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Sport & Performance Psychology

Sports psychology is the study of psychological factors that influence athletic performance and how participation in sports and exercise can affect the psychological and physical well-being of athletes. We teach cognitive and behavioral strategies to help athletes improve their experiences, athletic performance, and mental wellness when participating in sports.

Sport Psychology can assist with performance enhancement, motivation, stress management, anxiety control, or mental toughness. It also can help with injury rehabilitation, team building, burnout, or career transitioning.

Sport Psychology is not just for athletes. We work with coaches, parents, administrators, fitness professionals, performers, organizations, or everyday exercises to demonstrate how you can utilize exercise, sport, and athletics to enhance your life and psychological development.

Because Antonio is clinically trained and a Licensed Professional Counselor with a specialization in sport psychology, he can work with athletes who have mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. He utilizes strategies from both sports psychology and psychotherapy, helping athletes improve their mental health and sports performance concurrently.

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Commonly Used Techniques

Arousal Regulation - Arousal regulation techniques involve the control of the overall level of neuronal activity, and thus arousal levels, in the brain. Arousal refers to how emotionally activated an athlete is before or during performance. Techniques for arousal regulation could include muscle relaxation, deep breathing, medication, listening to music, or mindfulness. The goal is to assist an athlete in reaching their optimal level of arousal at which their athletic performance is maximized.

Goal Setting - Goal setting involves planning out ways to achieve an accomplishment and envisioning the outcome you are pursuing. These goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, time-based, and challenging. You can make outcome goals, performance goals, or process goals.

Imagery - Imagery refers to using multiple senses to create mental images of experiences in your mind. Athletes use imagery to practice activating the muscles associated with an action, recognizing patterns in activities and performance, making mental recreations of an event or game, or visualizing correcting a mistake or doing something properly.

Pre-Performance Routines - A pre-performance routine refers to the actions, behaviors, or methods an athlete implements before for a game or performance. This could include eating the same foods, putting on clothes in a particular order, listening to a specific playlist of songs, wearing specific clothing, or warming up in a particular way. This helps develop stability and predictability, triggering concentration and decreasing anxiety levels.

Self-Talk - Self-talk refers to the inner monologues, whether thoughts, words, or quotes, we say to ourselves. Athletes can utilize self-talk to instill optimism, improve focus, manage stress, or inspire confidence.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation - Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a technique within arousal regulation. It involves alternating between tensing and relaxing target muscle groups. This helps with lowering blood pressure, reducing state anxiety, improving performance, and decreasing stress hormones.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) - CBT is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps people identify and change destructive thinking patterns, emotional responses, or behaviors. While CBT is used by all kinds of people, athletes could especially benefit from its effects.

We provide support around a wide variety of sports & performance related issues, but the most common scenarios include:

Support for optimal performance: Some athletes work with therapists proactively on strategies for increased confidence, focus, and emotional regulation. These athletes may not have any negative symptoms but are instead interested in using psychology to enhance their athletic performance.

Stress management: Athletes often deal with stressors that non-athletes do not, from complicated schedules to pressure to perform well. We work with athletes (and coaches, parents, and others involved in sports) on strategies for managing stress and preventing burnout.

Substance use or abuse: In certain setting, athletics can be associated with a higher risk of unhealthy use of drugs and alcohol.

Injuries and career transitions: You may find you need support around coping with injuries, career transitions, or other life changes that alter the role sports plays in your life.

Systemic issues: Teams or individuals may seek out support in coping with issues affecting an entire team or community, including racism, sexism, hazing, and substance abuse.

Team building: Teams may also seek out sport & performance psychology to work on strategies for greater success, even when there is no specific problem that needs to be addressed.

Therapist & Peak Performance Coach

Antonio Cordero, Ed.M., LPC supports people at every age and across a variety of performance contexts, including the following:

Sport (athletes, coaches & teams)

Business Professionals (executives) 

Performing Arts (dancers and musicians) 

Exercise (persons of all ages and activity levels)

Tactical (military, firefighters, police)

He works in a range of settings including youth/club sport, high school, collegiate, professional/semiprofessional, and Olympic/Paralympic.

Antonio was a 4-year NCAA college athlete as well as a college soccer coach and holds a United States Soccer Federation D Coaching License.

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In addition to working nationally as an executive coach, Antonio offers counseling sessions for residents of Georgia, Florida and Michigan living in Cumming, Gainesville, Atlanta, Alpharetta, Savannah, Macon, Augusta, Athens, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Miami, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Flint and all areas in between.


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