Author: Kimberley Falk
Forza = Strength. “Strength training for the mind.”
Photos Stephen Wild
Being the strongest will only get you so far if your mind isn’t at the same optimal point.
Kingston’s newest consulting business, Forza Consulting, run by Mental Strength and High Performance Consultant, Jackie Bardana, aims to help youth reach their maximum potential both physically and mentally by teaching them how to strive for excellence and overcome barriers in the sports they love.
“People underestimate how valuable these skills can be for kids to learn at a young age. It helps them deal with success and failure, and to focus on what they can control while celebrating their successes,” says Jackie.
These skills they learn are transferable to all aspects of their lives, such as school exams, presentations, and later, in jobs.
Once a competitive gymnast and now with two young competitors of her own, Jackie has used her mental strength techniques on her own children and has branched out to help other athletes in the community. Now, due to high demand, she has turned her passion into her new business.
Having worked for 20 years as a physiotherapist and athletic therapist with elite athletes at the U.S. Olympic Training Centre, the Australian Academy of Ballet, as well in Canada and other countries around the world, Jackie brings her own unique skills and experience to the work that she does.
Any athlete in any sport can benefit from Forza Consulting’s training methods.
“It’s not just for individual type sports but also for team sports – each member of a team brings their own skill set in which they can improve,” says Jackie.
When asked what her passion is she replies, “the human body and how excellence in sports can be achieved by maximizing performance of the body and of the mind, as well as how both together help control the outcome of any performance.”
The body can reach its optimal potential if the athlete is focused and trained as a whole instead of only physically prepared.
Jackie has worked with varsity teams at Queen’s University for many years as a physiotherapist and is a certified professional performance coach with experience in instructing mental strength techniques to athletes.
Stressing that her services are not in mental health or illness, Jackie focuses on four different services:
1. Mental strength for optimal performance
2. Mental strength for return to sport post-injury or concussion
3. Biomechanical and functional sport specific exercise prescription (teaching individuals and groups on proper mechanics in movements to maximize performance)
4. Academic and Business seminars (teaching strategies that athletes use to help clients focus on improving their performance in school and work).
There are many obstacles and mental blocks that can appear at any age, both in a sport and post-injury, and with Forza Consulting’s coaching and strategies, young athletes can learn the proper methods to build their mind, overcome their fears, and get their heads into the game stronger than ever.