Dr LaTisha Bader, Ph.D, Certified Mental Performance Consultant, works with a deep cross-section of elite teams, coaches and athletes at her private practice in Fayetteville, AR, USA. Specializing in team dynamics, creating cohesion, communication and resolving confrontation, LaTisha brings a unique blend of experience, training and qualifications to develop mental strategies for her clients. She has 18 years experience as a mental health professional, she is a Licensed Psychologist and a Licensed Addiction Counselor (read more about LaTisha in the article “Providing a Haven for Progress in Sport and Life”). In short, we find her perspective on performance refreshing and logical, she understands the mechanics of motivation from a very applied angle.
While the people who walk in and out of LaTisha’s practice differ enormously, they are similarly looking for support to improve their performance. Her client list includes professional athletes, universities and national organizations, and amateur athletes.
Her skills and services are in demand, working with clients at her practice and over Telehealth when the situation prevents in person consultations, she says, “In some of the most critical times, I have been a place where an athlete can ‘hear their own wisdom’ which means I share the brilliant ideas and solutions they crafted themselves.”
Suggesting a simple explanation for her success, LaTisha says,
“I offer tangible solutions. We make sure to have mental game plans written out, highlighting the controllables.”
Developing self-awareness is a foundational component of LaTisha’s consultations with every client, regardless of whether they are the performer, the coach, or in support services. We asked her specifically how performance is improved or accelerated by self-awareness? She says, “[with self-awareness] you become your own coach/consultant; you don’t have to wait around to get feedback from another person. You can start to pick up patterns or red flags before they become a concern.”
Describing how she works with clients, she says,
‘‘within a few sessions I want them to understand basic components of performance enhancement, be able to identify and use skills that are helpful for them and have enough confidence to know when to use them. I am here as a journey woman after that.”
LaTisha is a firm believer that the upside of sport psychology is available to anyone who is interested in improving their performance, she says, “[Sport psychology] It’s a way to make good better, or better great! You don’t need to wait to have a ‘problem’ to visit a provider and take a look at your world. We can learn about our communication, patterns of behaviors, cognitive distortions, biases, relationships and challenges to our success.”
LaTisha uses Athlete Assessments’ DISC Profiling tools – the processes and the associated knowledge -to give her and her clients a rigorous and reliable insight into those patterns of behavior. For the back story on LaTisha’s introduction and reasons for using Athlete Assessments’ DISC as a clinical tool you can read the accompanying article “Providing a Haven for Progress in Sport and Life”.
As a Certified Mental Performance Consultant LaTisha has an incredible wealth of knowledge and tools at her disposal, Athlete Assessments’ DISC Profiling dovetails easily and neatly with that experience and knowledge. Each of her clients take the 12-minute online DISC survey to generate a 44-page unique DISC Profile Report. LaTisha explains just how she applies that profile. She says, “Each person I work with knows their DISC Profile and we discuss how this impacts their behaviors, their team / coach relationship and our therapeutic relationship. I love to call it 44 pages of goodness!”
Athlete Assessments’ DISC Profiles focus on behavior which is flexible as opposed to personality which is fixed. Once we are aware of our natural style, preferences and patterns of behavior, we can absolutely tailor our behavior and communication to get a better result with the people that surround us (learn more about the SBR Model here).
The information in each Profile gives an acutely accurate general summary of the individual’s natural and adapted behavior, it also gives specific information, LaTisha says, “When I share the DISC profiles I say – read pages 6-7 (about you), memorize your stress bullet points, and laminate page 13 (communication Dos and Don’ts). Just by doing this you will be able to improve your knowledge of self and not function in a blind spot.”
The self-awareness LaTisha and her clients work to continually develop is also the foundation of productive working relationships and laying the groundwork of self-awareness is key in making those relationships work because even the best athletes and coaches can clash. These communication breakdowns and the resulting chemistry or lack of it are often dreaded and misunderstood. Helping us understand the situation simply, LaTisha says, “I call these “DISC moments”. She explains emphatically that understanding these moments is one of the biggest lessons that anyone involved in high-performance needs to understand.
“I have started to realize that when we butt heads or stare each other down in a moment we have hit a block. If these are ‘DISC moments’ and people can become aware of miscommunications, fears, and tendencies they can step back at any point and know they have a skill or strategy for the next moment. If they butt heads and can’t identify a behavior to change in order to get on the same page, they might have philosophical or ethical differences. These take longer to address.”
LaTisha adds, “I used to fear when I would be implanted into teams when there was ‘a lot of work to be done’ (or however the referent described it). Now, I enjoy meeting new teams because with the basics of DISC anyone can improve their environment.”
She shared, “It provides a tangible framework to build teams and enhance behavior. With the help of Athlete Assessments and great colleagues, we have even presented it to a team Spanish. Talk about universal understanding.” And, “This measure (DISC) is almost 100 years old!! And still so pertinent.” (To understand more about the origins of DISC click here).
Dr LaTisha Bader, Ph.D., is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant, Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Addiction Counselor with more than 18 years experience. She graduated from the University of North Texas in 2007 with a PhD in counseling psychology and specialization in sport psychology, she completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Chemical Dependency at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. LaTisha is active on the Speakers Bureau of the National Marijuana Initiative where she provides educational presentations about the impact of cannabis, specifically for athletes and women and in addition, she serves as the Chief Clinical Officer for Women’s Recovery in Denver.
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Every time an athlete, coach or team strives to better their performance, they analyze themselves in action, identify areas to improve upon and make plans for change...