10 Reasons to Work with a Sports Counsellor to Improve Sports Performance & Overall Well-Being


In order to perform your best, you have to feel your best–mentally and physically!

Working with a sports counsellor can improve your sports performance and your overall well-being.

As a sports counsellor, I coach you in practical mental skills and sports psychology strategies to overcome mental roadblocks, increase mental toughness, and improve sports performance.

Who believes improving your physical strength will improve your sports performance?

How do you do that?

  • Working with a strength coach, having a consistent workout routine, lifting, stretching, etc.

Who believes improving your physical health will improve your sports performance?

How do you do that?

  • Taking care of your physical health, eating nutritiously and being intentional on how you fuel your body, getting enough sleep and rest, etc

Who believes improving your mental strength will improve your sports performance?

How do you do that?

  • Pre game mental preparation, improving mental toughness and resilience, working with a sports counsellor on this to make a personalized mental workout, practicing positive self talk or power thoughts instead of overthinking or self-doubt, practicing visualization, breathing, other sports psychology strategies, etc

Who believes improving your mental health will improve your sports performance?

How do you do that?

  • Taking breaks from sport, having a strong social support of family/friends, managing stress with healthy coping strategies, goal-setting, working with a credible counsellor who specializes and understands working with athletes to manage their unique stressors, reach their goals, and optimize sports performance and overall wellbeing. 

Working with a sports counsellor to create a personalized mental workout to do before practices and games can help combat pre-game nerves by instilling a mental workout routine with practical sports psychology strategies to foster confidence, consistency, and improved performance.


Working with a Sports Counsellor can help you improve your performance in your sport & in your life.

  • Do you want to improve your performance in your sport?
  • Do you want to be more confident, consistent, and mentally tough?
  • Do you want to know how to mentally prepare for competition?
  • Do want help in overcoming nerves or pressure, preventing burnout, or to reignite enjoyment and passion back to the game?
  • Do you want support from someone who gets it, who has been there, and can support you in becoming the best you as an athlete and individual?

Well, here are some reasons to work with a sports counsellor that can benefit your mental health and your mental game and performance! I know it has for me as an elite athlete and coach, and as a mental health professional, I am passionate about using my personal and professional experience to work with athletes and teams.

In order to perform your best, you have to feel your best–mentally and physically!

I help coach you in practical mental skills and sports psychology strategies to improve your performance–and enjoyment– in your sport. Working with a sports counsellor can help you manage stress and pressure so that you can feel your best in order to perform your best. As a former elite athlete (hockey, goaltender) and coach at the highest levels (NCAA, USports, academy, professional), I know what it takes to make it to the top levels. I know that in order to perform your best you also have to feel your best–mentally and physically. I also understand the unique pressures of athletes, such as balancing time, school, recruiting, and social lives all the while trying to be dedicated to training (skills-specific, strength & conditioning, etc) and actually performing your best in your sport to advance to the next level. You can read more about on my website page of Sports Counselling and Sports Psychology Strategies for Sports Performance.

You can read more about on my website page of Sports Counselling and Sports Psychology Strategies for Sports Performance.


10 Reasons to Work with a Sports Counsellor to Improve Sports Performance & Overall Well-Being

1. Mental Toughness.

At one point or another, we all will experience some sort of struggle—on and off the ice/field/etc. Athletes are often told to “get over it” or “play through the pain.” There is a stigma that asking for help can make you seem weak. Yet, seeking help is ALWAYS a sign of strength, not weakness. Obstacles can be opportunities for growth. In fact, a sports counsellor can help improve your overall functioning and performance in your sport and in your life to persevere, develop resilience, and thrive. Increasing resilience and mental toughness is not just for sport; but for life situations.

2. Improve Your Performance.

The game is 90% mental and 10% physical.”

Mark Messier

Just as athletes work with strength & conditioning coaches, skills coaches, position-specific coaches (i.e. goalie coaches), or even skating coaches, working with a sports counsellor on your mental game can help improve performance in your sport and other areas of life. 

3. Performance Anxiety and Pre-Game Nerves

Performance anxiety can make you freeze before a game or tryout. Your sport is no longer fun. Athletes have a lot to juggle of competing demands on their time, energy, focus, schoolwork, recruiting process, physical workouts, social support, and more. Sport should be their outlet, enjoyment, not another source of major stress that causes them to freeze, over-think, or under-perform.

Do pre-game nerves take over? Do you stiffen up? Are you light-headed, nauseous, or find it difficult to breathe? Then of course when we are feeling this way, we cannot think straight. When we cannot calm down enough to think straight, then we likely won’t perform our best.

When you can’t think your best, you aren’t going to perform your best.

This is a very common concern for many athletes–from high performance youth to professionals. Not only does anxiety limit your ability to perform, it takes the fun out of playing.

Developing a personalized mental workout and routine to use before practices and games can develop consistency, a sense of control, and confidence to overcome these pre-game nerves, performance anxiety, and improve your performance–and enjoyment– in your sport!

Working with a sports counsellor to create a personalized mental workout to do before practices and games can help combat pre-game nerves by instilling a mental workout routine with practical sports psychology strategies to foster confidence, consistency, and improved performance.

4. Self-Care & Stress Reliever.

Athletes have very busy and demanding schedules. You must manage competing, family, friends, school, recruiting, going to the next level, & more. All the while feeling the pressure to perform in all of these areas. Seeing a sports counsellor can help you become & maintain your best self, while also putting things in proper perspective. Exploring your thoughts & feelings with someone trustworthy can be a tremendous stress reliever. Remember, an empty cup cannot pour. Less stress, better focus! 

