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From Setback to Comeback: Sports Psychology Strategies to aide in Athlete Recovery

Injured Athlete Recovery is both a Mental and Physical Journey

On June 13, 2023, I had the privilege of delivering a powerful presentation at the 11th Annual Central PA Sports Medicine Symposium.

My talk, "From Setback to Comeback," focused on an often-overlooked aspect of athlete recovery: the crucial role of sports psychology. I shared 10 valuable tips specifically tailored for healthcare providers to support injured athletes during their journey towards full rehabilitation.

Injuries and illnesses are not just physical challenges; they encompass the entire body and mind. While the recovery process predominantly emphasizes the physical aspects, we cannot underestimate the profound impact of mindset on the healing process.

Having worked closely with numerous injured athletes, many of whom were already familiar with my coaching techniques during their healthy days, I have witnessed the positive transformation that occurs when they embrace a positive and resilient mindset. Trust and...

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You don’t have to be perfect to be amazing

guide for athletes Apr 06, 2022

Text by Ann Zaprazny
Photo by Andrea Tummons on Unsplash

Perfection almost killed this article. I’ve been thinking about writing about this topic for two weeks. I kept putting off getting started. I wanted it to be just right.

Why an article on perfectionism? 

Because the desire to be perfect is one of the biggest challenges that adversely affect the performance of athletes and business professionals. 

It is said that perfection is the enemy of done.

Perfectionism is often tied to unreasonably high personal expectations. Perfectionism prevents us from trusting in our skillset. In believing our effort or that “we” are enough.

There are many positives about being a perfectionist. 

Perfectionists are very motivated, have a strong work ethic, and commit to their goals. 

Who wouldn’t want anyone with those traits on their team?

Perfectionists also have some challenging traits. They often evaluate their performance or themselves as an A or F....

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The athletes guide to more success in sports and life

guide for athletes Apr 06, 2022

Text by Ann Zaprazny
Photo by Hannah Gibbs on Unsplash

In this article, you will gain insight into achieving more success in sports and life.

Want more success in sports and life?

Drop your expectations! 

If curiosity killed the cat, expectations stressed the athlete. 

It stresses the athlete.

There is a big difference between goals and expectations.

Goals are aspirational.

Expectations are what we internalize and believe we should achieve.

When we don’t achieve our expectations, we may be brutal on ourselves for falling short.

Athletes often have ambitious goals and unrealistic expectations. 

It’s important to have goals.

It’s counterproductive to have unrealistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations often lead to disappointment, anger, and frustration derailing performance.

Want to learn the same key mental performance skills as elite athletes? 

Get a FREE copy of our ebook for athletes here and learn how to compete more relaxed...

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How to be a varsity player in high school

guide for athletes Apr 06, 2022

Text by: Ann Zaprazny
Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

As a high school athlete, you may be looking at the big picture of being a varsity player, aiming for college scholarships and future careers. 

Yet, how do you ensure you're on the right path? 

Table of content:

  1. Stay positive and focused on your goals.
  2. Develop your skills step-by-step. 
  3. Keep your grades up.  Strong student-athletes have more options. 


Here are 3 tips about how to boost your long-term success in sports and life. 


1. Stay positive and focused on your goals


Sports in High School can be amazingly fun. 

They can also be challenging. 

An important step in having a positive high school experience is identifying what you want from your high school sports experience.  

Four years seems like a long time, but before you know it - your High School Sports Career will be over. 

Take time to set goals: 

  • What do you want to achieve in...
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What Motivates Youths in Sports

Uncategorized Jan 19, 2022

Let's talk for minute about how athlete's age affects their motivation.

Sometimes when we are in the middle of a swim season, as a parent consumed in the 90 degree humidity of an all-day swim meet, we may ask ourselves, "Why is my child swimming?"

I find myself asking that question often.

Sometimes our children make it easy for us and tell us why (or why not) they are swimming.

One winter weekend, my 10 year old daughter competed in a two day swim meet. On day two, my daughter was disqualified in one event and swam slower than her seed times in two events.

As I anxiously waited outside of the locker room anticipating the worst for our one hour drive home, but my daughter emerged with a big smile.

I asked her, “Did you have fun today?”

Her answer, “Mom why wouldn’t I have fun? I spent the weekend with my friends.”

