Dr. Kevin Elko

Dr. Kevin Elko completed his Bachelors in Biology and Coaching Education at California University of Pennsylvania. He went on to West Virginia University where he completed a Masters in Counseling, a Masters in Sports Psychology, a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, and a Doctorate in Education with a major emphasis in Sport and Counseling. Also, he is a Certified Addictions Counselor.


Topics

Motivation, Sports/Athletics


Full Bio


Dr. Kevin Elko completed his Bachelors in Biology and Coaching Education at California University of Pennsylvania. He went on to West Virginia University where he completed a Masters in Counseling, a Masters in Sports Psychology, a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, and a Doctorate in Education with a major emphasis in Sport and Counseling. Also, he is a Certified Addictions Counselor.

Dr. Elko has consulted with and presented to a number of companies including: Travelers Insurance Company, The Young Presidents Organization, Smith Kline Beecham Consumer Brands, Abbot Diagnostics, Prudential Securities, Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch, University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department, University of Miami Football, The Pittsburgh Penguins, The Pittsburg Steelers, The Dallas Cowboys, The New Orleans Saints, The Cleveland Browns, The Miami Dolphins, The Philadelphia Eagles, Pioneer Investments, and The Israel Wingate Institute. He has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a writer for drkoop.com.

He has recently published the book Nerves of Steel - This compelling new book by Dr. Elko is a guide on how to be mentally tough when times call for it and how to stay focused on the things that are truly important. It features life-improving strategies, motivation enhancements, and forgiveness strategies. Nerves of Steel addresses these and other life-changing concepts by explaining the step-by-step processes necessary to guide you through the journey we refer to as life.

Here are some testimonials:

1.  From TheStreet.com:
On a sunny but chilly spring day, about 15 stockbrokers in PaineWebber's Stamford, Conn., office file into a windowless conference room, grabbing a slice of pizza and a Coke before sitting down at a long narrow table. It's April 10, 2001, and the market is 23.5% off its high a year earlier. The brokers are sullen. They look tired and battle-scarred.

In walks Kevin Elko, a sports psychologist from Pittsburgh, who's about to publish his first book, Nerves of Steel. He got the title from working for a long time for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Elko's job is to convince people -- whether they are football players or stockbrokers -- not to let external events control them, but to toughen up and stay focused on their objectives.

"Events don't cause what you feel. What you think does," Elko proclaims in his slight Southern accent. Suddenly, the brokers put down their pizza slices and pay attention.

"Circumstances don't make the man, they reveal the man," he shouts. "The market's doing well, you're doing well. But when the market is bad, so you're bad. That's what you're thinking. Come on! You're better than that!" From the looks of recognition and guilt on the brokers' faces, you can tell that Elko has hit a nerve. Confidently, he goes on: "You're looking at that CNBC screen for relief? It's not gonna happen." The market will be back, he says. "Act like you've been in the end zone before. Talk to your clients. Let them know you've been through this before."

Elko gives the brokers about 30 minutes of motivational cheer filled with sports anecdotes from his days with Olympic athletes and football teams like the Steelers, Cowboys and Dolphins. The brokers, laughing and smiling, head back to their desks in what appear to be much better moods. Little did Elko know that six months later, brokers would need his encouraging words more than ever. The tragedy of Sept. 11 and the stock market's continued slump -- the S&P 500 is down another 1.5% since April 10, with a lot of volatility in between -- have taken a toll on the nerves of those working in the financial community. "I've never been busier," Elko told me the other day. "They all grab me -- Salomon Smith Barney, PaineWebber, Merrill."

Elko has a retainer with Merrill to teach leadership skills to its senior managers. He also has an exclusive contract with Pioneer Investment Management, which snatched him up about a year ago to provide motivational speeches that fund salespeople, or wholesalers, could offer to their clients -- mainly stockbrokers at firms such as PaineWebber and independent financial advisers all over the country. Elko has become so popular that these brokers now demand that their Pioneer wholesalers bring him along.

