Is Your Mental Game Holding You Back?

No matter how hard you train your body, if your fear is too high or your confidence is too low, then you won’t perform your best or have fun out there.

Learning to understand your mind’s capabilities and strengthen its abilities for success may be the thing that will help you the most!

Because climbing is played with the body but won in the mind, your mental approach to climbing drives the outcome of your performance.

That’s why for the past 20 years, Sport Psychologist, Dr. Chris Heilman, has used cutting-edge science and skills to empower hundreds of weekend warriors, youth, recreational, collegiate, and elite athletes to go beyond their limitations to achieve peak levels of physical, mental and lifestyle performance.

As a climber, skier, and endurance athlete herself, Dr. Chris understands the struggles we must overcome to be our very best–in climbing and in life.

Sport Psychology Pricing Options

1 Month

$495
  • Most Popular
  • 4 One-On-One Video Sessions
  • Comprehensive Mindset Assessment
  • Strategic Mental Action Plan to Boost Performance
  • PhD Sports Psychology
  • 20 Years Experience with Athletes in 30+ Sports

3 Months

$895
  • Save $95
  • 8 One-On-One Video Sessions
  • Comprehensive Mindset Assessment
  • Strategic Mental Action Plan to Boost Performance
  • PhD Sports Psychology
  • 20 Years Experience with Athletes in 30+ Sports

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have other questions, please email Dr. Chris at chris@trainingbeta.com or call us at (650) 731-5615.

After you sign up to work with Dr. Chris, you’ll be sent an email with a link to an intake questionnaire and consent form. You’ll then be directed to schedule with her to set up an appointment for your first 50-minute video call.

Each session lasts about 50 minutes.
Dr. Chris uses Zoom, which is free and easy to use on your computer or your phone. You will be given instructions on how to use it after you sign up to work with Dr. Chris.
Dr. Chris works with a variety of athletes, including rock climbers, ice climbers, mountaineers, as well as runners, skiers and other athletes. She works with climbers ranging from children on competitive teams to seniors who simply want to be more confident while leading 5.10 outside. She has also worked with professional athletes such as Sam Elias. She has experience with many different kinds of people, and she’s noticed that no matter who you are, you can always improve your mental game in some way.

Mental performance coaching can take a variety of forms, depending on the personality of the athlete and his/her goals for consultation. Coaching can often focus on traditional mental training (i.e., motivation, goal-setting), performance-relevant personality characteristics (i.e., fear of failure, performance anxiety), personal growth, athletic career counseling, or any combination of these performance related factors.

Mental performance coaching requires an active effort on your part. To be successful you will need to commit to addressing your concerns during your consultations, trainings, competitions, and everyday life. Applying the concepts and skills discussed ‘in-session,’ to the ‘outside world,’ is essential for related improvement with performance and/or general well-being.

During your first session, you’ll share your story about your background, your current situation and your goals. In subsequent sessions you’ll review your Mindset Assessment, identify and address your primary concerns and connect you to clear strategies to help you succeed.

We put a time frame on the sessions so that athletes commit to the process, and for Dr. Chris to gauge how many clients she can take on at one time. We try to stick to the one- or three-month package as closely as possible, but there are times when we meet every two or three weeks because life happens. As a result, a one-month package, for example, may turn into 6-weeks in order to complete all four sessions.

No, this is not therapy. Chris’s professional responsibilities to you will be as your “mental strength coach” and not your psychotherapist. If at any time it becomes apparent that you might benefit from psychotherapy, you may wish to engage with a therapist. It is sometimes common for clients to work with both a psychotherapist and a mental strength coach.

However, there is overlap between psychotherapy and mental performance coaching. Because sessions may focus on aspects of your performance (and your life) that are not going well, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, anger, frustration, helplessness, etc. You may also start to question your commitment and your desire to remain involved in your sport. On the other hand, mental training can help to change behaviors, improve performance, face your fears, provide solutions to difficult situations, maintain composure under pressure, achieve bold goals, and lead to renewed enjoyment and commitment to your sport or life endeavors.

As a result, mental training sessions may focus on behaviors and emotions. It all depends on what the athlete needs and meeting the athlete where he/she is at so that they can excel in his/her desired dreams.

