What kind of results can be expected

from mental training?

Parents’ groups located within the service area can receive a free one-hour workshop that provides information on mental skills training and the techniques used for enhancing an athlete’s performance.  Please call or fill out the contact form for more information.  In addition, workshops are provided that can help parents deal with the tough issues that arise for young athletes and are tailored to address specific concerns the group might have.  These workshops may include: when to start your child at the club level and how to choose the right club, communicate well with coaches, build your child’s self-confidence, prevent sport burnout, etc. Workshops are also provided on how to help your student-athlete get recruited to college.  Finally, specialty workshops on  Hazing Prevention are also provided.

What kinds of workshops are available

for parents’ groups?

Coaches have a variety of choices when choosing to create a mental skills training program for their team, depending upon their goals.  For example, if a team is not living up to its potential a coach may want one-on-one training for specific individuals or may want the training for entire team.  However, to improve team unity, set team goals, or improve team communication it is necessary to work with the entire team. Sometimes coaches may need help in identifying why their athletes seem to lack motivation or under perform. The best training program for a team is the one that will identify problems and implement solutions. Therefore, programs are uniquely designed to meet the needs specific to each team.  Programs include a team assessment and may use a variety of strategies such as workshops, clinics, or individual and group sessions.  Please call or fill out the contact form for more information.  Teams located within the service area can receive a free, one-hour workshop that will explain how mental skills training works and how it can address their performance issues.  If you are interested in preventing hazing on your team, please see Hazing Prevention.

What kinds of mental skills training programs are

best for teams?

The Promising Athlete offers a variety of mental training programs for individuals and teams, as well as providing parents with information and guidance. These programs can be one-on-one training, workshops, clinics, or group sessions, all of which can be tailored to meet the specific need of each person or group.  For more information, see Services.

What mental training programs are available?

Every athlete is unique and the number of sessions can vary greatly depending on the athlete’s goals.  This will be discussed during the first visit, and a plan that is distinctive to that athlete will be developed.  Specific presenting problems will be addressed in the plan. Subsequent sessions include the implementation and monitoring of the plan based on goals agreed to by the athlete. Sessions can take place in an office or at the athlete’s practice field. When possible, the trainer will also sit in on practice and game situations to get a better understanding of the athlete’s performance issues.

How frequently do athletes meet with a Mental Skills

Trainer and what is the process?

Any age!  Many athletes begin mental skills training in high school or college, while some wait until they are older.  No one is too old to benefit from mental skills training.  However, children need to reach a certain level of cognitive maturity before they can truly utilize mental skills training.  For this reason, most mental skills’ trainers will start with athletes who have at least reached age 14.  Young athletes who are committed to the process can do quite well.  Their young brains are still developing and they have a great ability to learn new things.  They also haven’t developed many bad habits yet and generally have an imagination that allows them to develop good visualization skills.  What’s really great about learning mental skills is that these same skills can be used to improve performance in other environments such as school and work.

What is the best age for an athlete to start mental

skills training?

Similar to physical skills training or conditioning, results depend a great deal on the athlete’s motivation level and how much effort and hard work they are willing to put into it.  In my work with athletes I’ve seen results within a few weeks because these athletes put in the time necessary to train their mental skills.  Results also depend upon the specific area of concern and whether the problem has become a habit.  In these situations training may take a bit longer because the brain must “unlearn” one way of thinking before it can be replaced with a new way of thinking.  However, even in these situations an athlete can change quickly if they are willing to put in the time and effort needed for the change to occur.

All programs are affordable and deliver tangible results. Teams, coaches, and parent groups located within the service area are eligible for a free, one-hour workshop that explains mental skills training. For information on programs and other workshop options for individuals, teams, and parents, please see pricing or fill out the contact form here.

Are mental skills training programs affordable?

Unlike psychotherapy, mental skills’ training focuses on athletic performance rather than other types of behaviors. For example, a Mental Skills’ Trainer does not work with behavior problems such as depression, eating disorders, or drug or alcohol addictions, where psychotherapy may be the best treatment. The goal of mental skills training is to enhance athletic performance by teaching athletes how to be more confident, improve focus, stay composed under pressure, practice more efficiently, develop better pre-performance routines, set goals, etc.

What’s the difference between mental skills

training and therapy?

Mental skills include a variety of skills that when combined add up to being mentally tough. Mental skills, for example, include the ability to focus solely on the game despite distractions such as crowd noise. Other mental skills include learning how to “compartmentalize” problems in your personal life or worries about performance during game time so the athlete can focus solely in the present.  Other mental skills include building self-confidence that doesn’t diminish after a poor performance, raising one’s game as the pressure rises, keeping calm despite perceived unfairness during a competition, and controlling anger at yourself or others for making mistakes.

How are mental skills different from

mental toughness?

Mental toughness is a popular term used by athletes and others that is often used to describe the athlete’s ability to handle tough situations.  What is good about the phrase “mental toughness” is that it indicates an understanding that athletes need strong mental skills in order to stay at the top of their game.  Unfortunately, the term does little to break down the mental skills that are implied in the use of the words “mental toughness.”

What is mental toughness?

Many athletes seek out a Mental Skills Trainer when they are having performance difficulties, which is often noticed when an athlete performs better in practice than in competition or they notice a drop-off in performance. However, athletes can benefit from building their mental skills at any time.  It is also useful for athletes recovering from injury, since mental skills’ techniques can decrease the time needed to get the athlete up to speed once back on the field as well as help to maintain his/her self-confidence and motivation during the difficult time of recovery and rehabilitation. 

When would an athlete seek out a Mental

Skills Trainer?

No.  Mental Skills Training teaches special techniques to athletes that can build their self-confidence and mental toughness at any time.  This way, they will be better equipped to handle whatever challenges arise during the course of their career.

Is mental skills’ training only for athletes with


When athletes encounter performance problems they generally attribute the problem to their physical skills and will put more effort into practice and physical training.  However, if the problem is related to one’s attitude, perceptions, thoughts and/or emotions, physical training will not fix the problem and mental skills training is needed.  Mental skills training uses a variety of techniques that help athletes change their attitude, perception, thoughts or emotions which in turn will positively impact their performance.

What is mental skills’ training?

The Association for Applied Sports Psychology (AASP) is the largest organization in the world dedicated to the scientific study of sports psychology and its ethical practice.  The CC-AASP designation signifies the highest standard of education and training in the psychological aspects of sport science. An AASP Certified Consultant has a masters or doctorate degree in psychology or sports science and has met specific course requirements in sport and exercise psychology and has completed an extensive, supervised work experience.

What does it mean to be certified by the Association

for Applied Sports Psychology?


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