We had the good fortune of connecting with Joe Pirozzolo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joe, how does your business help the community or world?
I am a sport performance consultant and work with athletes to improve their mental game. I was an multi-sport athlete throughout my youth and played college baseball. I attribute much of my educational and professional success to participation in sports in my early life. Sports are often a microcosm of life. You’re faced with challenges, have to compete against your peers, and have to manage your emotions and skills in order to be successful. I help athletes maximize their athletic potential, but also the more global benefit of participating in sports, which can be loosely summarized as developing grit. Great relationships are also built among teammates and with coaches. I help athletes play at their highest ability so they can experience all the great things sports have to offer.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
In additional to my primary job as a data analyst and statistical consultant I started a private practice in sport psychology called: Theory and Practice. The idea behind the name of the company is actually part of what sets me apart from others. I was a NCAA Div. II All-Conference outfielder for St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. After finishing my baseball career with a 3rd place finish in the DII College World Series, I began my PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Houston. While at U of H, I studied statistics and the cognitive processes involved in human performance. From these experiences I gained a unique set of skills: an understanding of athletes’ experiences at high levels of competition, scientific knowledge in human learning and sport performance, and the ability to interpret and analyze data. I dubbed my business “Theory and Practice” because I believe it is the diversity of experiences, both scientific and practical knowledge, that makes consultants successful with their clients. You need to be both knowledgable and relatable. You also have to be able to put yourself in their shoes. With my clients (mostly high school and college athletes) I am able to fully understand their experiences and help guide them, often using what I would have told myself as a young athlete. Through starting my private practice I have learned that you can have the best knowledge and advice, but it needs to be communicated in a simple and relatable way to be most effective.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m Italian (if you couldn’t tell by ‘Pirozzolo’) so a lot of my day and life revolves around food. Lunch spots I would definitely hit on a tour with my best friend are Chelsea’s Deli in Kingwood. I’d recommend the Po Boy with a cup of vegetable soup and pasta salad. I’d also insist that we go to HEB Central Market deli in Highland Village; another sandwich and pasta salad combo would hit the spot. The Galleria mall is right there too and is always great place to hang out. We’d probably find a couple good spots to play golf for a reasonable price. Tour 18 and Cypresswood in Atascocita/Humble are great places to get a good round of golf in. For dinner some of my favorite places come to mind: Gloria’s Latin Cuisine in Midtown and Da Marco Cucina E Vino or Poscol in Montrose. Both Da Marco and Poscol are owned by the same family that my wife and I are friends with. Both restaurants are absolutely the best Italian food and experience you can get. The Woodlands Waterway is also a place we may go. Grimaldi’s pizza on the waterway is always a great time. We may also make it out to the Kemah Boardwalk and checkout some of the seafood and entertainment there.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Absolutely. Two baseball coaches: Tom Sutaris, Solomon Alam (current owner of Houston based baseball brands: One0Eight Sports and HoustonBaseballCoach) and my mentor in the sport psychology world Adrienne Langelier (Houston based). All three of these individuals took me under their wing at critical stages in my development as an athlete and a consultant. They worked with me knowing that I was not the most talented, but still gave me every bit of time that I asked for. Tom, Solomon and Adrienne have been true mentors to me and I owe them greatly.
Ed Nasis (baseball action shots)