Ep 91 – Mind Over Matter: Improving Performance in Athletics and Beyond with Sports Psychiatrist Dr. MaryEllen Eller

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“And when it comes to mental preparation, it requires the same level of intention as any other training program.  It’s not gonna happen overnight. Being able to shift to that more internal motivation where you’re able to harness that energy when you’re having those bad days- that takes practice.  And it’s not gonna happen naturally.  And so, it’s incredibly important that people… that people develop a plan, that they invest in being intentional, and that they put as much focus on their mental training as they would for their physical training.” – Dr. MaryEllen Eller

A former gymnast-turned sports psychiatrist, MaryEllen Eller, MD, works with athletes to optimize their performance through the development of athlete-specific mental skills training.  Dr. Eller completed her undergraduate education at Andrews University in Michigan prior to attending Loma Linda University for both medical school and residency training in psychiatry. She enjoys specializing in high performance medicine and finds that the principles utilized to improve athletic performance can carry over into day-to-day life, helping individuals excel at work and at home.

I recently caught up with Dr. Eller to talk about how athletes can use a positive mindset to improve their performance, the impact of perfectionism, and the importance of being intentional.

Bio adapted from RxPerfomanceTherapy.com

In this episode we discuss:

  • How MaryEllen’s experiences growing up as a gymnast led to her interest in medicine
  • Her perspective on how the combination of young athletes and a focus on perfection can lead to a culture of fear and anxiety within the sport of gymnastics
  • How negative self-talk impacts our workouts and our daily lives and how one can address that
  • How automatic thoughts are formed and how to become aware of them and re-shape them in a positive way
  • The importance of writing daily goals and praising yourself for small accomplishments
  • How approaching life like a sports performance can lead to excellence
  • The stigma around depression and anxiety, and ways to recognize and actively manage these conditions
  • How to find motivation in day-to-day life and work towards being better every day
  • The importance of investing time and effort into becoming mentally tough and prepared
  • Three things MaryEllen does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to MaryEllen

You can follow MaryEllen via her website, Rx Performance Therapy, on Instagram, and on Facebook.

Links:

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by Dr. David Burns
Performance Enhancement with Dr. MaryEllen Eller

Related Episodes:

Ep 15 – Lewis Howes on chasing greatness
Ep 51 – Dick Costolo on Taking Risks and Finding Fitness
Ep 56 – Katrín Davíðsdóttir and Ben Bergeron on the Process of Creating a Champion
Ep 73 – RISEing to the Occasion with Olympic Swimmers Caroline Burckle and Rebecca Soni
Ep 84 – Chasing Excellence with Ben Bergeron

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market. By cutting out the middle man, Thrive Market delivers your favorite healthy food and lifestyle products to your doorstep at 25-50% lower cost than you would spend in the grocery store. Visit http://www.thrivemarket.com/ph to receive an exclusive offer from Thrive Market for being a listener of Pursuing Health: 25% off your first order + a free 30 day trial!

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit butcherbox.com/Julie to receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your order + a free order of bacon!

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

 

 


Ep 90 – CrossFit Games GM Justin Bergh: The Man Behind the Magic

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“But I’m really happy that I had that experience of being at the Ranch and understanding culturally what that was.  And it wasn’t lost on me.  I think for a lot of people it was like, ‘Hey, this is fun and exciting,’ and for me, my whole background had been working in sport, in professional sport, and watching these little touring sports get big, watching big touring sports get organized, and going oh my gosh, this thing is…I mean, I used to joke, I was talking to Tony [Budding] a long time ago, and he was like ‘Hey the Games are gonna be really big, they’re gonna have a video display there.’  And I was like, man you guys are sitting on the top of a rocket going, ‘Hey, look at how high we are!’ and I was like, you haven’t even hit the ignition switch yet. I was like, once this starts taking off, it has unlimited potential.” – Justin Bergh

As the General Manager of the CrossFit Games, Justin Bergh is the man behind the scenes, overseeing details large and small to ensure everything comes together at just the right moment to create a phenomenal global fitness festival.  With the help of his CrossFit HQ team and over 800 volunteers, Justin plays an instrumental role in setting the stage to find and crown the Fittest Man and Woman on Earth each year.

A former aspiring major league baseball player, Justin suffered career ending injuries and used that challenge as an opportunity for growth.  After graduating from a sports management program, he found success working for a sports technology company, but ultimately took a leap of faith and opened his own affiliate, CrossFit Southside, in order to pursue his passion of helping others become more fit.

Now a prominent leader within CrossFit HQ, Justin has literally worked his way to the top.  After starting as an affiliate owner, Justin found his way to a role as an intern eventually a member and Flowmaster on the CrossFit Seminar Staff.  As the CrossFit Games grew, Justin was also able to draw on his sports management experience, leading him to his current role as General Manager of the Games.

I recently caught up with Justin to chat about his role as General Manager and to get a peek behind the curtains at what it takes to produce the most anticipated CrossFit event of the year.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What Justin’s day-to-day schedule is like as the CrossFit Games event approaches
  • His athletic background and how he found CrossFit
  • The lessons Justin learned from multiple injuries as he pursued a dream of playing professional baseball
  • The path to opening his own affiliate
  • How Justin came to be involved with CrossFit HQ and the CrossFit Games
  • The growth and evolution of the CrossFit Games
  • The challenges of planning a competition for a constantly varied sport
  • How fantastic it is that a broad awareness of CrossFit is spreading, especially in a world dominated by screens
  • The structure of the Games production team
  • The scope of the volunteer component of the Games
  • The rehearsal process for preparing for events
  • The role of the CrossFit Demo team
  • What it’s like to work with Dave Castro on creating the Games
  • The most challenging and rewarding parts of Justin’s job
  • His excitement to be presenting the Games in Madison
  • How the CrossFit Games team decides which companies to partner with
  • The process to ensure a fair competition by testing for banned substances
  • Justin’s daily routine
  • Three things he does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing that Justin thinks would have a big impact on his health but he struggles to implement
  • What a healthy life looks like to him

You can follow Justin on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Links:

Related Episodes:
Ep 21 – Pat Sherwood on CrossFit, the Games and quality of life and longevity
Ep 27 – Adrian Bozman on teaching CrossFit, judging at the CrossFit Games, and garage gym training
Ep 29 – Dave Castro on applying lessons learned as a SEAL, his daily routine, and directing the CrossFit Games
Ep 62 – Becca Voigt: The Woman, The Myth, The Legend
Ep 65 – Rory McKernan: CrossFit Games Update Show Host
Ep 85 – Back on Track with Carleen Mathews
Ep 87 – Stacie Tovar: From Legendary Competitor to Thriving Coach

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market. By cutting out the middle man, Thrive Market delivers your favorite healthy food and lifestyle products to your doorstep at 25-50% lower cost than you would spend in the grocery store. Visit http://www.thrivemarket.com/ph to recieve an exclusive offer from Thrive Market for being a listener of Pursuing Health: 25% off your first order + a free 30 day trial!

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit butcherbox.com/Julie to recieve an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your order + a free order of bacon!

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.