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Meet Marla Zucker of Boston Sport and Performance Psychology in Brookline

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marla Zucker.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Throughout my childhood, I participated in competitive tennis. As an adult, I became an avid cyclist, participating in many Century rides across the U.S. and serving as a mentor for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program. Cycling then led to triathlons. Though my goal will never be to break records (except my own), fitness and sports bring joy, energy, and fun to my life and provide an outlet for my competitive spirit. Looking for a way to combine my passion for the sport and my work as a clinical psychologist.

I became a certified consultant of the Association for Applied Sports Psychology and opened Boston Sport and Performance Psychology in 2013. Now I wear many hats in my professional life. In addition to being the owner and sole proprietor of my practice, I am also the Program Director for the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute and Metrowest Behavioral Health Center at JRI, specializing in treating individuals impacted by trauma and adversity. I feel so lucky to have discovered a path that lets me combine my personal and professional passions and work with such driven, motivated people who are pursuing intense challenges.

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?
Having trained as a Clinical Psychologist, when I decided to open my own business, I found I was missing any training relevant to starting or operating a business. There’s a lot to learn, and when I started out I did not know how to find out all of the many things I needed to know. With the help of colleagues and friends who had engaged in similar pursuits, as well as the advice of attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors, and the skills of a web designer, Boston Sport and Performance Psychology took form.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Boston Sport and Performance Psychology story. Tell us more about the business.
Through my practice, I work with individual athletes at every level and across sports, as well as non-athlete performers such as musicians, performing artists, and professionals. I love working with teams and have worked with NCAA collegiate sports teams in all three divisions. As both a Clinical and Sports Psychologist, I specialize in working with clients at the edge of both fields–for example, performers and athletes whose struggles in sport are impacting their lives more broadly, or whose life challenges are impacting their focus or motivation in sport.

I am most proud of the work I have done with individuals that have helped them pursue their dreams with less anxiety and fear and more joy and love for their sport or field. I am also very proud of the work I have done with teams, helping them learn to work better together and pursue shared goals with determination and positivity. I am also expanding my practice to offer biofeedback for performance enhancement, an exciting tool that helps people learn to gain more control over their physiology, thus improving their self-regulation and capacity to shift their arousal levels.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I have been lucky to meet and work with wonderful people–both those with whom I have worked as clients, coaches and members of teams, as well as professionals who have helped me create my business.

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