#39: ATHLETE SPECIAL – Your Mental Game = Your Biggest Competitive Advantage

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Athletes – I’m going to let you in on a secret to playing better, leveling up, enjoying your sport, and maybe even being the best athlete on your team. 

It’s something that all the professional and olympic level athletes use. You already have within you, and you use it every day. 

It’s your mental game.

Before I get into what mental training is and why (if you’re not already doing it and you want to be a good athlete, you should start ASAP)…

Secretly give me a nod if you’ve heard anything like this before:

Your coach saying: 

“You just need to be mentally tough!” 

“It was a mental error”

“Just relax” or “Be confident”

Your teammates saying:

“We’re a ‘mental’ team”

“We have highs and lows”

“We can’t get out of our heads”

You thinking:

“I get really nervous before a tournament because I’m scared about losing.”

“I lack confidence at times, and my height makes things more difficult.”

“I’m just really hard on myself and I get nervous because I don’t want to mess up.”

“Fear of messing up. Perfectionism. Fear of what others think.”

If ANY of those sound familiar, the mental game is to blame. 

Now, this totally isn’t your fault! The mental game is not often taught or coached.

But, it IS the key to you playing your best and getting to the “next level” if you have goals to do so. 

I’m going to key you in on what mental training is (and isn’t), why you need it if you have plans to level up, and how you can start working on this part of your game (like yesterday..)

First, who am I?!

Maybe be haven’t met (especially if it was your mom who suggested you listen to this!)

I’m Breanne and I’m an Elite Performance Coach for Female athletes. 

I’m also a head volleyball coach (my team just won the State Championship!), former teacher, and former collegiate volleyball player. 

I used to be in your shoes. I grew up playing lots of competitive sports. Volleyball was my true love, but by the time I was a senior I was so burned out that I quit. 

Wait, what?! Yes…I was a talented athlete and volleyball player (I had college offers that I decided to bail on), but I was struggling on the inside with things that really limited my potential. 

Things like…expectations, pressure, beating myself up for mistakes, perfectionism. 

Now, there’s more to this story and I actually got the opportunity to play college at in an amazing DII program. I missed volleyball too much, so they took me on as a walk-on after my first year at college without playing any sports. 

I went on to play for four years under a coach that highly prioritized mental training and the power of the mind. It was that that I realized three things:

-I was not alone in what I was feeling/experiencing

-Confidence and elite performance can be trained

-My mind was the key to my potential and the thing holding me back

Now, I bring these skills to athletes your age! Because although mental training is used by the best athletes in the world, it also can be started as young as middle school and high school. 

In fact, I don’t want you to have to wait until you are the age that I was when I started realizing how powerful this is!! 

What is Mental Training

Training our response to situations. 

Average athletes react. Elite athletes respond. 

A reaction is taking you away from playing in the ‘zone’ or flow. It will never allow you to perform how you want. 

Example: Making a mistake. Average athletes react. They beat themselves up, wonder what people are thinking, and secretly hope the ball doesn’t come back to them. 

Elite athletes have a plan for these situations. They respond in the way they want to so that they can stay in the flow and in the zone. 

Mental training is having skills for these situations, rather than feeling like you don’t know what to do. 

It’s like a swimmer who goes out and can’t swim and needs someone to save them. 

Elite athletes are prepared for the job instead of sinking when the water gets rough. 

Once you’re in that tough situation – that big game with tons of pressure. The mistake that you’re trying to come back from. It’s too late! You have to prepare for those moments ahead of time. 

That’s like trying to back squat an enormous amount of weight…but you didn’t show up to the gym at all. It’s too late. It won’t work. 

When it comes to Elite Performance you need three things: 

-Knowledge of the Sport

-Physical Training

-Mental Training

Think of it like a multiplication problem: 

Elite Performance = Knowledge x Mental x Physical 

They all amplify each other! However, if any one of them is at zero, the whole equation is at zero and you’ll never get to Elite Performance 

Some strategies that Elite Athletes use:

-Learning to control their breathing


-Knowing how to shift out of negative thinking

-Knowing how to come back from a mistake

-Having routines so they perform under pressure

EVERY athlete at EVERY level faces the same things: nerves, comparison, doubt, expectations, pressure. 

You’re GOING to face these things. 

Elite athletes prepare for them.

Average athletes just hope.

Mental Training is NOT

Mental training is not: counseling, therapy, or trying to “fix” something that’s wrong with you. 

There is a place for counseling and therapy in your life. Mental training is about giving you skills to navigate the normal experiences of your sport. 

Nothing is wrong with you. You don’t need fixing. 

Mental training simply allows you to pull out what’s already in you. It allows your hard work to pay off. 

Why You Need to Have Good Mental Skills to Level Up

Your mindset is your biggest competitive advantage. It will either up-level you, or it will hold you back from what you want if you aren’t intentional. 

Especially if you are playing at a higher level, skill can only separate you to a certain extent. 

When you get on that top team, varsity team, college, or beyond…you better have something else that will separate you! 

Every high-level athlete will tell you it’s their mind. How they prepare, handle nerves, and go after what they want. 

Some athletes haven’t figured this out yet. YOU are getting an advantage by doing it now. While they are struggling through how to come back from a mistake and believe in themselves, YOU already know how to do it. 

It doesn’t matter how much talent you have. If you can’t perform when it matters, the one that is performing is the one that will win. Mental training helps you be that athlete!

How You Can Get Started Now

Don’t wait until you have a coach that teaches it. Most coaches aren’t trained in this! So, don’t expect your coach to know what to do or how to help you here.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking “once I get on “this” team, then I’ll be confident.” This is backwards! You need the skills to be confident in order to make it to that level. The pressures and the expectations only increase by the time you get to that higher level! 

You have to learn and practice the skills, have accountability, and be surrounded by other mentors/athletes who are doing the same thing. 

That’s exactly what the Elite Competitor Program is. 

ECP is for athletes who understand that their mental game is their biggest competitive advantage. They want to be great, level up, and allow their hard work to pay off. 

It’s an 8 week program to teach you the exact skills and strategies that elite athletes use to come back from mistakes, perform under pressure, and prepare for their games. 

You also get support from me as your coach, guided visualizations that you can use any time (they are perfect for pre-game or the night before competitions), and group support from other athletes leveling up their game. 

So, if you’re ready to do that, then we’re ready for you!

Everything you need is within you already, I’m here to help you bring it out. 


Helpful Links:

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