Really interesting topic! I think sports psych is definitely under-rated or rather just not considered much/at all by orienteers down our way. But can be invaluable. I’m absolutely no expert, and have only just started working with a psychologist, but so far its been really rewarding. I personally don’t know any sports psychologists in NZ, but they’re undoubtedly around.
What’s most relevent is called ‘mindfulness’, and has been a hot topic in sports psych over the last few years. A couple of articles below to give the gist – it’s all about present-moment awareness and focus. There’s some simple exercises that are easy to get started doing by yourself. At the Aus HP camp in January we were introduced to the smiling mind app, which is a bit tedious to begin with, but good.
You’ll find a lot of examples given in articles are from golf – where the mental side comes into things a lot. I think Orienteering and golf have a lot of similarities really – except orienteering is obviously way cooler, and comes with the added complexity of being in oxygen debt most of the time!
Anyhow, hope the articles help, and finding a sports psych, or just a good psychologist is well worth the effort if possible!