Ep 91 – Mind Over Matter: Improving Performance in Athletics and Beyond with Sports Psychiatrist Dr. MaryEllen Eller

Ep 91 – Mind Over Matter: Improving Performance in Athletics and Beyond with Sports Psychiatrist Dr. MaryEllen Eller

“And when it comes to mental preparation, it requires the same level of intention as any other training program.  It’s not gonna happen overnight. Being able to shift to that more internal motivation where you’re able to harness that energy when you’re having those bad days- that takes practice.  And it’s not gonna happen naturally.  And so, it’s incredibly important that people… that people develop a plan, that they invest in being intentional, and that they put as much focus on their mental training as they would for their physical training.” – Dr. MaryEllen Eller

A former gymnast-turned sports psychiatrist, MaryEllen Eller, MD, works with athletes to optimize their performance through the development of athlete-specific mental skills training.  Dr. Eller completed her undergraduate education at Andrews University in Michigan prior to attending Loma Linda University for both medical school and residency training in psychiatry. She enjoys specializing in high performance medicine and finds that the principles utilized to improve athletic performance can carry over into day-to-day life, helping individuals excel at work and at home.

I recently caught up with Dr. Eller to talk about how athletes can use a positive mindset to improve their performance, the impact of perfectionism, and the importance of being intentional.

Bio adapted from RxPerfomanceTherapy.com

In this episode we discuss:

  • How MaryEllen’s experiences growing up as a gymnast led to her interest in medicine
  • Her perspective on how the combination of young athletes and a focus on perfection can lead to a culture of fear and anxiety within the sport of gymnastics
  • How negative self-talk impacts our workouts and our daily lives and how one can address that
  • How automatic thoughts are formed and how to become aware of them and re-shape them in a positive way
  • The importance of writing daily goals and praising yourself for small accomplishments
  • How approaching life like a sports performance can lead to excellence
  • The stigma around depression and anxiety, and ways to recognize and actively manage these conditions
  • How to find motivation in day-to-day life and work towards being better every day
  • The importance of investing time and effort into becoming mentally tough and prepared
  • Three things MaryEllen does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to MaryEllen

You can follow MaryEllen via her website, Rx Performance Therapy, on Instagram, and on Facebook.


Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by Dr. David Burns
Performance Enhancement with Dr. MaryEllen Eller

Related Episodes:

Ep 15 – Lewis Howes on chasing greatness
Ep 51 – Dick Costolo on Taking Risks and Finding Fitness
Ep 56 – Katrín Davíðsdóttir and Ben Bergeron on the Process of Creating a Champion
Ep 73 – RISEing to the Occasion with Olympic Swimmers Caroline Burckle and Rebecca Soni
Ep 84 – Chasing Excellence with Ben Bergeron

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market. By cutting out the middle man, Thrive Market delivers your favorite healthy food and lifestyle products to your doorstep at 25-50% lower cost than you would spend in the grocery store. Visit http://www.thrivemarket.com/ph to receive an exclusive offer from Thrive Market for being a listener of Pursuing Health: 25% off your first order + a free 30 day trial!

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit butcherbox.com/Julie to receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your order + a free order of bacon!

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.



This post was originally published on July 24, 2018.

Listen to the Pursuing Health Podcast:

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Ingredients for Health

straight to your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.