Mental performance coaches help athletes – or any performers, for that matter – improve their mental fitness. Elite performers practice their physical skills on a daily basis, but don’t put the same conscious effort into the mental game. Mental performance coaches help others build awareness regarding areas of improvement, teaches mental skills and techniques that help performers to optimize their potential, and holds coaching clients accountable for the execution of a clear mental conditioning program. As a parent and youth coach, I often hear adults implore children to “FOCUS!” As a mental performance coach, I teach clients, both young and old, HOW to focus! The same principle can be applied to the HOW of mental skills, such as goal-setting, imagery, and self-talk. The mental game requires the same time, attention, and level of instruction as the physical game.
Follow The Ball (FTB) started as my personal motto while playing baseball in an adult men’s league a number of years ago. During a game, I found my mind wandering while in the field thinking about my last at-bat, my next at-bat, and everything in between instead of focusing my attention on what was most relevant at the time – the next play. I came up with the verbal cue “follow the ball” as a reminder to bring my mind back into the game by simply making eye contact with the ball and following it wherever it went. Following the ball limited my mind’s ability to wander into the past or future. In essence, the ball was a mental symbol or anchor to return to the present moment.
"Working with Mike the last two years have been a great privilege and joy. Mike brought intangibles and a different perspective that was refreshing and outside the box. There were many times as a first year head coach this year where I relied on him heavily for guidance and advice. Mike was able to lead group settings where he got our players to condition their mental toughness and find their emotional strength. Mike was versatile and had a great demeanor as he led our athletes through important conversations and scenarios. We have enjoyed the energy and commitment he brought, as well as his passion for teaching and motivating student-athletes. His ability to listen, comfort our players and share useful techniques enhanced our team’s compatibility as friends and teammates. We are forever grateful for the help that Mike has provided us and he will always have a place with the Saint Joseph's Falcons."
"It has been great having Mike work with our athletics program over the last two years. I have always believed that your habits in athletics permeate other areas of student-athletes' lives. Mike's training not only optimizes and gives perspective on the field or court, but also gives our student-athlete strategies to manage all aspects over their demanding academic, athletic, and social demands. Mike blends a perspective as a former athlete, professional outside of the sports industry, parent, and is able to use those touch points to holistically help student-athletes."