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Sports Psychology: The Interpersonal Side Of Sports

Posted by: Dr. Granat on May 2, 2007

When people think of sports psychology and sport psychologists, visualization,

self-hypnosis, motivational training, goal setting, relaxation training, meditation

and mental toughness training come to mind. And while these are important aspects of

sport psychology, managing interpersonal relationships is also a vital aspect of sports


Every week, I get calls and e-mails from players who can’t get along with

their coaches and teammates. I also get calls from parents who can’t seem to

resolve conflicts with their student-athlete offspring.

I get many inquiries from coaches who need help in motivating players and in

building a sense of camaraderie amongst members of their team. In some cases,

there are significant psychological issues between players who need to play as

a unit. Some teams resemble dysfunctional families.

In other instances, I have acted as a kind of a mediator between parents,

coaches and athletes who were in conflict over the best way to manage, cultivate

and communicate with a talented player.

Some athletes have difficulty managing academics, athletics and their

social lives. One football player who I counseled, was quite upset because

his girlfriend abandoned him because he was too busy with practice, weight

training and studying. This young man was quite upset and the loss of his

female companion initially had a profound impact on his ability to perform well on

the field.

Another baseball player who I coached was quite intimidated and shy

when he was interviewed by the media. In fact, he was more nervous about

the newspaper interviews than he was about pitching in a big game.

Managing people is frequently not an easy task and many young athletes need

some guidance and advice in order to develop the social and interpersonal skills

they need to interact with their parents, teammates, coaches, lovers,

friends and the media in an effective, positive and productive manner.

Mastering people skills will help athletes to be more effective on and off the playing


Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a Psychotherapist and the Founder of
He can be reached at 888 580 ZONE. Or at

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