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How Runners Can Use Mindfulness to Gain an Edge

What is mindfulness? The practice of mindfulness comes from Buddhist meditation. Years of research shows mindfulness therapy has numerous uses, including reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, defines mindfulness as, “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” The literature on mindfulness has focused on the development of mindfulness, practices that help a person focus his or her attention to gain control over his or her mind, promoting mental well-being in the process.
Applying Mindfulness to Sports How many times have you heard that sports are mental as well as physical? Athletes need more than physical training to compete. Incorporating mindfulness into your training can provide focus and increase attention to give you a winning edge.  Mental Health and Sport Athletes have turned to mental health p…

“13 Reasons Why” An Athlete Should See a Mental Health Sports Therapist

Even in today’s age of self-help, there is still a lot of stigma around going to therapy. This is especially true in the sports community.
Therapy or counseling (whatever word you are comfortable with) helps millions of people deal with all sorts of things that happens in everyday life. Therapy is a very practical way to address problems, issues, and concerns.
The process of therapy has many benefits. You can make discoveries about yourself, identify feelings, gain confidence and learn new ways of functioning. However, when it comes to athletes they are less likely to seek this kind of help or even report that something is wrong.
Since I am a therapist that works with athletes and being that the month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month I want to give some reasons why athletes SHOULD see a mental health sports therapist. I have  13 Reasons Why” in fact…and yes, the pun was intended. It is time for the culture of sports to stop avoiding mental health and mental illness issues. We must…

Concussion Treatment: Concussion 101

There has been a lot of discussion about concussions lately. Here is some information for athletes and those who love them.
What is a Concussion? A concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a hit, blow or jolt to the head. This impact interrupts the functioning of the brain. In a given year there are reports of over a million brain injuries in the United States. Concussions can be mild or severe. Athletes can recover from concussions within weeks but there is a risk from symptoms that can be ongoing.
Who can diagnose a concussion or brain injury? A neurologist or neuropsychologist can diagnose a concussion or brain injury?
What sports are at risk for concussions? With any physical activity you can be at risk for a concussion. However, American football, soccer, hockey, wresting and other contact sports have more of a risk.
What are symptoms of concussion or brain injury? It is important to understand that there are more than physical effects that can occur with multiple concussions or a b…

Kids Not Pros: My Response to LaBron James' Son Being Recruited

Two stories in recent news about athletes and their potential sports future caught my attention. One highlighted football player Daron Byrden, a 6th grader, and the other basketball player LaBron James Jr., a 4th grader . There seemed to be quite a bit of excitement surrounding these young men as well as speculation on what they will do in their sport’s career. These boys may have a great future in professional sports, but it will be no time soon. So, why are they getting this notoriety now? Why are colleges knocking on their doors and they are not even close to being in high school? Daron Byrden is already being called the “Future Tom Brady “ although Byrden is not being consider a college prospect as far as I know today (tomorrow who knows), his football development as well as his ranking is and now for all to see. Labron James Jr. at ten years old already gets attention just because of who his father is now he getting some added attention due to the fact he is playing good basketb…

Parents Is It Time to Get Help Outside the Lines? (Athletic Stress)

1 of 5 part series of identifying athletes’ needs off the field.

Parents are getting their children involved in playing sports more than ever before. Increasingly, young people are playing organized sports not only in school but through park districts and sport camps. There are many options for organized sports. Parents love the many life lessons that can be taught through sport‘s participation. Learning team work, responsibility, and being physically active are a few of many benefits of playing sports. Yet 51% of youth athletes quit organized sport by the age of 15 years of age (Wolf, 1993).  Researches are finding that some sports environments are linked to mental health problems for athletes. These problems are pushing young people out of sports or it is making playing sports a less enjoyable experience.
When issues present themselves off the playing field parents may want to ask the question – Is ittime to get help outside the lines?Do we need professional help for our athlete?Comi…

Hey Dan Synder, REALLY?!?!

At some point we all have to evolve as individuals, communities, societies and yes professional football teams name and its’ owners. The owner of the NFL Washington Redskins football team Daniel Snyder was quoted by USA Today Sports saying "We will never change the name of the team. As a lifelong R word fan, and I think that the R word fans understand the great tradition and what it's all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season. We'll never change the name, it's that simple. NEVER — you can use caps."

I say to that -  REALLY?!?! – I’m putting it in caps. Digging in heels and pretending the name is not offensive and a racial slur will not make this issue go away. When I first thought about writing this blog post I was going to provide the history around the r word and that information would serve as the underpinning of why the word should not be used. After careful thought I do not feel it is necessary to go into a hi…

Update - Since I Have Been Away

It has been quite a while since I wrote a blog post, but the time has come to begin posting again. I want to thank those who reached out to me and asked “when is the next post?” your interest in my blog and the topic of social work and sports was and still is very inspiring to me. I thought I would start my first blog post back with an update on what I have been doing and some highlights of my trip to London, England.

As I stated in my last post, I would be traveling through a study abroad program. Taking part in a program abroad was undeniably one of the best experiences of my life, being in London, England when it was preparing to be an Olympic city was something I will never forget. The knowledge and friendship gained will last a lifetime. After my flight arrived, the mode of travel was by bus or train (“The Underground”) and the occasional cab when we went out at night. I must say the public transportation in London will rival any large city’s transportation system here in the Un…