Top Mental Game working with George Washington University Women’s Basketball

After an awesome time working with Seton Hall’s women’s golf and baseball teams last year, I’m excited to announce Top Mental Game will be working with George Washington Univeristy and their women’s basketball team this Fall!

I’m super pumped to work with Coach Jen Rizzotti and her staff in order to take back the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship and give this team the tools it needs to perform at their best when it matters the most.

Coach Rizzotti was the point guard that started it all for UCONN’s women’s basketball dynasty in the 1990s. The former 1996 AP Player of the Year and 2-time WNBA champion was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

Looking forward to giving Coach Rizzotti and her team everything I got to improve their mental toughness, confidence, focus, resilience, and abilty to perform under pressure.

#RaiseHigh

www.topmentalgame.com

 

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All-American Hannah Sedwick Surprises Biggest Fan

 

What an epic surprise!!!!

I’ve been working with Callie O’Connell, a 8th-grade volleyball player from Abilene, TX, and an all-around awesome kid.

For the last six months, we’ve worked together on the mental game and she’s been one of my most favorite athletes to work with. Smart, motivated, energetic, and a complete sponge when it comes to ways in which she can improve her performance on the court and in life.

Because she’s so awesome, I wanted to do something special for our last session. In our first session back in March, I asked her who her favorite player was, and without hesitation, she said Hannah Lockin (now Sedwick), the All-American setter for the Baylor University volleyball team. That’s the same Baylor team that went to the Final Four last year.

So I threw a Hail Mary and tried to get on all of Hannah Sedwick’s social media feeds. I sent her my odd request via Twitter messaging, about a week out from my last session with Callie....

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Interview with U.S. Swimming Legend Jason Lezak

 

On August 24, I had the privilege of interviewing Jason Lezak about his swimming career and his mental game.

This four-time Olympian is the proud owner of 8 Olympic medals, including four gold medals.

We cover a lot of ground in our discussion, especially about the mental game - goal-setting, self-talk, maintaining discipline, and the extreme toll training for four Olympic games takes on your mind and body.

And of course, we break down perhaps the most epic comeback in swimming history - his record-setting anchor in the 4x100 relay in the 2008 Olympics.

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Help! I’m a Coach and Want to Teach the Mental Game - Part II

If you’re a soccer coach, chances are you religiously keep up with the latest drills and methods to improve the technical and tactical aspects of your team. 

You want to know the latest trends in strategy, formations, and styles of play to stay one step ahead of the competition on the pitch. And, even though U.S. Soccer agrees that the psychological component is the 4th pillar of player development, there are very few quality resources for coaches and players.

Read: TEACHING THE MENTAL SIDE OF YOUTH SOCCER

In an article published last year on how the U.S. Women’s National Team was developing their mental game, the author discussed the important gap between recognizing mental strength training is important and providing the tools need to close this gap:

MOST SOCCER COACHES SAY ‘YES,’ MENTAL TRAINING IS IMPORTANT BUT WHEN ASKED IF THEY ACTUALLY PROVIDE ANY … THE ANSWER IS ALMOST ALWAYS ‘NO.’

But don’t panic. Soccer...

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Help! I’m a Coach and I Want to Teach the Mental Game, But Don’t Know Where to Start - Part I

Help! I’m a Coach and Want to Teach the Mental Game – Part I

Bryan Price

If you’re a soccer coach, chances are you religiously keep up with the latest drills and methods to improve the technical and tactical aspects of your team.

You no doubt study the latest trends in strategy, formations, and styles of play to stay one step ahead of the competition on the pitch.

But if you’re like most coaches, you probably don’t know where to go for help on the mental game.

Even though U.S. Soccer has designated the psychological component as the 4th pillar of player development, it is the one that is the most difficult for coaches to develop and the pillar that has the fewest resources for coaches and players.

And yet, that psychological component might be the most important pillar of development, especially for players hoping to compete at an elite level.

According to an article published last year on how the U.S. Women’s National Team was developing their...

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Comfort Zones and the Need to Get Out of Them

 

Let’s face it - getting out of our comfort zones is scary.

But getting outside of our comfort zone is what we ultimately need to grow.

