For your convenience, the most common questions we get from people contacting us who are considering working with a sports psychologist are answered below via both video and written answer. If after you’ve gone through these you still have any unanswered questions then don’t hesitate to contact us directly through our Get In Touch page.
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1 What do sport and performance psychologists do?
- 2 What 1-on-1 Mental Toughness Training options are available?
- 3 How long before I am mentally tough enough?
- 4 I don’t have any psychological problems – why would I want the assistance of a psychologist?
- 5 Who / which psychologist will I be working with?
- 6 How is the Flexible Consultation Time delivered?
- 7 What is the best way to use the Flexible Consultation Time?
- 8 Can you tell me / us more about the Kick Start Session?
- 9 Can someone else sit in / listen in during the sessions?
- 10 Will you replace my existing coach?
- 11 Can I / we claim some / all of the fees back via Private Health Insurance?
- 12 Is there a minimum number of months in which I / we have to remain clients?
What do sport and performance psychologists do?
We build mental toughness. Mental toughness is having the ability to perform to your consistent and best standard and Condor Performance breaks this down into five key components, each of which we work on quite differently: confidence, concentration, communication, motivation and how you manage your emotions. If you haven’t done so already please visit the ‘measure’ tab of this website to complete the Mental Toughness Questionnaire that’s most appropriate for you. The results will provide a snapshot of your current mental toughness and therefore allow us to be much more specific in terms of how we assist you.
What 1-on-1 Mental Toughness Training options are available?
Traditional psychology services have always delivered sessions in one-hour blocks but over the years we’ve learnt it’s much better if the client decides how long the sessions are, how frequently they occur, etc. At Condor Performance we have six monthly options with different amounts of “Flexible Consultation Time” and therefore different costs. The key is that you as the client –whether you’re an individual, a family, a team or an organisation – get the ultimate say in terms of how that Flexible Consultation Time gets delivered.
How long before I am mentally tough enough?
It’s a hard question to answer without knowing you but as a guide most clients experience significant and noticeable mental improvements after three or four months. It’s important to note that there’s no ‘magic bullet’ where after one session you’re going to be a completely different person but we’ll work closely with you to ensure you don’t need our assistance any longer than is required to meet your goals.
I don’t have any psychological problems – why would I want the assistance of a psychologist?
One of the most important things to understand is that there are different types of psychologists who work with different groups of people on different things. We are not clinical psychologists, we are sport and performance psychologists. Unlike clinical psychologists who mainly focus on mental health issues, we predominately work with people who are psychologically healthy but are looking to improve their mental toughness, typically to help them achieve something that is very, very difficult, which in turn produces a whole bunch of psychological challenges. You may be able to work out how to overcome those psychological challenges on your own but generally people find this trial-and-error approach takes longer than the time they have to dedicate towards that particular goal. Think of the work we do as ‘fast tracking’ your mental toughness so you’re mentally tough enough to reach your goal in a timely manner.
Who / which psychologist will I be working with?
You will be working with a highly qualified registered psychologist based in Australia. The psychologist you will work with will depend on factors such as your sport/performance area, your availability for sessions and your time zone. For more information and details about the current Condor Performance team please head over to the Meet Our Team tab of this website.
How is the Flexible Consultation Time delivered?
Unlike the work done in clinical psychology, we are working on building mental toughness and as a result don’t need to be in the same room as you to achieve this. We have a range of options for how sessions are delivered and it’s your choice as to what suits you best. We can certainly have consultations in person but we also have our preferred option of working via video conferencing methods such as Skype or FaceTime, as well as telephone sessions.
What is the best way to use the Flexible Consultation Time?
With the monthly option you take out you’ll receive a certain amount of consultation time and you decide how you want to use it. It can be broken up and delivered in whatever flexible manner suits your schedule, needs and pursuit of improvement best. For example, if you decide on the Eagle option, which gives you two hours of flexible consultation time in a month, you can have all two hours delivered at once or you can divide it into two one-hour blocks or four 30-minute blocks. It’s up to you and the structure of your monthly option can be discussed with your sport and performance psychologist.
Can you tell me / us more about the Kick Start Session?
The Kick Start Session (KSS) is a crucial part of what we do. When you see a psychologist for the first time, you often spend the first half hour getting to know each other. While this is a very important part of the process, we find it peculiar to pay to teach someone else about yourself before the solutions are introduced. The KSS is included at the start of your first month and allows you to have these introductory conversations without eating into the flexible consultation time. It’s essentially a free 30-minute session that allows you to get to know your psychologist while setting the stage for the work that will be done to improve the mental side of your performance. Having this as a separate session ensures you can hit the ground running during your first block of flexible consultation time and not worry about bringing the psychologist up to speed with the things you would like to work on.
Can someone else sit in / listen in during the sessions?
It’s up to you. For us, it can be a meaningful experience if it’s someone who will add insight into the work you want to do and into the chosen elements of your performance you want to discuss within a mental toughness framework. If you do choose to include someone else in your session, we ask you let your chosen sport and performance psychologist know prior to the session so they can ensure all the behind-the-scenes organisation is in order for more then one person to attend. As well, if you do chose to include someone else it’s important that it’s someone who will help the process and doesn’t create a barrier between you and the psychologist. We want to ensure each session is about you as the client and doesn’t become a broader discussion about everyone else and their needs.
Will you replace my existing coach?
If you’re an athlete from a team sport then definitely not. Our expertise in the mental side will complement their skills in the tactical, technical and physical areas. For individual sports clients, it depends on who your coach is and how they help you. In most cases, as with team sports, we’ll look after the mental side and they’ll do the rest. But we work with plenty of clients who don’t have a coach and we’re very comfortable taking on that role.
Can I / we claim some / all of the fees back via Private Health Insurance?
No. Even if your private health insurance includes psychological services, performance psychology tends be an exclusion, even though we are registered psychologists. Check with your provider but we strongly suggest you budget assuming you’re not going to receive any rebate.
Is there a minimum number of months in which I / we have to remain clients?
You decide how many months you want to be a client. Unlike a telephone contract or a gym membership which might force you to sign up for a certain number of months, you have the freedom at the end of each month to decide whether you wish to continue on at your chosen level, cancel the service or move to another of our monthly options. You’ll get this opportunity to decide at the end of each month.