Vernon’s Shawnee Harle is a two-time Olympian as an assistant coach with Canada’s women’s basketball team, and former head coach of the University of Calgary Dinos women’s hoops squad. She has created her own website to help athletes, parents, coaches and businesses deal with mental toughness. (shawneeharle.com photo)

Vernon’s Shawnee Harle is a two-time Olympian as an assistant coach with Canada’s women’s basketball team, and former head coach of the University of Calgary Dinos women’s hoops squad. She has created her own website to help athletes, parents, coaches and businesses deal with mental toughness. (shawneeharle.com photo)

Two-time Okanagan Olympian passes along mental toughness tips

Vernon’s Shawnee Harle is Canada’s highest certified basketball coach

Ask two-time Olympian Shawnee Harle if she thinks sports is tough. Not just for athletes, but parents and coaches as well.

Or ask Harle about athletes performing or not performing under pressure. Or lacking motivation.

Harle can help with all of it.

A longtime basketball coach, Harle ran successful summer hoop camps in Calgary for years and planned to move her camp to her new address in Vernon in 2020, but then the pandemic hit.

So, she put together a virtual program on mental toughness and has developed an online version where athletes, coaches or anyone in the public can sign up and do the program at their own convenience.

“I had to shift and pivot,” said Harle of not being able to host successful, sold-out basketball camps. “I thought, ‘How can I take all of these years of sports and life experiences, and serve people?’”

Harle has compiled an impressive resumé.

She served as an assistant coach for the Canadian women’s basketball team at two Olympics and is the most highly certified basketball coach in Canada. Harle has 26 years of elite coaching and leadership experience counting the Olympics, World Championships, FIBA Americas and World University Games, and was also head coach for years of the University of Calgary Dinos’ women’s basketball team.

She holds a master’s degree in coaching studies, is a master coach developer and master learning facilitator for the National Coaching Certification Program where she trains and mentors both advanced and novice coaches from all sports.

Harle also counts a variety of athletes as clients helping them excel in sport and life with her Mental Toughness Training – How Champions are Built.

She launched her website, shawneeharle.com in October 2020, something that tested her own mental toughness skills.

“I figured out how to built it (website) but I’m old school,” she laughed. “It really challenged the things I teach in mental toughness. It challenged my grit, perseverance, my growth and mindset. It forced me to become a skilled problem solver.”

The No. 1 thing Harle teaches about mental toughness is courage, and she cites her website creation as an example.

“When I was ready to click ‘Publish,’ honestly I felt the same kind of butterflies when I was coaching or playing in a really important championship,” said Harle. “I was glad I had a tool kit. I have to practice what I preach. Have to prove to people this mental toughness kit is reliable.

Harle said the response to her website has been excellent.

“My goal is to help people solve a pain point or a problem,” she said. “I use sport as a context and I call it mental toughness. In reality, what I’m doing is using my tag line which is, ‘I help people take a walk inside and awaken.’”

The interest in her virtual program, Harle said, has to do with how much sport has changed since the olden days. Harle thinks it’s tougher to be an athlete, coach and parent now than when she was growing up because “everything you do or say is on display.”

“You are judged based on those things,” said Harle, noting the No. 1 thing parents ask about when they hire her is giving their children more confidence.

“Kids are put in sports to build all the things we know sports do, but why are we seeing so much anxiety, so much lack of confidence, and why do girls drop out at six times the rate of boys? What tools do parents have to navigate this? I give them a tool kit.”

Harle’s experience in the elite world of sports can also transfer directly to the business boardrooms where success if talent-oriented and people-driven. Teams and leaders have taken her sessions geared toward business: Build a Winning Team; Build a Winning Culture; Transform Managers to Leaders; and Ignite the Leader Within.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

basketballmental healthOlympicsSports

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Pacific Coastal Airlines photo)
Potential COVID-19 exposure on March 1 Penticton flight

Interior Health lists a public exposure for the Pacific Air Flight from Vancouver on March 1

The Town of Osoyoos is looking into allowing two food trucks at the downtown plaza over the summer, which would require updates to several town policies and bylaws. (Kevin Clark - Black Press Media File)
Osoyoos council to weigh allowing additional downtown food trucks

The proposal would be aimed to benefits the summer’s downtown plaza

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

(Baldy Mountain Resort / Facebook) 
(Baldy Mountain Resort / Facebook)
Baldy Mountain calls out snowmobilers for damaging ski hill

The Resort is fed up with snowmobilers running across their trails

C.E. “Ned” Bentley owned a garage on Shaughnessy Avenue, now Lakeshore Drive in Summerland. Bentley later went on to serve on Summerland’s council and was recognized with the Good Citizen Award in 1939. (Summerland Museum photo)
Former Summerland reeve once ran garage

C.E. “Ned” Bentley was a prominent figure in Summerland’s past.

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna General Hospital

One patient and one staff member on Unit have tested positive for the virus.

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

A Coldstream resident who found an owl struggling on her property in March 2021 is now spreading awareness of about the knock-on effects of rodent poisoning. (Kathy Renaud photo)
Okanagan owl ‘fighting for her life’ after ingesting rat poison

Coldstream resident warns against the use of rodenticide due to risk of secondary poisoning in raptors

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Fire ripped through a mobile home on Boucherie Road in West Kelowna on March. 6. (Phil McLachlan - West Kelowna News)
‘My whole life just went up in smoke’; Fire consumes Okanagan mobile home

RCMP confirmed that there were no injuries due to the fire

Most Read