“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
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
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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.