I let out a sigh of relief. We would have a good drive home.

In contrast, my son’s last season of swimming was just after he turned 14...

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Should I coach my high school child in sports?

for parents Jan 14, 2022

Text: Ann H. Zaprazny – Great Sports Mind
Image: Photo by Alliance Football Club on Unsplash

This is a question many parents ask themselves. 

As parents, we may first ask this question when our child is younger. Your child wants to play a sport that you know and love. Should you coach them? 

 If you choose to coach your child there are several positive benefits. 

You get to: 

  • Share your passion with them. 
  • More time with them. 
  • Volunteer and interact with other youth. 

 You might choose to not coach your child for good reasons.

  • It’s difficult for you to adjust your player intensity for the age group you are coaching
  • It’s challenging for you NOT to be hard on your child. 

Knowing yourself is an important step in the process. I played Division 1 basketball and I was a tad intense when I first started coaching. I am older and wiser now.

One thing that helped me be a better coach, was to understand the different...

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How to make your life at college easier

guide for athletes Jan 14, 2022

Are you an athlete who wants the transition from high school to college to go well? 

The 4 steps you can do when you are at college to help you out so your college life gets more successful.

Step 1: Academics

  • Go to class
  • Do the readings in advance of the class
  • Do your homework
  • Find study partners or study groups to work with
  • Build relationships with your classmates and your professors. 
  • Ask for help if you are struggling. 
  • Seek tutors if you are struggling. 
  • Be intentional with how you manage your time. 

Your self-care and time management skills will be as critical as your athletic skills. 

Do you sometimes feel stressed and want to be calmer? Then take a look at this solution.

Step 2: Athletics

  • Work hard
  • Be early to practice
  • Be prepared
  • Ask questions when confused
  • Build strong relationships with your teammates, coaches, trainers, etc. 

Step 3: Self-care

The demands on a college athlete are high. However, to be your best, you need to...

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The college sports athletes preparation guide

guide for athletes Jan 14, 2022

Text: Ann Zaprazny – Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

Congratulations! Your plan to complete college. You have achieved your childhood dream.  Making the transition from high school to college can be challenging. 

As an athlete, you might have wondered, what are the things I should do to prepare myself before going to college? 

This 4-step-guide will help you get ready for college so you make the transition go well. 


1. Reduce your academic load in your first semester

If a typical student takes five courses, I recommend taking four classes. Why? Your first semester can set the tone for your success in college. I did not do this and regret it. 

I was a scholar-athlete at my high school. My major was Chemical Engineering with a biology minor. In addition, I played basketball and worked 8 hrs a week on campus. 

My first semester GPA was terrible, and my scholarship was in jeopardy. I struggled academically because I was underprepared....

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Corona took my season and fueled my Gratitude

college sports gratitude Jun 24, 2020
They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. 
I knew how lucky I was to be a part of the 2019 Queens University of Charlotte Field Hockey Team
From winning the regular season to having the strongest team bond in my 15 years of playing, what we had was special. 
I never imagined losing it so quickly. I walked into the locker room with my friends to get some extra practice when we got the news that we had 
72 hours to leave campus for the rest of the year. 
Seventy-two hours to 
  • Say goodbye to the seniors; I thought I had much more time to make memories with them before their next chapter.
  • Pack up all my belongings and figure out how I was getting the 500 miles home. 
  • Clear out my locker and return all of my hockey gear. 
  • Cope with being forced to leave my best friends for an unknown amount of time. 
I knew my team was something to cherish.   I didn’t...
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Athletes and the Coronavirus - How to Cope and Compete during difficult times

The Coronavirus has impacted life in a way most of us have never experienced before. Schools are closed, businesses are closed in attempt to "flatten the curve" and slow the spread of the virus.

The mood and morale of many are down.  If you have middle school or high school aged children you know kids are out of sync.  If you have college age children the challenge is real.  One moment you are independent, living with your friends and now you are back home doing classes on line. 

Athletes and seniors in high school and college are feeling a great sense of loss.  

Many working adults are experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety around their ability to pay their bills, earning and income. etc. 

These are challenging times.  But we are not at war.  We do not have a food shortage.  I am confident we will help our neighbors through difficult times. 

It's important that we acknowledge how we are feeling and that we are...

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