Shout Out: Holly Katz, sports psychology expert

Holly Katz, a Deerfield resident of more than two decades, is a sports psychology expert and high performance coach. She said she helps athletes, musicians, performers and test takers thrive under pressure. Katz and her husband Harold have two children, Lori and Jenny. We caught up with Katz at the Starbucks in Deerfield near Waukegan and Deerfield roads.

Holly, what’s the desired outcome of what you do?

I help my clients to overcome freezing and choking under pressure and help them feel confident and calm instead of anxiety and self-doubt.

Tennis anyone?

I’m a former nationally ranked tennis player. I’m more passionate about golf these days.

What did tennis teach you?

I know what it’s like to face intense pressure myself and I know the toll that anxiety and self-doubt have on limiting potential. I’m dedicated to helping people overcome these same barriers.

How are you embracing your career path?

I love it, I absolutely love it! I love working with teens, not only by helping with their pursuit of sports and the arts, but by making a difference for the rest of their lives.

Holly, what’s your shout out to the world?

I feel that compassion for one’s self is key to overcoming performance anxiety. And if compassion and kindness were obvious in the world in general, we’d all feel so much healthier, happier and connected. Compassion and kindness is key. It’s my underlying mission of what I do. It’s my purpose.

Karie Angell Luc is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.