2. As seen on the CEO FORUM'S web site:
Dr. Elko will share how business leaders can focus on their organization's internal identity and achieve the kind of success that earned the Louisiana State University Tigers football team a national championship.

Leaders who have great years say "it" had nothing to do with external factors like the market or trends. Most say they had a great year even in downward markets.

How is this possible? The answer is simple: It's not the market that drives these leaders, but a clear, distinct identity of themselves and their company. These leaders constantly have their activity structured around processes that promote their identity.

This is a lesson that Dr. Elko put into practice last year as he worked with the national champion LSU Tigers football team. Dr. Elko helped LSU coaches and players promote an identity internally with the team and then practice and use game day processes to help turn that identity into a championship - LSU's first in 45 years!

3. PennsylvaniaSchool Board Association Testimonial:
At The Hotel Hershey Dr. Kevin Elko was keynote speaker. Born and raised in Brownsville where he attended public school, Dr. Elko held us spellbound for the entire morning with stories of his experiences, ranging from motivating professional athletes to providing grief counseling for survivors of the Sept. 11 tragedy in New York City. Dr. Elko also had us use our emotional intelligence as he engaged us in a variety of activities relevant to our mental health-on the job and at home.
--By Darlene R. Will, Pennsylvania School Board Association

4. Article as seen on NFL.com
Coaches spend hundreds of hours working to help their players improve. They seek athletic improvement, mental improvement and, in many cases, personal improvement. The best way to accomplish these goals, however, might be to start with themselves, said Dr. Kevin Elko, a nationally recognized sports psychologist who works with a number of NFL clubs. Elko was speaking Friday to a group of high school football coaches from all 50 states as part of the NFL's Youth Football Summit in Canton Ohio "How much time do you spend bettering your players? Hours and hours," Elko said. "How much time to you spend bettering yourself? Before you lead anyone you've got to lead yourself."

Sports psychologist Dr. Kevin Elko gave a powerful speech to the attendees:

Elko's message included the power of positive thinking. He told a series of stories of people whose health and station in life improved through a new outlook, and of others who literally worried themselves sick. "One of the things that dims the immune system is mood," Elko said. "If you're walking around miserable all the time, your body might help you find a way out. "How you think might have something to do with your health - how you enjoy every day.”  Elko refers to those who look for the cloud in every silver lining as "ducks," because "they're always going around quacking and complaining."  Elko talked about taking responsibility and "living internally" - not letting outside influences determine how you feel about things.  "All of us have a choice about what we tell ourselves about events," he said.  Elko talked about "finding your 68," a reference to the uniform number of a NHL player Jaromir Jagr. Jagr, a native of the Czech Republic, wears the number because it was in 1968 that the Russian occupation of Czechoslovakia occurred. Finding "your 68" means finding the thing about you that makes you tick, Elko said. For Jagr, it was the number and the memories it brought.  Once your "68" is found, Elko said, it's time to give it away.  "When you find what you want in life, you give it away, and even more will come back to you," Elko said.

Elko uses his methods to help teams evaluate potential draft choices for a variety of teams. His job, he said, is to find out what makes the rookies tick, because there's more to talent than raw numbers like 40 times and bench presses. "I tell them, 'I want to look at the way you can be coached, the way you deal with adversity'," Elko said.  A perfect example was a player he interviewed a couple of years ago who related the story of playing for months with a separated shoulder. Elko asked him what made him go back out on the field day after day with a separated shoulder, and the player responded, "If my mother can go to work with cancer every day, I can play with this." Said Elko, "I told him, 'That's all I needed to hear.' That player was Torry Holt."

5. Butch Davis, Head Coach Miami Hurricanes, Cleveland Browns
"There is no doubt in my mind that one of the major reasons we were able to turn the program around at the University of Miami was Kevin Elko. He taught the players valuable lessons about focusing, performance anxiety, and how to handle adversity as well as success. He was instrumental in teaching the coaches to adapt their teaching skills to each individual athlete, on a one to one basis. Kevin had a major impact on the entire program and will be equally as valuable in years to come, as we rebuild the Cleveland Browns."

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