Services > Sport Psychology > Coaches


Great leadership is a key to success in sport. Sport is a unique setting in which time pressures determine performance and critical decisions need to be made by the coach with little or no input from others. Coaches have to make decisions that involve a great deal of complexity in order to minimize the stress of their athletes and maximize successful performance outcomes.

A successful coach must understand and manage emotions on the team. Gender differences can also arise when working with male or female athletes and men’s or women’s teams, and these subtle interpersonal issues can influence the performance of a whole team. My role as a sport psychologist is to consult with coaches to help them understand the individual psychological makeup of each player.

Communication is one of the most noticeable problems I observe when working with individual athletes or teams. Miscommunication, ambiguous nonverbal communication, and indirect communication are issues that I often discuss with coaches. Team selection issues, personal-life issues, and relationships are additional sources of emotional turmoil for young athletes, and these issues can contribute to low morale, problems with team cohesion, or inconsistent performance. My consultations with coaches focus primarily on education, problem solving, finding practical solutions, mediating between different parties, and supporting the coach during stressful situations.