As a former basketball and tennis high school coach, Dr. Reid received his B.A. in psychology with a minor in leadership studies at the University of San Diego. He went on to receive his master's degree in Mental Health Counseling & Behavioral Medicine at Boston University's School of Medicine, while gaining specialized training and experience in Sport Psychology at Boston University's School of Education, working with local college teams. He then earned his Ph.D. degree at Boston University in Counseling Psychology where he gained successful practical experience working with a Division I team. Dr. Reid has several years of specialized training in treating anxiety at the world renowned Center for Anxiety at BU, successfully helping his clients overcome anxiety, which he integrates when working with athletes.
Successful at working with a diverse range of athletes in his private practice and training experiences, Dr. Reid brings a professional, positive, personable, collaborative, and insightful perspective. His approach is individually tailored and integrated from a range of theories, research, and practical experiences and insights. The key is to understand the individual while determining the approach to teaching skills and fostering growth for performance enhancement. Dr. Reid sets his clients on the trajectory which defines their potential and allows them to proudly actualize excellence. He assists his clients to achieve powerful results in sport and in life.
See Sport Psychology Consultation for a list of issues that Dr. Reid addresses in his practice.
When applicable, Dr. Reid provides clinical mental health services pertaining to issues such as anxiety, depression and mood issues, adjustments/self-esteem, and others: see Clinical Services.
See Background Section for his vast clinical training and expertise.
As an athlete and as a person we benefit from a solid and healthy foundation that will be there for us at the end of the day, no matter what we experience on our journey and no matter the outcomes.
A foundation is what we depend on to keep us steady, on course, and balanced. It allows us to regroup and move forward. A foundation allows us to find meaning, fulfillment, and joy throughout our journey. A foundation is something we can always lean on, especially when times are tough.
We must tend to our foundation in order to ensure that it will stay strong and healthy, both when things come easy and when we are challenged. Tending to our foundation is like providing a plant with fresh soil, removing weeds, and periodically providing water and sunlight.
Each person's foundation may look different from others. It may depend on one's unique personality, life experiences, culture, beliefs, relationships, etc. Our foundation can start with identifying our personal values and reflecting on how we want to take on the day (Gardner & Moore, 2007). In turn, these values turn into intentional daily habits that eventually become second nature and part of our daily routine. Although such a foundation is not so much about outcomes (wins/losses, success/failure), it more often than not naturally sets us up for success in the long-run.
A foundation can also be setting ourselves up for success with the right amount of structure in place to keep things clear, in order, and flowing efficiently. This could involve managing our time, energy, or resources. It could involve clarifying our plans and intentions before we enter challenging situations. An aspect of our foundation could be creating an organizational system that works best for us. It can also be setting clear objectives and goals that are within our zone of development.
Another foundation can be building awareness into ourselves and others, so we can begin to understand what affects us and how it affects us (see next section for more on Awareness).
A foundation can also come from setting aside at least some time each day to lean on whatever, or whoever, it is we find provides a sense of security, peace/calmness, and balance in our life.
Other examples of a foundation include:
The key is to find something or someone that provides a steady foundation to build from, fall back on, and provide direction, in good times and during challenges.
Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York, NY: Random House.
Gardner, F. & Moore, Z.E. (2007) The psychology of enhancing human performance. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
To know thyself is a life-long learning process; however, it is one of the keys to playing and living free. This is because awareness allows us to see the factors that influence us in positive/helpful and negative/unhelpful ways. With awareness, we can attempt to see how our inner world interacts with the outer world and our performance. Awareness is also being clear on your abilities, goals, and areas for improvement.
Sometimes we can get by with raw talent and a "go-after it" mentality without reflecting much about the process or ourselves. However, awareness takes us to the next level and supports our long-term development. With awareness, we begin to realize that our emotions and minds are our greatest tool in our approach to excellence. Our thoughts and attention are like our steering wheel directing us toward our goals and our emotions and spirit are like the gas that fuels us. But like everything else in life, our inner states are not perfect. Sometimes our thoughts and attention lead us astray. Sometimes we don't even truly know why we are feeling what we are feeling or react the way we react. Sometimes our emotions can feel overwhelming and drive us toward unhelpful actions (Barlow et al., 2011). This is to be expected. Simply knowing this can point us in a new direction and begin that life-long process of self-awareness.