This was Schmoopie a year ago, about to go down one of North America’s longest ziplines in Whistler, Canada.

She had been on a small zipline (about 100m long and only a few feet off the ground) the year prior, but this was a whole new ball of wax.

Looking back at this memory, I’m really amazed at how brave she was. She is like me, relatively risk-averse, and willing to shut it down when she feels uncomfortable.

They weigh every participant so they meet minimum weight (you need to make sure you weigh enough to get across, otherwise you could get stuck in the middle). My daughter was 0.25 lb over the minimum, so she was terrified.

But she was willing to grow - and to grow, she had to take a calculated risk and break through the uncomfortableness.

In the old NFL movie Crunch Course, there’s a special teams coach who quotes the...

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5 Tips to Build Confidence For Returning Players

 

5 Tips to Build Confidence When Players Return
By Bryan Price

As various states lift restrictions to allow players back on the pitch, everyone associated with youth sports is understandably excited. Players are chomping at the bit to play, coaches can’t wait to get their teams back together, and parents yearn to cheer on their kids from the sideline once again.

But with that excitement comes some anxiety. It’s only natural.

For those near COVID-19 hotspots, shelter-in-place orders have kept players off the pitch for over 10 weeks. That’s a lot of rust to shake off, even if players managed to work out on their own.

So what can players do to get their minds right and return to the pitch with confidence?

1. Have a growth mindset

In her landmark book, Mindset, Dr. Carol Dweck examines what separates students who were able to quickly rebound from adversity versus those who could not. The difference was mindset.

Those who possessed a growth mindset were more likely to...

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Control the Controllables

Note: This article was published in Soccer Today on May 18, 2020. 

Jim Thorpe - 1912

When Jim Thorpe woke up on the second day of competition during the 3-day decathlon in the 1912 Olympic games in Stockholm, he must’ve felt extremely confident.

Thorpe, voted the greatest athlete of the first half of the 20th century and arguably the greatest athlete the United States has ever produced, had already won gold in the pentathlon a week prior. In fact, he won four of the five events.

On the first day of the decathlon, he ran the 100-meter dash in 11.2 seconds. That record would stand for another 36 years. What’s even more impressive is that Thorpe ran it in a downpour.

But on the second day of the decathlon, somebody had stolen his cleats.

Imagine training for four years for the Olympic games, and the only piece of equipment you need to compete in your event is stolen.

So what did Thorpe do? He and his coach rummaged around and eventually found two discarded shoes in the...

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Top Mental Game’s Interview with Julie Foudy

 

This article was published by Soccer Today on May 3, 2020.

Julie Foudy is one of the most accomplished female soccer players in the world. A dominant midfielder for the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1987 through 2004, Julie served as co-captain for nine years and captain from 2000 through her retirement. In her 18-year national team tenure that included 271 international caps, the U.S. women won two FIFA Women’s World Cup titles (1991, 1999), two Olympic gold medals (1996, 2004), and a silver medal in 2000. She began working as an analyst for ESPN in 2005 and founded the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy in 2006. She was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in August 2007.


Last week Julie sat down with SoccerToday columnist Bryan Price at the Top Mental Game Soccer Summit to discuss the mental game and its importance to her career.

When were you first introduced to mental skills training and what impact did it have on your career?

Foudy: It is and has...

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The Mental Game: Working on the 4th Pillar During COVID-19

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN SOCCER TODAY ON APRIL 13, 2020. 

Muhammad Ali once said, “Don’t count the days. Make the days count.”

 For those soccer players navigating the COVID-19 crisis, are you making the best use of your time?

Because when this crisis ends and we return to “normal,” it will be apparent who made the days count, and which players simply counted the days.

For the past couple of weeks, I have run 5-day “bootcamps” on how to improve your mental game during this interesting time. This Tuesday through Thursday, I will be running a soccer-specific webinar series from 7-8pm EDT, and U.S. soccer legend Julie Foudy will be making an appearance to talk about her mental game.

If social media is any indication, many players are putting in the work. It’s awesome to see so many clubs providing players and coaches with video tutorials on how to improve technical skills, footwork, and physical...

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