enhancement and utilizes performance psychology techniques to help the athlete maximize their potential with the use of many different cognitive techniques. If you have the desire to perform at your best, consider utilizing a sports psychology consultant. Your competitor does.
What kind of athlete uses sports psychology services?
Most Olympic athletes use some sort of psychological training. Those are the best-trained athletes in the world and are usually ahead of the learning curve when it comes to training. Any athlete looking to gain a competitive edge over the competition uses performance enhancement skills. Whether they learn to use them from self-research or hiring a consultant, all great athletes must control their mental processes to overcome and cope with the everyday things we all must contend with. Great athletes use their learned mental training in helping them achieve their full athletic potential. But, they are not doing it alone. So, instead of asking what kind of athlete uses sports psychology; a better question might be: "Why would an athlete NOT use sports psychology?" Think about this: Your competition is looking for any competitive edge in order to defeat you. Sports psychology is just another tool they can use to achieve that. You can use it too.
What kind of credentials are needed to become a sports psychology consultant?
There are several ways to become qualified as a sports psychology consultant. A qualified consultant has an academic background in sports psychology. Why? Because that demonstrates credentials and lends credibility. What kind of education is best? One that provides the consultant with exposure to experienced professionals. The Internet is full of people who claim to be experts in performance psychology due to personal experiences or a special understanding of life. Do not trust anyone without accredited academic credentials. Without those, a consultant cannot understand the theoretical foundations of sport and exercise psychology and apply them to you.
There are basically 2 kinds of degrees in sports psychology. There are those with a Masters degree (M.Ed, MA or MS), and a Doctoral degree (Ed.D. - Doctor of Education, Ph.D. - Doctor of Philosophy, or Psy.D. - Doctor of Psychology). If someone has earned one of those degrees that has a Sports Psychology emphasis, that person could be qualified to call themselves a sports psychology consultant. The level of their expertise is something you need to research to make sure you are working with someone who knows what they are talking about.
What other credentials are needed to become an effective applied sports psychology consultant?
Academics are people that teach sports psychology in a classroom setting. Many times these are professors in colleges and universities. But are they qualified to help you? Many times they are not qualified even though they have the educational credentials.
How is that possible? How many sports have they played competitively? How many athletes/teams have they coached? It's one thing to teach theory in a classroom environment and another in applied experience. Ultimately, you would want to hire someone who has had experience in coaching and playing sports. The best scenario for you would be to put someone on your team that has academic credentials, coaching experience, and has played your sport competitively. That triple layered consultant will be challenging for you to find (if not impossible). In terms of golf, I am one of the most qualified people in the world to consult with you or a member of your golf team. Why? I am triple layered in that sport.