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Cover Story
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Published: March 01, 2009

DR. CASEY COOPER



POSITION:
Sports psychologist and host of “The Dr. Casey Show” on AM 830

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
Established the first radio talk show dedicated to sports psychology; serves as a nationally known authority on psychological sports-related issues

WHAT YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK: The sports world has a set of norms and values that, for many, create anxiety, depression, conflict, substance use and abuse, anger management difficulties and divorce. As a sport psychologist, I use psychological techniques to support people who happen to be athletes. Athletes have few relationships where they are seen as a person first. With me, they are a person in need who happens to compete in sports.

PROFESSIONAL PHILOSOPHY:
No. 1: Don’t assume anything! People do not appreciate being labeled, and it kills a relationship before it has started.
No. 2: Surround yourself with people who know more than you do!
No. 3: Embrace growth edges. In therapy training, supervisors do not use the word “weakness.” We all have growth edges. I love it when someone trusts me enough to deliver honest feedback. I swallow my pride and see an opportunity to improve.
No. 4: The best predictor of the future is the past. When I am faced with a professional dilemma, the past guides me and enables a stronger decision.
No. 5: Give back. Call it karma, but I expect the most out of others, which requires that I give the most of myself in everything I do, including giving back to my community.

PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT, AND WHY IT STANDS OUT: Most of my professional accomplishments have one thing in common: No one else had done it quite that way before. When I established my private practicE, people in the health field told me I was crazy. Now, I am the only female licensed psychologist with a sports practice in Southern California. The same happened with “The Dr. Casey Show.” Not only are there no sports psychology radio programs in the U.S., the number of female hosts in the entire sports radio industry is shockingly few.

ADVICE FOR WOMEN ENTERING THE WORK FORCE: Know what your worth is and have a skill set identified that supports this value. I happen to be in a profession that is predominately female, but with a specialty that is overwhelmingly male. Knowing what I have to offer and the confidence that comes from that has enabled me to transcend difference, overcome stereotypes and stay true to myself.

WHAT YOU’D BE IF YOU WEREN’T A SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST: Most likely, I would be a lawyer or a lobbyist for a social cause.



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