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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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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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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A Creative Way to Build Confidence and Increase Focus

How to Prepare for a Big Competition

Last week, I did a fun project with one of my young clients at Top Mental Game. She is an elite swimmer preparing for the Junior Olympic swimming trials.

In the past couple of months, we’ve worked on goal-setting, focus, positive self-talk, visualization, and pre-practice and pre-competition routines.

We’ve also talked about how the creation of an alter-ego can enhance performance. Sparked by a conversation where we discussed Kobe Bryant’s use of his Black Mamba Mentality, I asked her what animal she’d like to transform into when competing in the pool. She instantaneously said a Great White shark. 

I had her write down what words described her alter-ego and we brainstormed on more. She came up with adjectives like fierce, ferocious, unafraid, fast, deadly, confident, and scary. 

At the time I thought of this idea, she had 11 practices before the big event. I created a collage comprised of her...

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What I’ve Learned After 200 Hours

When I sat down to do my weekly log of clients I’ve coached, I realized I’ve hit the 200-hour mark since I started Top Mental Game. Wow. That went fast. 

About half of those 200 hours were spent with Division-I athletes/coaches and the other half with elite high school athletes/coaches. 

I’ve been in front of approximately 500 student-athletes from 15 different teams in a variety of sports - golf, baseball, football, hockey, soccer, basketball, swimming, volleyball, wrestling, and softball.  

And I’ve worked one-on-one with athletes from California, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Spain, and Italy. 

So here’s 5 things I’ve learned.

1. Many college and high school athletes lack the mental skills needed to cope with the pressures of competitive sports today. 

Even the most physically talented ones.

When I think about youth sports today compared to when I was a kid, there have been so...

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Who is Your (Informal) Feedback Giver?

My old high school football coach, the legendary Vic Kubu, used to say, “You either get better or you get worse. You never stay the same.”

I think there’s a lot of truth to that statement. Elite performers in all fields have coaches, but unless you are working one-on-one with a coach in your sport, chances are they use another trusted source to give them objective feedback on their performance. 

This is for two reasons. First, the main priority for a head coach is the TEAM, not necessarily any individual player. A head coach may realistically see only a portion of your performance during a particular game. He or she is not watching your every move. Second, it is unlikely that the athlete is able to accurately diagnose his or her own performance. Oftentimes, athletes are either their own worst critic, and unable to see any “good” in their performance, or they are not critical enough and unwilling or unable to get out of...

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The next time you miss the big shot...do THIS, not THAT

 

Happy Mindset Monday - Thanksgiving week edition!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving - I am thankful for so much this year, including the Top Mental Game community.

This week’s edition is about the ingredients that go into success or failure. 

If you’ve played or coached sports long enough, you know the story I’m about to tell. 

A player misses a big shot in in the clutch. Maybe it’s the 3-foot putt to win the tournament. Or down by 1-point and shooting a one-and-one with no time left on the clock. Or taking the last PK when it’s tied up. 

If a player doesn’t come through in the clutch, what does he/she do? The next day, you hear about them making 100 putts from that distance, or making 100 free throws in an empty gym, or 100 PKs after dark. 

While these are all great for building muscle memory and proper technique, what if I told you that they won’t do anything the next time that player is in the clutch...

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