Mental Game Coaching:
Have you ever wondered what is the difference between a good and a great athlete? Serious athletes understand the right coach can make all the difference in their success. Many athletes hire strength and conditioning coaches, private instructors, attend camps, and seek out the best instruction to improve their physical performance. But many athletes overlook or ignore the mental aspect of competition. A peak performer can manage stress, recover quickly from mistakes, control emotional reactivity, focus intentionally, and stay alert and relaxed. That’s where a Mental Game Coach can help.
Mental Game Coaching is the concept of helping athletes with the mental part of their game by providing them tools and strategies to assist in overcoming issues such as playing with confidence, staying focused during game situations, goal setting, or coping with mistakes. As coaches or parents, we often times demonstrate to our athletes the proper serve technique, the proper blocking or tackling technique, but rarely do we demonstrate how to play with more confidence, how to stay focused during competition, or how to get over a mistake or bad play. That’s where Mental Game Coaching comes in, by giving athletes tools and strategies on how to do those things. We create a program that is unique for each athlete, based upon feedback provided during an initial athlete aptitude assessment.
A typical session for the athletes we work with include 30-60 minutes in a one on one session, either in person (face to face) or online via video conference. During the one on one session, we will introduce a concept then provide the athlete with tools or strategies that reinforces the new concept, then task the athlete to implement the tool or strategy into their practice or game time performance. The athlete will then report back during the following session with the outcome of the new tool or strategy they implemented. Feedback can come in a variety of formats, including worksheets, workbooks, eBooks, game film, or other mediums. Each session we review previous content before moving on to introducing new concepts.
The tools and strategies introduced through Mental Game Coaching will require the athlete to work at them until they become a habit. One can not go to the gym 2 or 3 times and expect to get a 6 pack abs. Similarly, Mental Game Coaching is a great way to get introduced to these concepts, but it’s ultimately up to the athlete to have them become ingrained as habits. With our personalized program of one on one mental game coaching, our clients analyze their mental game through a series of conversations and assessments and develop a training plan to work towards optimizing strengths and overcoming barriers. For many, improved confidence, reduced negative self-talk and a renewed enjoyment of the game or activity emerges.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
WE CREATE A MAP
We get a map of the inside of your head using an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine, which requires nothing more than lying back in a comfortable chair for a bit. Using a database, we compare your map to those of the same age and gender to determine the regions of your brain that might be “in a rut.” Once we figure out which parts of your brain need to be optimized, sensors are placed on the corresponding areas of your head to track neural activity.
YOU WATCH A MOVIE
After you are comfortable, we start a movie of your choice. Through our program the movie only plays when the sensors detect that your brain is using the correct pathways. If your brain starts to slip back into its “rut,” the screen will slowly darken and fade.
YOUR BRAIN DOES THE WORK
Your brain prefers to get the whole story rather than part of the story. Once the machine detects the right path is being used, your brain is rewarded with the bring the picture and movie back to full screen. Eventually your brain will learn using our intended pathways keeps the movie playing, and it will become the new path.
You don’t feel this process, in fact most clients say neurofeedback is quite simple and enjoyable.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Neurofeedback is not like a medication, it does not need continued dosing to be effective. The training is meant to be permanent once desired and optimal results are achieved. It is similar to learning to ride a bike, read music, or swim, once you know how, your brain doesn’t forget.