Dr Dan Sports

Dr Daniel van Ingen Works With High School, College, Professional, Olympic, State & World Champion Athletes At All Levels

As an athlete, you spend hours perfecting your technical skills and building your body in your sport. But when was the last time you invested in your mental performance? Dr Daniel van Ingen trains influential mental performance to help athletes with performance anxiety, psychological blocking, goal setting, overcoming sports injuries, returning to form, motivational issues, sports trauma, and perspective blocks.

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aBOUT me

In recent years, I’ve worked with gymnasts, soccer players, basketball players, tennis players, and baseball players of all ages including young kids on up to high school, college, pro and olympic levels

I work with athletes on anxiety, trauma, performance anxiety, blocking, procrastination and motivation issues, depression, goal setting, overcoming sports injuries and returning to form, and a variety of other issues.

As an example of my focused work, I might work with an athlete on his/her performance anxiety; there are often two things that usually come up – (1) Anticipatory anxiety and (2) Self-efficacy – belief in one’s ability.  Working with a sports psychologist can help address this issue and many others.  

I implement a variety of techniques including breathing retraining, visualization & meditation, cognitive therapy, positive belief rehearsal, and various stress management techniques.

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Years Of Experience

My approach to sport psychology

I take a holistic approach to sport psychology, recognizing that peak performance extends beyond physical abilities to the intricate interplay of mind, body, and spirit, requiring the importance of influential mental performance.

Mind-Body Integration
I emphasize the seamless integration of mental and physical aspects of performance. By fostering a deep connection between mind and body, athletes can unlock a reservoir of untapped potential.
Personalized Strategies
Recognizing that every athlete is unique, my approach is highly individualized. Through one-on-one consultations, I delve into your specific challenges, goals, and strengths. This includes learning proven strategies to handle high pressured situations.
Collaborative Coaching
I believe in the power of collaboration. My experience in sport psychology coaching involves working hand-in-hand with athletes, coaches, and support staff to create a cohesive, supportive environment. This including applying the key strategies I have presented in 8-hour neuroscience and anxiety seminars in all 50 states in over 125 cities over the last 15 years.
learn about me

​ Here are a few nuggets about me

 My heart was broken when I was cut two years in a row at the University of St. Thomas, a division III powerhouse program at the time (now, Division I).  During the third week of tryouts in 1994, I was hospitalized with pneumonia.  My immune system was compromised due to significant performance anxiety.  I cried in the hospital bed when my Dad brought me the news that I didn’t make the team.  I know the experience of sports heartbreak.  I also know the experience of living with memories that can’t be undone.  Against a top team in my high school playoffs, I had a 10 second violation as point guard in the final minutes of our team losing a 5-point lead with 2mins left.  

My entire life has been connected with sports in one way or another. Over the years, I have seen the value of sports as an analogy for living life well. During the pandemic, I told my kids that the documentary “Last Dance” about Jordan and the Bulls provides a huge window into my childhood having grown up in Chicago. I attribute my “love for the game” to both my father and my step-father in different ways. During hardship and adversity I was going through five years ago, my father drove 8 hours from St Paul, Minnesota to the Chicago area where I was speaking to spend time with me and play catch in the hotel parking lot. 

 Personally, I have worked through plantar fasciitis, ankle injuries, herniated disc back injuries, and various pain.  As a college student athlete, part of my struggle was overcoming many ankle injuries.  There’s a lot of psychology and self-doubt that is an important part of the story of victory.  

I have worked with many athletes who have lost entire junior or senior years. I have worked with athletes who lost pro contracts due to injuries. Reframing adversity is a huge part of influential mental performance in sport psychology. 

A few years ago, I wrote the book, You Are Your Child’s Best Psychologist: 7 Keys to Excellence in Parenting. It has been endorsed by national champion college basketball coach and national coach of the year John Tauer, Ph.D., who wrote the book Why Less is More for WOSPs: Well-Intentioned, Overinvolved Sports Parents – How to be the best SPORTS PARENT you can be.  Tauer is also a research leader in applying social psychology to sports psychology.  

Dr. Dan has spent the last five years working with physicians and athletes. Surprisingly, there are many common themes between physicians and athletes that facilitates success. His upcoming book on neuroscience lessons from athletes and physicians unpacks the keys to leaving behind the past, embracing adversity, and going to get your moment.

I’m truly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with some tremendous athletes over the years who continue to inspire me. I've worked with professional and former professional athletes, weightlifting world champions, CrossFit national champions, olympic athletes, high school and college athletes (div. I,II, & III), high school state champions, and youth athletes in soccer, swimming, football, baseball, tennis, rowing, basketball, and gymnastics. I’ve talked with World Cup soccer (futbol, footballers), Super Bowl champions, Ironman world championship level performers, and various hall of famers. I believe my greatest gift is encouragement.

Free Consultations

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If you have family members or friends in youth sports who could use support from a sports psychologist, contact Dr. Dan for more information

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