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Sports Psychologist | Sports Psychology AtlantaPsychologist Alpharetta | Sports Psychologist Atlanta Rick Van Haveren
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What happens in Sports Psychology?

The initial session is used to gather background information, and from there identify strengths and areas for improvement.  A variety of issues can be addressed, but many athletes are seeking help with performance anxiety.  Clients are given strategies at the first session.  The process typically lasts 2-4 sessions.  Sessions 2-4 focus on skill development based on homework assignments completed by the client.

Sport Psychology can address the following mental skills:

Concentration/attention, relaxation, the “yips”, choking, breaking slumps, pre-performance routines, leadership, confidence,

improving your self-talk, visualization, team dynamics, and coach/dad-player/child relationships

In addition to mental skills, personal problems affecting sport performance including depression, injury, anger, stress management/anxiety, relationships, and substance abuse can be treated.

High Performers and Sports Psychology:

I regularly get asked if high performers, including athletes, really use sport psychology?  The answer is clearly yes.  There can still be some stigma associated with “psychology” and thus sometimes a person might keep quiet about seeking such services.  I have successfully worked on mental skills training with professionals such as pilots, professional gamers, film camera professionals, and performing artists.  You can find mental skills with surgeons.

What is the cost?

The initial session is typically around 1 hour, and the rate is $195; each meeting thereafter is $175.  A usual goal of the first session is to send the athlete home with strategies to immediately implement.  A 30-minute parent consult/debrief can also be scheduled during the initial meeting for an addition rate of $75.

Does Dr. Van Haveren work with non-athletes?

Yes, absolutely!  As a Ph.D.-level Licensed Psychologist I have experience with athletes and non-athletes.  I find many of my non-sport clients benefit from learner to apply mental skills strategies to their career and personal life.  Learn more about personal psychology/life coaching here, and career services here.

In the Media

Over the years I have served as an on-air expert on CNN, Good Morning America, etc:

Dr. Van Haveren commenting on emotion in the Olympics:  CNN Olympics

Dr. Van Haveren commenting on child abuse and Adrian Peterson:  Good Morning America

Dr. Van Haveren commenting on domestic violence with world champion boxer, Christy Martin:  Christy Martin Interview

Dr. Van Haveren commenting on the suicide of NFL Hall of Famer Junior Seau:     Junior Seau CNN Interview

Can we have Skype/Facetime sessions?

Yes, I do meet with clients on-line.  A best practice is to first meet in person for an intake session.  Many of my clients have extremely busy schedules and thus meeting on-line is an efficient way to provide services.  At the initial we talk about if your situation is appropriate for on-line sessions.  In addition, I use an encrypted on-line platform to provide you with the best security.  (Skype and Facetime are not as secure.)

Want to learn more?  Want to test your knowledge?  Take the Sport Psych Quiz:

Sport Psych Quiz


The purpose of working with a Sports Psychologist is not to replace an athlete’s coach. Instead, I work collaboratively with the athlete and coach. I assist the client in improving mental skills, but do not provide advice on technique or strategy.

Physicians and Trainers

Physicians and trainers serve an important role in the lives of athletes. At times an athlete might not feel comfortable talking with a coach about performance or “off-the-field” problems. However, the athlete might feel comfortable talking with his/her physician or trainer. Therefore you can be instrumental in helping your athletes get the help they need by making a referral to a sport psychologist.

About Sport Psychology Professionals

Over the last decade there have been a number of people entering the sport psychology field. However, not are all sport psychologists, although they might insinuate that is the case. Here are a number of titles you might come across:

Licensed Psychologist:

Credential Affiliated with the American Psychological Association:  YES

Credential regulated by a State licensing Board:  YES


“Certified Mental Trainer”:

Credential Affiliated with the American Psychological Association:  NO

Credential regulated by a State licensing Board:  NO


“Board” Certification:

Credential Affiliated with the American Psychological Association:  NO

Credential regulated by a State licensing Board:  NO


Dr. Van Haveren has worked with athletes in the following sports:

Golf, tennis, baseball/softball, basketball, football, equestrian, fencing, cheer, cycling, motocross, gymnastics, fencing, swimming and diving, soccer, lacrosse, and track/cross country.

Dr. Van Haveren has worked with scholarship athletes at the following colleges and universities:

University of Connecticut

University of Alabama

University of Georgia

Auburn University

Texas A & M University

College of William and Mary

Emory University

Georgia Tech University

Duke University

Florida State University

Elon University

Western Kentucky University

College of Charleston

Loyola University

University of Tennessee

University of New Orleans

Darton College

Tufts University

 Dr. Van Haveren has worked with individual and team-based clients from the following professional organizations:

Atlanta Falcons

Tennessee Titans

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Philadelphia Eagles

Gwinnett Braves

Boston Red Sox

Tampa Bay Devil Rays




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