Why do some of you seem to think "sports psychologists" are some sort of cure all? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Why do some of you seem to think "sports psychologists" are some sort of cure all?

CarnivalCarnage
06-25-2004, 07:20 AM
What is it that makes you have so much faith in this wonder drug?

Lalitha
06-25-2004, 09:47 AM
That's what even i wonder sometimes.

I have said this in the other thread also, but I will say it again. The fire has to come from within. Whatever the help from psychologisits it is up the player who's going to perform in the middle.

If you are not thirsty, there is no point in me giving you water and saying how good the water is for you.

BaselineSmash
06-25-2004, 09:54 AM
Have you seen a Henman match?

He's clearly someone who could benefit from a psychologist, but that's not to say it would work for everyone.

Gonzalo81
06-25-2004, 02:51 PM
Itīs not like itīs going to fix every guy on court...
But It could help a lot of players to manage there emotions at games...or difficult situations......
:)

CarnivalCarnage
06-25-2004, 03:34 PM
Have you seen a Henman match?

He's clearly someone who could benefit from a psychologist, but that's not to say it would work for everyone.

Explain to me what those people do?

CarnivalCarnage
06-25-2004, 03:35 PM
Itīs not like itīs going to fix every guy on court...
But It could help a lot of players to manage there emotions at games...or difficult situations......
:)

I doubt that. They aren't giving out any information not available elsewhere.

Shy
06-25-2004, 03:41 PM
I doesn't work for everyone, but it is better than not trying .
Sometimes therapies work better than having people around you telling them how to manage their nerves.

CarnivalCarnage
06-25-2004, 03:42 PM
I doesn't work for everyone, but it is better than not trying .
Sometimes therapies work better than having people around you telling them how to manage their nerves.

Uhhhh .... that is exactly what sports psychologists do. Tell you how to manage nerves.

Gonzalo81
06-25-2004, 04:02 PM
I doubt that. They aren't giving out any information not available elsewhere.

Yes, there are, For a reazon theyīve studied and you didnīt....
Maybe your not familiar with psichology, so maybe you should ask before talking.... ;)

Chloe le Bopper
06-25-2004, 05:38 PM
Uhhhh .... that is exactly what sports psychologists do. Tell you how to manage nerves.
That's an extremely simplistic way of explaining what they do, yes.

It's just like regular therapy, I would assume, in that for some people it works great, but other people need to find their own way.

Chloe le Bopper
06-25-2004, 05:39 PM
Yes, there are, For a reazon theyīve studied and you didnīt....
Maybe your not familiar with psichology, so maybe you should ask before talking.... ;)
To be fair, I think that a lot of people who yell "sports psychologist!" aren't all that familiar with psychology.

Personally, I haven't studied sports psychology, so I couldn't give a play by play of exactly what they do. Just that I assume it's as effective as regular therapy, in that it depends on the individual, and isn't for everybody.

Gonzalo81
06-25-2004, 05:54 PM
To be fair, I think that a lot of people who yell "sports psychologist!" aren't all that familiar with psychology.

Personally, I haven't studied sports psychology, so I couldn't give a play by play of exactly what they do. Just that I assume it's as effective as regular therapy, in that it depends on the individual, and isn't for everybody.

Thatīs exactly what iīm trying to say.....
You canīt say Itīs going to work for everyone, but you canīt say either that itīs not working for nobody......... Like traditional therapy...... :wavey:

CarnivalCarnage
06-25-2004, 08:49 PM
Yes, there are, For a reazon theyīve studied and you didnīt....
Maybe your not familiar with psichology, so maybe you should ask before talking.... ;)

I did ask, bro. And I have to think YOU'RE the one not familiar with psychology if that's how you think it's spelled.

CarnivalCarnage
06-25-2004, 08:50 PM
That's an extremely simplistic way of explaining what they do, yes.

It's just like regular therapy, I would assume, in that for some people it works great, but other people need to find their own way.

Well Rebecca, please enlighten me. If that's an extremely simple viewpoint, surely they are doing far more than I think. Like what?

rue
06-25-2004, 09:16 PM
This is what Coria had to say about that issue.


Q. There's been some time that's passed now since your disappointment in Paris. You've had time to let the emotions flow away and think more intelligently about how to attack the problem that came up there. Do you feel like you need to see a sports psychologist? How can you overcome what happened to make sure it doesn't happen again?

