Parents and coaches often report that they would like to see their athletes develop greater mental toughness, but what exactly does that mean? Why do we see so many talented athletes underperform?
Many youth programs focus on developing technical and physical skills, but few programs place the same emphasis on helping athletes develop the mental skills needed to reach their full potential. As a result, we see many athletes who underperform and struggle to “keep their head in the game.”
The good news is mental toughness can be taught. Athletes can learn a series of mental skills in the same way they learn skills like shooting a free throw or serving a volleyball. As with any skill, improvement comes with coaching and practice, resulting in a tougher, stronger athlete.
This introductory workshop will dispel some of the myths about sport psychology and review the basic principles used when working with youth athletes. We will also review some specific techniques to help athletes master the mental element of competitive sport and improve their performance.
This workshop is designed for youth athletes, parents, coaches, and any athletic personnel that work with youth athletes. The workshop is not sport-specific and is appropriate for individuals from any sport.
Dr. Virginia Iannone is a Professor of Psychology at Stevenson University and a licensed psychologist specializing in sport psychology with a focus on youth athletics. A lifelong athlete, she played multiple sports through high school, as well as Division-III volleyball at the University of Scranton. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and opened her practice in Columbia, MD shortly thereafter.
As a sport psychologist she works with athletes, parents, coaches, and athletic departments with the goal of helping her clients improve their performance and realize their full potential. Dr. Iannone teaches a special topics course in Sport Psychology and Performance Enhancement at Stevenson and has an active program of research investigating the mental stamina of young athletes. In addition, she coaches high school and club volleyball.