I'm already an All-Conference, All-Area, All-State athlete. What will mental skills training do for me?
In short, mental skills training will improve your game. Mental skills training will help you set and achieve your goals, perform under pressure, cope with adversity, and improve your ability to give your best effort every time, whether in practice or in competition. Mental skills training will give you that added edge to play at your best when it matters most. Whether you are an elite high school or college athlete, learning these skills will improve your chances of performing at the next level.
I'm NOT an All-Conference, All-Area, All-State athlete. In fact, I'm struggling just to make my school's team. What will mental skills training do for me?
Same as the answer above. However, the skills you learn will maximize your chances to succeed. If you are an undersized player like I was for my entire career, for example, being mentally tough IS an asset that most of your teammates will not possess. You may not be able to increase your height or radically increase your speed, quickness, or strength, but you CAN do something about your mental game. Plus, these skills are not just for improving your performance in sports. They are life skills which you can apply in other facets of life.
What other athletes use mental skills training to enhance their game? Is this new?
While it is not new (Olympic athletes, for example, have used mental skills coaching for years), many professional sports teams and elite NCAA teams have incorporated mental skills coaches in recent years. The same goes for elite soldiers in the U.S. military. The Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Cubs are two of the most prominent teams that ascribe mental skills coaching as being integral to their teams' championship success.
What sports are best suited for mental skills training?
All sports. Whether it is a team game or an individual sport, mental skills training is important for all athletes. Whether you play golf or tennis, soccer or baseball, the skills you learn with Top Mental Game will make you better. And what's more, these skills transcend sports - they will make you better at the game of life. We all have to perform under pressure at some point - that might be closing a deal, public speaking, or taking a test. Top Mental game helps you perform at your best no matter the situation.
Are you a psychologist or a psychiatrist? Is this like a therapy session?
No. I am neither, and no, this is not a therapy session. Although I have a Graduate Certificate in Sports Psychology and have worked with athletes through West Point's Center of Enhanced Performance and with Seton Hall University athletics, I am not a licensed psychologist. In addition to my graduate school training in sports psychology, I have more than two decades of experience employing mental skills as an attack helicopter pilot, a professor at West Point, and an assistant coach at the Division-I level with the Army baseball team. I am also a Certified Mindset Coach and a Certified Visualization Specialist from Positive Performance Training. I know these concepts work because I have applied them in my own life and because they have worked with my high school and Division-I clients. Now, I want to share them with others.
Why is there homework?
If you are going to make the most of mental skills training, then I will need to tailor exercises and techniques to your individual situation. Additionally, when it comes to goal-setting, the goals must come from you. Visualization, imagery, and audio script exercises will also require you to reflect on your individual preferences and identify what motivates you to be at your best.
How old do I have to be to benefit from mental skills training?
While some mental skills coaches have worked with athletes as young as 7 years old, Top Mental Game chooses to work with athletes that are in the 8th grade or older. Although Top Mental Game works mostly with high school and college athletes, the mental skills training benefits athletes of all ages, including adults. In fact, many mental skills coaching practices cater to senior athletes in golf and tennis.