# 178: Training the Mental Game When Coaches Don’t Teach It. How This Competitive Figure Skater is Doing It Inside The Elite Mental Game

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Are you training the mental game for your athlete?

In competitive sports, the physical aspect often overshadows an equally crucial component: the mental game. But what happens when coaches don’t focus on this aspect? In this episode, I share insights from Darcy, a sports mom, and her daughter Whitney, a 15-year-old competitive figure skater, about their journey in training the mental side of athletics.

Understanding the Importance of Mental Training

Despite Whitney’s high-level performance in figure skating, her coaches didn’t emphasize mental training. This gap is common in many sports coaching. However, Darcy and Whitney’s story highlights the universal need for mental training, regardless of the athlete’s level. Their experience shows that mental training is key to enjoying sports and achieving high performance.

Navigating the Challenges and Solutions

Whitney’s journey illustrates the typical challenges athletes face: nerves, pressure, and the desire to level up. These are common across all levels of sport. The family’s proactive approach in seeking out mental training tools, which helped Whitney bounce back from setbacks and stay focused, is a testament to the power of mental training.

The Elite Mental Game Program

Darcy and Whitney’s involvement in the Elite Mental Game program provided them with practical tools for mental training. This program was pivotal in helping Whitney overcome her challenges and improve her performance. It offered techniques like visualization, breathing exercises, and more, equipping her with skills to excel not just in sports but also in other areas of life.

The Role of Parents in Mental Training

Darcy’s role in this journey was crucial. She learned to support Whitney by creating a conducive environment and understanding her needs as a high-level athlete. The story emphasizes the importance of parental involvement in an athlete’s mental training journey.

Whitney’s Transformation

Whitney’s mental training journey led to significant improvements in her confidence and ability to handle pressure. This transformation wasn’t just about her sporting achievements but also about personal growth, which had a positive impact on her relationships and overall well-being.

The Bottom Line

Whitney and Darcy’s story is a powerful example of how focusing on the mental aspect of sports can lead to remarkable improvements in performance and personal development. It’s a call to action for athletes, parents, and coaches to give mental training the attention it deserves. 

Whether you’re a competitive athlete like Whitney or someone looking to enjoy sports more fully, mental training can be a game-changer. 

Episode Highlights: 

[00:00] Mental training for elite figure skater Whitney with her mom Darcy. A conversation with Whitney, a 15-year-old competitive figure skater, and her mom Darcy about mental training and its importance in athletics.

[02:35] Parenting, sports, and pursuing dreams. Darcy shares her family’s journey, including their experiences living in four foreign countries and teaching her daughters to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams.

[07:22] Figure skating goals and mental preparation. Whitney and Darcy talk about Whitney’s journey in figure skating and how Darcy is proud of Whitney’s dedication and hard work, but also acknowledges the need to support her goals through mental preparation and making the move to the next level.

[12:50] Mental training for figure skating. Whitney shares how she struggled with mental preparation for figure skating competitions, leading to inconsistent performance.

[19:14] Skating performance and visualization techniques. Whitney uses visualization techniques to distract herself during competitions and increase her confidence, resulting in improved performance.

[24:23] Mental training and perfectionism in figure skating. Tips for Whitney’s perfectionist tendencies and how to deal with them, acknowledging the unique challenges of being a perfectionist athlete at an elite level.

[29:58] The role of a coach in a figure skater’s life. Recognizing the importance of creating an environment for skater’s creativity and mental well-being during competitions.

[34:25] Learning to manage emotions and build confidence in figure skating. Learning to manage emotions and build confidence through the program, helping to change mindset and improve competence.

[38:35] Mental skills training for figure skating. Reflecting on the value of a figure skating program, and the skills and techniques that can help athletes handle competition with confidence and preparation.

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