Mental Skills (between the ears)

Athletics, competition, and peak performance require not only physical skill, but also mental conditioning and life management.  Research on peak performance has prompted elite athletes to enhance their athletic training with mental training and off-the-field life management. SHIFT Performance teaches  mental conditioning skills and provides coaching for athletes to help them get the most out of their physical conditioning and skill training.

Mental Skills Training

Mental Skills Training refers to the ability to systematically and consistently practice and apply mental / psychological skills to enhance performance, enjoyment, and satisfaction.  Research and experience is confirming that mental conditioning can elevate performance.  Athletes, coaches, and parents of athletes at all levels are beginning to recognize significant competitive advantage from tapping into these skills.

SHIFT Performance program to enhance an athletes’ performance by providing education and insight about concepts, terminology, and the importance of mental skills training; teaching the athlete new strategies, skills, and techniques necessary to apply the acquired skills; and supporting the athlete to practice, integrate, and apply learned skills in competitive practice and game situations / events.

Individualized plans are developed from the following Sports-specific and Life Management content areas and will be customized for the individual athlete or team/group.  Each athlete will compile their own “mental game” journal throughout the training and will have this personal handbook for reference


  • Effective Goal-setting to Optimize Athletic Results
  • Enhancing Motivation and Developing Commitment to Elite Competition
  • Managing Anxiety and Stress Associated with High-performance Expectations (Competitive Anxiety Management)
  • Achieving Mental Toughness and Handling Adversity and Setbacks
  • Focus and Concentration: Minimizing Competition Distractions, and Keeping Focus Throughout Competition
  • Using Visualization Techniques to Improve Practice and Game Performance
  • Entering “The Zone” (and How to Stay There)
  • Improving Performance in a Team-based Environment: Teamwork and Team Cohesion for Athletes
  • Leadership Skills: From the field into life
  • Readiness- Improving Game Day Performance Through Preparation Routines

Life Management:

  • Identifying and Coping with Off-field Stressors
  • Family and Friends: Who are My Supporters and How Do They Influence Me?
  • Time Management: Finding Balance as an Elite Athlete
  • Developing Your Identity as a Competitive Athlete
  • Recognizing Signs of Burnout and How to Avoid It
  • Identifying your Potential Derailers
  • The Important Role of Proper Rest, Recovery, and Nutrition
  • Health Risk of Legal and “Safe” Performance Supplements

Ongoing Performance Management:

Once the initial program is complete, athletes enter Ongoing Performance Management where the mental skills coach and player interact to ensure that initial improvements are sustained over time.  Ongoing Performance Management provides periodic consults by phone/text for performance progress review; performance crisis intervention; and periodic feedback.