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Sport Psychology

Boys basketball game

As an athlete, you chose to be involved with sports because of the many exciting and meaningful opportunities they provide. You want to be stronger, physically and mentally. You want to find friends with shared interests. You want to push yourself to be the best version of you. But sports can also present unexpected and unwanted challenges that may seem very difficult to overcome, including a sports-related injury, performance anxiety, management of pressure and expectations, time management, stress in or outside of the sport, self-doubts or worries about being good enough. Some athletes may have concerns around body image or eating habits. Some may experience relationship problems with their coaches or teammates.

Our sport psychology (or sports psychology) care team at The University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City is trained to teach you coping skills to overcome these barriers that can get in the way of you thriving in your sport. We can also provide mental skills strategies to enhance your physical game. Athletes are frequently looking for that edge in competition, and an often-overlooked area is the mental game. Our goal is to assist athletes in consistently achieving peak performance through developing effective pregame routines, learning how to focus and make good decisions under pressure, and bouncing back from adversity. Athletes who can learn the skills of mental toughness can maximize their physical abilities.

About sport psychology

Sport psychology is the application of psychological knowledge, principles and skills to optimize human performance and well-being. Sport psychologists work with individuals and organizations across the performance spectrum, from recreational exercisers to elite athletes.

A sport psychologist can help athletes and their families, coaches and sports organizations navigate the difficulties of life and challenges that interfere with their (or their team's) mental well-being and performance.

Sport psychologists who are clinically trained receive comprehensive education and applied learning in:

  • Counseling methods, practices and interventions
  • Ethical and legal standards of the psychology profession
  • Individual and cultural diversity
  • Methods in group counseling
  • Psychological consultation, assessment, interviewing and diagnosis
  • Scientific foundations of human development
  • Theories of abnormal human behavior, mental disorders and counseling techniques

We offer a variety of appointment types. Learn more or call 913-588-1227 to schedule now.

Sport psychology services

Mental and behavioral health issues that a sport psychologist can address include:

  • Anxiety and adjustment disorders
  • Attentional disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Familial and interpersonal concerns
  • Identity issues
  • Mood disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Psychological adjustment to injury
  • Sleep problems
  • Substance use disorders
  • Trauma and stressor-related disorders

A sport psychologist can also assist athletes and organizations who want to go from good to great. Athletes and organizations who want to gain a competitive advantage by learning mental skills to improve focus and concentration, enhance resilience and grit, improve decision-making under stressful conditions and achieve optimal performance will often seek out a sport psychologist.

Sport psychology philosophy

Our philosophy at the health system emphasizes a strength-based and positive psychology approach that cultivates mental and emotional well-being. Athletes are people first, and their well-being is important in and outside of sports.

We focus on teaching athletes how to:

  • Develop precompetition routines and resilience skills
  • Effectively manage emotions
  • Enhance cognitive flexibility and creativity, and sports confidence/self-efficacy
  • Enrich interpersonal relationships with coaches and teammates
  • Improve concentration and communication skills
  • Manage physiological arousal levels
  • Navigate social media pressures
  • Optimize training through productive goal-setting
  • Use visualization strategies

We also offer mental health and performance psychology education, consultation and outreach to coaches and athletic trainers.

Why choose us for sport psychology?

Research shows that addressing mental health and well-being will improve athletic performance. Working with a sport psychologist addresses both, ensuring that athletes can bring their very best in or out of the realm of sports.

Our sport psychology program is one of just a few available in the Kansas City area. Our sport psychologist, Brett Woods, PhD, has been a certified mental performance consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology since 2018. A former collegiate athlete himself, Dr. Woods has worked with elite NCAA Division I athletes throughout his career.

Brett Woods

Brett M Woods, PhD

Psychology

Our sport psychology locations

  • Sports Medicine and Performance Center
    1. Medical Pavilion
    • Sports Medicine and Performance Center
    • 10730 Nall Ave., Suite 200
    • Overland Park, KS 66211
    • Mon 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    • Tues 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    • Wed 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.
    • Thur 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    • Fri 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    • Sat Closed -
    • Sun Closed -
    • HOL Closed -
    Office Contact:
  • Sports Medicine Overland Park
    2. Sports Medicine and Performance Center
    • 8302 W. 125th St.
    • Overland Park, KS 66213
    • Mon 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • Tues 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • Wed 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • Thur 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • Fri 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • Sat Closed -
    • Sun Closed -
    Office Contact: