"My experience as an athlete gives me insight into the world of sports, and graduate schools do not teach you that. On the other hand, scientific knowledge is essential to apply mental training interventions that are evidence-based, and sports professionals cannot mentally prepare athletes based only on their personal experience."
FROM COMPETITIONS TO SPORT PSYCHOLOGY & PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY
As a professional athlete, I traveled worldwide and competed for more than ten years representing Hawaii and the USA in the Bodyboarding World Tour.
As a mental performance consultant, I received a master’s degree in sport and performance psychology. Also, I am a Sports Performance Consultant certified by the American Board of Sport Psychology, and Board Certified in Biofeedback.
When young athletes are introduced to a new sport, their coaches provide drills to help them learn the basic skills. When the skills have been mastered to a certain degree, the athlete is expected to perform the skills error-free under pressure, but fear and anxiety often cause stress reactions that impair performance.
In my quest to become better in my sport and to learn “what is inside our heads” that can hide all our hard work and place athletes between winning and losing, I moved to clinical psychology, and I noticed that clinical psychology was too focused on determining what is wrong with the individual and not giving tools to athletes deal with what is happening during the competitions. Then, other sport psychology professionals introduced me to Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, and I learned that athletes could train their physiology to respond differently to the challenges they face, so they can perform to the best of their abilities when they need it most.
My mission is to help other athletes become mentally prepared competitors and successful athletes who learn during their athletic journey.
Yes, Sport is about high performances and the best results. The better you perform, the more exposure you get, and the higher are the chances of getting good sponsorships. However, success is different from winning. Coach John Wooden defined success as trying to be the best you can be, and maybe your best effort will not lead to the results you want. He emphasized that success is not about the outcome; instead, it is about the journey. Other great leaders and philosophies also emphasize the process rather than the result.
I also believe the treasure is in the journey. The lessons and opportunities during the athletic career are the gifts we receive from the sport, and it is more valuable than trophies. The relationships in sport, winning, and losses; all those valuable experiences teach us to be the better version of ourselves. And if you develop your athletic skills to the maximum capacity, it will bring satisfaction and fulfillment independently of your position in the final ranking.
Because I believe the treasure is in the athletic journey, it gave the name to my sport psychology business, “Athlete’s Treasure.” I am here to help you reach your athletic goals.
Andrea Dias, MA, ABSP-BC, BCB
Master's degree in Sport and Performance Psychology
American Board of Sport Psychology; Board Certified Consultant in Sport Psychology
Biofeedback Certification International Alliance: Board Certified in Biofeedback