Dr. Sue Massimo Overend
By the time she was thirteen, Dr. Sue Massimo Overend knew what she wanted to do with the rest of her life, which was to work with kids in sports. As a competitor on three sports teams, she competed at the Regional or Junior National level in gymnastics, swimming and water polo and garnered a National YMCA Youth Fitness Championship. She began teaching gymnastics and trampoline classes to young boys and girls at the age of 13. She was influenced by many coaches who encouraged her to attend the national YMCA Leader’s School for youth instructor/career development program for nine summers and thus became dedicated to pursuing a life of teaching and coaching.
While she was applying for colleges, Dr. Sue discovered a new athletic interest that moved her away from competitive gymnastics. Using her gymnastics skills, she became a member of the Florida State Flying High Circus, performing aerial acts, requiring strength and flexibility in choreographed routines.
She loved traveling around the country and performing with the circus troupe. Having taught gymnastics for 5 years in high school, she also began coaching her own teams and continued coaching through her 10 years in college and beyond.
Her academic pursuits in college included sports psychology,biomechanics, motor learning and fitness and exercise science. Dr. Sue was fortunate to study with some of the pioneers and greats in the field of motor learning and sports psychology including Dr. Bob Singer, Dr. Craig Wrisberg, and Dr. Len Zaichkowsky. Over the years in college, she was an assistant athletic trainer and was certified as a Master Fitness Specialist at the world-renowned Cooper Institute.
Research became her focus when she supervised the Biofeedback Research Laboratory for Sports Sciences at the Boston University, studying stress management in sports. Her doctorate was awarded to her in Sports Psychology and Human Movement after conducting several research studies in gymnastics psychology namely, the psychological attributes of young competitive gymnasts.
As an elite and age-group level coach, Dr. Sue worked with both gymnastics for women and men at the state, regional, national and elite level. She has performed research and provided psychological skills training to the National Junior Elite Development Program, as an Assistant Sports Psychology Clinician for the Sports Medicine Council of the United States Association of Independent Gymnastics Clubs as well as the National Open Gymnastics Program. She has also trained gymnasts, their coaches, and parents on the mental aspects of gymnastics training at clinics across the country.
Her writings can be found in professional and mainstream periodicals such as International Gymnast Magazine, National Technical Notes, and most recently The Elite Gymnastics Journal, a publication of the U.S. Elite Coaches Association. She has also co-authored three books with Dr. Joe Massimo entitled Psychology and Gymnastics Vol. I & II published in 1986 and 1994 and more recently published Gymnastics Psychology: The Ultimate Guide for Coaches, Gymnasts, and Parents.
Dr. Sue Massimo has been involved in gymnastics in some manner since the 1960s and has loved every minute of it. At this time, she continues to provide coaches, gymnasts, and their parents with the latest insights into gymnastics psychology coaching so they can all reach their peak potential.
Dr. Sue continues to publish monthly magazine articles and books and develop mental game programs to help the coach, parent, and gymnast realize their potential. To everyone in the gymnastics community, she encourages, “Pursue your Dreams!”
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Meet Dr. Sue Massimo Overend
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