Sports Performance Coaching | Oregon Mental Toughness Coach

sports performance coach

What is Sports Performance Coaching?

Enhancing performance through sports performance coaching is an experience unlike any other. At every level of athletics the physical game gives way to the mental game. Elite athletes have maximized their physical capabilities and they train in mental toughness to ensure that they have the mental and emotional edge over the competition.

Sports Performance Coaching Is More Effective The Earlier An Athlete Begins

Regardless of your level of athletics, the mental toughness side of sports performance will help you to train smarter and play better by conditioning your mind and body to respond by design to the demands of your sport. Sports performance coaching will empower you to develop and draw upon the mind-body resources that you innately have to generate more energy, endurance and to stay out of fight-or-flight response. If you want to be successful in your sport, then you need to prepare your mind for every element of peak performance that your specific sport demands.

Do I need a Mental Toughness Coach to Improve My Sports Performance?

A good athletic performance coach will know there is a dramatic difference between the athlete who is externally prepared and the one who is internally prepared. Many younger athletes look for external measures to enhance their performance such as athletic gear, supplements and training equipment. These do have their place, but it is secondary to what is happening between their ears. The mental elements of each individual sport are different and they still share similar qualities; primarily, how do you stay cool under pressure.

Ask yourself how important it is to you to enhance your sports performance. It is likely that you have already invested a great deal of time and energy into your specific sport, isn’t it worth it to go the rest of the way with your mental toughness training?

You can ask yourself general sports performance coaching questions:

  • Do I want to play better?

  • Is becoming a better athlete important to me?

  • Is peak performance in sports important to me?

But here is just a sample of some more in-depth mental toughness coaching questions that will reveal what you actually know and are prepared to do:

  • Do you know how to get into the “zone”

  • How do you quickly change a fight-or-flight reaction to pre-competition jitters?

  • What is your mental strategy for recovering from a physical injury?

  • How do you enhance communication between yourself and your coach?

  • What is your mental toughness strategy for managing fatigue?

These are simply four out of more than 100 specific questions that are applied in sports performance coaching and tailored to your exact sport. Mental toughness coaching is just as important as physical training because it unlocks the innate resources you have within that directly affect your levels of peak performance, motivation, identity, decision-making, beliefs and behaviors. These mental toughness secrets can be integrated into your sport through a variety of advanced mental toughness drills designed to enhance your mind-body reactions to specific environments.

What Can I Expect from Sports Performance Coaching?

Here is what you can expect from sports performance coaching and mental toughness coaching:

Training at Peak Performance Sports Levels

An important part of the mental process essential to enhance sports performance involves training at peak performance levels – mentally and physically. When you train at peak performance levels, it primes you to be in an appropriate state to achieve the ultimate objective of enhancing sports performance. To be successful, you must train at the level at which you intend to perform. What you practice, you perfect.

Understanding How to Practice Smarter Not Harder

No matter how much you prepare to enhance sports performance, it’s indisputable that practicing smarter not harder is what separates the winners from the losers. Practicing is much more than just the physical component. It is the combination of the mental and the physical that results in conditioned responses. Counter-intuitively, you want to understand how to train in a way that turns off your conscious mind so that you enter what most athletes know as a “flow state.” In this state, your internal dialogue is turned off and you are at the forefront of your 5 senses and some athletes even describe this experience as “watching themselves perform…” With the right sports performance coach, you can learn these techniques that will transform the way you practice and perform.

Mastering the Mental Game Using Proven Mental Toughness Techniques

The most critical mistake that someone could make when attempting to enhance sports performance is failing to enhance one’s mental game. It doesn’t matter if you are a runner, weight lifter, golfer, basketball player, volleyball player, MMA fighter, swimmer, tennis player or whatever your sport might be. The mental game is absolutely as fundamental as the basic techniques in your specific sport. Consider this though, very few people are consciously aware that the mental game can be trained but at each level of competition in any sport you will find that the game becomes more mental and strategic than at previous levels. Physcially, the human body can only be pushed so far and every decade there are new findings and records being set. It is the mental side that gives you the edge over your competitors in every aspect of the sport from rest and recovery, to training, to nutrition, to performance. This aspect of your game should not be left to happenchance and it is for this reason that you need a sports performance coach. Sports coaching training is also highly encouraged for athletic coaches and the training offered by Diane Ulicsni greatly exceeds that common knowledge taught in most sports coaching courses.

Learn more about Sports Performance Coaching

Learn More About What Mental Training Can Do For You

What Mental Training Can Do For You!

I have been fortunate enough for the past 15 years to work with athletes of all ages and all levels. Including Gold Medal winners and Silver Medal Winners.

There are hundreds of documented moments in the Olympic Competitions that it is clear that the Athlete awarded the Medal had taken the time to visualize the optimal performance just before doing the performance perfectly. An example of this Is Trent Dimas. A member of the US Men’s Olympic Gymnastics Team.   It was captured on camera, that Dimas closed his eyes and visualized his routine, so his actual routine would be in since with what his mind and body were feeling. It was an obvious moment of reflection and mental preparation.

Another study by Jacqueline Golding, PhD.   She and Dr. Ungerleider, compared athletes who qualified for The 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, with those who nearly qualified. They were nearly identical in their training except for one thing. Those athletes who actually made the team and competed in the Olympics were doing mental practice and those who actually qualified for the Olympics were dong final “mental tune-ups”. It was learned that timing of the imagery or tune ups are key to who succeeds.

In 2014 mental training is widely accepted as part of many training programs. It’s my personal opinion, after working with many teams of athletes that the winners have trained as much as or more mentally than physically. And, when I interview my athletes after a competition, they are always very happy with the mental tools they received in my classes.

How Does A Mental Toughness Coach Help to Enhance Sports Performance?

Neuro science! What fires together, wires together. There is neuro science proving that if you are imagining something, or even faking something, your brain fires the neurons of whatever it is you are imagining. (Jeffrey Schwartz) I observe this a lot when I have my athletes close their eyes and imagine their performance.   If I am working with a runner, and they are imagining the race that is coming up and their performance in the race, their feet start to move as if they are running.   In an experiment in Colorado, a psychologist measured the electrical activity of a downhill ski racer, who sat quiet and still while imagining the race course. The printout of the racers leg muscle contractions and firings corresponded exactly to the terrain of the hilly and challenging ski course.   If we mentally rehearse our sports often and with great intensity, like using all of our senses, we strengthen and condition the muscle firings and neuromuscular “phone lines” so that the messages get there more efficiently with greater clarity!

The secret of ultimate sports performance is in training your mind. Your mind is a process of thoughts and feelings, its invisible, but it trains the brain.

A great example of this that I use in my classes is that of Laura Wilkinson. She really mastered imagery.

At the beginning of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, dive champion Laura Wilkinson broke her leg and was in a cast for months. She could not dive…physically.   She had a smart coach and she worked with this supportive coach in using imagery practices. She was able to stay focused. She used imagery several times a day and mentally went through the motions of her high dives.   When the cast came off before the Sydney games, Wilkinson’s practice was so good that she won the Gold in Sydney.

After teaching classes for athletes and doing individual work with Sports Traumatic Stress, it is clear to me and my clients that athletes at any level, not just the elite will benefit from mental training.   I see positive results every time.

Working with athletes and teaching them how to overcome most any obstacle has been one of the most rewarding parts of my practice. I have continued to train in modalities for mental toughness and resolution of Sports traumatic stress, so that I can continually help my clients prepare for anything and become mental masters in all areas of their lives.

Please feel free to download my information on Sports Psychology and Peak Performance and Brain Training.


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