When to Refer
Sport Psychologists can be very beneficial to players, coaches, and organizations. One of the biggest barriers to seeking out effective services is the ambiguity that people may have about when/how to seek services. Too often, people do not reach out until problems are severe, sometimes making services more difficult to produce desirable change.
One simple rule to determine if seeking services is warranted is asking "Does the athlete/performer want to get better?" If you want to get better at your sport or managing stress, it's time for services. It takes three things for change: Ability to learn, Access to information to learn, Motivation to learn.
Below is a link to the Coaches Referral Guide, where you can find out more information about what services can be provided and how to reach out.
Frequently asked questions
How do I know who's qualified to work with me?
If seeking mental health services, make sure the person is licensed (or under supervision) in mental health. For performance, ask if they are a CMPC (certified mental performance consultant) or have graduate training in sport psychology. This is not a protected title so some people provide services they aren't qualified to provide.
How do I become a sport psychologist or consultant?
There are lots of resources available on how to become a sport psychologist or counselor. The Association of Applied Sport Psychology and the American Psychological Association - Division 47 have great websites that share what sport psychology is, how to get into the field, and what colleges provide graduate training.
Can you work with all sports?
Yes! Although it won't be realistic for a provider to know everything about every sport, the areas of the brain that control performance and emotion regulation to help with pressure (anxiety) are all located in the same place. So many interventions we use can be successful for anything you are competing in.
Unit3d Podcast with Dr. Cody Commander
Fox23 Sports Interview with Dr. Cody Commander
Channel 6 Sports Story on Dr. Cody Commander with West Brook Football Team
The Oklahoman Story "OU at Forefront of Sport Psychology in College Athletics