Sport Psychology and the Olympics
By Jack Singer, Ph.D.
Licensed and Certified Clinical/Sport Psychologist
It seems like every time the Olympics roll around the burgeoning field of “Sport Psychology” gets the recognition it deserves, because most of our teams employ sport psychologists to prepare the team and each athlete and work with them throughout the Games.
This summer is no exception. In the last 20 years, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has increased the number of full-time sport psychologists from one to six. In addition to these full-time psychologists, each team and many individual athletes use consulting sport psychologists to help them with such techniques as imagery, visualization, mental toughness, relaxation, positive self-talk and many other interventions.
Beginning two to four years before the Olympics, USOC sport psychologists spend approximately 100 days a year on the road with the athletes, taking them through their training camps and matches leading up to the Games.
Senior sport psychologist Sean McAnn works with both teams and individuals, with emphases on such skills as maintaining their focus, enhancing their performance, raising their self-confidence and communications skills with teammates and coaches.
Any team sport magnifies potential issues, such as the different personalities of teammates, ego issues and individuals used to always being on top, and the dynamics of individual champions now pulling together for the sake of the entire team.
The key roles of sport psychologists have taken on more and more importance in the development of both individual and team sports. And the skill sets these professionals bring to the athletes are critical determinants in their ultimate success.
Dr. Jack Singer’s Professional Biography
Dr. Jack Singer is a licensed Clinical, Sports and Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, author, trainer and consultant. His expertise includes a Doctorate in Industrial / Organizational Psychology and a Post-Doctorate in Clinical / Sports Psychology. Jack has been recognized with Diplomates from the American Academy of Behavioral Medicine, the Society of Police and Criminal Psychology, and he has been awarded with a special Diplomate in Sports Psychology from the National Institute of Sports Professionals. He has a special Certification in Clinical Hypnosis from the American Academy of Clinical Hypnosis and Jack has taught in the Psychology departments of seven universities, including four years as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Dr. Jack Singer has been in private practice and consulting for 33 years and the rich variety of Dr. Jack’s experience ranges from training serious athletes and teams to consistently reach peak performance levels…to working with couples and families to resolve relationship issues .to designing teambuilding ‘re-TREATS’ for Fortune 1000 corporations, and large legal and medical practices. His goal is to provide all of his clients with a SAFE, CONFIDENTIAL, and OPTIMISTIC environment in which to help them resolve their difficulties and reach their goals! In short, his passion is to help them to add life to their years and years to their lives!