Kansas State University is one of a handful of NCAA universities to provide a Sport Psychologist for its student-athletes. This unique resource provides performance enhancement opportunities for teams and individuals (in the areas of athletic, academic, interpersonal), personal counseling, and consultation with coaches, athletic trainers, and physicians.
The overall goal of this service is to help K-State student-athletes get the most out of their experiences at K-State and prepare them for lifelong success. Sport psychology sessions take on a variety of forms. Sessions range from a five-minute discussion in passing, to a brief talk at practice, to a 50-minute session in an office. However, sport psychology sessions are often slightly more instructional and solution-focused than most other types of counseling sessions.
WHAT IS SPORT PSYCHOLOGY?
Services for K-State student-athletes are provided to address what many experience as "peaks" and "valleys" during their college athletic career. I associate sport with enjoyment, excitement, and prestige, yet there are also unique pressures facing college athletes. These pressures include, but are not limited to, managing a rigorous schedule filled with classes and practices, traveling to competitions, dealing with injuries, fatigue, high expectations from coaches, media exposure, public appearances, and being a highly visible member of the university community. Many student-athletes cope effectively with these pressures. For example, athletes may talk to family or teammates about their concerns. However, at times some demands can exceed an individual's resources, and meeting with a sport psychologist can be helpful.
Additionally, high level athletes are always looking for ways to gain a competitive advantage. Sport psychology can be an important piece of the performance enhancement puzzle. In essence, sport psychology is all about helping athletes to better understand what it means to be ready to compete. Mental readiness is a combination of optimal emotional activation, positive frame of mind, and a performance focus. These mental states can be managed through proper use of psychological skills such as relaxation/energizing techniques, imagery, positive self-talk, use of focus and coping plans, and the use of performance routines. The overall objective of these mental skills is to assist individual student-athletes and teams to perform at consistently high levels.
In some cases, a student-athlete's performance can suffer due to mental health issues, unfortunate life circumstances, or personal problems. Some common challenges faced by student-athletes include anxiety, depression, family issues, dating problems, homesickness, injury, sleep problems, low self-esteem, grief issues, substance abuse, disordered eating, history of abuse, sexual assault, and relationship problems with roommates, teammates, or coaches. Sport psychology counseling is available to help student-athletes deal with these types of obstacles so they can feel better emotionally and stay focused in the classroom and in their competitive domain. Successful counseling can better equip student-athletes to cope with past and current problems. Student-athletes will learn strategies that help them proactively manage their lives in the future by developing healthier ways of thinking and behaving.
Individual, couples, and/or group counseling
Mental coaching to improve individual and/or team performance
Assessment (for learning disabilities, ADHD, etc.) -- this service is often done in collaboration with the K-State Athletics' Learning Specialis
Career development and testing
Workshops and presentations
Specialized treatment and medication referral
Who Provides the Services?
The Kansas State University Athletic Department Sport Psychology office is staffed Michael B. Johnson, PhD. Dr. Johnson began working for K-State Athletics in January, 2013. He is a licensed psychologist (Kansas license #2126) with a specialty in Sport Psychology. He worked previously with teams, coaches, and student-athletes at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, The University of Texas-Pan American, The University of California at Riverside, and Florida State University. Additionally, Dr. Johnson was a collegiate student-athlete, earning 4 varsity letters in swimming at Brown University. Dr. Johnson also spent 16 years coaching high school age swimmers.
How Do I Make an Appointment?
Student-athletes can schedule an individual appointment by emailing Dr. Johnson at email@example.com, by calling him at his Bramlage Coliseum office (785) 532-3538, or by calling/texting his cell at 785-410-6586. Individual sessions are confidential in nature, and can be worked around the student-athlete's schedule. Initial sessions last an hour, and you should arrive approximately 15 minutes prior to your schedule session time in order to complete the initial paperwork.
Dr. Johnson is located in an office near the door of the entrance to the Bramlage Coliseum tunnel. As one enters the Bramlage tunnel from the South parking lot (between Bramlage and the Football Indoor Training Facility) turn right to enter a hallway. Dr. Johnson's office is a short distance down the hallway to your right. There is signage directing you to the Sport Psychologist. This is located across the tunnel from the stairway and elevator that you would use to reach the K-State Athletic Department Administrative offices. Free parking is available at (a) the Bramlage Coliseum South parking lot, (b) on the access road to the South parking lot, or (c) in the Bramlage West parking lot.
K-State Athletics Sport Psychology Services are a unique resource to Kansas State University Athletic Department and Sports Medicine. The goal of K-State Sport Psychology is to help K-State student-athletes get the most from their experience, on and off the field, while competing for the Cats.
Positive Organizational Scholarship - focusing on the dynamics that lead to developing human strength, producing resilience and restoration, fostering vitality, and cultivating extraordinary individuals, units and organizations.
Positive Psychology: understand and build the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.
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