BOB REESE, PhD, is a Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Health Psychology Program at Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke, VA. He is also a Peak Performance Specialist who practiced as an Athletic Trainer in the NFL for 25 years. Bob’s interests, education, research, and experience have coalesced into NextStep Facilitations, an education and performance consulting enterprise. The NextStep mission is to facilitate individuals and groups to thrive and flourish in a specific arena and in life.
Bob’s Steps: The Journey from There to Here
First Steps ~ Repair the Body: Bob Reese received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University in 1970. From 1970-72, he served as Head Athletic Trainer at Boston College. After Bob served five seasons as an Assistant Athletic Trainer with the Buffalo Bills (1972-77), he became Head Athletic Trainer for the New York Jets (1977-96). Bob, along with his assistants, were the first recipients of the NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year award in 1985, and in 1994 he received the National Athletic Trainer’s Association’s Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer award. He was also the premier recipient of the NFL Physicians Society Cain-Fain Memorial Outstanding Athletic Trainer – 1996 for his work in incorporating peak performance concepts into the Sports Medicine model utilized in the NFL.
Trance to Enhance ~ Treating the Mind & Body: By the late 1980s Bob was becoming more aware of how large an impact mental attitude had on his players’ recovery from injury. This recognition led to the exploration of stress management techniques, including hypnosis. Intrigued by the possibilities associated with hypnosis, Bob became certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists. Soon he began working with Jets players for pain management and then accelerated healing and rehabilitation – with great success. Shortly thereafter players began to ask for help with performance issues and he was guided toward the field of applied sport psychology. Knowing he needed more education, Bob took the next step …
The Performance Quest & Higher Education: In the spring of 1994, Bob was sent on a mission by Jets head coach Pete Carroll to find efficacious methods of enhancing performance. It was at this time he was introduced to the West Point Center for Enhanced Performance, the premier performance enhancement facility in the world. He became so interested in what it took to achieve and maintain peak performance, that he formalized his studies by obtaining a Masters Degree in Psychology from Regis University in Denver, CO. For his Master’s Project he developed a program for mental skills training by modeling and combining the most popular and successful motivational programs with sound psychological tenets. This was the genesis of the Winner’s Mentality System.
Transition ~ Entrepreneurship & Corporate Consulting: In 1996, after 25 years in the NFL, Bob found himself in transition and looking for work. So, he took the next step … he went into business for himself as a mental skills trainer for athletes. Subsequently he undertook a formal apprenticeship in the emerging field of executive coaching. Bob then integrated mental skills training into the coaching model and began facilitating performance enhancement with executives and sales professionals in addition to athletes.
More Education ~ The Enneagram: It was during this time of transition that Bob met his future wife, Joan. She introduced him to the Enneagram, a personality typing system that held promise for coaching clients to discover more about why they performed certain ways, especially under stress. Over the next six years Bob received over 350 hours of education in the intricacies of the Enneagram and became a Certified Instructor of the Enneagram through the Enneagram Institute.
Corporate Facilitating & Distance Learning: From 1998 until 2002, Bob was also affiliated as a Project Director and Master Facilitator for The Pacific Institute (TPI), a corporation dedicated to personal and organizational growth and development. As the National Campus Coordinator for the Education Initiative of TPI, he assisted post-secondary schools with methods to increase student retention. It was at TPI that Bob first began developing distance learning curricula.
Corporate Dilemma ~ Metrics? One question was consistently on the mind of corporate executives about the “soft skills” for performance enhancement that Bob was facilitating: “What are the metrics?” In other words, “All this touchy-feely stuff feels great, but how does is show up on the bottom line?” While he had plenty of testimonials, Bob wanted hard evidence that his Winner’s Mentality System worked – so, he took the next step …
Academia ~ Focus on the Mental: Bob decided that in order to study his program in a rigorous and scientific manner, it would have to be in a PhD program. He also knew that he could not market and run his business and go to graduate school at the same time. So, for his next step, he found a job in academia – one that encouraged attaining his PhD. Bob joined Jefferson College of Health Sciences (JCHS) in 2002 and quickly incorporated his knowledge and skills in curriculum development and distance learning into the Psychology curriculum. He updated and redesigned courses in General, Developmental, and Abnormal Psychology, and created a course in the Psycho-Social Aspects of Rehabilitation for the Physical Therapists Assistant program.
Online Learning & Health Psychology: Bob has been named the E-Teacher of the Year twice (2003, 2006) at JCHS. In 2006 he was promoted to Associate Professor and at that time he also assumed the position of Director of the Humanities and Social Sciences Department. In 2007, he helped create a baccalaureate degree in Health Psychology in which he developed – and now teaches – new courses in Social Psychology, Learning and Memory, and Positive Psychology. He stepped down as Director of HSS in 2009 so that he could pursue writing his next book – The 13th Step: Thriving in Recovery. In 2012 he became Director of the growing Health Psychology Program.
Winner’s Mentality System~ It Works! While at JCHS, Reese earned his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, in Education: Curriculum & Instruction with a Cognate in Sport Psychology. His dissertation was entitled: The Impact of a Mental Skills Training Program for Enhanced Performance on a Varsity Intercollegiate Volleyball Team: A Case Study Program Evaluation of an Educational Intervention. Bob conducted an 85% positive program evaluation of the Winner’s Mentality System described in his book, Develop the Winner’s Mentality, with a Division I NCAA Volleyball Team. The evidence is in … The Winner’s Mentality System works not only to enhance performance but also to encourage mental toughness.
So, what is the Next Step …?
NextStep Facilitations: Besides his work in academia, Bob facilitates individuals and groups enabling them to thrive and flourish in a specific arena and also in life. His sports clients are comprised of U.S. Olympic Athletes, Professional Athletes (NFL, NHL, LPGA, & USTA), and a broad sampling of Amateur, College and High School athletes. His business clients include entrepreneurs, corporate executives, sales professionals, and both health and legal professionals. Bob also works with entertainers and TV personalities.
Bob’s Message ~ Think MAGIS: All the above education and experience has contributed to my approach on life, education, and work with my clients. I know that I thrive and flourish as an educator, and truly love teaching at the college level. The above journey gives the high points. It doesn’t mention the progressive disintegration of a 30-year marriage or my lengthy journey through the dark night of the soul. I share this with you now so that you understand that I know pain, sorrow, heartache, loss, and tremendous disappointment. I have had dreams shattered – both personal and professional. More than 20 years ago I became a friend of Bill’s and that contributed a great deal to my interest in psychology and mental resilience. Recently I have also joined the Research Team of the International Quit & Recovery Registry (QRR). The QRR is affiliated with the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI) under the direction of world renowned addiction researcher Dr. Warren Bickel. The QRR is dedicated to learning from success in addiction recovery.
I tell you this so you know that I am not a Pollyanna strolling through the park looking through rose colored glasses. I accept that through no fault of their own bad things can happen to good people. That being said, I also know – both anecdotally and scientifically – that being positive works better than being negative. That focusing on our strengths – what’s right with us – can enable us to succeed, to be happy, to thrive and flourish. What I have learned, both formally and through life experience, is that you can cause your future. You have the power within you to manifest the positive in your life. My life with Joan is a primary example. Even with my expertise I could not then imagine the happiness I now enjoy daily. That is why I teach the concept of Magis Thinking – even more.
It is my goal, my mission, and my vision to share this information and techniques in order to help as many people as possible achieve the levels of joy and serenity I experience on a daily basis.
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