Coaches often ask me, "Lindsey, can I apply what I'm learning in your trainings to my younger athletes?" To which I respond YES! But, there are some tips that can really help you implement these tools in a way that makes sense with young athletes.
So let's start with one of the most useful mental training tools: Visualization
(if you don't know where to start, the BRAVR method is a great focusing tool- you can download here).
In order to teach younger athletes visualization, it's important to do it in a way that’s easily accessible and fun for them. Here are some tips on introducing younger athletes to visualization.
Make visualization easily accessible to younger athletes by using words and concepts that they understand. They likely don't know what 'visualization' means and it will be easier to have them do it than explain what it is. Here are some examples of phrases that can get...
Welcome to Day 2 of #MT30! If you haven't yet, seen it, Day 1: How to use music to compete like a champ can be found here. Now for today's tip...
One of the most difficult parts of journaling is staying honest with yourself which is why I've found it super helpful to have rules when I journal or when I have my clients do it. When you free write without any rules, you run the risk of editing your work as you write, defeating the purpose entirely. The point of journaling is to get your raw feelings out on paper, not to be 'correct' or to work on your writing style, punctuation etc.
In the following video and subsequent article, I lay out my 4 rules that have taken my journaling to 'ehhh' (and not that helpful) to creating goals, visions, and insight that just flat out weren't happening before. Plus, with these new rules, I feel so much more motivated to journal because I KNOW it's a great use of my time.
Here are a few tips for staying honest while journaling. You can use...
Welcome to Mental Training 30! Every day this month we are teaching one mental training tool. For all the latest, additional live videos and amazing conversation with other coaches, please join us in our private Facebook group for coaches! Click here to join.
Day 1 #MT30: Below you'll find one of my favorite tips. It's simple, it's fun and it flat out works to help you and your athletes compete at your best.
As a coach, you want your athletes to be in the right state of mind every time they compete, regardless of who you are competing against. Music can be a powerful cue for your team before a competition.
Because of something called memory association. Memory association is when one of your senses reminds you of an experience. This is because the neurons of a visual memory cluster with neurons of other senses like smell or sound. Memory association is the reason why chocolate chip cookies remind you of home and country music reminds you of summertime or that one...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.