Dr. Larry Lauer on improving your mental skills


Hello. Everyone welcome to the tennis. Dot Com. Podcast we are in Lake Nona at the US J. National Campus. I'm your host Nina. Panic joined by my co host. Irena Falconi. Hey guys. How's it going this episode? Special guest is Dr. Larry Lower Larry Welcome. Thanks for having me. I'm looking forward to it. Can you give us a brief little bio about who you are and what you do here? Well here I'm the mental skill specialist for player development. I work with are pros and our juniors Getting Ready for competition preparing mentally. I work with the coaches as well to get players ready. So my job is while the coaches work on the physical side is to work on the players mental side and make sure that they're prepared for competition as well as helping them deal with things that happened in their life. So it's not just about The player on the court but the player off the court as well the holistic approach. And it's my job to make sure that the players have what they need to compete in a happy way in a healthy way and a high functioning way. Have you always wanted to do this from the very beginning was this? You're calling well not since I was a baby but Certainly when I not not really no being not being facetious anymore being serious when I was younger I wanted to be a coach and civically a baseball coach. I wanted to play professional baseball. And that didn't work out We don't need to get into that and this podcast and since tennis sports play so I had decided I was going to be a coach and maybe actually go into commentating. On Television Live sports events. I was interested in and so went to Clarion University. My Hometown University and really wasn't that interested in the courses and communication and and the degree. So I I ran into the psychology doctor Dr Easily Krause who knew that I played sports and coaching as well and she said hey you know there's actually something called sports psychology. I was around nineteen years old. I'm like what does that was. Clueless had no idea. This is dating myself but this was like nineteen ninety-two right. What is that and she said? Well come check it out. I'm going to have a special course on sports psychology and so I took the course and love. It fell in love with it and at that point. I knew that's what I wanted to do. Because an answer questions I had about my own performances in terms of at times playing great and other times. Not Performing You know going in and going four for four and having a home run and three RB is in the next game striking out four times. And why does that happen and why are sometimes feel on and other times just way off? Why sometimes in the feudal my locked in and other times? I'M MAKING MISTAKES. Couldn't answer it for myself necessarily and. I wanted to know to help myself but also to help the players that I was coaching in Baseball Thomas. Coaching sixteen seventeen eighteen year old Baseball in Pennsylvania says I dug deeper into psychology and and Indus. Four psychology started answering the questions that I had so that that was really the start and then I was fortunate to be able to go to. Unc Greensboro with Dr Dangled Who's one of the best sports psychologist in the world and having worked with him? I really got a deep understanding of what it means to perform under pressure and in really the literature sports psychology and Research and application. And really that kind of set me up. That's that's a quick version of it for what I'm doing today. I know you said baseball is not the same as tennis. But you can relate to players who have struggled in their sport given your background playing sport but you can also maybe I know you work with professionals who maybe are successful. But you probably people that. Don't make it right absolutely so you can relate to. I WANNA get dark. Unless you can relate you can really yeah. You can relate to someone who is struggling with finding their identity after thinking they were. GonNa make it as a pro and not getting there right. So how did you? How did you work through that if you can talk about that and you know? Is there a formula for figuring yourself out after your dreams and your hopes kind of change that is deep this early? So that's a great question you know getting into my psyche this turning turning the tides on me. We're GONNA talk about Irena. We will okay good so much better about that well honestly schering dot. Me That was that was a process Having gone to college and and and walked onto play baseball and it didn't work out and I didn't really understand recruiting process and probably could played somewhere but ended up not playing coming from a small rural area and losing that dream. That point was really difficult. And so I'm I'm age. Nineteen you know and and not yet mature as I am now. I know it's hard to believe. But and and it took a while it was kind of a tailspin for a while I was. I wouldn't say I was depressed but I was pretty down about it and upset that this dream that I had didn't work out. And it took me some time to sort of regroup and certainly being in college and and having those experiences helped a lot where I was exposed to different things and ended up really being mentored in a in a wonderful way by Dr Crowson. In the field of psychology. And helping me take something that You know was a big disappointment in not being able to further my baseball career and actually turn it into something. We're now my mission is to help. Other people have what they need to be successful. Because I felt like maybe I missed out on some things for sure. I miss out on some things. I didn't understand the psychology. I didn't understand the process of figuring out how to get seen and recruited and go to college and play baseball. I didn't I don't understand any of that. I didn't have that opportunity so I wanna make sure that the players that I have a chance to come in contact with have what they need to reach their goals whether or not they do. It ends up being on them. But I don't WanNa be the reason that they don't get there and that's really important so that that changed my whole outlook on life but it took some soul searching and sometimes of just you know like what am I gonNa do you know. And there's no like easy way is not like okay. Do these three steps and it works out you need to. You need to go there. You need to think about what it is you want and realize that you know as my friend David Roth for. Who's ex-navy seal said that you have more than one mission in life the mission changes and for me that Dreamer. That mission changed at age. Nineteen where base? No baseball was no longer an option as as a player and I had to figure out what I was going to do and I found a new mission that was to help other athletes and help coaches. And that's something I truly love and enjoy and that's probably where a lot of the passion comes from because you know I hate to see people miss out on an opportunity at least have the chance to be successful. Speaking of helping people a lot of coaches talk about being able to see something special and a player that does eventually make it. Do you find that. It's easy to to to see that with With players that you work with are you able to see whether their mental skills are above and beyond someone that potentially does not make it? I think I can see the outliers. Pretty well. The people who just stand out but probably most people can one of the one of the things I think we fall. Prey to his as coaches is believing that we know. Who'S GONNA make it? And who's not and if you go back through history of looking at drafting or selection processes were not very good at determining and identifying. Who's GonNa make an WHO's not? It's really a numbers game to be honest. You you make enough choices. You'RE GONNA hit on somebody right so and not to others a lot of people out there that do this work and there's a lot of good people out there but it's really challenging to no no of someone can can do this at the highest level but what I will say is the thing that you look for. I is to someone have the passion to do tennis to do. The whatever given initiative sport activity it is and that is something that you you can see in person as you spend time with them I think it's a fallacy to think that you can go watch a player once or twice a tournament and thank. You have a figure it out you know. Thirteen fourteen year old player. Once you get to know someone I think you can start to understand better than this person may be has the building blocks of something pretty special but it needs to be now nurtured and developed and that in my mind you know there's not many players is not many. Serena's there's not many rodgers out there so but there's a lot of great players who developed through the pathway right and we wouldn't have known at thirteen but we know now

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