Dr. Harold Shinitzky, Psy.D., Sport Psychologist
University of Iowa 1978-1982 The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 1988-2000
How I became who I am today was very foundational and is credited to my family that really emphasized “doing for others.” I think a lot of how I am wired today as well as my profession really started when my Mom became President of HARC. Here is a little snippet about the organization before I share about the day that helped steer my life into a profession. HARC, Inc. was an independent affiliate of the Dr. Julian D. Levinson Research and Treatment Center for Children with Neurological Disorders. The Levinson Foundation, was a privately financed clinic offered county wide diagnostic and psychological services without charge to the families served.
Through my Mom’s involvement at HARC, I became more engaged and as a 13-year-old kid would join the volunteers strategically placed throughout the city on separate intersections and collect money for the organization. Normally at the end of the day the adults would gather all the money collected, but on this day, they asked me to join them bringing the funds to the residential facility. After several hours of collecting money in coin cannisters, we then made our way to the center to make our very first drop off. As I look back on my life, I’m realizing that this moment would be one of those “Check Your Game” moments that helped direct me to the current path I’m on.
As I walked into the HARC Center that afternoon to drop off my cannister, I looked beyond the table where our cannisters sat and was humbled by the sight. For one of the first times in life, I realized how much I took for granted like walking, talking and even breathing! The scene of all the children I saw was humbling! What I was able to do compared to what I could see the others were doing or not doing, was on opposite spectrums. This is the defining moment in my life. I could ignore what I saw and continue with life, or I could make a choice that I was going to make a difference in a child’s life! I chose the latter.
At age 15 I declared my major in Psychology and later continued my passion at The University of Iowa where I majored in Psychology and was offered an opportunity as a walk-on to play tennis for the school. My time at school went well and I really clicked with the people of Iowa. They were humble, considerate, and naturally grateful people. It was interesting because coming from Chicago, the people seemed to never be content with the sports scene yet there was every kind of professional sport you could think of. Then I go to Iowa where there are no professional sports, yet the community is just grateful! Maybe I am sharing this because as a 13-year-old, I learned about being grateful and never forgot about my decision to be helping others. So, after graduating from Iowa, I continued strides in order to make a difference in peoples’ lives. I earned my doctorate from the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology and attended Johns Hopkins University for my clinical training and residency.
It was there where I started a program called Project Champions which was a youth resilience and prevention program that was used to help kids stay on a positive track and avoid at-risk behaviors.
Again, I was continuing in the direction of helping others. After a while, I started connecting the dots as to why I wanted to help people and it all started the with the moment I saw those kids at HARC.
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This memory not only was engrained in my head forever, but it has encouraged me in my profession today as a Sports Psychologist where I help others by providing mental conditioning, one on one personal coaching, team presentations and consultations to Olympians, professionals and junior national athletes as well as corporate training and presentations.
Every day when you wake up, you get to choose your attitude. I had a kid who asked me one time if I ever had a bad day. I told him I do on many days, but I choose to have a good attitude.
Your happiness and success can’t be dependent by the World. The World has its own agenda.
And lastly, I would say to be grateful in life. Those kids I saw at age 13 not only helped me to be grateful, but also encouraged me to help others.
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Dr. Harold Shinitzky, Psy.D., Sport Psychologist
As a sport psychologist, I consult with Olympians, professionals, and nationally ranked junior athletes to help them reach the pinnacle of their sport. I personally attend to my athlete's individual needs and proactively address all areas in order to thrive, succeed, and develop a champion's mindset. I utilize the same concepts when conducting corporate training and executive coaching.
My typical customer
A highly motivated, committed individual who understands the difference between achieving greatness and everyone. They are aware it comes down to their mental conditioning, A Champion’s Mindset. Whether I am working with an athlete or an executive, they seek a solution oriented approach and want to immediately apply the lessons learned from our sessions. I receive most of my referrals by word of mouth from individuals I previously consulted with and help make their dreams a reality.
Dr. Harold Shinitzky, Psy.D.
Visit my website: http://drshinitzky.com/