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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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