Episode 56: Marissa Baker on the Importance of Attitude and Playing for Fun

Whatever attitude or belief you are having is not only influencing the child but at a higher rate, because your child is around you all the time.
— Marissa Baker

Marissa Baker was born and raised in Naples, FL and grew up playing competitive volleyball. She went on to play NCAA Division II collegiate Volleyball at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. During her time at UNC she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Sport Management and a master’s degree in Sport Administration. She is currently the Athletic Supervisor of North Collier Regional Park, which is home to eight tournament soccer fields and five tournament softball fields. In her role Marissa is supervising tournaments on weekend and league play throughout the week, and sees up close how sport parenting and behavior play important role in athletic performance. Marissa has studied emotional contagion, or the concept that attitudes are picked up from person to person. She emphasizes that children pick up on cues from parents, and what happens in a moment can ripple out to what happens on the field, off the field, and even in the career world in that athlete’s future. In this episode Marissa and Kathy discuss how she has witnessed the decline of rec sports in favor of club sports, early drop-out and burnout rates rising, and why she encourages parents not to skip the developmental level of playing simply for fun. Whether rec ball or going outside as a family and playing just for enjoyment, intentionally not skipping out on that first level is what will produce the happy pro athlete (or just a happy adult) you’re hoping to raise. Marissa also stresses how her parents encouraged her growth through taking initiative, keeping personal accountability rather than averting to others, and working through problems independently. She credits handling conflict on her own, with support, as an important tool for her growth. Marissa is the co-host of the Sun Happens Podcast, which you can tune into on Spotify, iTunes, and Google Play. She and her co-host discuss a wide range of topics centered around the “why” of faith to motivate positivity and personal growth. Their tagline, “When you can’t find it, create it.”, epitomizes the tone of this episode; her conversation with Kathy is full of positivity and motivation. If you enjoy the show, please like, share, and rate us in your favorite place to listen. Kathy would love to hear from you! Connect with her on social media @sportpsychworks and through https://www.kafcounselingandsportperformance.com/contact.