By the time I was twenty-one, I had been a gymnast for seventeen years. My life was defined by the sport. I knew what it meant to train, to hurt, to heal, to compete, and to go back and do it again the next day. The process was grueling, but it was part of me. I took pride in it and felt connected to it – it defined my every day.
The final years of my career were spent competing for Towson University's Division I gymnastics team. I graduated at the peak of my performance and was ready to retire. I soon found that life without gymnastics was great. I enjoyed the free time and the much needed rest. I was at peace.
It wasn't until I went back to watch Towson compete the following season that the feeling of peace evaporated. I sat there in the stands, while my teammates and coaches stood in the spotlight. Something was wrong, and in that instant I felt lost. I was nobody. I realized that while the last few months had been nice and restful, I lacked the drive and motivation that had once been my lifeblood. There was no one there to define my goals and to tell me how to get there. I was drifting, not growing or working towards anything.
It was this realization that put me on the path to self-discovery. I realized that I wanted to know what made me happy, what kept me engaged, what my new purpose in life would be. It took more than a year of soul searching to rediscover my passion – and I found it in my desire to become a life and mental performance coach. In that moment everything clicked; I'd found my new purpose – I wanted to help athletes not only succeed in their careers, but also navigate the eventual transition into life after through the authentic discovery of themselves and their passions.
Amanda graduated from Towson University with a B.S. in Anthropology and Sociology. She later completed her CPC with the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. In addition to her work with Beyond the Game, she also partners with local sports psychiatrist Dr. David McDuff, owner of MD Sports Performance. For convenience she offers the option of traveling to clients as well as phone and Skype sessions.
Interview with Coach Derrick Pearson of LovePrints