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Part 2: I started doing THIS and my game changed

One of the things I love most in this world is watching little kids play sports. I mean really little kids. In the late summer, the park by my house starts filling up with soccer practice. Portable goals get set up while five-year-old girls and boys run around with teeny, tiny, little shin guards and jerseys hanging down to their knees. The athletes' joy on the field, the crisp fall air, the excitement of competing, the fun of running and jumping and playing. Ahhhh, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s also a really useful thing to remember for those of us that have made sports into something serious, like a job or a vehicle to ‘success’.

When an athlete is struggling, one of the first things I'll do to help them is take them back to their joyful, childhood memories of playing their sport. It sounds almost too good to be true, but conjuring up memories of WHY we play, HOW much we love our sport, and WHAT is possible when we really truly focus on the JOY of...

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Part 1: The Mind of Great Competitors Series...The time I bounced the ball off my foot

Uncategorized Dec 13, 2016

I’ll admit it, it wasn’t until I was in my mid 20s that I was really able to play consistently in the present moment. As in, I finally had the mental control to notice that I was NOT in the present moment, and the mental agility to then get myself back to the present moment. Don’t get me wrong, I had played in the present moment many times throughout my career up until that point but it wasn’t until I was much older that I was able to do it intentionally, especially when things weren’t going my way.

I remember very specifically getting to another level of mental control at about 25 years old. I can even remember a specific game. I was playing professionally in Greece at the time and my team was playing against a cross town rival in Athens. There was 30 seconds to go and we had the ball, down by 1 point. My teammate drove down the middle, found me on the left hand side of the court. I took one dribble, towards the middle, ready to shoot my favorite...

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3 Things A Sports Psychologist Will Never Tell You

blog Nov 29, 2016

The mind is an incredible thing. It can be complicated and frustrating, it can amaze you and disappoint you. It can limit you or allow unbelievable things to happen. But mostly, it can be unpredictable, in good ways and bad.

I’ve been working as a mental training coach for almost 10 years now and I’ve seen some pretty magical moments with the coaches and athletes I’ve worked with. Witnessing a mind change and shift in an instant is something that never gets old.

There is nothing quite as gratifying as watching a young athlete realize that they don’t actually have to stay in the self-imposed negative space they’ve built up. When they understand that their outlook and mindset is a CHOICE, it’s like a lighting bolt. You can actually see their whole body shift- they walk a little taller, relax a little more, breathe a little deeper, and sometimes, sometimes, there is even a little hint of a smile.

It’s pretty awesome, not because they’ll...

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How to Implement a Mental Training Plan Even if You Have $0.00 Budget

blog Sep 28, 2016

So the fall is my super, crazy, busy time. I'm doing kickoff trainings with teams, setting up programs with our online training packages, and doing live events with clubs and athletic departments. Truthfully, it's my favorite time of year.

But the downside of all these trainings,  is that I rarely get a second to really sit down and write new blogs, create new content or produce new videos. And I feel a little guilty about that. After all, this time of year is when YOU, and all the coaches that follow us are often just getting a first glimpse into their teams, seeing the areas they want to work on, and are ready for some new, juicy mental training from us.

And this is the deal. As you probably know, here at Positive Performance, we have a TON of free mental training resources. We have blog articles on everything from slumps to sleep, from confidence issues to nutrition. We have free mental training courses and guides and videos and e-books. So trust, me there is enough here to...

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Why You Shouldn't Listen to Yourself

Uncategorized Aug 01, 2016

I hear it time and time again from my clients: ‘I’m not ready.’ I’m not ready to start my own business. I’m not ready for the promotion I’ve been working towards for years. I’m not ready to have a baby. I’m not ready to buy a house. I’m not ready to be a head coach. It's also likely something that you hear from your student-athletes as you coach them into higher performance: I’m not ready for college. I'm not ready to be in the starting lineup. I'm not ready to be a captain. I'm not ready to graduate and get a real job.

The problem with, I’m not ready is this:  one never actually feels 100% ready… EVER. That’s the thing with change- it always feels new and uncomfortable and a little strange at first. And of course we know this, logically, but we listen anyway and we convince ourselves this little voice telling us we aren't ready must be...