GUILLERMO CORIA: No, each time I finish a tournament, the following day I'm thinking about playing, how I'm playing. That was a tough time because of how I lost, the final. But I feel strong. I've gone through these difficult moments, and I've overcome them.

That way I could reach the finals in the tournament with just playing, and I need to take advantage of all the self‑confidence that I picked up between Hamburg and Roland Garros and not let it all fall by the wayside, not drop my arms, because then that would be very wrong.

But the people who were around me were very important to me and did help me to overcome that. But I'm not into psychologists. That's not the sort of thing I'm interested in. But I have to work hard because it's important in tennis to try and control your anxieties.

CarnivalCarnage
06-25-2004, 09:18 PM
This is what Coria had to say about that issue.


Q. There's been some time that's passed now since your disappointment in Paris. You've had time to let the emotions flow away and think more intelligently about how to attack the problem that came up there. Do you feel like you need to see a sports psychologist? How can you overcome what happened to make sure it doesn't happen again?

GUILLERMO CORIA: No, each time I finish a tournament, the following day I'm thinking about playing, how I'm playing. That was a tough time because of how I lost, the final. But I feel strong. I've gone through these difficult moments, and I've overcome them.

That way I could reach the finals in the tournament with just playing, and I need to take advantage of all the self‑confidence that I picked up between Hamburg and Roland Garros and not let it all fall by the wayside, not drop my arms, because then that would be very wrong.

But the people who were around me were very important to me and did help me to overcome that. But I'm not into psychologists. That's not the sort of thing I'm interested in. But I have to work hard because it's important in tennis to try and control your anxieties.

Thanks Rue.

I do have to say, I don't think Coria knows much more about the subject than most others.

Chloe le Bopper
06-25-2004, 11:33 PM
Well Rebecca, please enlighten me. If that's an extremely simple viewpoint, surely they are doing far more than I think. Like what?
Uh, read my other post, fat one. Selective reading and all that jazz.

Chloe le Bopper
06-25-2004, 11:34 PM
To be fair, I think that a lot of people who yell "sports psychologist!" aren't all that familiar with psychology.

Personally, I haven't studied sports psychology, so I couldn't give a play by play of exactly what they do. Just that I assume it's as effective as regular therapy, in that it depends on the individual, and isn't for everybody.
For the fat one.

As an analogy, to say that they just help one get over nerves is to say that a regular therapist just helps a patient stop being sad. It's... true. But it's simplistic.

Tennis Fool
06-26-2004, 12:12 AM
CarnivalCarnage: I've never seen a sports psychologist in action, but if they are like any other therapist I can envision the following scenario:

Shrink: So how do you feel after your loss yesterday?
Player: Terrible.
Shrink: Why?
Player: Because I had four set points in the tiebreak to even the match, and I squandered them all.
Shrink: Why do you think you squandered them?
Player: Because I got tight.
Shrink: Why do you think you got tight?
Player: Because I was thinking too much. Thinking about the chance I had to win this match.
Shrink: You really wanted to win this match.
Player: Yes. To shut up the critics. To show everyone that I have the talent and can get to the quarters or even win a Slam.
Shrink: Who are the critics?
Player: You know, the media. The reporters who ask you over and over again the same questions. They make you wonder about your abilities.
Shrink: What are your abilities?
Player: Excuse me?
Shrink: What do you think you are good at?
Player: I have a brilliant backhand, the best. My serve is a weapon. I have a good forehand.
Shrink: So you know these to be true.
Player: But they make you wonder if you really are that good.
Shrink: But you know you are that good.
Player: Yes.
Shrink: So maybe, the next time you find yourself in that situation in the tiebreak, let you backhand and serve be as good as you know they are. Don't let in the outter critics. Don't think at all. Just do. Do what you know.

Okay...I'm really trapped inside due to rain to make this monologue. But I'm trying to show that a psychologist just acts as a mirror to help you rationally think out and overcome your own problems.

A shrink could help somebody, say, like Marat Safin by helping Marat to determine if he really hates tennis or if he just feels to much pressure to be "the best", and what actions to take based on his answers. :)

Gonzalo81
06-26-2004, 12:28 AM
Great post TF....:worship:

CarnivalCarnage
06-26-2004, 03:13 AM
Uh, read my other post, fat one. Selective reading and all that jazz.

I did. You basically said you didn't know.

