The current situation may lead to more athletes and coaches wanting to call on specialists in psychology, sport psychology, mental training, etc. without however knowing who to call upon. No surprise there given that in the field of mental health, many consultants have the skills to help the overall population. It may therefore be hard to know who to contact when they feel the need to identify, share and analyze their thoughts and emotions.
In the sporting environment, you have access to people specially trained to favour your performance on the field and your well-being, whether you are an Olympic athlete who wants to win a medal or a young athlete on a competitive or participating level.
Two main stakeholders in North America
Whether it be on a more clinical or educational level, the great majority of professionals who are able to assist athletes, coaches and Quebec and Canadian structures are professional members of the Canadian Sport Psychology Association Sport.
The difference between the work of the Mental Performance Consultant (MPC) and that of the Sports Psychologist is found in their training and therefore their knowledge. The MPC specialty is generally oriented towards the mental preparation of athletes, using an educational approach, whereas sports psychologists, in addition to mental preparation, intervene when there are psychological issues that require a clinical evaluation and intervention.
Mental Performance Consultant and sport psychologists:
Specifics and common points
- Mental performance consultant
The MPC is often considered as a “mental coach”. Trained in kinesiology, MPCs are experts in the psychology of human movement and do advanced studies in psychology and support relationships. Their interventions primarily target mental training skills such as staying motivated, setting goals, managing stress, optimizing concentration, in order to maximize the performance and psychological well-being of athletes.
- Sport psychologist
The sport psychologist has received in-depth training in psychology and is part of the Ordre des psychologues. The sport psychologist is able to assess and treat athletes as well as sports enthusiasts suffering from serious emotional issues. Once he has completed complementary and appropriate training in sport sciences, his interventions can be part of mental training skills.
How to find a consultant?
In Canada and in Quebec, MPCs and sport psychologists are affiliated with the Centres Régionaux d’Entraînement Multisport (CREM) associated with the Institut National du Sport du Québec and/or are members of the Canadian Sport Psychology Association. Only these specialists can intervene with athletes on the Hope, Emerging, Elite or Excellence levels in Québec and in Canada.
To find a consultant, contact your Centre Régional d’Entraînement Multisport which will be the institution the best qualified to provide you with a list of certified/affiliated people by proposing a list of MPCs and sport psychologists.
Élise Marsollier, PhD
Mental Performance Consultant
Sports Psychology Researcher
Boudreault, V., & Fortin-Guichard, D. (2020). Les spécialistes de la psychologie du sport : le psychologue spécialisé en sport et le consultant en performance mentale. Accessible sur le site de l’Ordre des Psychologues du Québec.
Weinberg, R. S., & Gould, D. (2018). Foundations of sport and exercise psychology, 7E. Human Kinetics
[…] you have access to people specially trained to favour your performance on the field and your well-being, whether you are an Olympic athlete […] or a young athlete […].