Another Top Mental Game Success Story

 

Nick Blalock is a sophomore player for @cbalincroft and @cbalacrosse.

He was coming off an injury and knew he needed to improve his toughness if he was to achieve his goal of making the varsity and starting at least 1game.

What was holding Nick back from playing his best was not his physical talent or skills...it was his game.

So for 3months, we worked on his goal-setting, self-talk, and ability to perform under pressure.

We used visualization and imagery techniques to allow him to play loose, focused, and confident.

Well, in the last week, Nick...
made the varsity
started in the season opener
...and then, in the 2nd game, Nick scored goals, including the GAME WINNERin 2OT.

Time to establish some new goals, Nick!

If you are looking to give your athlete the mental performance tools to play at their best and maximize their potential...on the field and in life....reach out to me.

 

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The Little Girl in the Car

Helping Youth Soccer Players Overcome The Fear of Tryouts

 

The girl and her father pulled up to the soccer field next to my wife’s car.

It was a tryout for an ECNL-affiliated soccer club for 11- and 12-year-old girls. One by one, ponytailed players with oversized soccer bags excitedly ran from their cars and onto the field to stretch and warm up.

ALL EXCEPT FOR THE GIRL IN THE CAR NEXT TO US.

She never got out. She was in tears as the father implored her to join the tryout. At one point, he even got out of the car to further encourage her, but it was futile.

She never budged. And after about 20 minutes, they left.

While I don’t know the girl or the reason she remained in the car, this story breaks my heart.

I feel bad for the father because, as parents, we want our kids to attack life with all the confidence in the world, consequences be damned. And as much as we want to protect our kids, I think we’d all rather see them try and fail than never make an...

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The Decision Jamie Made

When people ask me what exactly is it that I do with athletes and coaches, the answer is simple.

I give them the mental performance tools to play at their best when it matters the most.

And those tools were on full display this weekend at the Tangle Ridge Regional as Top Mental Game alumna Jamie Welsh stepped up to to the last hole in a mighty tough spot.

After besting the field by 4 strokes in Rd 1 with a 72, she saw her lead evaporating in Rd 2 thanks to an epic performance by future college teammate who sank 5 birdies, including the 18th, for a 68.

To make matters worse, Jamie bogeyed 14 and 17. And then she gets told she HAS to birdie the par-5 18 to win.

What would YOU do? What would YOU be thinking in that moment?

For most of us, our mental state would be frazzled. We would be caught inside of our own head. Sensing the shift in momentum, we might let our nerves get the best of us. It would lead us to play small, hesitant, and scared.

So what did Jamie do? She did one...

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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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Are You as Mentally Tough as Paige?

Are YOU as mentally tough as Paige?

Life’s easy when things are going well. It’s when we get knocked down when we find out whether we are mentally tough or not.

Paige is one of the athletes I coach on the mental game - she is a high school golfer in Texas hoping to play D-I someday.

This kid is mentally tough. She has the ability, the knowledge, and the discipline to perform at her best, no matter the circumstances. But she’s had to work at it.

Day 1 of the Tournament

On day 1 of a showcase tournament sponsored by the Texas Junior Golf Tour, she parred the first 5 holes, and then....on a par-4, she shot a 12. 12 strokes. For mentally weak athletes, this would’ve destroyed their round and likely their weekend. And in the past, Paige would have likely snowballed and spiraled, unable to recover from such a disastrous hole.

But she fought back, parred 6 of the last 9 holes, and finished with an 86.

When I reached out to her after her 86 on the first day, I...

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Failure Can Be a Gift...If You Have the Proper Mindset

My daughter failed last week. She applied to attend an art field trip where they were only taking two kids in her 5th grade class. She loves art, is extremely creative, and an excellent writer, so she was devastated (for a 10-yr old!) when she was not selected. 

You never want to see your kid upset when they fail to achieve something they wanted badly, but in a way I was actually happy she was not selected. And it made me reflect on how I wish she would “fail” in a comparable way in sports sooner rather than later.

Why would I feel this way? Because sometimes failure can be an invaluable gift if we have the right mindset. In fact, failure can be the spark that ignites your inner fire and unlocks the greatest version of yourself. 

When I talked with my wife about my daughter’s art application, she said my daughter essentially mailed it in with minimal effort. She’s a great writer for someone her age, yet her she did the bare minimum when it came to...

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