A Book Review: A Recipe For Bad Lemons

Book Review by Travis George, TPI Performance Coach

A Recipe For Bad Lemons: Ingredients For Success From Life's Sour Moments by Angie Hundley

For decades and even centuries, sociologists, psychologists, and social scientists have researched the topic of human behavior and how personalities, human characteristics, traits, and belief systems are formed. So much debate has gone into the genetic vs. environmental exposure and which one has more of an impact on human behavior. One social dilemma most notably; the debate between the origin of heterosexuality vs. homosexuality, and how one makes that choice. 

In any event, most conclude that we are formed and evolve from a little bit of both, but individualism and the distinction of human personality in the social world as it pertains to choices through difficult circumstances far tips the scale in the direction of environmental conditioning. Simply put, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the...

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How Do You Know If Therapy Is Working For My Child?


In my last couple of articles, I have discussed who to turn to for psychological help for your child and how to find a therapist and get your child engaged in the process.  

Now that the process has started and they have gone to 3 or 4 sessions, how do you know if things are getting better for them? 

Great question!  

We tend to all want quick fixes or immediate relief for our children from their pain. But in the therapy world, it takes time. Developing a relationship where the child can talk openly with the therapist doesn’t happen overnight. It's difficult in 3 or 4 sessions (hours)  to make a realistic determination if it is working or not.  

It's also hard to evaluate the initial effects of therapy because oftentimes it gets worse (by bringing up difficult topics) before it gets better. It is a process and not a destination, which means that it just takes time to see the benefits.  


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It All Flows Out of The Mind


Just last week I had prepared my 8th-grade football team for competition against another undefeated team.  Our confidence was relatively high as we were at 3-0 and feeling good about our progress as a team thus far. 

Despite this, I had noticed that I  had not been as motivated and driven as I usually am as a coach.  The team's energy was low, as practice and game prep appeared sluggish and mediocre at best.  Concentration seemed to be an issue and mistakes and lack of focus was prevalent.  I seemed a little down myself, as many life factors, (job, family, tackling to-do lists) seemed to affect my general overall health.  We all have days and weeks like this, but this week seemed exceptionally off with a busy calendar and little rest.

The Four D's

As we approached game time, I could tell my players lacked energy. They were basically just going through the motions.  I always preach about the four D's;...
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What Is My Role While My Child Is Receiving Psychotherapy?

You’ve identified your child is struggling emotionally and in need of help that you aren’t able to provide. You’ve done your research and found a therapist that you hope can help. The therapeutic process is about to begin, so you may be wondering what your role is now.  

Before Therapy Starts

Your role at this point is to reinforce to your child that getting this type of help and support doesn’t mean they are broken.  Explain to them in age-appropriate language that just as medical professionals help us keep our bodies healthy, these professionals help us to keep our minds healthy and strong. After reinforcing this message, you should do more listening to what your child has to say than talking

First Appointment

As the parent, you should attend the first session with your child and reinforce their courage for going and their willingness to be so open.  You should also further evaluate how your child and therapist interact with each...

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My Child Needs Help. Where Do I Start?

Parents are expressing concerns for their children right now.  Their children are struggling in a host of different ways. 

  • isolating 
  • having angry outbursts 
  • uncontrollable crying
  • inability to stay focused 
  • heightened anxiety 
  • fear of returning to the world
  • …… the list goes on


I am here to tell you that the challenges they are facing are not normal. It’s completely understandable why they are struggling.  Everything has changed and continues to change.  Kids don’t know if they are going to school, staying home and doing it remotely, wearing masks, not wearing masks.  Our children are learning no sense of normalcy or stability.  This has major effects on their emotional state.  

When you notice any of the behaviors above or any new behavior that doesn’t seem to be positive, what should you as a parent do about it? 

First, and foremost, you should LISTEN to what your child is...

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Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Therapist...Oh my!

I have been encouraged about the recent acknowledgment of mental health challenges in the Olympics as a movement in the right direction of being able to address these issues out in the open without stigma. I believe many of these challenges in sport, as well as society at large, are due to the emotional toll that was felt and continues to be felt, due to the consequences of living during a global pandemic.

The increased attention in mental health has many people needing help and wanting to find services, but they are confused about where to go and whom they should see. There are many different types of mental health professionals, so how do you know which one you should contact? I will be the first to admit it is all very confusing. 

Here is a rough guideline to help explain some of the basics of the primary roles of the most common mental health professionals to help you know where to start and steer you to the type of help you may need.  


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Will Power vs. Want Power

What sounds more motivating to you? “I want to go work out"? Or "I have to go work out?”

While there are many philosophies about the purpose of life, it is safe to assume that one of the main purposes of life is for humans to be happy. But what causes or creates happiness? This of course varies from person to person, but the one constant is that people are usually their happiest when they are doing the things that they want to do; the things they are passionate about; the things that enrich their lives.

We all have the power to choose and create whatever our heart desires. We hold the power to decide what we want, and then simply move toward it.

Want Power

Want Power is the pursuit of things that make us happy, independent of what others think or want for us. Dr. Seuss had something simple, yet very powerful to say about this:

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind."

This is so true.


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Do You Really Want To Know?

coaches May 31, 2021

I have been in the mental health world, working with athletes and coaches, for over 30 years now. I have seen the cycle play out for many sports coaches. Coaches want to be there for their athletes as a mentor, motivator, disciplinarian as well as someone they can confide in.  

But, do you really?  

Do you really want to hear that they don’t have enough food to eat at home or that they are being verbally, physically, or sexually abused? 

Or that they are cutting themselves before competition because they can’t deal with the pressure. Do you want them to tell you that they throw up after every meal because they have an eating disorder?  

Do you really want them to tell you that they are having to find one reason, every single morning, why they shouldn’t drive off the bridge on the way to school.  

Do we really want to be there for them in that way?  

Coaches often avoid or ignore these conversations for...

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People Pleasing Is A Curse

Hi, my name is Jeff, and I am a recovering people pleaser. 

I always thought that I alone was 100% responsible for everyone else’s happiness in the world. Growing up, I felt I had to win in sports, not upset anyone, follow all rules, felt responsible for everyone else's feelings, and do exactly what I was told, or I was a horrible person. There was no gray area in my mind. 

A glaring example of this was when I worked at the Olympic committee helping athletes that were struggling with eating disorders. I did not enjoy my time there because of the politics and they operated on a completely different belief system than me. This caused many fights with the coaches for how they dealt with the athletes. I felt completely powerless, depressed, and beat down. 

The worst part of it was that I continued to work there only because I wanted to be able to tell people, “hey, look at me, I’m cool, I work at the Olympic...

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RUNNING...from trauma

mental hurdles resilience May 05, 2021

I have found throughout the course of my career as a licensed professional counselor who works with athletes, is that many athletes use sports as an escape from the trauma that is or has occurred in their life.  

These athletes become obsessed with their sport. To those on the outside, it can look like commitment, dedication, and discipline.  It can be and usually is all of those things too, but it’s also a distraction. It takes them away from the pain that was caused by the trauma that has occurred off the playing field.  

This distraction really works in the beginning.  It’s a great way to cope. All of their attention, effort and energy go into being better at their sport. They don’t have time to give attention to the “other stuff”.  In these situations, the athlete puts an overwhelming amount of pressure on themselves to perform. After all, it could be their only possible escape from the trauma.

Along with this...

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