Updated: Apr 19

Contrary to toxic belief, Sports can’t save you from yourself; It brings out more of who you already are. When you choose sports from a place of avoidance alone, you may miss out on all the benefits that sports can provide. There are multiple ways that you can allow sports to work for you. Utilizing these approaches consistently over time can evolve your relationship with your sport.



1. Use skills from sports to apply in other areas of your life

Sports provides skills that can transfer into other areas of your life. When those transferable skills are limited to being used only within your sports career, you could miss out on aligning other areas of your life, like relationships, spirituality, finances, etc. That doesn’t mean that every skill needs to apply in every area, but it can be transformed to fit other areas to the point that other areas become more elevated.


2. Show up as yourself

Whether you are more quiet, loud, or in-between, sports provides an environment for you to use your innate gifts as gifts. When you are playing within a healthy environment, your authenticity can be used to aid in healthy relationships within your sport and with your sport.

(You have a relationship with your sport. You spend time with it, you have a bond to it, and you invest energy into it.)

Within your relationship with your sport, the more you show up as yourself, the more you continue to grow in ways that are unique to your journey and the more you attract opportunities that value your authenticity. The other aspect of being authentic is the more authentic you are, the less you fall into comparison trap, which is another form of adversity that you can present within and outside of sports.

3. Identify your strengths and growth areas

When you are working, especially during the off-season, you can pick up on your strengths by working with coaches and trainers that will work specifically to help you hone in on the value you add. Additionally, it is helpful to condition yourself to validating your own strengths and growth areas by reflecting on what you did well and reflecting on what you can continue to work on after practices, conditioning, training, and games/competitions. Listening to your coaches and trainers point out your gifts is one thing, but you are your biggest motivator, so hearing it from yourself sounds different and can add significant value to you. Your growth areas are the places where you are challenged to grow and develop. That is not meant to advocate for perfectionism, but for progress.

4. Learn how to balance structure, discipline, and focus with play, fun, and spontaneity

The higher you get in your sports career, the more you accomplish within your sports career, the more susceptible you can become to forgetting that the core essence of sports is playing. The more you reach different levels within your sports career, the more you have to be intentional about remembering your power; often your power is within how you continue to have fun, continue playing, continue to find the flexibility, creativity, and spontaneity within play, as well as how you find elements that work for you within structure, discipline, and focus. If you are more prone to either side (the side of structure/disclipline/focus or the side of play/fun/spontaneity), look for ways to have both and to cultivate harmony with structure, discipline, focus, play, fun, and spontaneity.


5. Learn the value of boundaries

Physically, mentally, emotionally, creatively, relationally...we need breaks and rest. The breaks and rest help us to be able to enjoy even more what we value and what is significant to us in a way that helps us to look forward to it. When it comes to sports, overindulging in it, without having life outside of it or finding value outside of it, can cost you in being well-rounded or showing up authentic and whole. We aren't meant to or conditioned to over-indulge in any area of our lives in such a way that can't cost us. There is the offseason, breaks during the season, practice, film sessions, timeouts, etc. that all reinforce the value that pausing and regrouping can have on us.

What are additional ways that you are allowing sports to work for you?

Written by Kheri A. Corbin,

For the ones struggling to find and keep their power, voice, and value in the context of their sports career,

For those Black Athletes,

And the Ones who genuinely love them

Updated: Apr 15

We just want someone we can…trust.


(If that statement alone doesn't carry a weight with it, this blog article may not be for you)


Being mindful of who you share your truths with

doesn't mean that you never share or you go through life under the limited belief that no one can be trusted.


Sometimes there is a bigger purpose in the lessons that you learn.

I used to feel a high desire to hide who I was related or connected to;

I didn’t want to cultivate fake friendships;

I didn’t want my privacy violated;

I didn’t want my intentions misunderstood;

I needed people around me who could understand

and who could get that my truths were protected and sacred.

Because one statement about me made public could tarnish my family’s image

and one statement could be misinterpreted and falsely represent who I am or what I represented.

The thing about being a Black Athlete or being connected in any way is there is a responsibility connected that is often misunderstood, taken too lightly, or not accurately reflected. There's a responsibility of legacy, of privacy, of protection, and of boundaries.


When anybody asks, why I exclusively serve Black Athletes, I don’t acknowledge my own personal experience in great detail.

There’s a certain #iykyk vibe that you just have to get.

There’s a protective atmosphere that goes beyond confidentiality, but more so is simply about trust.


As a Black Athlete your trust is built differently because you have more to protect:

Your standards,

Your image,

The you behind the performance,

Personal relationships,

The truths that you don't feel comfortable prioritizing over the fame,

Your focus,

Your discipline,

Your humanness,

Your humility,

The other parts of your identity,

The lessons you are still learning,

and

The ways you are still developing.


It's just a different set of boundaries.


There's a set of professions that people can actually clock out of, yet in the age of social media, there is not much clocking out when you have to constantly be on or feel a pressure to 'be on' so consistently. It's as if perfection is something you carry with you daily. It's as if you get used to being watched and under this notion of performance, even when you're not wearing the jersey/uniform.



There’s a fine line between vulnerability and transparency,

Between sharing your own narrative and choosing those you trust to share it with,

Between those who get it and those who fake it,

Between those who are charming and those who are real,

Between those who just want to exploit you and those you can actually have a genuine connection with.


Finding someone who gets it and who you can trust is sometimes like looking for a needle and a haystack.


I love to have fun and there’s a maturity to the title I carry.

Being a sports therapist is not for the faint of heart, neither is being a former black athlete who wanted to go much further, or being a relative of those who made it, or coming from a male-dominated family, or keeping your own mind when you don’t agree with leadership,

But I did it.

As I mentioned earlier, sometimes there's a bigger purpose in the lessons that you learn, which is another way of saying 'everything happens for a reason' or 'there are full circle moments in life.'


Because I have hidden and also been mindful of boundaries in valuing privacy, I also am trying to find the words to describe the experience, but #IYKYK.


What are reasons you were taught to protect your identity?

What does privacy mean to you?

How do you navigate balancing privacy within an age of social media?


Written by Kheri A. Corbin,

For those who identify as introvert or highly-sensitive and are trying to navigate fame and their athletic identity,

For those Black Athletes,

And the Ones who genuinely love them


THE THERAPIST

Kheri A. Corbin, MMFT, LMFT
I believe that winning in all areas of our lives is possible.  Remaining undefeated means consistently using adverse and conflictual experiences as opportunities to triumph, grow, and thrive. Strategies used to win and maintain healthiness in one area can be transferred to multiple areas of our lives through intentionality. We each have our set of opponents that are tailored to us. On the other side of defeating those opponents are the healthier versions of ourselves that we need to become to align ourselves with greater. In investing seeds of hope, positivity, and strength, I value assisting individuals, couples, and families with tapping into their internal resources to win beyond the opponents of trauma, depression, insecurity, fear, dysfunction, anxiety, generational curses, and any other opponent or obstacle that threatens experiences of safety, security, and abundance.

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