The required number of sessions will depend upon the nature of your circumstances and the type of help you are seeking. Some clients see results immediately and others have a “latent potential,” meaning it takes some time, practice and patience to see results. Latent potential is similar to investing in your retirement: you may not see the money accumulating right away but over time you consistently put money in the bank and your investment grows. It’s common for athletes to start with 4 sessions to get their feet wet, then upgrade to another package because they find mindset training beneficial. It might be helpful to read the testimonials below to get a feel of what athletes say.

It certainly can! Chris has worked with numerous climbers on this exact topic, and many of her clients have seen a decrease in their fear while lead climbing – or climbing in general. If this is a main conern for you, you and Chris will explore what makes you feel afraid and how you can change your perception of the situation and manage your emotions leading up to and while you’re on the climb.

During your first session with Dr. Chris, you’ll share your story about your background, your current situation, and your goals. In subsequent sessions you’ll review your Mindset Assessment, identify and address your primary concerns, and connect you to clear strategies to help you succeed. That could look like talking through how to design a systematic plan to achieve big dreams and bold goals, how to use tools to navigate nerves and peak under pressure, or learning different ways to cope with adversity with teammates, coaches, friends, or family.

To sum, what you talk about is based on your unique experiences, personal knowledge, and Mindset Assessment so that you can co-create a comprehensive plan to reach your health and performance needs.

Dr. Chris sees athletes, coaches and other high-achievers both in-person and video chat. To her surprise, video chat sessions are just as effective as in-person sessions. Sometimes there are hiccups with internet connections so that makes it less effective, but we find ways to work through it so all participants benefit.

About Dr. Chris Heilman

Dr. Chris(tina) Heilman, PhD, ATC, CSCS is a mental strength coach, speaker, author and mountain athlete who, for the past 20 years, has helped empower people to go beyond their limitations to achieve peak levels of physical, mental and lifestyle performance. Dr. Chris loves to climb, ski, and play in the mountains, so she understands how to excel at the mental game not from the armchair, but from real life.

Dr. Chris earned a PhD in Sport Psychology from the University of Utah and is also double board-certified as an Athletic Trainer (ATC) and a Strength and Conditioning Coach (CSCS). She has trained youth, recreational, collegiate, and elite athletes as well as CEO’s and other high-achievers to skyrocket their success to the next level.

A few of Dr. Chris’ accolades include earning an international award for her research in positive youth development through sport from the Association of Applied Sport Psychology, writing a textbook titled Elevate Your Excellence: The Mindset and Methods That Make Champions, and being a mom. Dr. Chris has done other fun stuff like worked as an outdoor educator in Joshua Tree, ski patrolled at Grand Targhee and Brighton, and backpack guided for NOLS and other organizers in the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Tetons. She lives in the Tetons with her family and passion for learning new things.

chris heilman sport psychology

Testimonials

I have become less reactive and more capable of finding center…

I’ve worked with Chris long enough now that she knows my strengths and my weaknesses and she’s able to provide perspective when, say, I’m spinning out of control, or just something’s gone wrong, or I’m trying a new route, or going through a new experience and things just aren’t going well. She’s just kind of like a sounding board and an objective perspective to help me kind of get back to center if I bounce too far away from that. I have become less reactive and more capable of finding center, faster, after something. (From Sam’s interview on the TrainingBeta Podcast)

Sam Elias, Professional Rock Climber

sam elias testimonial

A pivotal point in Victor’s climbing…

Working with Chris has ended up being a pivotal point in Victor’s climbing. In a surprisingly short period, Victor went from experiencing frustration in competition and projecting to a true love of climbing and a genuine appreciation and satisfaction in his efforts. More importantly, he is now proud of his attitude despite the results. But because of his changed attitude, the results are also more in line with his skills and training. He’s learning important life skills and I envy him that he gets to learn them now.

