CBT SoCal’s Dr. Jason von Stietz recently had the honor of presenting at the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) West Regional Conference, which was hosted by California Baptist University. Dr. von Stietz’s presentation was titled, Providing team building and mental skills training for a Women’s Premier Soccer League team. Dr. von Stietz discussed his first season working with a local Torrance-based WPSL soccer team. At the time, the team was in one of its first seasons and was still learning to work as a cohesive unit. The team struggled to cooperate and would heckle and scold each other during games. At times, the team’s own fans, comprised of friends and family, would heckle them from the sidelines.
In the presentation, Dr. von Stietz discussed his approach with the team. Dr. von Stietz met with the team for four 30 to 45 minute sessions. The sessions included two types of team cohesion activities: initiative games and improvisational comedy exercises. Initiative games are fun and difficult games, which require teamwork and problem-solving skills. The improvisational comedy exercises required the team to maintain focus on the present moment while cooperating with each other on a fun and novel task. These team cohesion activities allowed them to practice teamwork and other mental skills in a psychologically safe environment. At the end of the season, all of the players surveyed reported that the team building sessions were either helpful or very helpful in improving their ability to work together as a team.
Dr. Jason von Stietz specializes in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Sport/Performance Psychology in Torrance, CA. He provides online therapy (telehealth) by way of the Torrance office and is available for a free initial phone consultation. Dr. von Stietz works with individuals from Long Beach, the greater Los Angeles area, and the South Bay including Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo and all over California.