5. Injury & Identity.

The majority of athletes will experience the setback of an injury. The good news is that even when you are injured, you can work on your mental game! I know personally how frustrating an injury can be, as I have experienced three major wrist surgeries and two knee surgeries that eventually cut my playing career short. An injury and rehabilitation can be very frustrating. It can feel isolating. It can also be difficult to transition back into playing. Maybe you’re a little more timid returning to play. We can work together to get that mental edge back. I am also happy to work alongside of other healthcare professionals to give you a team approach, such as your doctor, physiotherapist, chiropractor, etc.

All athletes will transition out of their sport eventually. As I say, all athletes –even Wayne Gretzky– end up in beer league. Understanding your identity outside of sport can be very difficult. Working with a sports counsellor can help navigate these difficult, lonely times of injury and identity transitions. 

6. Learn Coping Strategies.

A sports counsellor can introduce techniques and skills to assist with various sport performance skills & life skills. These include:

  • focus
  • confidence
  • consistency
  • communication
  • anxiety, depression
  • life/school/social balance
  • pre-game preparation
  • managing nerves and stress
  • time management
  • developing resilience

We all experience stress and need to learn healthy ways to cope with it. Sometimes, when you don’t know how to deal with stress well (yet), you can turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as escaping (Netflix binge, anyone?), unhealthy eating patterns, or even misusing alcohol & drugs. Meeting with a sports counsellor can provide more beneficial coping skills. 

When we deal with life stressors in a healthy way, we have more capacity for improving every area of our lives: relationships, studies/work, and our performance in our sport!

These are life skills as well to help you deal with stress long after this season is over.

Prevention is often the best treatment plan!

7. Get Support! Now More than Ever in a Time of Uncertainty, Stability is Important.

Often athletes feel that no one understands them, or no one knows what they are going through.

These feelings can lead to frustration, anger, isolation, and depression. A sports counsellor can be a safe, supportive person that validates you. Meetings are non-judgemental and confidential. 

As a former elite athlete and coach of one, I offer a unique perspective as a mental health professional to support you in this.

8. Improved Relationships, Communication, Leadership & Team-Building.

We won’t get along with everyone, all of the time. You may find you are having some difficulties with coaches, teammates, parents, friends or a significant other. An outside perspective can be helpful. We collaborate together and teach practical problem-solving solutions, communication techniques, and leadership skills.

Sports counsellors also work with teams for team building & communication skills for the betterment of each athlete & the overall team. 

9. Sleep, Nutrition, & Pain.

Stress can manifest physically in tension, pain, or difficulties in sleep. Changes in sleeping or eating and body-aches can be direct reactions to emotional distress. Working with a sports counsellor can help recognize the emotional triggers of the mind-body connection. 

10(a). Lack of Motivation, Loss of Enjoyment, and Other Depression Symptoms

Lack of motivation and decreased enjoyment in your sport can be pitfalls of depressive symptoms. It can feel like you can’t get out. Depression affects how you think, feel, and act. Some symptoms can make you lose interest in the activities you use to like, cause feelings of sadness, result in changes in sleeping & eating, loss of energy, & suicidal thoughts. Talking to a sports counsellor can help you manage these symptoms. Read more about Depression here and how we can work together.

10(b). Feeling Overwhelmed, Making a Game-Plan, and Overcoming Anxiety

Anxiety and Depression often go hand-in-hand. It can be helpful to work with a sports counsellor to get out of your own head, stop the negative overthinking cycle, and break free to feel and perform your best!

Anxiety is the most prevalent issue I see in my practice. Feelings of worry, stress, and fear can happen to anyone– including athletes. With all of your competing demands, it can feel overwhelming. When we are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, we often don’t start. Working with a sports counsellor can help you identify and manage your feelings. Read more about Anxiety here and how we can work together

Working with a sports counsellor to create a personalized mental workout to do before practices and games can help combat pre-game nerves by instilling a mental workout routine with practical sports psychology strategies to foster confidence, consistency, and improved performance.

Ready to Work with a Sports Counsellor?

You can read more about on my website page of Sports Counselling and Sports Psychology Strategies for Sports Performance.

More athletes are working with sports counsellors to improve their game, as well as obtaining the emotional support and control they require for peak performance. Not only does this impact their game performance, it impacts their relationships, view of self, academic pursuits, life guidance and overall wellbeing. 

As a former elite athlete, I benefited from working with a sports counsellor in my sports performance and in my life. As a professional coach of athletes, I utilized sports counsellors to enhance performance and for the betterment of my athletes as individuals. As a mental health professional, I specialize in supporting athletes in their mental health and mental game. Online appointments are available to accommodate an athlete’s busy schedule.

Bonus: Advantages for Teams of Working with a Sports Counsellor:

  • Setting each athlete & team up for maximized success on & off the ice
  • Recruiting advantage compared to other programs by offering sports counselling & mental toughness
  • Objective Mental Health and Mental Game support
  • Peace of mind for families
  • Support for athletes, all available without stigma
  • Life Guidance with knowledge of navigating the university recruiting process, pressures, and utilizing personal development tools. Developing a total athlete.
  • A resource already in place for prevention &/or support when something does happen
  • Potential cost-coverage through your Extended Benefits Plan. *This is up to the discretion of your provider.

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