Get Psyched for Sport!

Dr. Jim Afremow

Your mind is what makes everything else work.

~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA legend


Sports psychology is the scientific understanding of the mental side of human excellence. Sports psychology services are highly praised and utilized across all sports, because of the equal importance of the mental and physical aspects of the athletes. As Yogi Berra said, “90% of sport is half mental.” Numerous research studies and anecdotal reports from world champions and gold medalists over the past 25 years confirm that sports psychology techniques may significantly improve an athlete’s performance.

It is highly recommended that all athletes should develop mental as well as physical skills to play their best more consistently, experience greater enjoyment, and increase their chances of victory. In a competitive environment, superior mental strength and stamina offers a huge advantage and leads to a higher success rate.

A few key mental skills valuable for athletic success are outlined below:

Mental training tools that are extremely effective include:

When then can an athlete benefit from working with a sports psychologist? In order to enhance their performance from a mental standpoint, athletes can benefit at any time from sports psychology. Young athletes can get a “head start” by developing their mental strength and stamina early on rather than waiting until college or beyond. Elite athletes can maintain their competitive edge by honing their mental skills to a razor’s edge. Specific scenarios when athletes can benefit greatly from sports psychology services include:

Your mental ability can either hold you down (e.g., fear of failure) or elevate your performance (e.g., high confidence level). All athletes should strive to master their mind rather than being mastered by their mind. Every athlete can learn to think as a champion and take their performance to the next level by improving in one or more of the following areas:

In sum, sports psychology boosts the mental side of any athlete’s performance. A sports psychologist works collaboratively with an athlete to identify the challenge(s) he/she is facing, increase self-awareness about what is working/not working, assist the athlete in finding the best solution(s) to the issues confronting him/her, and build his/her mental skills and strategies to put the athlete mentally in charge and accomplish their goals – no matter how bold or difficult those goals may be. In other words, a sports psychologist plays a parallel role with the coaches and sports medicine team, and is pivotal in helping athletes to achieve their true and full potential.

Dr. Jim Afremow works with many high school, college, and professional athletes across all sports and will be collaborating with Rehab Plus Ahwatukee Physical Therapy.  He is available to help you take your game up multiple levels. He can be reached at (602) 999-4168 or His website is