By Michael Lardon, M.D.

Our own mental health lives on a continuum like our own physical health. Both are not static entities. Our mental health fluctuates as a function of what is happening in our lives. The vast majority of sport psychologists are not clinically trained to help people with life problems whether it is handling the spotlight, martial discord, substance abuse, anxiety disorders or many other life experiences. All of these issues profoundly effect the way an athlete performs in competition. You can not get in the “zone” unless your life is in balance and you are in good relaxed state of mind first. Sport psychologists are educators who teach techniques to help the athlete better handle competitive situations but they don’t help athletes get their life in order.

Clinical psychologists and psychiatrists help with life issues but do not possess the skill set of performance enhancement techniques. The sport psychiatrist does both.

mental health well being continuum

In addition to possessing these broad range of skills, Dr. Lardon is also trained in internal medicine and has been a pioneer in utilizing neuroimaging techniques to understand the biologic action of the brain when athletes find peak performance or what is commonly called being in the “zone”. His work is an extension of Dr. Csikszentmihalyi pioneering research into “flow” states or peak performance states of consciousness.

Dr. Lardon helps the athlete from the perspective of a human being not a corporate commodity. His focus not only includes what goes on in the heat of battle but all the components that lead up to setting the optimal conditions for the peak performance experience to unfold. His training, experience and understanding of peak performance is unparalleled in the field.