Learning about the myriad of directions a performance psychology consultant can go in with a private practice has been exciting and enlightening. I never knew that I would be qualified to work with such a diverse population and employ a wide variety of skills. For example I could develop a practice that works with athletes, fine arts performers, business executives, elite college students, pretty much any person who is interested in becoming a better ‘performer’ at what he does. I could also use a plethora of skills including: biofeedback, different psychological theories (CBT, mindfulness), real world task evaluation, or individual one-on-one sessions. However I was thinking in order to establish a successful practice I believe it is necessary to develop an effective game plan and stick to it especially during the early stages of a the development of the practice. This is something I ask my athletes to do, via goal setting. I’ve seen what happens if an athlete meanders through a season with no direction, and the results are almost never positive.
I know this is something we will discuss in more detail when we talk about a business plan. It is something I was pondering while examining my own plans for the direction of my life after graduate school. I realized I do not really know what I want to do and do not have much of plan. Last year when I started the program I felt relieved, I did have a plan up to that point of coaching a D-I program and studying sport psychology. Now however this lack of a plan is starting to cause stress in my life since I am unsure what I want to do or where I want to do it. I believe that this experience will serve me well if I decide to start a private practice.
Developing a plan of the type of clients I want to work with and the processes for working with them will give me a clear idea of how to market my practice, what type of location I need (home office, separate office), and it will allow for flexible when necessary. Finally I believe this clarity will help me to say no to certain clients that I do not think will fit with my plan. This is something I identified as a problem for me, anything that helps me say no will help me develop a successful practice.