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Why leaders must practice what they preach

As summer officially begins, I’m working on finding space in my life to work on me. It’s not easy. It seems there is always something else to do that needs my attention. And while working on me is rewarding on one hand, it’s also uncomfortable on the other. In many ways, its just plain easier to send emails and keep busy with the million to-dos I have piling up.

So why do it at all?

As a coach myself, there is nothing more valuable than sitting on the other side of the table with my coach- answering the hard questions, being held to difficult standards, experiencing the awkward silence before I tell my truth about something. But those insights are pure gold in a quest of self-improvement and ultimately it helps me empathize with, understand and teach my students in an authentic way. In other words, it gives me credibility; I am practicing what I preach.

If we ask it of others, we must require it of ourselves.

And so, this summer, I challenge you to take the time to...

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5 Reasons I (finally) hired a professional coach

"5 Reasons I (finally) hired a professional coach", By Lindsey Wilson, was recently featured in The Huffington Post. Click the link to see the article.

I have to admit, as a former athlete, I love everything about being coached; I love the accountability, the goal setting, the planning, the undivided attention of someone who believes in me. I even love the hard stuff, like someone telling me I’m making excuses or that I need to stop doing stupid shit.

But I was late to professional coaching mostly because I didn’t really know what it was. I always assumed these coaches spent their days white-boarding with the president of Coca-Cola or brainstorming leadership ideas with the CEO of Google. I wasn’t exactly sure how they could help me.

But, I was curious because I missed it. I missed having someone in my corner that saw in me a level I couldn’t see in myself.  Plus, there was this nagging voice in my head that told me I could do more.

5 Reasons I...

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Embracing failure: The clumsy, embarrassing (and usually ugly) path to success

A guest blog, By Tyson Hartnett

It was my first game on my high school's varsity basketball team. I was a rising junior and the starting point guard after being on the JV team the season before. What do you know, my first game is against a crazy-athletic team that full-court pressed the entire game. Great, I thought. Just great. As the point guard, it was my responsibility to catch the ball and organize our attack against the full-court pressure.

At that moment (after my fourth straight turnover), I wanted nothing more than to hide and never touch the ball again. I was humiliated and embarrassed. But, even more so, I was scared. I was afraid that if I got the ball, I would fail yet again.

Clearly, it wasn't going very well.

At that moment (after my fourth straight turnover), I wanted nothing more than to hide and never touch the ball again. I was humiliated and embarrassed. But, even more so, I was scared. I was afraid that if I got the ball, I would fail yet again.

But, I...

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How to Get Out of a Slump

The dreaded slump. Is there anything worse?

Whether you‘re the athlete in the middle of it, frustrated because you don’t know where to turn, or a coach, parent, or teammate watching from the sideline and feeling helpless, slumps suck!

The truth is, it doesn't matter how talented or experienced you are,

Slumps hit all sports and all athletes.

In the past three days, I’ve worked with two athletes experiencing slumps. Unfortunately, coaching athletes out of their slumps isn’t unusual. Far from it. Slumps are very common, and they don’t discriminate; they hit every kind of athlete, no matter their sport, gender, seniority, age, or skill. Here are the stories of my two latest slump-stricken clients:

Jack is a 17-year-old baseball player who had an amazing junior year on the plate. He batted over .300 and set his sights on a college scholarship. Then senior year came and he experienced a few rough at-bats, starting worrying about that college scholarship, and...

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Why confidence matters for a high school athlete

confidence Feb 19, 2016

It’s likely that, if you’re reading this blog, you know already that a little thing called confidence has a big impact on performance.

Maybe you’ve seen your son or daughter struggle with confidence and are feeling helpless, searching for answers anywhere you can find them.  Maybe you’re a coach who spends time trying to convince your athletes they’re capable, to no avail. Or maybe you’re an athlete yourself, wondering why the one thing holding you back from being your best feels so elusive.

I’m not here to tell you what you already know: Confidence matters.

But I won't just tell you about why confidence matters, I will dig deeper into why confidence seems to be a particular struggle for a particular type of athlete: the high school aged athlete. Then, I'll wrap my blog up by giving you a free download of my new guide designed to build confidence: 4 Quick Hits to Confidence.

I'll begin by telling you about:

My journey to...

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