Even though our minds can be filled with endless thoughts, worries, distractions, etc., Jon Kabat-Zinn notes that we can learn to "Befriend Our Mind" (Kabat-Zinn, 2012, p. 24). Thoughts are like "weather patterns" that come and go - and instead of fighting against them, with awareness we can better predict "weather patterns"of the mind and respond accordingly (Kabat-Zinn, 2012, p. 35). As we become more aware of our automatic reactions to situations, we begin to expect them and work with them more effectively. With awareness, we can gain insight into ourselves, our circumstances, and whatever has influenced us. We can better understand and appreciate how our day-to-day reactions fit into the big-picture of our life-long journey toward excellence. Sometimes insight alone can reduce the mental clutter. Additionally, with awareness, we can train our minds to become more present, focused on what is happening now, and in sync with what we are doing and what is happening around us. Awareness also helps us to recognize when we are overwhelmed by what is happening around us, so that we can take charge by thinking and acting with intention.
Awareness is often developed when we are able to talk through our experiences with a trusted person, such as a sport psychology consultant, who can help map out one's patterns in an objective, supportive, helpful, positive, and non-judgmental way.
Note: awareness is not the same thing as over-analyzing everything and ruminating all the time. Actually, having awareness is the ability to recognize when we would be over-analyzing or ruminating in an unhelpful manner.
Barlow, D. H., Farchione, T. J., Fairholme, C. P., Ellard, K. K., Boisseau, C. L., Allen, L. B., & Ehrenreich-May, J. (2011). Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Kabat-Zinn, J. (2012) Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment--and Your Life. Boulder, CO: Sounds True.
If we were all honest with ourselves, we would agree that approaching excellence requires courage because we can never 100% predict how things will turn out. When we commit to a path of excellence we take a risk by putting ourselves out there to experience the highs and the lows, which are inevitable. This unpredictability and uncertainty produces at least some level of anxiety, worry, or fear. This is to be expected.
Courage means taking the first step despite the discomfort. Examples of courage can take many forms - such as standing up to resolve a conflict, speaking up as a leader, trying something new, being willing to face new challenges, setting priorities and making decisions, learning from our faults and experiences, as well as many, many others. Courage has a lot to do with a lot of what we do. Think about the many times you have had to be courageous in the past. Was it fulfilling to do so in the end, even if it was initially somewhat (or very) uncomfortable?
If excellence is worth approaching, be courageous and take the first step despite the uncertainty and fear. Remember that those unsettling feelings of doubt can change with time, after adjusting, and with other aspects of excellence like a healthy and strong foundation that will be there for you.
Sometimes courage starts in our mind and sometimes it naturally develops simply through taking action, one step at a time. Courage can sometimes be created through repeated, small, brave actions. Sometimes we can simply pretend to be brave, or hold a brave attitude, even when deep down we feel scared. Sometimes it's the first step that is the scariest; then it gets easier as we build confidence, feel a sense of control, gain wisdom and more perspective, and come to the realization that we can cope with, adapt to, and problem-solve what comes our way, even if the conditions and outcomes are not ideal. We can also start being courageous by setting small goals for ourselves if it's difficult to get started on something uncomfortable.
We can also free ourselves to be courageous when we deconstruct the fears, uncertainties, and doubts that, when viewed from a different angle or analyzed more specifically, sometimes turn out to not actually be so accurate, necessary, or based in truth.
Lastly, the courage to look inward can be powerful. It can help us to understand and resolve the internal conflicts that are holding us back or getting us stuck, as well as identify what our feelings and instincts are trying to tell us.
Sometimes we must be courageous when we 'let something go' so that we can be more free in situations and respond with more flow. Even letting go of constant thinking and planning can be uncomfortable, because it may feel like we are letting go of a sense of control. However, sometimes 'letting go' can create inner peace within ourselves, which in turn can allow our instincts to become clearer and our actions to become more free.
Simos, G., & Hoffman, S. G. (2013). CBT for anxiety disorders a practitioner book. U.K., England: Wiley-Blackwell
Nothing is ever accomplished through just thought alone. Action and preparation is always required. We need action that embodies a commitment to our personal long-term mission (Ravizza & Hanson, 1996), personal values, process or strategic plan, and journey even when it takes twists and turns (Gardner & Moore, 2007). Commitment is what separates whether we will have a dream or pursue and even live our dream. We also need to be committed to learning. It is through learning that we can become one with what we are doing by fully understanding it and making it second nature, so there is no hesitation in our actions.
One must develop strategies to stay committed because it's just too easy to become distracted. The ability to commit our attention in the face of internal and external distractions, which can be strengthened with training (Mrazek et al., 2013), is critical to optimal performance. Usually, at the end of the day if we can look back and realize that we did our best to stay committed to our mission, values, plan, process, and learning, we feel satisfied and rest more easily (Gardner & Moore, 2007).
