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High Performance Mindset

Michael Gervais & Pete Carroll | 1:31:50


 How did you get into high performance sports psychology? Was it something you always dreamed of or it was something that you pursued? Yeah, my experience, like, I didn't know that this even existed as a, as a lifestyle or as an art, as a science. It, I was young and I grew up here, uh, in the South Bay in the beaches, and I surfed and I surfed a lot.

And there was a significant difference between how I would surf in free surf and then how I would surf in competitive surfing. And I wasn't as good in the competitive environment. And so there was a competitor that paddled by me who we surfed every day together and we were in a competition. And he paddled by and he said, um, I mean, I can remember the day like it was yesterday.

It was perfect. Glass out on the ocean waves were about four to five feet tall, which is just playful and fun. And I couldn't feel my feet, I couldn't feel my body. I felt disconnected to who I was and I had so much more to access. And he paddles by me and there's only three people out in the water. And there's the whole, you know, the beach is filled with judges and friends and family and he paddles by and he says, Dravet, you gotta stop worrying about what could go wrong.

And I thought, how the hell does he know what's in my head? Like that's exactly what I was thinking about and focusing on are all the catastrophizing, all the things that could go wrong. And so I sat out there by myself for a moment and I said, well, if that doesn't work, what should I be thinking about?

And so I was 15 years old and it just started me down the path to be curious about, you know, the impact of thoughts on performance and that's where it happened. That's fantastic. And so you went to school and studied sports psychology under one of the leaders in the field? Some would say, yeah. So I started undergrad in psychology and then that didn't quite offer enough insight and understanding of how humans work.

And then went back and studied, um, psychology for a master's degree. And I, because that felt like the natural evolution. And then that wasn't right though, cuz the, the arc of traditional psychology is in the study of dysfunction and disease and what's broken about the human experience and it didn't fit me.

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