Father’s Saban-like parenting program helps his son go Junior All-American
Written by Peter Tannenbaum   
Monday, 28 December 2009 00:00

Tarzana, California Punting / Kicking sensation Brandon Heicklen has been selected to play in Football University’s 7th grade All-American Bowl on January 10th, 2010 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX.  He was chosen from a pool of several thousand athletes.  His primary teachers are kicking guru Chris Sailer and Tennessee Titan Punter Craig Hentrich.

Brandon’s father, Michael Heicklen, devised a parenting program to help his son achieve this level.  “We decided early on to avoid the ‘win-at-all-costs’ bandwagon.  My wife, who’s a therapist, knew kids preferred learning to winning.  So from the time Brandon was 6, we researched the philosophies of process-oriented coaches like Nick Saban; Rudy Duran, Tiger Wood’s Coach from ages 4-10; Josh Waitzkin, subject of the film “Searching for Bobby Fischer;” and other masters. We collected their ideas, added our own, and then created a system.  The next thing we knew, our son was having fun, his abilities were skyrocketing, and pro athletes were urging us to package our program for the public.  So we did.  It’s called PEAK, Parenting Edge for Athletic Kids, and it has one goal:  To help parents, help their children, develop the mind of a champion.  Apparently, we nailed it because today, we have the support of Olympic athletes, NFL players, and World and National Champions.”

PEAK was structured backwards. The Heicklens started by looking at how elite athletes think during competition:  Fearlessness, laser concentration, staying in the moment, tackling adversity, and remaining positive.  Then they analyzed what parenting choices could help build these traits in children, and instilled them in their son.

When asked, Brandon said his most precious asset is his mind:  “I credit my teachers, and Mom and Dad, for helping me achieve this honor.  They taught me lots of stuff, but most important, not to be scared of failing.  After I kick, I never worry again about what just happened, even if I stunk.  I’m too busy planning my next kick.   My Dad says that’s how champions think - always forward - and the more I practice it, the more I get how it works.”

PEAK has upcoming lectures in Birmingham, AL and Orlando, FL. For information about attending, go to www.peaksportsparenting.com or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

PEAK’s goods and services include a national lecture series, group seminars, individual coaching, a handbook and workbooks.  It currently has a reality show in development and is in production on a DVD.