Competitive Athletes


Your goals matter – on and off the field. Don’t let your mental health keep you from performing at your best.

Whether you play on your high school team, a travel league, as part of a college division, or even in the majors – dedicating countless hours to training and perfecting athletic performance requires an exorbitant amount of dedication, time, and physical exertion. The pressure to succeed from coaches, teammates, fans, and the media can be overwhelming and can throw you off your game if not managed properly. Plus, the incessant need to consistently win can affect an athlete’s self-esteem, confidence, and ability to manage stress. If you’re in school or trying to balance other responsibilities while competing, juggling everything can be exhausting.

From soccer players to swimmers to dancers, gymnasts, runners and everything in between, most performers receive criticism for mistakes and are pushed to their limits. Society often romanticizes the idea of tough athletes who push through everything without complaint, but ignoring the signs of mental burnout can lead to uncontrollable anger, anxiety, irritability, depression, relationship problems, and more. In addition, burnout can lead to a loss of motivation, reduced concentration, and reduced performance, which can further fuel an athlete’s sense of inadequacy and frustration. The importance of maintaining a healthy balance between intense training and adequate rest cannot be overstated.

At River Oaks Psychology, we recognize how important your performance is to you. At the same time, we want you to be mentally well so that you can sustain yourself and succeed in all areas of your life. We draw on concepts of Sports Psychology – a branch of psychology that is concerned with the psychological aspects of athleticism, such as training, competition, and mental and emotional wellbeing – to help athletes overcome anxiety and stress, maintain focus, and effectively regulate their emotions throughout life. It involves a range of techniques, including visualization, goal setting, mindfulness, positive thinking, and self-talk.

Keep your mental health in shape. The glory of a great performance is better when you feel mentally balanced and free from anxiety and depression.

Let’s talk. You have nothing to lose.

Therapy is an essential tool for competitive athletes in helping them manage the mental and emotional challenges that come with high-pressure situations and performance expectations. Therapy provides athletes with a safe space to express their thoughts and feelings, develop coping mechanisms, and work through issues that may interfere with their performance and all aspects of their lives. Cognitive-behavioral techniques help athletes identify unhelpful thought patterns, replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations, and improve goal-setting skills. Additionally, therapy can help athletes build resiliency and develop mental fortitude to maintain focus during tough competitions. By integrating psychological strategies into their training regimen, competitive athletes can stay motivated, confident, and mentally strong while pursuing their goals.