Presenting the problem
A student athlete has recently been diagnosed with sports performance anxiety. Sports performance anxiety is defined as an uneasy emotional state that causes problems in athletic performance. This particular student athlete’s ability to function at her best levels is being hindered by her sports performance anxiety and her feelings of inadequacy in the eyes of her coach. Her coach is very tough and demanding. This athlete feels the constant need to seek her coach’s approval and play perfect. This causes her to freeze up during the big moments in the game. She cannot focus on the field of play because she is half focused on how her coach is analyzing the performance. Her confidence decreases almost every day, as does her playing time. The coach is equally as frustrated because she sees the deterioration of play from one of her top athletes. The coach continues to try to extend minutes to allow for success but game situations have prohibited her from trying to allow this player to play through her confidence problems. While discussing the issues with the counselor, the counselor recommends the student athlete and the head coaches openly discuss the situation and engage in confidence building sessions. The counselor assigns some homework to both the coach and the athlete.
Homework assignment #1 (For both athlete and coach) Read the article: Overcoming Performance Anxiety with Sports Psychology http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/sport_psych/a/aa010603a.htm. For the athlete try and reflect on some of the questions asked and see how the author dealt with the issues. For the coach, read about the ways to help your athlete deal with these issues.
Homework assignment #2 (For athlete) Read the article: Anxiety: How to Cope with It http://www.counseling.ufl.edu/cwc/anxiety-how-to-cope-with-it.aspx. Learn what anxiety is and why it can be an overwhelming obstacle.
Homework assignment #3 (For athlete) Read the section in the article: Build Your Confidence “Learn to handle failure” http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200307/build-your-confidence. Make a list of the ways it says to deal with failure and tie them into your athletic situation. In each situation, focus on visualizing a successful performance instead of an unsuccessful performance or one in which there is failure. Write a description of the situations and how you achieved success.
Homework assignment #4 (For athlete) Using a book from the bibliography list (that is of interest to the student) read some scenarios in which student athletes encounter confidence problems and how those situations were handled. Be ready to analyze and discuss the scenario, how you related to it from the standpoint of the student athlete and from the standpoint of the coach. Be ready to discuss how they worked together to handle the situation.
An athlete’s perspective: A guide to success
[Book] 116 pages Author: Battles, S.J.
Summary: This book presents lessons on how to deal with situations that arise in their chosen sport or field. The author shares knowledge and life experiences about successes, failures, confidence, pressure, the mental game, and discusses enjoying the journey.
Blind your Ponies
[Novel] 574 pages Author: West, Stanley Gordon