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Posts by John Gassaway, PsyD

Managing Fear of Reinjury

Almost every athlete, at some time in their career, will face the fear of reinjury after initiating a return from injury. Injury is difficult to manage in the first place: physically, psychologically, socially, emotionally, and in terms of planning, scheduling, and living day-to-day. Then, upon returning from injury, a new set of fears may interrupt…

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Judging Yourself During Disappointments

Judging yourself is almost constant. We might do it every time we look in the mirror: judging and analyzing ourselves, asking if we have done what we set out to do, questioning ourselves. Sometimes it is just surface level: how do I look? Sometimes it is present and immediate: your eyes look tired and you…

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How Do You Rewire Your Brain for Optimization

We are constantly having thoughts and pondering throughout every hour of every day, and with all of this chatter, we need to ask “how do you rewire your brain for optimization?” Our brain and thoughts, specifically consistent patterns of thoughts, are difficult to change and habituate. Similar to the adage “You can’t teach an old…

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New Wonder Treatment

There is a new “wonder” treatment for many life stressors (including psychological distress/disorders) evolving that appears to break through some of the more unfortunate side effects seen with many of the older treatments. Just a quick look at some of the undesirable impacts that traditional treatments may have on your life may turn some away…

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Creating an Advanced Mindset (Part 2)

After you have given yourself the opportunity to create an advanced mindset, it is time to further develop that mindset. You began by understanding that difficulty and challenge can still be exciting and fun. Then you started to treat effort as a behavior that helps you progress forward with your performance (measuring and observing changes…

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Creating an Advanced Mindset (Part 1)

Optimizing your performance or your life requires a lot of dedication and time. One of the first priorities in doing so is to create an advanced mindset. The mindset of successful, happy, satisfied, and accomplished people is one that accepts challenges and shortcoming along with enjoyment and progress. Dr. Carol Dweck first identified such a…

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Best Ways to Cope with Injury in Sport

Athletes strive to keep their bodies fit and healthy, but inevitably we all need to know the best ways to cope with injury in sport. Physical training, skills development, nutrition, regeneration/relaxation, and performance psychology are all centered on safety, health, and optimizing performance. The stronger and more flexible we are, the more prepared we are…

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Becoming “Free”

The topic of this post is the process of becoming “free.” Not in the sense of living in a country where we talk about our personal freedoms and what it means to have freedom of speech and such. Being truly free is when you are at peace with yourself (mind, body, soul) and everything else…

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Commitment to Excellence

When athletes and performers engage in a mental skills process to help them work on themselves and their mind game of sport or event they are making a commitment to excellence. One of the more important and essential elements is that the commitment to actually doing the things required to coach the mind is not…

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Utilizing Self-talk

There are many aspects of self-talk that can be utilized in sport performance. as previously mentioned, we can direct our attention and focus using cue-words (like “quick feet” or “square hips”) that support technique and skill. We can also talk ourselves through a routine in our heads and identify the process and procedure to keep…

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