Dr. Leon Stander is a sport and performance psychology consultant who specialises in psychological skills training (PST) with sportsmen and women, business executives and individuals who believe they can benefit by such training. He presents group workshops, as well as individual mentoring and counselling. His approach is based on what is known as the “canon” of sport psychology (goal setting, mental imagery, managing arousal, self-talk and concentration), with a behavioural neuroscience focus. His interest in Stoicism complements his approach to sport and performance psychology. He has a PhD in Psychology, but is not registered with the Health Professions Council and does not offer psychotherapy.
Leon was the senior psychologist at the Muriel Brand School for learners with neurodevelopmental disabilities from 1985 to 1997. He served as principal at the same school from 1997 to 2015. He practiced privately as an educational and counselling psychologist up to 1997, specialising in neuropsychology. Being from a neuroscience background, he developed special interest and expertise in bounded cognition and what has become known as behavioural economics.
An enthusiastic sportsman, Leon developed an interest and expertise in mental preparation for high performance in sport. This led to him to a second career in sport and performance psychology consulting after his retirement as school principal. The proliferation of pseudoscientific approaches in many aspects of education, training and psychology, resulted in him emphasizing an evidence supported approach.
Leon’s own sporting career included swimming, water polo, rugby, cricket and squash. He is an avid competitor in practical pistol shooting, for which he earned Border and Central Gauteng colours. He is the current president of the South African Pin Shooting Federation (SAPSF).