Top Mental Game Alumni Dominate Spring

mental game mindset May 06, 2021

What a Spring it has been for Top Mental Game alumni.

The Coppell, TX women’s golf team advanced out of the Texas 6A regionals and will be competing in the state tournament this weekend.

Not 1, not 2, but 3of the golfers ‍on this team are Top Mental Game alumni, including the original “OG” @laurenrrios, @jamiemwelsh, and @rylieallison.

Good luck Lauren, Jam-o, and Rylie! Go Cowgirls!

Nick Blalock, a sophomore player from NJ has continued his relentless assault on the Shore Conference.

After scoring 3x including the game winner in 2OT 2 weeks ago, he’s scored 6 goals and 2assists in his last 3games. Way to go @n_blalock5!!

Holt Oliphant, a player from Illinois playing for @tomahawkshockey in the @nahlhockey has scored 13 points in the last 13games.

Best of luck to @holt.oliphant16 as he continues to lead his East Division-leading team down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Welome back to Gianna “G” Hanf, a star with @matchfitacademyshore09...

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It’s Not How Many Minutes You Play, It’s How You Play in Those Minutes


It’s not how many minutes you play, it’s how you play in those minutes.

Illinois C Kofi Cockburn came off the bench with 1:24 left in the first half, with his team down big to lower-seeded Loyola Chicago.

He shows that there’s a lot you can do in a minute and 24 seconds.

it starts with body langauge - he comes in positive and ready to go.

first touch shows he’s alert with great footwork and a chance for a 3-pt play.

takes care of business on foul line (he had a routine, big breath, and was composed).

best part? The floor slap - a physical cue to get you locked in and focused.

great job recovering and not letting up on the play after he gets beat - in fact, his hustle tip wins the

another dunk before the half.

hustles back and then closes out on the perimeter to defend the last-second shot.

Do you GIVE your team energy or do you DRAIN it when you play.

You can do A LOT in 1 minute and 24seconds.

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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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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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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


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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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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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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To Trust You, I Gotta Know You

mindset perfromance trust Jan 30, 2020
My most recent team session with Seton Hall baseball was all about trust. 
Great teams trust each other. Like culture, it’s invisible, but you can build it. 
Trust is one of the reasons why elite teams in the military, law enforcement, and firefighting are so close. And trust is one of the secret ingredients that let’s them compete at a high level. 
In fact, referencing a study about how the U.S. Navy SEALs select their best, Simon Sinek said that trust was even more important than performance. In other words, the SEALs would prefer a mid-performing teammate who exhibited high trust, than a high-performing teammate with low trust. 
When there is trust, you feel as though you can be your authentic self. You can focus on doing YOUR job and not somebody else’s. 
When you trust that a teammate is willing to sacrifice for you, you will be more likely to sacrifice for your teammate.
So how can we build...
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