About Dr. Eddie

Dr. Eddie O’Connor is a professional speaker and both clinical and sport psychologist, specializing in removing barriers to peak performance. He is a Fellow and Certified Mental Performance Consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, and member of the United States Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry. Dr. Eddie has worked with youth, high school, collegiate, national and international, Junior Olympic and professional athletes and coaches, as well as performing artists and musicians.

Dr. Eddie is frequently sought after by media, appearing regularly on FOX News in Grand Rapids, a featured guest on SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio, and quoted in ESPN.com, NBA.com, Los Angeles Times, Runner’s World, NYMag.com, and CNN.com.

He is author and host of “The Psychology of Performance: How to Be Your Best in Life” by The Great Courses, quoted in the New York Times as being the “Netflix of learning” who recruit “the world’s greatest professors” that “are truly special.”

An international presenter with over 350 speaking engagements and media appearances, Dr. Eddie delivers a powerful and entertaining message to his audience.


Was there a defining moment in your professional career? A moment that changed the trajectory of your career?

I was a runner in high school. That was my identity, which was risky because I wasn’t that fast. But I loved the sport and trained year round for four years.

I hit a mental block senior year. I desperately wanted to break 2:10 in the 800m before graduating (I told you I wasn’t fast!). But week after week I came across the finish line in 2:11. I ran as fast as I could but I still had energy left. Something was holding me back. I’d come across the finish line, go over to the sideline and throw up as if I had pushed myself to exhaustion, but at the same time also know that I had more in me and would say, “Ugh, I could’ve broken 2:10 if I just pushed a little harder.”

It wasn’t until I went to graduate school for clinical and sport psychology that I figured out what happened to me…

What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?

My tag line is “overcoming obstacles to excellence” but that wasn’t always the case. My early business cards read “… because average isn’t good enough.”

At the time, I was proud of it. I was the “performance excellence” guy, so of course the average wasn’t good enough! I wanted to help people be their best and not settle for anything less. But as I explained earlier, some of that came from an unhealthy place. An intensity that was fueled by a feeling of not being good enough and a need to earn my worth through achievement.

It worked in the beginning. As all successful people will tell you, the achievement, recognition, admiration and promotions are all positive and reinforcing. But they are also short-lived. The “I am good enough” feeling doesn’t last. Then it is on to the next project or achievement to get that feeling again. It becomes a treadmill of constant running but not getting anywhere. It’s exhausting.

A life fueled by “not feeling good enough” risks getting out of balance. With the desire to achieve, people work harder and neglect family, health, recreation and recovery. Mental health suffers with depression and anxiety. The pressure to win becomes all-consuming.

My clients struggling with performance anxiety have all this in common.

I realized I was sending the wrong message. I looked at my business card and tore it in half.


Curious about the rest of the story? Read the full interview at canvasrebel.com/meet-eddie-oconnor/

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