Learned Excellence for Athletes
Learned Excellence for Athletes is the sports consulting arm of Abrams Psychological Services. Based in New Jersey, but consulting both nationally, and internationally, we help athletes, coaches, teams & sports organizations reach their potential. Whether it is the treatment of an emotional problem someone may be struggling with or assisting them with removing the mental obstacle that interferes with peak performance, we take a hands on, directive approach geared to solve problems as soon as possible. Athletes tend to be successful, competitive, driven people. They also are very competent people, so the basic assumption that we take is that if the problem was easy to solve, the athlete would have already mastered it. The goal of any treatment, whether for clinical issues or enhancing performance, is to end treatment; to return the athlete to success in sport and life. We will empower the athlete to build on their already-existing toolbox, so that they are self-sufficient to reach their goals. We provide services for both performance enhancement and treatment of emotional problems. We don’t wait for success. We help you aggressively go after it.
Having developed the only comprehensive anger management program for athletes, Dr. Abrams lectures internationally on the topics of anger, violence and criminal behavior in sports. He has been dispelling the idea that athletes are more violent than their non-athlete counterparts and has argued undeniably that this is a MYTH! It is a myth that has sprung from the transgression of a very small percentage of athletes, the tremendous media attention athletes receive when they do cross “the line”, and the selective inattention to the ubiquity of societal violence. Because some hold the perspective that athletes are more violent, athletes need to be even better at controlling their emotions. Before an incident can even be corroborated, it will be highlighting the sports news. Athletes are AT RISK because of three things:
- The illusion of health – Because athletes tend to be physically healthy and popular, there is the assumption that they are psychologically healthy which isn’t always true.
- They have higher visibility – so when they transgress, everyone knows.
- High school and college athletes are participating when, if mental illness is going to appear, this is the time. I can help identify problems and treat aggressively early to help the athlete return to play.
Dr. Abrams work helps athletes use their anger as fuel, to assist with performance, by identifying the level of intensity that a task needs. Any emotion at high levels interfere with the cognitive processes necessary for sport success, so the job is to learn the skills necessary to modulate your emotions like a volume dial to the level the task needs. Moreover, he helps athletes increase their personal power by mastering the psychological side of the game. Athletes are also wrongly stereotyped to be more likely to be involved in dating/sexual violence than their non-athlete peers. Though the evidence to support this is questionable, again, these are issues that athletes face and it is important to provide preventative (as well as responsive treatment) services that are specifically geared to an athlete population. I developed and present workshops that focus on the many factors that contribute to increase risk. Some of these factors include:
- Team dynamics
- Issues related to abuse and violence (physical, emotional, psychological and sexual)
- Confrontation of myths about sexuality
- Understanding legal issues and potential consequences
- A common (and understandable) sense of entitlement that comes from athletic success
Dr. Abrams is also the inventor of Entourage Training, which is a program whereby he takes a member of the athlete’s entourage and gives him/her the tools to keep the athlete out of trouble. This was developed in response to high-profile athletes sabotaging their careers Some of these skills include conflict resolution, verbal de-escalation, gang identification and increasing emotional intelligence. Learned Excellence for Athletes will work with you to develop a program that is uniquely tailored to your organization’s needs. Being systemic thinkers and consultants that appreciate the complexities of individuals, systems and problems, we can be a valuable asset in helping your organization navigate through the most treacherous of waters.
If you would be interested in having Dr. Abrams, or any of the professionals at Learned Excellence for Athletes, lecture on the above topics or consult with your athletes/sports organizations, please reach out to us.