SPINw’s Jimmy Yoo back for another year at Windell’s Academy

SPINw trainer Jimmy Yoo is back at Windell’s Academy for a second year.  He is working with the snowboarders, skiers, and skaters at the Mt Hood, Oregon based Windell’s Academy.  “One of the challenges early on was convincing these guys that they are athletes.  The culture of these sports is somewhat outside the mainstream, so introducing sport psychology was a bit foreign to them at first.  But they are starting to come around and see the benefits.”

Check out more about Jimmy’s work here:

Get to know Jimmy Yoo

The first in our SPINw Consultant interview series…

What they’re saying:  Testimonial from a College Wrestler:

“I was truly blessed to have gotten the opportunity to work with Jimmy. He helped me get out of the slump I was in. We went over various methods to help me relax and realize that wrestling doesn’t control my life as I once thought it did. He showed me there is life outside ofwrestling and in order to excel and accomplish my goals, I needed to relax, have fun, and reward myself. He has helped me outside of my sport as well, and he continues to help me today even though we are several states away.”

Q:  How do you work with athletes?

A:  Sport psychology is an educational process that uses scientific research, philosophy, and technique to help athletes learn to perform at a higher level. It is not a magic pill that just makes you better; as an athlete, you can’t look for the quick fix.

I apply my knowledge of sport psychology and practical experience to help athletes develop and practice new skills so that they can make positive changes, move toward their potential, and make sure they are having fun.

I also work with recreational athletes, coaches, business professionals, and artists to help them achieve personal and professional successes (e.g., coping with life stress, improving time-management, setting attainable goals, communicating better with family members, teammates, coaches, co-workers, and friends).

Q:  What can an Individual athlete expect from a session with you?

A:  Dedicated athletes spend countless hours physically preparing for competition; however, seldom do they set aside the necessary time to mentally prepare.

I help athletes develop a balance between mind and body so that they can achieve consistency and increase personal performance. I feel that individual sessions help athletes reduce stress by having a confidential place to process challenges.

Q: What is your favorite part of working with athlete?
A:  Seeing an athlete’s smile because they feel confident and enjoy competing in their sport.

Q:  How do you approach team sessions?

A: I like this quote:

          “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the

           greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the

           club won’t be worth a dime.” -Babe Ruth

I work with teams to help them identify strengths that individuals bring to the team and areas where they need to grow. I also help teams to improve communication among team members and coaches, and to build stronger team cohesion.

Q:  What is your favorite part of working with a team?

A:  During team building exercises it is great to see athletes communicating in a positive and constructive manner. If a team has really built a strong sense of trust, you can see that athletes understand their role on the team and leaders emerge from the group.

Get to know Elliott Waksman

The second in our SPINw Consultant interview series…

What they’re saying:  Testimonial from a High School Wrestler:

 “I am actually looking forward to next week’s competition.  I never would have said that last season.”

Q:  How do you work with individual athletes?
A:  Athletes walk out of my office with tools. Not hammers or rulers but mental tools, such as how to effectively set process goals before a tournament or how to reframe an annoying negative thought. As a consultant it is my job during the office session to set up the client for success on the court or field. This education piece is a huge element to my work.

Q:  What is your favorite sport psychology technique?
A:  Visualization! 99% of Olympic athletes use visualization techniques. While many athletes have heard this buzzword thrown around, my clients understand how to visualize correctly. Additionally, I often guide the process by facilitating a personal visualization script in sessions.

Q: What is your favorite part of working with individual clients?
A:  Everyday my clients and I work to reframe negative “pop ups” to positive, controllable thoughts. Cleverly helping athletes come up with solutions is something I enjoy in individual session work.

Q:  What is your favorite part of working with a team?
A:  Playing teacher. Presenting new material to athletes via power point workshops and experimental activities is a huge thrill for me. The athletes absorb things differently with an outside professional. While some coaches touch on the mental game, I come in and teach applicable concepts in detail with a fun format.

Get to know Brian Baxter

The third in our SPINw Consultant interview series…

What they’re saying:  Testimonial from the parent of a competitive soccer player:

“Just wanted to tell you how much you did for Lea over the past several months! She was just talking about how wonderful you are
and a pro at helping her realize and focusing on the important things! Thank you!”

Q: What is your favorite sport psychology technique?
A:  I guess it would be appropriate to tell you my athletes’ favorite techinque. Over the years, I have heard the most positive feedback about “circle breathing.”  It’s a skill that is simple and has so many applications, from relaxing to re-focusing to grounding yourself in the present moment.

Q:  How do you work with athletes?
A:  One way to look at my work with athletes is that I help them create positive habits over time so that when the pressure is on, the reaction is positive and predictable.  Most athletes I see have lost confidence and focus, and have a hard time dealing with the anxiety that comes with performance.  We work together to figure out what their current bad habits are that aren’t getting them the performance and results they want.  Then we break them down and re-build the new positive habits.

Q:  What is your favorite part about working with athletes?
A:  That every athlete is unique.  I really enjoy getting to know the athlete as a person, a student, a family member, and helping them come up with the solutions that work for them.  Then finding strategies to implement that work for that athlete personally.

Q:  How do you work with teams?
A:  First I work with the coach to get a feel for he or she would like the team to get out of the sessions.  Then I prepare workshops, using powerpoint and worksheets, experiential activities, and open discussion, so that the athlete from that team walk away all knowing specific mental skills that will become expected behavior for that team.  All sessions with teams invoive leadership and communication skills that allows the teams to improve on their chemistry on and off the field.

Q:  What is your favorite part about working with teams?
A:  As a former coach, I really enjoy the team atmosphere, the comraderie.  Working with teams allows me to reach multiple athletes at once, and knowing that the “whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”