CarnivalCarnage
06-26-2004, 03:16 AM
For the fat one.

As an analogy, to say that they just help one get over nerves is to say that a regular therapist just helps a patient stop being sad. It's... true. But it's simplistic.

But Rebecca, this seems to be a little different. Everybody experiences sadness. There is a reference point for us all. Not everybody has to serve out the fifth set in the QF of Wimbledon. There is no text on dealing with that sort of pressure, is there? What can some layman offer a player except breathing exercises, mental focus routines and the like? That is my query, as those things can be found elsewhere. Psychology is a science, this is decidedly less so.

Chloe le Bopper
06-26-2004, 05:24 AM
Again - I haven't studied sports psychology. Even if I had, it would have been a 12 week course which would by no means make me an expert. I just thought it was simplistic to say that all they do is help somebody overcome their nerves... that is really all I've said on the matter ;)

Not to be rude... but if you don't know for yourself what they do, shouldn't you hold off on the following:

But Rebecca, this seems to be a little different. Everybody experiences sadness. There is a reference point for us all. Not everybody has to serve out the fifth set in the QF of Wimbledon. There is no text on dealing with that sort of pressure, is there? What can some layman offer a player except breathing exercises, mental focus routines and the like? That is my query, as those things can be found elsewhere. Psychology is a science, this is decidedly less so.

Sports psychology is as much a science as the rest of psychology is. All research in the field is done under the same "rules". And there is enough research on the matter state that yes, there is some sort of text on dealing with intense pressure in sporting situations.

If you are truly interested, I can gladly dig up articles for you. It will take me about 5 minutes... just don't ask me to read them to see how useful they are, because I'm not that interested in the topic ;)

CarnivalCarnage
06-26-2004, 07:20 AM
Again - I haven't studied sports psychology. Even if I had, it would have been a 12 week course which would by no means make me an expert. I just thought it was simplistic to say that all they do is help somebody overcome their nerves... that is really all I've said on the matter ;)

Not to be rude... but if you don't know for yourself what they do, shouldn't you hold off on the following:



Sports psychology is as much a science as the rest of psychology is. All research in the field is done under the same "rules". And there is enough research on the matter state that yes, there is some sort of text on dealing with intense pressure in sporting situations.

If you are truly interested, I can gladly dig up articles for you. It will take me about 5 minutes... just don't ask me to read them to see how useful they are, because I'm not that interested in the topic ;)

Well... were you to look up articles, I'd like you to post them here!

I just think that my earlier contention that you could get the same benefits elsewhere could be valid. Of course, I don't know. But nobody else does either! I have received zero info on this subject.

My main contention (as voiced in the title of the thread) is just the way some people around spout it off as the cure for all things. Blow a lead? Sports psychologist. Tore a ligament? Sports psychologist. Bad teeth? Sports psychologist.

daze11
06-26-2004, 03:18 PM
this is all fair to say, but anyone who plays tennis...ANYONE...knows that the game is 90% mental. Your confidence, your ability to focus under pressure, your FEARS OF WINNING (Capriati)...its ALL psychology. If you have a PHYSICAL fitness focus that is not at all balanced by a MENTAL fitness focus, you are doing half the job.

It is definitely overused as a suggested cure-all, but probably UNDERUSED as a practice! A coach CAN be a sports psychologist, a girlfriend/boyfriend can do the job too...but lets not pretend that everyone is surrounded by people who can accurately uncover the reasons for your fear and anxiety.Tennis is not a separate life from your everyday emotions and confidence. If it was, we probably wouldnt bother to play it. Why put ourselves to the test with tennis when we could just work out in a room with weights? No psychology there.

It's that tennis is a psychological sport, and whether we know it or not, it is what draws most of us to play it and watch it.

***by the way, martina navratilova is the greatest example ever of a sports psychologist success. It was her two coaches in the early 80s, nancy lieberman/renee richards (who were also close personal friends) who practically brain-washed her to get to a point where she could dominate the rest of the womens tennis field. But what they did WAS sports-psychology: clarifying the killer instinct, the true desire to win, to not let up, to see the ball instead of a 'friend' across the net. It worked beyond anyone's imagining.

CarnivalCarnage
06-26-2004, 06:51 PM
I always thought the biggest part of Nav's 80's success came from the amazing shape she got in thanks to her entourage.

