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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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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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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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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12 months, 67 hours, 6 players, 1 team, 1 dream

The Announcement

Last February, I was asked to be one of three former collegiate athletes to speak to all of Seton Hall University’s Division-I athletes about leadership and life. 

Overcoming a lot of self-doubt and limiting beliefs, I announced that I was willing to work with any team or athlete on their mental game. I didn’t know it then, but it was the start of Top Mental Game. 

After the talk, several players and coaches came up and wanted to get started. One of those coaches was Coach Natalie Desjardins, the women’s golf coach. We met the next week in my office, and we collaborated on a set of team sessions based around various aspects of the mental game - mental toughness, self-talk, goal-setting, and visualization and imagery exercises. 

A Year With Seton Hall Women’s Golf

I first spoke to the team on Feb 28, 2019. At the end of my first session, I said that I’d also be willing to work with any of the players one-on-one. 

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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