His path to becoming Oakville Performance & Wellness’ Director of Sport Psychology
Hi! My name is Jeff Chamberlain and I’m thrilled to have joined the awesome team here at Oakville Performance & Wellness (OakPW) as the Director of Sport Psychology. Allow me to give a bit of background about who I am, what I do, and why I do it.
Back in high school, my plan was to pursue a career in sports journalism. That changed when I did a “victory lap” to play another year of high school hockey. During this time, I took an exercise science class in order to fill my schedule, and I was introduced to the field of sport psychology. As an athlete who strongly believed in the mental aspect of the game, I was instantly captivated.
In order to pursue a career in sports psychology, I spent 6 years at Western University. This included 4 years of undergrad (B.A, hon. spec. Kinesiology, Minor in Psychology) and 2 years of post-grad (M.A., Sports Psychology). During this time, there were two major revelations I noticed regarding sports psychology.
The first is that it is even more important than I originally imagined. While I was always meticulous in terms of my pre-game mental preparation, I was unaware of how many “levels” there are to sports psychology.
Whether it’s utilizing imagery, goal-setting, anxiety management, self-talk, etc., the list of ways one can improve their performance is extensive.
The second thing I learned, particularly in the Master’s portion of my studies when I worked with adolescent rep hockey teams, is that athletes aren’t currently dedicating enough attention to mental skills.
With such tight schedules these days, it seems that athletes are spending almost all of their precious time practicing the physical aspects of their sport. Unfortunately the mental aspects are neglected.
I’ve found that coaches often don’t have the knowledge to teach these mental skills, or, even if they do, they simply don’t have enough time.
Specifically, practicing and improving these mental skills is what I’m responsible for here at OakPW. I do this in one of two ways.
I can either work with athletes individually during one-on-one coaching sessions, or I can work with teams as a whole through our new team workshops.
I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to share my knowledge, as I have such a strong belief and passion for these concepts. With sports being so competitive these days, everyone is always looking to find that “edge” that can take them to the next level. A lot of times, athletes had this edge all along; they just didn’t know how to access it. If you are a team or athlete that is looking to take their game to the next level, you’re in the right place.