Park City Sport and Wellness Coalition seminar Nov. 13 | ParkRecord.com

Park City Sport and Wellness Coalition seminar Nov. 13

On Thursday, Nov. 13, at the Utah Olympic Park Quinney Welcome Center, the Park City Sport and Wellness Coalition will host a seminar titled, "The Role of Sport Psychology in Youth Sports for Parents, Coaches and Athletes."

The seminar, hosted by Alex Cohen, Ph.D., CC-AASP, will begin at 6:30 p.m. and admission is free.

Cohen, who is a senior sport psychologist with the United States Olympic Committee, will speak about integrating sport psychology into youth sports.

"It’s going to be an interactive workshop, though," Cohen noted. "I’m not just going to get up there and talk for an hour and a half and put everyone to sleep."

Topics covered will include "positive pushing," the pros and cons of early specialization, specific-sport psychology skills and strategies and an overview of Cohen’s P.A.C.E Sport Psychology Model.

P.A.C.E., which stands for Perception, Activation, Concentration and Execution, teaches self-awareness, focus, energy-management skills and committing to a performance plan, among other things.

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Cohen said Thursday’s seminar is all about teaching young athletes and their parents and coaches how to integrate the principles of sport psychology into their training regimens.

"The goal is to have youth athletes, but especially their parents and coaches, have some solid advice and strategies to take away," he said.

Leading the seminar in Park City, which is home to many Olympic athletes, presents some unique challenges, Cohen continued. With several gold medalists residing in Park City, the pressure to be great can be overwhelming for a child.

"There are lots of terrific resources in Park City year-round sports leagues, summer sports, winter sports," he said. "There are a lot of high achievers, so there’s a lot of pressure to perform and achieve at an early age."

That pressure is warranted, Cohen said, but it all comes down to utilizing "positive pushing" with younger athletes.

"I think it’s entirely appropriate for parents to push athletes, but not to push around outcomes exclusively," he said, citing downhill times in skiing and goals scored in soccer as two examples. "Those things are important, but if that’s the only thing you push the young athletes on, it tends to have a negative effect."

In the end, Cohen said, everything that will be discussed on Thursday night is about helping kids succeed.

"We want to help the youth athletes develop through sport," he said. "And we want to instill them with the values that will make them lifetime exercisers."

For more information about the Park City Sport and Wellness Coalition seminar, go to http://www.pcsportandwellness.org or contact Matt Terwillegar at 435-729-0350.

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