Mindset Over Matter – an Interview with Dr. Christina Heilman
Dr. Christina Heilman is a sports psychologist and mindset coach who helps athletes train to achieve their optimum performance through mental strategies. She talks about her own professional experiences and motivations and how she finds balance in her life to maintain happiness.
She explains what her mantra “pausing is more powerful than pushing” means, and she talks about overcoming negative thoughts in training. They discuss flow states and how that helps you push through a number of physical and mental challenges.
They discuss how the concepts of lightness, play and novelty are important tools to keep yourself from aging chronologically.
Also on the podcast, they consider how the current model of the medical industry is based on making money from people’s illnesses rather than on improving health and longevity of patients.
Ask yourself: what is a flow state and how can I start to tap into it?
To read more on flow state, check out The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler.
Chris is a coach at Mindset, speaker, author and athlete who empowers athletes to go beyond what they think they are capable to achieve peak levels of physical, mental and lifestyle performance. From her own experiences as a skier, climber and endurance runner, Chris understands the mental game. She knows what it feels like to endure pressure, fear, frustration, self-doubt and all the other underlying factors that go into maximizing your potential. That’s why Chris's nearly 20 years of experience has helped hundreds of weekend warriors, youth sport participants, recreational, collegiate and elite athletes skyrocket to both performance and personal excellence. She believes that the skills that help someone be the best they can be in sports are the same ones that will help them in other parts of their life.
Chris's dedication and work ethic are among the best. She paid for every dime of her higher education, which earned her a PhD in Sport and Exercise Psychology and a double board-certification as an Athletic Trainer (ATC) and a Strength and Conditioning Coach (CSCS). After being an athletic trainer to collegiate and Olympic athletes, Chris quit her career to pursue her passion for fostering mental excellence in youth athletes.
Before getting her PhD, Chris explored for a year. Eleven days into this exploration, she lost all of her belongings in a forest fire, except the clothes on her back, camping gear, climbing shoes, and her car. Despite adversity, she persevered to climb and work as an outdoor educator in Joshua Tree, ski patrol at Grand Targhee, backpack guide in the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Tetons, and played to her heart’s desire.
After a fruitful year of exploring, she went to the University of Utah to dive into sport psychology. Switching careers from athletic training to sport psychology made Chris want to poke out her eye balls, but she stuck with it because of her deep curiosity in understanding the mind and habits to skyrocket one’s life. In 2012, her dedication and passion for sport psychology paid off. The Association of Applied Sport Psychology awarded her the Dissertation of the Year Award for her pioneering research in the areas of motivation, achievement and positive youth development through sport.
Professionally, Chris has an extensive history of many activities, including conference presentations, publications in peer-reviewed journals and 10 years of university teaching in sports psychology and athletic training. Most of all, Chris is very proud of her newly published sport psychology book, Elevate Your Excellence: The Mindset and Methods that Make Champions (October 2017). This book is the culmination of her years of education, experience and passion of mental excellence. The book is meant to help athletes, coaches and other sport professionals demystify the mental game and learn the art and science of sport psychology to strategically boost performance and health.
In sum, it’s really Chris’s diverse experiences, academic degrees and achievements in both the mind and body, as well as having the courage to face her fears every single day that sets her apart from other mental coaches. Chris's unique background gives her consulting practice depth that makes working with her enjoyable and beneficial.
Chris lives in Driggs, Idaho, with her husband, son and her passion for powder skiing.