Why the Podium Performance Academy – and – Why Now?
Why Podium Performance Academy? Why “Competition Ready”?
Our “Why” is focused on providing quality skills and training to an expanding and more sophisticated audience. PPA will enable high-level performers in high school and collegiate settings the same advantages that so many professionals experience. The caliber of play and the levels of competition are continually rising, and the pressures to perform have increased as well. PPA is here to help.
Many young people understand how important building confidence is. They know they need to manage stress in the heat of battle. There is no question that focusing effectively on the right things can only help them perform better. But the problem is, they have no idea how to acquire the skills enabling them to do these things. Unfortunately, these problems can ruin their performing experience, and anxiety is the single most common experience among this group.
If this is you, PPA is here to help you effectively address these challenges, and more. In doing so you will experience more “Joy” in your endeavor. Everyone loves to show what they can do, especially when they’re good at it. The “Performance Zone” actually exists, and these are skills we can all learn. What’s even more important, is that they are immediately transferable to all manner of activities. If ‘performing well’ is an asset (think test taking, or giving a presentation), these programs will help.
In our Signature 6-week program, “Competition Ready”, we begin the process of equipping you and your performers with all they need to perform your best when it counts.
Yogi Berra used to say “There’s more to Sports than Sports”. How true. Sports is a window into our culture, and there are many lessons to learn. The same applies to performing in almost any endeavor where an audience observes and talents are on display.
When an 8-year-old is talking like they’re professionals, and, you can see that their parents want them to get that college scholarship. Reason has left the room. Every parent wants the best for their children, and many want their children to be the best. That’s not the problem. When their sense of self-worth as a parent gets tangled up their kids’ performance, then we begin to see problems… and the more a parent works to control the training, the lessons, and the outcomes … the less ownership that athlete or artist feels for their own endeavor.
“Competition Ready” can let parents relax, and rest assured that athletes and performers who take this program are able to perform better under pressure and manage strong emotions more effectively. Graduates from “Competition Ready” will have tools so they can focus on the right things at the right time. They will also understand “how” their mindset and self-talk can contribute to building a better team, stronger friendships, and more fun when performing. Finally, each will acquire a strong understanding of the skills, methods, and techniques for building, developing, maintaining and protecting, confidence.
“Competition Ready” encourages athletes and artists to enjoy their endeavor “on their own terms”. When they can do that, they grow so much more. It facilitates both their development and their competency – in fact, it helps them grow into their sport.
Unfortunately, I see too many young people experiencing way-too-much pressure. The “joy” of doing your best is being lost to meeting “expectations”. When you add that to the push towards early specialization in sport or the arts, overly serious attitudes of coaches, parents and administrators who have lost their sense of balance, well things go badly both at home and on the field.
Why now? “Competition Ready” is a voice, a reasoned voice, a voice that knows how the best succeed at the highest levels – to teach these performers and those who choose to participate – “how” they can become their best – and – “love” the game, their teammates, and the “joy” they experience while playing well.
Mindfulness is but one activity taught in these programs offered by the Podium Performance Academy. Focus, thought-discipline, positive self-talk and more will characterize these programs. Confidence is not a state of mind, it is a discipline and an attitude that must be learned and practiced.
The late great John Wooden, 10 Time NCAA Champion coach of the UCLA Bruins often said, “First we form Habits – Then they form us… the mind is a muscle and it must be strengthened.”
About Dr. Walker
In 2015, Dr. Stephen Walker’s sport and performance work was nominated for the Distinguished Professional Practice Award through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. His body of work, emphasis on evidenced-based methods on the protective effects of positive emotions, use of biofeedback, and skilled experience in mental conditioning, set him apart as one of the top thought leaders in his field.
Dr. Walker’s athletes and their outstanding performances tell the rest of the story. He is in high demand as a consultant, coach, and public speaker because he is practical, fun loving, and a strong communicator.
One of Stephen Walker’s favorite roles is in support of parents, wanting to help their young athletes enjoy their sporting life more. He works with both parents and athletes in learning how to achieve results. He is known for helping his athletes develop life-long habits and routines that lead to success. He accomplishes all of this, and more, in a fun and nurturing manner. He is focused on building the Podium Performance Academy so that he can reach more athletes, and serve groups and teams online – with the same skills and philosophy that has made him so successful over his many years of practice.
Stephen Walker works with athletes at all levels. His athletes range from 2-time Olympians to wannabes. That 2-time Olympian was a wannabe when they started. Developing talent is his joy, expertise, and his mission. His body of work speaks for itself:
Walker’s athletes include 8 Olympians. Three experienced the thrill of standing on the Podium in World’s Championships or Olympic Games (2007, 2014, 2017) …. remarkable because each athlete competed in a different sport. Both winter and summer games were represented. He has supported the development of a female athlete who was a finalist in the 2017 NCAA “Woman Athlete of the Year” Award, in addition, he has worked with 12 NCAA individual champions, 28 collegiate All-Americans, 27 CHSAA individual sport State Champions and over 52 Colorado All-State performers in 10 different sports.
Dr. Walker really understands his athletes. He helps them develop their talent, love their sport, and apply the skills in many other areas of their life.”TC
PPA helps your athlete or performing artist to learn great skills in a way that feels intimate, because there is homework, a workbook, and lessons learned and recorded throughout the process. Dr. Walker shares his philosophy and knowledge generously with parents and coaches at every level from National Team Coaches to local coaches in multiple sports.
The Sky is the Limit
What Might it Feel Like if You Could Actually Perform the Way you Practice
Top 10 Benefits Of Working With Stephen Walker
- Develop a Positive Mental Attitude
- Get Motivated and Keep It Going
- Set Goals You Can Achieve and Can Control
- Collaborate Better with Teammates, Coaches, Parents, and Officials
- Create and Use Positive Self-Talk
- Visualize Successful and Positive Images
- Control Stress – Create Optimal Arousal For Competition
- Maintain Composure – Manage Emotions to Your Advantage
- Focus and Concentrate Efficiently
- Recover Quickly from Injury
As a goalie, the single most important skill is your mental game. I began working with Doc in the middle of a deep slump and he got me playing my best game for the following 2-3 years of working with him. Working with Dr. Walker was absolutely crucial to my development and success as a goaltender. ECHL Junior Hockey goaltender