Melanie Marier, proud Mom of Victor who placed 16th at 2016 National Climbing Competition & Oscar 2016 National Climbing Champ in boulder and sport

Victor

Her support and advice have been invaluable to me…

Chris’s support and advice has been invaluable to me. The guidance she had given has helped improve not only my attitude and approach toward climbing, but achievement and outlook on life in general. This has resulted in noticeable improvements in my level of my happiness and motivation overall.

McKenna Hogan, Youth Competitive Climber & Student

McKenna Hogan

She was able to help me calm my nerves well on the wall…

I came to Chris before going to the world championships for rock climbing. She was able to help me calm my nerves well on the wall. Thanks to her I am now able to enjoy my sport more for what it is and less for the result.

Sami Singleton, age 14 19th World Championship Sport Climbing

Sami

Chris made me see myself and my performance in a new light…

I’m so very happy I decided to reach out to Chris. Chris made me see myself and my performance in a new light. Through our work together she gave me tools that helped be become a stronger and happier climber. I no longer see obstacles, I see the adventure. Chris is a true inspiration, like a beautiful and wise tree that I look up to and get to learn from. Thanks for the awesome and exciting road you showed me!

Nanna Brandt, Swedish climber (5.13d / 7c+) and college student

nanna brandt

Sport Psychology Pricing Options

1 Month

$495
  • Most Popular
  • 4 One-On-One Video Sessions
  • Comprehensive Mindset Assessment
  • Strategic Mental Action Plan to Boost Performance
  • PhD Sports Psychology
  • 20 Years Experience with Athletes in 30+ Sports

3 Months

$895
  • Save $95
  • 8 One-On-One Video Sessions
  • Comprehensive Mindset Assessment
  • Strategic Mental Action Plan to Boost Performance
  • PhD Sports Psychology
  • 20 Years Experience with Athletes in 30+ Sports

Podcast Interviews with Dr. Chris

chris heilman

Chris discusses how we can all become calmer and more focused as climbers (and in general).

  • How she works with people
  • How she came back from a devastating gymnastics injury
  • Breathing exercises you can start doing right now
  • How you can make yourself calm down using just one word
  • Being in “flow zone”

Listen

chris heilman interview

Chris discusses the highlights of her book and what we can all do to change our mindsets for the better.

  • Using imagery to send projects and stay calm
  • Setting realistic goals to avoid disappointment
  • Performing well under pressure
  • Decreasing limiting beliefs
  • How to stay motivated, even through injuries

Listen

Sam Elias

Sam discusses what he’s done in the past couple years to calm his anger and anxiety so that he can be a happier person and a better climber.

  • Working with Dr. Chris Heilman
  • “Flow state” climbing
  • Work/climbing balance
  • Success after BD Bootcamp

Listen

Testimonials

She helped me develop skills in only 2 sessions that a lifetime of therapy has not.

I’ve been in therapy since I was a child. Although it’s not Dr. Chris’s job to be a therapist, she helped me develop skills in only 2 sessions that a lifetime of therapy has not. Not only does she listen but she helps me to take action!!! The skills that Dr. Chris has taught me in this short time helped me not only in climbing but in life!! She finally helped me experience pure SILENCE in my mind–something nobody has ever accomplished. I’m so excited to work with her and grateful I found her!! I look forward to our next talk!

Chris Jimenez, 25 y.o. Novice Rock Climber, Barber

Chris is a friend-like mentor who is genuinely interested in your personal progress…

Chris is a friend-like mentor/coach who is genuinely interested in your personal progress and is equipped with tons of knowledge and experience.


Nicole Kelly, Australian Financial Advisor, Rockclimber (5.11+), age 40

Sport Psychology Pricing Options

1 Month

$495
  • Most Popular
  • 4 One-On-One Video Sessions
  • Comprehensive Mindset Assessment
  • Strategic Mental Action Plan to Boost Performance
  • PhD Sports Psychology
  • 20 Years Experience with Athletes in 30+ Sports

3 Months

$895
  • Save $95
  • 8 One-On-One Video Sessions
  • Comprehensive Mindset Assessment
  • Strategic Mental Action Plan to Boost Performance
  • PhD Sports Psychology
  • 20 Years Experience with Athletes in 30+ Sports

Have questions? Email Chris at chris@trainingbeta.com or call us at (650) 731-5615.