Sports Psychotherapy

Being a sportsman/woman can sometimes be a lonely place. 

Whilst the highs are great, the lows can be very tough and psychologically damaging. 

Even on your way to the top there are so many obstacles that need addressing for you to reach your full and capable potential. 

When in such a demanding profession, not everyone will be able to understand or relate to the struggles and issues you may be experiencing, that’s why having someone to share, understand, and help make sense of what is on your mind is truly invaluable.

‘There’s a different level of understanding when professionals speak to one another.’

My Career


Having worked in the sports industry for over 15 years as a professional footballer, I have a first-hand insight into the daily struggles that my sporting peers may be facing.

I’ve played with and against international footballers who perform on the world stage and who are also World Cup winners, and I have been witness to them experiencing the highest of highs and lowest of lows.

In my playing career I have experienced major setbacks, such as over 13 operations, a stroke, being released, not being selected for matches, loss of form and career ending injuries. I understand the pressures of high expectations, and have dealt with outside noise from fans, friends and family who may not understand.

Everyone has their own unique journey of getting to a certain goal point in their career. Only a select few, if not any, will truly understand how lonely it can be and how your mind can work overtime.

‘You’re not born with a strong mindset; you have to learn and practice it for it to develop.
It allows achievement over talent.’

I work with a range of sports clients to support their mental health and wellbeing.

I provide sports psychotherapy for both elite and amateur professionals from a variety of sporting backgrounds including football, swimming, athletics, cycling, golf, tennis, amongst others.

I support and work with sports professionals on issues that are affecting their everyday life, from sports performance, burnout, managing depression and anxiety, to coping with retirement/transitioning away from sport. 

Often it is a combination of both personal and sports related issues that are occurring at the same time with one another, which are subsequently getting in the way of you giving your best to your sporting career and affecting your performance levels.

Neal Trotman Sports Psychotherapist

Why use a Sports Psychotherapist?

Working with a sports psychotherapist can help reduce your mental stress and help you have a more positive outlook on life.

The goal of using a sports psychotherapist is to help you feel better mentally about yourself.

Sometimes all it takes is one informed decision and belief in yourself to ensure your long-term wellbeing.

Think about the things that can help you achieve this in every aspect of your life, however minor they may seem.

My aim is to help you to understand where those feelings arise from, and how you can overcome them moving forward.

neal trotman psychotherapy

Issues professional athletes can experience throughout their career

Feeling isolated is what most sportsmen/women will go through.

There is always a silent conversation we are having with ourselves.

Are we doing the right thing?

Should we be doing the same thing again and again?

Is this what we are passionate about or are we merely doing for the sake of doing it?

'Why me?'

Injuries in sport happen. Some are lucky enough to have a career without seriously getting injured, but some do have long term injuries and careers ending injuries.

Mentally this has a massive effect on our mental state.

When injured, because we can’t do what we are paid and hired to do, we feel we are of no use to the team and manager which can have leave us feeling like we are letting people down.

We feel that something/our purpose has been taken away from us.

We do need some time out to relax and unwind and use the time when injured to prioritise self-care.

Finding new interests or taking time to pursue other interests can be a great way to switch off.

Feeling isolated is what most sportsmen/women will go through.

There is always a silent conversation we are having with ourselves. Are we doing the right thing?

Should we be doing the same thing again and again?

Is this what we are passionate about or are we merely doing for the sake of doing it?

Not performing to the expected level is in fact a huge distraction and adds pressure on to not performing.

Trying to recapture the form you know that you are capable of and maintaining a standard set by others and possibly yourself can be stressful.

Your mind often works overtime on the drive home after the game, and feeling as if you are not equipped to do your job can be unbearable.

There will be times when you cannot play to the best of your ability due to unforeseen circumstances, or sometimes a lack of preparation mentally, physically, or both. During these times, it is important for you to have a realistic approach/perspective of your targets and outcomes.

My aim is to help you gain a healthy insight into your ‘here and now’ situation, to control your anxiety and keep you focused. 

Whilst it’s a dream of many athletes to perform in front of fans, fans are a contributing factor to mental health in sport. They project their frustration and anger onto individuals and often get personal and take it too far. Some people give their opinion on a subject they have little to no knowledge or experience in, in comparison to professionals within the sport. Ultimately, these people do not have credibility and their opinions are based only on what they think they know and believe. It doesn’t hide the fact that the opinions of others are hurtful and damaging to our mental health. 

With the ongoing rise of social media abuse, fans often try to tell athletes how to do their job they never did or failed at trying to do. This is the problem when people are too invested in sports figures. Their loss becomes their own and because they may not have participated in high level professional sports, and they can’t process and come to terms with the outcomes.  The fact of the matter is, you win some, you lose some  

To put it into perspective, it develops into mental health issues... over a football match. Some fans don’t understand what goes on in the real football world.

If you need some time out to relax and unwind, then do use the time when injured to prioritise self-care. You deserve it.

Things like yoga, colouring and DIY can be a great way to switch off. Finding new interests such as healthy hobbies help to direct your mind away from the stresses and demands of your profession.

Creating a budget can be a good first step if you’re not sure where to start – the Money Advice Service can help with this. Some people may find it helpful to choose a regular time each week to look at bills and other spending to stop debts piling up.

Withdrawing the amount of money you intend to spend each week can also help to manage your financial situation.

Issues I can help you with

I'd love to hear from you

Let me know how I can help