#143: How I Started My Dream Career of Being A Mental Performance Coach (and how to know if you should too)

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Are you passionate about sports, athletic performance, and mental health? Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a mental performance coach and help athletes unlock their full potential? If so, you’re in the right place!

I’ll share my personal experience of transitioning into a fulfilling career as a mental performance coach. I’ll talk about the challenges I faced, the steps I took, and the rewards I discovered along the way. So, if you’re ready to dive into the world of mental performance coaching and explore the possibilities it holds, let’s get started!

How I Got Started: Recognizing My Passion and Setting Goals

About five years ago, I realized my deep interest in sports psychology and the mental side of the game. As a former athlete, I’ve personally experienced the impact of mental training on my performance and overall well-being. Those of you that know my story, know that I struggled with perfectionism and that I struggled with being a high achiever; there was a lot of pressure that was put on me – until I tapped into the mental side of the game. Eventually, this also sparked a desire within me to learn more about mental performance coaching and how I could help my athletes in this aspect of the game.

When I first became a coach, I was baffled because I could teach my athletes all of the physical skills in the world, all of the technical training that I could provide for them; I could do that all and they could be really great in practice. And then when they would get in a game, they would struggle; they would miss their serve on game point, they would make a mistake and then spiral because they were putting pressure on themselves and it totally tied to their mental game.

I also remember a pivotal moment when my team, despite our efforts, missed qualifying for the state tournament two years in a row. It was a devastating blow, and I couldn’t help but feel responsible. I had diligently prepared them in every possible way I knew how, but I had overlooked a crucial aspect—I hadn’t equipped them mentally for those crucial moments.

That’s when my journey as a mental performance coach started to take shape. I’ve always been intrigued by sports psychology; I studied sports psychology as part of my undergrad in kinesiology and I knew there was something transformative here, something that could make a significant impact on athletes’ performance. However, I still struggled to translate it into practical techniques that athletes could easily digest. I found myself going through YouTube and reading books in search of guidance, but I wondered: “How do I put all this information into a way that makes sense for athletes to digest?” So, this is where my journey as a mental performance coach started.

Expanding My Knowledge and Researching Certification Programs

To turn my passion into an actual career, I knew I needed to gain knowledge and expertise in the field. I embarked on an extensive research journey, exploring various certification programs and seeking advice from professionals who had already gone through the process. I found a comprehensive program that aligned with my goals and provided the necessary training to become a mental performance coach. It was important for me to choose a program that was science-backed, offered practical teaching methods, and didn’t require me to pursue an additional degree.

I carefully considered all avenues – I attended information sessions, spoke with program graduates, and even connected with the program’s founder to ensure that it was the right fit for me. After thorough evaluation, I took the leap and enrolled in Lindsey and her enlightening certification program. This step provided me with the tools, skills, and confidence to start working with my own athletes and implement mental training techniques.

Applying Mental Performance Coaching with My Athletes

With my newfound knowledge, training, and certification, I started to incorporate mental training with my high school volleyball team – and the impact was remarkable. My athletes showed significant improvements in their ability to handle pressure, recover from mistakes, and approach the game with a positive mindset. We utilized visualization techniques, which became a favorite part of their training experience. Witnessing the positive changes in my athletes reinforced my belief in the power of mental performance coaching.

Continuing Personal and Professional Growth

Becoming a mental performance coach wasn’t just about improving my athletes’ performance – it was also a journey of personal growth and fulfillment. As I worked on developing my coaching skills, I also developed as a person. I learned more about emotional regulation, mental skills, and personal development. This journey allowed me to be a better coach, parent, and overall individual. It aligned with my desire to continually learn and improve.

Final Thoughts

To start a career as a mental performance coach, you need to have passion, dedication, and a willingness to invest in yourself. If you’re interested in becoming a mental performance coach, I encourage you to explore certification programs, conduct thorough research, and seek guidance from professionals in the field. Remember that it’s essential to align your goals with a program that suits your needs and provides the necessary skills to succeed. Good luck and enjoy the process!

Episode Highlights: 

[2:53] Mental side of the game and how it plays a big part in my athletic journey.

[4:47] How the certification program came to be. I delve into the origins and inspiration behind the creation of the certification program.

[7:09] Emphasizing the continuous personal and professional development as a coach and individual.

[8:18] The first step in all of this was recognizing that I had a passion for myself.

[9:51] Discovering a program that perfectly aligned with my goals, offering a proven plan for becoming a mental performance coach.

[12:00] Working with my team to become a visualization specialist.

[13:45] How to get started with mental performance coaching.


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