Performance Psychology For Kids

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Winner of 2014 Educational Publisher Award

While Australia’s elite sportsmen are aiming for top form in the footy finals, young Australians are also striving to achieve their best: It’s now the ‘business end’ of the year, when kids take to the field in sports finals, school students knuckle down to study for final exams, and young performers prepare for end-of-year eisteddfods.

But how to get the most out of high achievers without overdoing it? A new resource from one of Australia’s leading child psychology practices, The Quirky Kid Clinic™ helps young people perform at their best while maintaining balance and perspective, and not getting burnt out.

‘Power Up!’ is a step-by-step program that enables schools and clubs to adopt the type of performance psychology used by elite athletes, performers, and musicians. Young people striving to perform at high levels in sports, performance, music or academia (including the end of year exams) can benefit from these techniques. They include goal setting, self-talk, imagery, arousal regulation, focus and competition planning.

Quirky Kid Clinic’s principal child Psychologist, Kimberly O’Brien says: “Know- ing how to reach your performance peak is more effective than endless hours of coaching. Power Up! is about avoiding burnout and enjoying what you do best”.

Power Up! will be distributed by the Australian Council of Educational Research. ACER’s National Sales Manager Eirini Lamni says the program is an “innovation in the way we approach high performing kids. By focusing on the path towards goals rather than just the end-point, young people are armed with useful, healthy strategies to perform at their best. It’s an excellent resource.”

Power Up! was launched on the 26th of September at the Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation, in partnership with Football United. Football United organizes soccer matches, tournaments, and camps, providing opportunities for young refugees, or kids from disadvantaged backgrounds to socialise, form networks, and to excel on the sports field.

Power Up! was recently awarded the Best Student Resource (Primary) in the Arts/Humanities category of the 2014 Educational Publishing Awards.

In the words of the judges at the recent 2014 Educational Publishing Awards, Power Up!…

“… is unique in its approach in helping students enhance performance to achieve success by identifying and improving cognitive strategies. Clearly presented, well designed and practical in its application, it delivers contemporary and relatable video content.”

View some pictures of the launch event on our Facebook Page
More information about Power Up! is available at
To register to a workshop visit our workshop registration page

Purchasing Power up

Top 4 Tips for young performers:
  1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basketAlthough you might feel like you should do nothing but train or practice it actually won’t do you any favours regarding your performance. You are much more than just your athletic talent or creative ability. Remember to develop yourself as a whole person and keep your studies, job, social life and family relationships as normal as possible.
  2. Use setbacks as opportunities for learningThere is no doubt that reaching the elite or professional level as a teenager means that you have a lot of talent! You can make every experience count, even if your performance was dismal! Take note of your strengths and identify your weaknesses, and then set about learning from your mistakes.
  3. Don’t buy into the hype!

    Athletes and performers who achieve long-term success usually stay well grounded, keeping everything in perspective. Work with your coaches, teachers, agents, psychologist or media trainer to feel confident and in control in the public arena.
  4. Look after yourself

    You dedicate a significant amount of time and effort to train and practice to achieve success and reach your potential, however like everyone else; you can become ill or injured. Make sure your decisions are keeping your long-term future in mind as well as your present needs. Always consult with medical professionals when making decisions about coming back from illness or injury.

For more tips visit:


Our New Home Page

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

We launched our award-winning website nearly 3 years ago and it was about time to refresh it a bit.

Welcome to our  new home page.

It offers a range of new features to clearly promote the work we do and allow for better communication with our growing range of visitors. We hope you like the changes. More and more fact-sheets are added each day as well as products and resources from our sister-site , the Quirky Kid Shoppe.


What does autism mean to you?

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

At a recent Aspect event, they asked five people about their own experiences with autism spectrum disorders and put them together to make the following video.

Autism is something that affects everyone differently. So please watch this video and tell  Aspect what Autism means to you. Share it with your friends and family to help Aspect reach 15,000 likes on Facebook, and start 15,000 conversations about autism.

To find out more about what services are available at the Quirky Kid for children and families with an ASD, please visit our early intervention pages.


We’re Moving!

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

It all happened so fast! One minute we were working at maximum capacity, the next we have room to stretch our limbs and our collective QK imagination!

