In my early career, I was fortunate enough to learn several sides of the pro sports business from many of the top players in the industry. One person, in particular, presented countless opportunities (scouting, practice goaltending, video analysis, etc.) to me during those years that eventually led to my part-time (hobby) role as an Assistant Video Coach in the NHL (and now as Video Coach in the AHL).
On several occasions I would visit his office to discuss how his work with athletes improved the product on the ice or in the dressing room. He obviously could not get into specifics or names (which I was not interested in anyway) but it was always interesting to hear how the mental strength of an athlete adds huge gains to their physical skills. There are so many obstacles a pro athlete needs to tackle during their rise to the top and anyone without mental toughness is sure to struggle and will out on reaching their full potential.
Through this friendship, I soaked in as many examples as I could. When I then took up running, to get back into shape, I thought back to his lessons to help me get through the tough miles on the road. I knew that I had to reinforce my physical effort with a positive mental state to ensure I put the most into my training. If you could hear my thoughts during training and racing you would see how much I took away from his teachings.
So, why am I sharing this? Well Mr. Paul Dennis has recently created a twitter account for all to follow. If you would like to receive thought provoking tweets from Canada's top sports psychologist please follow @dennissportpsy on twitter!