People love to say tennis is 90% mental. It's an overstatement. It's a cerebral game, but it's an overstatement. Without the physical skills, you got nothing. I don't care how focused, or what sort of amazing tactician you are.

TennisLurker
06-26-2004, 06:59 PM
it helped gaudio.

star
06-26-2004, 07:06 PM
It helped Lendl.

CarnivalCarnage
06-26-2004, 07:33 PM
Did it really ....

So tell me more about the practices of a sports psychologist?

daze11
06-26-2004, 07:57 PM
Without the physical skills, you got nothing. I don't care how focused, or what sort of amazing tactician you are.
chris evert, non-athlete. number 1 in the world for 7 years.

...and highest winning percentage in pro tennis history, male or female, over 19 years of play.

CarnivalCarnage
06-26-2004, 11:33 PM
chris evert, non-athlete. number 1 in the world for 7 years.

...and highest winning percentage in pro tennis history, male or female, over 19 years of play.

Man, not to be harsh, but that is BULLSHIT. She was less of an athlete than Nav, but so was everyone else. Evert was a fantastic athlete in her own right and to say otherwise because she didn't have giant muscles or do the splits on court is ridiculous.

Tennis is a SPORT.

daze11
06-27-2004, 12:32 AM
Man, not to be harsh, but that is BULLSHIT. She was less of an athlete than Nav, but so was everyone else. Evert was a fantastic athlete in her own right and to say otherwise because she didn't have giant muscles or do the splits on court is ridiculous.

Tennis is a SPORT.
Says Chris, "I showed how someone who is not very athletic can still be very effective as a tennis player because I used my mind."

And on the chrisevert.net site, she says, "I worked hard, I practiced hard. I set goals and here was somebody who didn’t have a tremendous amount of physical talent, but I still made it work for me and I still won."

Believe me, I'm not knocking Evert. She's a great example that tennis is much more than a sport, but a discipline.

CarnivalCarnage
06-27-2004, 01:16 AM
Says Chris, "I showed how someone who is not very athletic can still be very effective as a tennis player because I used my mind."

And on the chrisevert.net site, she says, "I worked hard, I practiced hard. I set goals and here was somebody who didn’t have a tremendous amount of physical talent, but I still made it work for me and I still won."

Believe me, I'm not knocking Evert. She's a great example that tennis is much more than a sport, but a discipline.

You can knock Evert all day and I won't care.

It's a physical discipline. Evert had incredible accuracy. You need great hands to do that. That is athleticism. I give that quote absolutely zero weight. Chris is comparing herself to Martina (as always). Martina would be better at a track meet, better at a long jump competition probably. Does that make her a better athlete? Possibly. But tennis uses different skills. For some reason people don't seem to value accuracy as a part of athleticism.

Don't let anybody fool you into thinking tennis is really all that mental. I'm much smarter than Jennifer Capriati. I probably know more about tennis too. She'd destroy me if we played.

akin
06-27-2004, 01:29 AM
You can knock Evert all day and I won't care.

It's a physical discipline. Evert had incredible accuracy. You need great hands to do that. That is athleticism. I give that quote absolutely zero weight. Chris is comparing herself to Martina (as always). Martina would be better at a track meet, better at a long jump competition probably. Does that make her a better athlete? Possibly. But tennis uses different skills. For some reason people don't seem to value accuracy as a part of athleticism.

Don't let anybody fool you into thinking tennis is really all that mental. I'm much smarter than Jennifer Capriati. I probably know more about tennis too. She'd destroy me if we played.


Carnival...if you really want to learn and you are that smart pick up a book and learn about it. Your mental approach to each post here has been really negative. A shrink could help.

CarnivalCarnage
06-27-2004, 06:30 AM
Carnival...if you really want to learn and you are that smart pick up a book and learn about it. Your mental approach to each post here has been really negative. A shrink could help.

I could very well do that. But I figured all the experts on here constantly recommending sports psychology could save me all the trouble and explain things for me.

akin
06-27-2004, 06:50 AM
ok :)

akin
06-27-2004, 07:26 AM
But...I think everybody here sees sport psychology more as a tool - another way to improve the athletes state of mind - rather than "some sort of cure" as you stated. On the other hand a good coach tends to be a good psychologist on it's own.

CarnivalCarnage
06-27-2004, 08:38 AM
But...I think everybody here sees sport psychology more as a tool - another way to improve the athletes state of mind - rather than "some sort of cure" as you stated. On the other hand a good coach tends to be a good psychologist on it's own.

