“Off the Pitch with Active”

These episodes are to help parents accelerate their children’s development and confidence in their sport by applying the recommendations from professionals, coaches and specialised educators.

Active#30: Interview with Mikael Wallsbeck Founder of Imagine That in Stockholm, Sweden


Mikael Wallsbeck have a European Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology, from Högskolan i Halmstad. He is also educated in psychotherapy in cognitive behavior therapeutic direction. Mikael has been working as a leader with experience of working with children and adolescence, specifically with LSS (Australian equivalent to NDIA, National Disability Insurance Agency)

Today, he works with Gefle IF in football and Swedish Para Table Tennis Team. He also works with students in sports psychology at GIH (Gymnastik och idrottshögskolan in Stockholm).

His team at the company Imagine That, work with many organizations, both corporate and sports to many to mention now. He, together with Fredrik Weibull run a podcast Hjarnskrynklarna. So, we got a lot to talk about.

49:16    min episode Overview:

02:58   Introduction to Mikal Wallsbeck

05:30   Mikael talks about his background in ice hockey and about an incident, he later analysed he study sports psychology.

12:16   The environment outside sport affects performance. How does a coach and parent take this into consideration? Mikael shares a story of a family under a lot of stress and how this affected their son’s performance in sport.

21:11   Sweden produces more NHL ice hockey players (per capita) in the world than any other country outside North America. How is this possible?

Early specialization is a topic debated in Sweden and it is a move away from this. They don’t believe it is so important.

25:38   How can we help athletes and parents go through their sporting journey and, does parents needs to help children to be nicer to themselves?

40:56   We need to be more critical to our own sporting environment. We need to consider what can be negative experience in our club?

43:39   The dream world image of youth sport


Web: http://www.imaginethat.se/

Twitter: @MikaelWallsbeck