Minding What Matters in August 2011

Because this is my first opportunity to connect with you through this blog, I thought that I would start at the beginning.  I wanted to take the month of August to introduce you to the world that I am so passionate about.

In 1991, after two years of studying Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo, I informed my dad that I was going to become a Sport Psychologist.  His ‘polite’ response to my big announcement was “what in the hell is a sport psychologist”? I should probably mention that my dad was financing my education.  He had an invested interest in what I was planning to do with that education.  That said, I know that my dad’s questions about what the field of sport psychology was also stemmed from an honest place of couriosity.  My Dad spent his youth and college years (in the 50s and 60s) playing baseball, basketball, and football (in fact my dad’s picture is in the BC Sports Hall of Fame for football).  He had never heard of a sport psychologist in all the years he was involved with sport.  And to be fair to him, sport psychology was in its infancy of development during that time.  Additionally, my dad had a perception that a “psychologist” fixes things, things that were “mental”.  My dad had a very privileged experience in sport.  His memories of sport was that of interest, fun, and achievement brought about by hard work.  My dad asked, “what possible issues could an athlete have that would require a shrink?”

Not all Sport Psychologists or Mental Training Coaches are "Shrinks"

I regret that at that time I didn’t have very much knowledge about the field and that I couldn’t convince my dad that it was a ‘smart’ career choice.  All I understood was that it was a field about empowering people to achieve [x] (you can substitute X with any achievement-oriented activity) to the best of their potential.  I knew that this is what I wanted to explore for myself and to help others with.  It was something my gut told me that I wanted to be apart of. I hope that, in my postings this month, I can do a better job describing my field of work compared to what I was capable of back then.  I hope that I  can clarify the misconceptions that I often run into when I describe my field at social gatherings. Also, I want to provide you with information about how to select the right type mental skills training/trainer program.  The ‘right’ type, of course, is the one that best fits with you as you take your journey towards excellence.

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