Heather Rivera, M.A.

Throughout my life I have always been drawn to sports. When I was young I was constantly involved in a sport whether it was a recreational league or just on the playground at school. This passion and love for sports has carried throughout my life. In middle school I decided to focus solely on soccer. I committed to a club team and a countless amount of travel time and practice hours. Throughout high school my only goal was to get recruited and play soccer in college.  However, during my senior year I suffered from a lack of self-confidence. I didn’t believe in my ability to go to the next level. This led me to take a year off from soccer during my freshman year of college. 

This year off refueled my passion and dedication to the game. I decided to try out for the Women’s Soccer team at Santa Barbara City College. That year was a huge test to me as an athlete. Not only did I have to train on my own because of the year I took off but most girls on the team had been recruited and did not need to try out. However, I had to show up from day one and prove myself to the coaches. Once I made it on the team I did not get much playing time, which was another test for me. I had to push myself to give all that I could with a positive mindset everyday regardless of my playing time. This ultimately led me to more playing time and the boost in confidence that I needed to believe in myself and my ability to overcome adversity. 

As an athlete I never had the opportunity to work with a mental performance coach nor was I aware of the impact it could have had during the years I was struggling as an athlete. In my first course of my Master’s program I was amazed at how much I didn’t know about sport psychology and its benefits. I also realized that I had been using some sport psychology tactics, like imagery and positive self-talk, as an athlete and didn’t even know it. This made me realize that there are so many athletes that put all their focus on the physical side of the game and leave the mental side of sport on the backburner. I have an immense passion to help athletes focus their mind and unlock the champion’s mindset I know is within them. 

This past 2019/2020 school year I was an intern at Texas State University in the Athletic Academic Center. I had the opportunity to work with student-athletes that were struggling with balancing sport, school and life. I understand the unique experience of a student-athlete and the added pressures and obligations you have. The biggest lesson I learned from this experience was how applicable sport psychology is to all aspects of life. The tactics I learned in my graduate program were just as applicable in an academic setting as in a sport setting. And I am here to show you not only how your mental game can help you athletically but also how to apply it to all areas of your life. 

Here’s a little more about my life:

I am originally from Santa Maria, California but I currently live in Austin, Texas. In my free time I enjoy exercising, reading, going on hikes, Netflix binging and yoga. I have two adorable cats that I love to cuddle (while binging Netflix). I love to go to professional sporting events, whether it’s baseball, soccer, football, hockey, I’ll never pass up the chance to sit in a roaring stadium. And I am always down to eat some good BBQ food!

I can’t wait to get to know you and help you accomplish your goals! Sign up for a free mini session today!