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What is Mental Coaching?

Helping the Good Athlete Become Exceptional
In order to perform your best intentionally and consistently, you must train your mind and learn how to put yourself into the ZONE! Every, single athlete should be incorporating Mental Coaching into their training regimen, as it is one of the most effective forms of performance enhancement. You can spend hours every day training your body to be in the best physical shape possible, but your mind can still hold you back. If you pair your physical and mental strengthening, you'll gain the edge over your competition and be unstoppable! Don't wait for something to go "wrong" before you add Mental Coaching  into your training program. Mental Coaching helps to prevent unforeseen mental blocks, and assists athletes in progressing in their sport.

Mental Coaching consists of the teaching phase where skills such as visualization, cognitive reframing,  relaxation, attentional focus, positive self-talk, etc. are learned.

From there comes the implementation phase, where the athlete practices and learns when and how to effectively utilize his/her skills. At this time, a pre-competition routine is created individually for each athlete's specific needs. 

Once the athlete understands how to utilize each skill, he/she enters into the maintenance phase where the focus is put on maintaining the use of mental skills within the sport. The athlete is able to work through and address any unforeseen events, and advance mental skills as progress is made in the sport. 

Train Your Brain: What is “Mental Toughness”?

“Baseball is 90% mental and 10% physical.”

Most athletes, and even casual sports fans, have heard this famous Yogi Berra quote at one point or another. As a former swimmer, somebody who competed in an individual sport for the entirety of their athletic career, I think the numbers are closer to 99.9% mental and 0.1% physical. My swimming experience tells me that the greater the talent level is in a sports league, in a talented pool (no pun intended), differences in performance are seconds or fractions of a second. Athletes that find success at the college and professional level are those with the greatest mental edge. In fact, success at any level, is often said to stem from a player’s “mental toughness.” But, what does “mental toughness” really mean?

What is Mental Toughness?

Early mental toughness research suggested it meant a mental edge over opponents, being better able to cope with stressful situations. But how do you compare your local gym class hero to, say, LeBron James? Experts have begun shifting their focus inward, and came up with a newer definition: “Mental toughness is a personal capacity to produce consistently high levels of subjective (e.g., personal goals or strivings) or objective performance (e.g., sales, race time, GPA) despite everyday challenges and stressors as well as significant adversities” (Gucciardi, Hanton, Gordon, Mallett, and Temby, 2015, p.28). Translated- mental toughness is the capability of a person to consistently perform their best, in spite of the clutter and chaos that everyday life throws at us.

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