Our new space is 150 metres away from our existing Woollahra (Sydney) clinic and is bursting with innovation. Opening on 1st July 2012, the clinic, publishing house and new Quirky Kid Lab will be a welcome surprise for all our clients and colleagues at Suite 2, First Floor, 83-85 Queen St, Woollahra.

You can still contact us on our phone number: 02 9362 9297. Our email also remains the same.

This is a huge step for our small business and a clear sign that our commitment to clients and to the field of Educational and Developmental Psychology is for the long term. Quirky Kid has experienced fantastic growth over the last 6 years:

  • Our team has provided intervention to over 2000 families;
  • Our publishing house has experienced local and international recognition for our growing range of quality resources;
  • We opened our second clinical space in Austinmer (Wollongong) to better cater for clients outside the Sydney metropolitan area;
  • We’ve engaged with delegates and speakers at conferences in Australia and achieved our first overseas Keynote Address at the largest educational conference in South America.

Moving forward:

Taking stock of our achievements and planning the next leg of the journey is all part of moving. There’s something about a new workspace that helps fast tracks existing projects and plants the seeds for an exciting line-up of new initiatives coming your way in 2012 and beyond. Right now, we are on track to:

  1. Publish our first program: Power UpUsing Performance Psychology to Compete at your Best by psychologist Belinda Jones. This program will be available for school and clubs.
  2. Launch ‘The Best of Friends’ program for the school setting: This much anticipated Social Skills program by Quirky Kid will be making it’s debut as a school-based program available for teachers with a unique workbook and facilitators manual.
  3. Introduce the Quirky Kid Lab: A research-based consultancy service specializing in Educational & Developmental psychology providing insight to schools, media outlets, PR companies, government and non-government organizations (NGOs).
  4. Consolidate our overseas exposure by visiting our distributors in Canada and meeting our QK counterparts in NYC (Yippee)!

We love doing what we do:

So, why write programs, offer research-based consultancy and travel great distances to connect with colleagues?

The answer is – We want to have more to offer the young people and families who confide in us.  More stats, more tips, more anecdotes and more data to draw on. After all, Quirky Kid is a team of practitioners at heart, with a soft spot for listening to children and families..and with the skills to make a significant difference to every client on a daily basis. What an awesome combination of social change, creativity and travel!

Why not be part of our new chapter? We invite new referrals, new consultancy opportunities and new collaborations to kick off our new venture from the 1st July. Come and join us!

Purchasing Power up


Positive Schools & Educador conferences

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Posted on by Dr. Kimberley O'Brien

Quirky Kid enjoyed a few whirlwind trips in May for three exceptional conferences in the field of education. One in Sao Paulo, one in Fremantle and one in Melbourne and they were all excellent for different reasons.

Brazil Conference

‘Educador’ in Brazil with over 14000 people in attendance was a major event with a very social atmosphere. It was an exciting opportunity to meet other speakers and to experience using translators for the first time in the context of a seminar with 400 kindhearted participants.

I was overwhelmed to have a line up of lovely teachers asking for a photo together after my presentation. After months of preparation, it was one of most unique highlights of my life to be a part of this thriving education community! QK are thrilled to accept their invitation to return in 2013.

All images by Andreia Naomi e da Futuro Eventos

The local media and prestigious local magazine the Revista Veja, also spoken with Kimberley. Kimberley also discussed the conference topic with a post on Families-school relationship.

Positive Schools

Positive Schools in Fremantle was a great opportunity to talk with teachers working in Western Australia, many of whom are based in remote communities working with indigenous children with limited classroom support. I was pleased to hear the visual resources developed by QK have been well-received and there was particular interest in the new “Tickets” reward system to revamp old behaviour management patterns.

This conference was also an opportunity to connect with the lovely ACER representatives selling our resources and to provide more tips on how to apply them in diverse settings.


The Melbourne Positive Schools conference was held at the exquisite Melbourne Convention Centre and the auditorium was absolutely slick! Positive Schools was my chance to listen to Michael Carr-Gregg and Andrew Fuller, Bernadette Black and other similarly inspiring colleagues I rarely meet in person. I look forward to delivering more video footage of young people on the big screen next year. Overall, the May conferences were an adrenaline boost with an ample serving of special new contacts – Thank you!