When I think of building a practice in sport and performance psychology, and my niche, the thing that will separate me from others in my field, soccer is what comes to mind. Has soccer been explored in the sport psychology realm… yes, would it be something new…no. Soccer has always been the answer for me- When people ask me what sport did you play my immediate response is soccer. No hesitations, just soccer. While soccer was and still is to an extent a huge part of my life, it is not my only sport, nor is it my only passion. Surfing is and always has been a sport that I love and that I have been a part of. Putting soccer aside, I inquired within myself again, what will separate me from others in my field….
SURFING…the idea came surging at me like an crashing wave (pun intended). How many people in the sport and performance field have really worked with surfers on their mental game? An individual sport, that relies heavily on performance and style- it’s a sport psychologists dream. The ideas continued to flood in- these athletes sit on their surfboard in the middle of the ocean, hour after hour, day after day, alone with little to do except critique their previous and upcoming performances. Professional surfers are on the world tour for the greater part of a year, constantly traveling around the world, their spot on the rankings are frequently fluctuating. While these surfers have the physical ability, a sport that relies so heavily on factors outside of their control (weather, presence of absence of waves) should have access to helping strengthen their mental game.
The sport is basically screaming for a sport psychology consultant, and I am going to be the one who hears their call.