Amanda is the newest member of The Performance Pursuit staff & we want to give you a peak into what type of person and consultant she is. I DARE you not to smile while reading through this little interview. Welcome to the team, Amanda!
1. Tell us your favorite ‘sport psych moment’ (teaching, utilizing, learning, etc.):
Early in my consulting career I was working with a female cricketer. We were working on regaining her confidence. After one of her matches she messaged me to say that she surpassed her goal and she felt great and a big thank you! Being a beginner consultant it felt great that I was able to help someone achieve what they were working towards and in turn helped me feel more confident in what I was doing. It was definitely a fulfilling moment for me.
2. In your opinion, the top two reasons that sport psychology is important:
Many people EXPECT athletes to be tough and have little understanding when they do not meet expectations. As a result it is important for athletes to have a safe environment to voice their concerns (especially the ones they do not feel comfortable saying out loud) where they do not feel judged. This simple offloading can go a long way for an athlete, knowing that someone has expressed empathy towards their thoughts and feelings. Sometimes our role is just to listen as that is what the athlete needs at that time. Additionally sport psychology serves to bring self-awareness to the athlete so they can discover things about themselves that they may not have previously recognized and reflected on. This is usually the beginning of overcoming performance woes or slumps. Sport Psychology is essential to the athlete’s mental wellbeing ensuring checks and balances are in place.
3. How do you want to be remembered?:
I have actually never thought of this but the first thing that popped into my head as I read the question was the word ‘helpful.’ I genuinely love helping others but it has been a journey to learn that helping means ‘helping within my capability’ because you cannot give more than what you have.
4. Name one instance that you’ve used sport psych techniques outside of an athletic scenario:
Driving is DEFINITLEY a place where I have used sport psychology techniques. Traffic, bad driving, inconsiderate driving…. The list goes on, and it is essential to keep calm, cool and collected. I practice my deep breathing and focused distractions i.e. a great playlist. I’ve also used the ‘control the controllables’ in many areas; relationships, family, friends. It helps put things into perspective and steer my focus.
5. If you could only eat one item of food for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?:
Wow that’s a hard question! Only one forever and ever? Can I get back to you on this one because I love food way too much for just one (covers face)
6. What does “sport” mean to you on a personal level?:
Sport has always been part of my life. My parents always encouraged my siblings and I to participate whether it was gymnastics, tennis, dance, soccer we were there! It was an outlet from the rigidity of school and an opportunity to socialize. But before my own eyes I see sport as something that unites people from all walks of life. I remember when Trinidad and Tobago qualified for the world cup for the first time in 2005. It was a day of celebration. People dancing in the streets, people hugging, crying. The work day literally stopped for the celebration. That moment is something that will be imprinted in my mind forever. You can forget the everyday hassles of life and enjoy and participate in something great. In any sporting event you can see people who have never met celebrating victories, embracing and having a drink! Sport also shows us what humans are capable of once they put their mind to it. Just yesterday I looked at a video of a gymnast do a back hand spring from a seated position. I watched it about 10 times wondering HOWW every time… but really HOW lol?