Well bud, let's not take me ENTIRELY seriously here. The thread title is tongue in cheek. I'm just sick of people mindlessly advocating sports psychology without a single clue of what they speak. It would seem that nobody on the board knows much about it, including myself. About what I thought ...

Lalitha
06-27-2004, 12:49 PM
. I'm just sick of people mindlessly advocating sports psychology without a single clue of what they speak......


If sports psychology could help players, then everyone can take one psychologist and everyone should be winning everything. But is that how it all happens in the court?

akin
06-27-2004, 03:14 PM
Why Gaudio uses a psychologist - he doesnt use a sport psychologist. His shrink used to play tennis - that's it. Here is part of an interview. I apologize if the translation was not good. Neither Spanish nor English are my languages.

Gaudio said: "In Paris when i arrived to the locker room, everybody congratulated me and the firts thing I thought was: "I must be the worst champion in the history of Roland Garros'."

He keeps saying:"For example I look at Coria and I see that he knows he is good, he was born to be a crack. He knows it and that gives him confidence to play even better than he can really play. You can see that - the confidence - on his face. On the other side I dont feel that way - that's not me."

He says that he is too negative and he needs to change the way he thinks. Well, yes he doesnt have the mentality of a real champ. Could a Sport Psychologist help? In the middle of the match against Coria (when he was losing) he said to his coach: "I am leaving."

tennischick
06-27-2004, 03:21 PM
i don't see why anyone feels a need to defend sports psychologists. Carnival Carnage is perfectly entitled to not use them. i'm sure that the shrinks out there can live without his/her $200.

also, some players need psychologists and others don't. it depends on a number of factors including their personality and history. heck right now Roger Federer is showing us that some players can function fine without a coach. he's not the first player to do so. i'm sure that he will contract the services of a coach at some point but right now he doesn't need one. that's the way shrinks work too. use 'em when you need 'em, get along with your life when you don't. it's no biggie. end of discussion.

star
06-27-2004, 03:42 PM
That was a good post, Tennischick. Thanks.

CarnivalCarnage
06-28-2004, 12:09 AM
That was a good post, Tennischick. Thanks.

Actually it wasn't. Seemed really irrelevant to me.

This is a discussion. People are defending sports psychologists because that is what the discussion is about. That should be fairly obvious.

Experimentee
06-28-2004, 09:53 AM
Gaudio couldnt have won RG without his sports psychologist. Obviously his is amazing, to get him to come back from two sets to love down and win 5 set matches!

Space Cowgirl
06-28-2004, 10:16 AM
You can knock Evert all day and I won't care.

It's a physical discipline. Evert had incredible accuracy. You need great hands to do that. That is athleticism. I give that quote absolutely zero weight. Chris is comparing herself to Martina (as always). Martina would be better at a track meet, better at a long jump competition probably. Does that make her a better athlete? Possibly. But tennis uses different skills. For some reason people don't seem to value accuracy as a part of athleticism.


Dude, you seem to be contradicting yourself here. In an earlier post you say, "People love to say tennis is 90% mental. It's an overstatement. It's a cerebral game, but it's an overstatement. Without the physical skills, you got nothing. I don't care how focused, or what sort of amazing tactician you are."
What's your point? What is more important in your opinion, mental strength or physical fitness?
Take a look at Rainer Schüttler, he's said to be the fittest guy on the tour and is having a nightmare year. Yesterday he got thumped by Spadea. That was mental, not physical. He's got a sports psychologist with him for the past couple of weeks, let's see if he brings any benefits.

CarnivalCarnage
06-28-2004, 12:00 PM
Dude, you seem to be contradicting yourself here. In an earlier post you say, "People love to say tennis is 90% mental. It's an overstatement. It's a cerebral game, but it's an overstatement. Without the physical skills, you got nothing. I don't care how focused, or what sort of amazing tactician you are."
What's your point? What is more important in your opinion, mental strength or physical fitness?
Take a look at Rainer Schüttler, he's said to be the fittest guy on the tour and is having a nightmare year. Yesterday he got thumped by Spadea. That was mental, not physical. He's got a sports psychologist with him for the past couple of weeks, let's see if he brings any benefits.

I don't see where I contradicted myself at all. I don't think you understood. It seems pretty plain that I was refuting the "90% mental" claim everybody loves so much. I don't see where I went back on that.