Get to know Brian Baxter

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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.”

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