Gardner, F. & Moore, Z.E. (2007) The Psychology of Enhancing Human Performance. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
Mrazek, M. D., Franklin, M. S., Phillips, D. T., Baird, B., & Schooler, J. W. (2013). Mindfulness training improves working memory and GRE performance while reducing mind wandering. Psychological Science, 24(5), 776-781.
Ravizza, K. & Hanson, T. (1996) Heads Up Baseball. Chicago, IL: McGraw-Hill.
Trust is essential for allowing your abilities to naturally flow instead of becoming too rigid or mechanical (e.g., in our form and technique, in our cohesion with others) (Ravizza & Hanson, 1998). It is letting go of the desire to over-analyze yourself as you would during practice (meant to help you improve) and replacing that with a mindset of trusting what you already know to do - and doing it (Rotella & Cullen, 2004). It is letting go of self-consciousness so that your attention can be anchored in the present moment. Trust is humble, authentic confidence, that does not get too high or too low. With trust, we can disregard unhelpful thoughts and distractions (e.g., self-consciousness or tending to our ego). Trust takes time to build; and, it is also a choice, although there are ways to make that choice easier.
Trust comes from having patience and not 'catastrophizing' the bumps in the road, such as setbacks and even the emotions that we will experience along the way. It is accepting that there is room to grow, time to adjust, and a good reason to continue pursuing excellence, even when times get tough. Trust is part of staying with the process.
Trust requires faith to believe in yourself, your team, your abilities, and your preparation; it is acknowledging and honoring all that you have worked for and using what you've got (Ravizza & Hanson, 1996).
Trust comes from playing to your personal strengths and gaining little victories, not relying on "hitting a home-run" every time in order to feel trust (Covey, 2004). It is also accepting limits, when necessary and appropriate.
Trust also comes from preparing ourselves for the moment and having a clear game plan for whatever comes our way; a plan that we know like the back of our hands. At the same time, with trust we can also carry ourselves with confidence, as if we are ready go even if we do not feel 100% at our best. We can accept that we may feel a little nervous and/or excited, which is normal and subsides over time as we adjust.
In this way, trust is knowing that you can carry on whatever happens. It is accepting that we cannot predict everything, but we can go into the challenge giving our all. It is the intention to take on the challenge with vigor and vitality, even if dread creeps in. Trust requires courage, and other elements of Excellence described above.
Covey, S. R. (2004). The 7 habits of highly effective people: Restoring the character ethic. New York: Free Press.
Ravizza, K. & Hanson, T. (1996) Heads up baseball. Chicago, IL: McGraw-Hill.
Rotella, B. J., & Cullen, B. (2004). The golfer's mind. New York, NY: Free Press.
We can't do it all alone, nor should we. Sometimes there are limits to what we can do; we are human. We have our strengths and we have our weaknesses. Everybody has different strengths, perspectives, experiences, ideas, and knowledge bases, and so we learn from each other in direct and indirect ways. Also, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, they say.
Interdependence does not mean we give up our independence or fighting spirit. It means that we are comfortable enough in our own skin, and humble enough, to recognize that we need each other. Within relationships we can both seek out and provide to others what is needed, whether it's support, feedback, someone to listen, a sounding board, guidance or advice, wisdom or a new perspective, camaraderie, a sense of connection, knowledge, or even just a laugh, smile, or bit of encouragement to lift us up to get us through the day. Additionally, it helps to have positive role-models from whom we can learn and feel inspired.
Furthermore, there is often a lot wrapped up in our relationships. Relationships are always significant in our lives, at every stage. Relationships create a context in which we can learn about ourselves, others, and life. We can grow and evolve through relationships, especially when faced with challenges, and we can also help others do the same.
Lastly, relationships have intrinsic value. Relationships create a sense of meaning within our journey. The most important steps in our journey often involves a relationship of some sort; even a relationship with yourself or your relationship with your sport. Although not all relationships are ideal, and often take time to develop, a healthy relationship is powerful when it is built on elements such as respect, authenticity, care, interest, trust, joy, effort, positivity, encouragement, understanding, appreciation, and faith. Not all relationships are the same, and we all have flaws, imperfections, and differences. However, we can still approach all relationships with the same intention and attitude, face the challenges that come within relationships, and/or protect ourselves from unhealthy relationships.
Copyright © 2018 Dr. Gerald M. Reid, LLC - All Rights Reserved.