If you’re a fan of Fall sports such as hockey, football (Go Broncos), or plan on watching the World Series you may wonder what happens to the athletes who have played their last inning or scored their last goal. Transitions are tough for anyone but for professional athletes, facing the inevitable end of a career can be a profound and confusing time. “Athletic identity can be a big deal. We see it in athletes of all ages and it’s an important topic in the pros when sports figures move towards retirement,” explains Chamber member Jamie Shapiro, Ph.D., DU Professor and Consultant at Sport & Performance Excellence Consultants
Shapiro understands the competitive mindset and the importance of having a strong team on your side in order to help manage the mental game. As a high school athlete competing in club gymnastics, her coach, while not a psychologist, used mental training topics to inspire and better prepare his athletes. This proved to be very useful for Shapiro when she later suffered an ACL injury at Brown University and still managed to recover and return to competition.
Intrigued by sports psychology, Shapiro later realized that Brown didn’t offer a sport psychology track so she took matters into her own hands and started her own study group. “Eventually I did my own research and decided this was the right career path for me.” After grad school, Shapiro found her way to Denver where she is an Assistant Professor of Sport and Performance Psychology in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology, at the University of Denver. “My private practice took off because of the connections I made with other professors at DU,” she says. “We all offer something unique which can greatly benefit athletes and performers of all ages.”
In Shapiro’s experience, “In school you train in psychology but they don’t teach you about running a business.” She continues, “The Chamber has really helped me figure that out.” A member since 2011, Shapiro says, “I feel like I’ve made real friends who can relate to what I’m going through.”
One of the most impactful experiences was when she was looking for office space. “Our consultants spend a lot of time on-site working with both teams and individuals.” However, Shapiro found that having a convenient but cost-effective office that she could reserve on an hourly basis was essential to business growth. “I wasn’t sure what to do, so I called Sherri! (Sherri Liebhauser, Chamber Program Coordinator) She immediately put me in contact with fellow member, Boardroom Executive Suites and problem solved.”
In fact Shapiro’s biggest word of advice to new members is to reach out. “Don’t go it alone, ask for help, call Sherri or come to the events and ask other members for advice. It’s not just about getting new clients it’s also about the resources we offer one another.”
If you or someone you know is an athlete or performer who would like mental preparation, transition, or injury support, visit Sport & Performance Excellence Consultants at www.spexconsultants.com. You can request Dr. Jamie Shapiro by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some source material provided by The Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle
For information about Boardroom Executive Suites please visit them at http://boardroomdenver.com/