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Meet Robert Andrews of The Institute of Sports Performance in Upper Kirby District

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Andrews.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was a three sports athlete at Friendswood high school, and played on a Texas State Champions football team. In addition to being involved with great teams, coaches, and athletes, I suffered a lot of serious injuries. I tore three ligaments in my knee my sophomore year, broke my arm, separated my shoulder twice, suffered a concussion, and other less serious injuries. After a decade of working in the oil and gas industry and witnessing the historic “Black Monday” stock market crash in the late eighties as an investment banker, I decided to go back to school and get a master’s degree in psychology. My master’s thesis was on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After about ten years of doing traditional psychotherapy, I began to lose my passion for that work. One day at lunch with my wife I had a vision that changed my life. I clearly saw that the trauma work I was trained in could help injured athletes overcome the psychological impact of serious sports related injuries. I called Steve VanMeter, who was the AD and head football coach at Friendswood high school. I explained how I could help injured athletes. He said “no one is doing that”, meaning that sports injuries had been treated as a physical event only. The mental and emotional impact of injuries was not being addressed. He sent me my first athlete. The impact of the work I did with this athlete was remarkable and apparent. I knew that I was on to something. People also began asking about performance related concepts, and mental training. Things happened quickly, and within a year I was at the 2008 Beijing Olympics working with USA athletes.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
If you have a grand vision for your life, there will always be struggles. I have always taken obstacles and struggles as challenges. There have been many wonderful things that I have witnessed and been a part of in my work with athletes and teams. There have also been dreadful and catastrophic meltdowns that I felt powerless to do anything about. There have been conflicts with people in positions of leadership who had tremendous egos. These ego’s got in the way of teams and individual athletes achieving the top of their respective sports. One thing I learned through these struggles is that I will only work in a culture that is open to the way I work. I work with cultures that allow me to express my passion and influence that system in a positive way. I have worked with teams and organization that tried to limit what I could do, and tell me who I could and couldn’t talk to. I have even had people try to do my job at the Olympic Games and not allow me access to the athletes I was there to help. With each struggle I learned and I grew. I look back on them as powerful learning opportunities. I am grateful for the struggles. They have helped make me better at what I do, and shaped who I am in a very positive way.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We offer expert mental training concepts and tools to athletes of all levels. We work with the entire system that the athlete trains and competes in. This includes the athlete, coaches, and parents we work closely with PT’s doctors, GM’s, and staff members. Our goal is to help the athlete reach their full potential by efficiently utilizing the mental, emotional, and physical energy available for performance, to the highest level possible. Through our work we see good athletes become great athletes. We see elite athletes become Olympic and World Champions, NFL, MLB, and NBA All Stars and All Pro’s, NCAA, National, Regional, and State Champions. Our motto is “We Turn Winners into Champions”. We also help athletes overcome the mental and emotional impact of serious sports related injuries. Eidetic Imagery and EMDR are two powerful tools we use to help the athlete process the injury from a psychological perspective. I have a great reputation in the sport of gymnastics having worked with Olympic all around, team, floor and vault champion Simone Biles, and Olympic Gold and Silver medalist and Dancing with the Stars Champion Laurie Hernandez, I have also worked with other Olympic Champions. Athletes I work with won 13 medals at the Rio Olympics including seven Olympic Gold Medals. Locally I work with the Houston Texans, and was with the Houston Rockets in the 2015-2016 season when they had their best season in over twenty years. I do a lot of work with the University of Houston and Houston Baptist University athletic programs.

What were you like growing up?
I grew up in Friendswood when it was a small town. I lived in the woods. We built forts, fished, hunted, camped out, and rode horses. I was also very close to the water growing up so I spent a lot of time out on Galveston Bay with my dad fishing and sailing. We traveled a lot, so I fell in love with the outdoors, the mountains, and canyons. Our town was into sports big time, so I played sports from junior high thru high school. I was Mr. Friendswood High School and Most Courteous, so I guess you could say I had good character, treated people well, and was a good friend. I didn’t really enjoy school work at that time of my life. I was always looking for the meaning of life and my purpose. Even at a young age I would asked adults pretty deep questions about life. Algebra, English, and Spanish classes didn’t help me find those answers. I wanted to know how I could make a difference from a very young age. My interest in psychology was sparked when I took a child and adolescent development class in college. It took a while to get here but I am grateful to be where I am. The collective lifetime experiences have helped make me very good at what I do.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Mark Burman Fox News Houston on the photo of Simone Biles and me at her gym

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