DETROIT LAKES — As viewers paired up and began taking turns counting 1, 2, 3 in a massive group activity, laughter began to fill the venue as Dr. Cindra Kamphoff watched from the front of the room with a smile.
Kamphoff, a certified mental performance coach and host of the High Performance Mindset podcast, was the featured host for the second episode of the Women’s Edge speaker series hosted by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce at The Venue at Meadows on Lind, south of Detroit Lakes, September 21st.
She then instructed the couples to stamp their feet instead of saying “two” out loud, and to clap their hands instead of saying “three.” Many of the couples struggled to complete this task, but the laughs seemed to increase with the challenge, and that was the point, Kamphoff explained.
“Even if you get it wrong, you can have fun with it and take it easy,” Kamphoff said, echoing a response from the audience for everyone in the room to hear. “And if we take things lightly, wow, it doesn’t just make a difference.”
Kamphoff has a PhD in performance psychology and has spent the last two decades working one-on-one with professional athletes, including members of the Minnesota Vikings and the US track and field team. She is also the author of an Amazon bestseller, Beyond Grit: Ten Powerful Practices to Gain the High Performing Edge.
“We’re always looking for speakers to bring to Detroit Lakes that people may not have heard of,” said Carrie Johnston, president of the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Dr. Cindra Kamphoff is someone that someone in the community has heard about and spoken about and was so impressed with her message.”
Kamphoff’s presentation focused on three key themes from her Beyond Grit workshop.
The first topic was: Get gritty.
She explained that courage means having a passion for what you do and that passion helps create a sense of the future.
“[Having grit means]we get more engaged with our work, if we’re braver, we end up moving into higher levels of leadership and … we experience less stress,” she said.
Most professional athletes, she said, have a significant adversity to overcome, according to the results of her survey.
“They said it was the great adversity that allowed them to persevere,” Kamphoff said.
She also shared a story about Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen, who she said was almost dropped from the Minnesota State-Mankato football team during his senior season but was kept on the team because of his leadership and courage. As many Detroit Lakes residents know, Thielen has blossomed into a Pro Bowl wide receiver and an integral part of the Vikings’ onfield leadership.
Kamphoff’s second theme focused on having a clear purpose.
She said when a person knows “why” they’re doing something, it becomes easier to stay focused and motivated. What’s more, many of the best athletes use this “why” as fuel to stay persistent, especially when they’re experiencing setbacks.
The third topic of the presentation was: learning to live and letting go.
Kamphoff explained that she teaches a mental recovery method called “Learn, Burn and Return”. When things aren’t going perfectly, she says, individuals tend to repeat the event over and over in their minds.
“Whenever we focus on reps, it tends to really lower our confidence,” she said.
We need to learn from those difficulties or mistakes and then have a physical expression or action, like a finger snap or a fake toilet flush, to clear the mechanism and return to the pre-error level of confidence.
She also shared a story about Quanesha Burks, a long jumper on the 2022 US track and field team. Burks, she said, lacked the confidence to go into the Olympic trials, and Kamphoff made her tell her out loud every day that she was a be an Olympian. Burks did this every day for months, streaming many of her affirmations on social media, until she finally performed confidently at the US Trials and earned her spot on the 2022 Olympic team.
“I think about it, we’re not Olympians, but we have to talk to ourselves as we are,” she said.
Also speaking during the event were Detroit Lakes natives Danielle Solberg, Beth Omang and Nicole Tabbut, each sharing personal stories of overcoming mental and physical health issues and fears and how finding true purpose, loved ones, a life for the better can change.
The final Women’s Edge Speakers event will be held on November 11th at the Frazee Event Center with Dr. Kerry Petsinger of Hawley. The event is open to the public and both men and women are invited to attend.