Peak Performance for Smart Kids- How to Manage your Talents


Gifted people are multi-potentialed. They are interested in many things and often quite talented in many things. This can create many stresses.
Gifted youth may ask themselves:
What do I focus on?
What do I spend my energy on?
How do I choose between the different things that I am passionate about?
Do I have to specialize?
How do I find time to do all the things I love?
These questions are especially difficult for young gifted people as they are still exploring their different areas of passion and still need time to decide what they truly excel at and most importantly, discovering the thing they truly love.
Add the components of working with their parents to find good coaches, teachers, mentors and support in the form of friends, family and fellow geeks. Now layer on the complexity of naysayers, saboteurs, bullies and jealous friends. The mix starts getting pretty thick.
How does a budding talent deal with the stress of being really good at something? Yes, your passion can be a source of great joy but it isn’t always easy. Success comes at a cost. It takes time, energy, sacrifices  and resources to truly develop a talent. Just watch any interview with a talented actor, top level athlete or virtuoso musician.
Dream Big is one of my favorite presentations for conferences and parent meetings.
It is a blend of my personal experiences as an elite athelte and gifted scholar and a conglomeration of several terrific books that I’ve read on the topic that I wish I had access to in my youth.

Here are some books that I recommend:
Peak Performance For Smart Kids by Maureen Neihart, Psy. D.
Dahlkoetter, J. (2008) Your Performing Edge
Urlinger, S. (2005) Mental Training for Peak Performance

Here are some documents and resources that I’ve put together to help parents of gifted and talented students to reach their potential. I have much more.
I am available to present at your conference or to a parent group.
I am located in the Los Angeles Area.
My email is:

Enjoy the resources below. One of my favorites is the progressive muscle relaxation technique.
As a collegiate athlete, I often had a hard time winding down after hours of practice, followed by hours of studying. Learning progressive muscle relaxation saved my life! I could finally get some desperately needed quality sleep.

Find the resources to this presentation on my blog at:

There are PDF files, an MP3 track for progressive muscle relaxation and more.