Getting into Flow: How the Flow State Helps Athletes Perform

By |2021-09-23T21:32:32+00:00June 20th, 2018|Athletes, Emotion Control, Focus & Concentration, Mental Skills, Priming Routines|

A few weeks ago I was a guest on the ‘Age grouper for life podcast’ - the ultimate source for living the triathlon lifestyle, where USAT certified coaches Collin Cook and Elliot Kawa-oka discuss the most optimal training techniques to get athletes you where they want to be mentally and physically. An interesting takeaway from the discussion we had on mental skills training was when Collin could not pass up the opportunity to bust Elliot's chaps for leaving him hanging when he tried to high five him as they crossed the line on a lap during the 2014 Ironman Canada. Elliot responded by simply saying……”I was in the zone man.” He was so ‘locked in’ so focused that he did not even realize his good friend was trying to exchange pleasantries with him while he was running by. This mental state is called ‘Flow’, also known colloquially as being ‘in the zone’ or ‘on a roll’. It is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, it’s characterized by a complete absorption in [...]

The Purpose of Pre Performance Routines

By |2021-09-28T22:08:54+00:00May 21st, 2018|Athletes, Coaches, Mental Skills, Priming Routines|

In a recent episode of my Mental Grit Podcast Expereince where I go one on one with other sports psychologists/consultants, I spoke with Amanda, owner and consultant at AGame Sport Psych to talk Pre Performance Routines. An interesting nugget from our conversation was her approach to the pre-performance routine, a topic we have discussed in less detail in prior conversations. This blog seeks to clarify the true purpose of pre-performance routines. I will share Amanda’s expert perspective on pre-performance routines plus provide a detailed explanation so athletes and coaches can have a better understanding of the psychological makeup of the practice. Pre-performance routines continue to be an appealing and widely accepted technique to enhance preparation for performance in sports. Research has shown that performers who use routines in closed skill sports have enhanced performance in: Basketball free throw shooting (Lonsdale & Tam, 2008) Golf putting (Bell et al, 2010), diving (Bell et al, 2008) Water polo penalty (Marlow et al 2001) Rugby goal kicking (Jackson & Baker, 2001) Volleyball serving (Lidor & Mayan, 2005) However, at a fundamental level, it’s still not fully clear if athletes fully understand the purpose of routines, what they should consist of or [...]

A-Game Sport Psych & The Pre-Performance Routine

By |2021-09-28T20:29:24+00:00May 16th, 2018|Athletes, Priming Routines|

On the Podcast! Key Points & Takeaways Read the Full Article Here Amanda Myhrberg, MS Amanda Myhrberg moved to Sarasota, FL in 2013 from Tallahassee. She studied sport psychology at Florida State University, and proceeded to work in the fast-paced sports field as a sport performance consultant. Passionate about all things sports, Sarasota has been a natural fit for a sporting enthusiast. Amanda started A Game Sport Psychology Consulting in 2014 with the intent that mental training should be accessible to athletes of all ages and abilities. Since then her clients have included professional athletes, collegiate athletes, and high school athletes. In her free time, Amanda can be found training for her next marathon, watching movies with her husband Dan, or posting annoyingly cute pictures of her Australian Shepherd, Gizmo. Check Out A-Game Sport Psych! Get Social with Amanda!

Athlete – Coping with Injury

By |2018-03-05T14:43:05+00:00March 5th, 2018|Athletes, Mental Skills|

A previous professor of mine once asked my class, “Can anyone here tell me what the latin route of competition means?” … There was silence throughout the room … He finally answered his own question by saying, “Together we strive.” When we think back to when the Olympics originated in 1896, the purpose was for all the countries to unite, to bring together the great talent, and to encourage each other to strive for greatness together.” In my eyes, that is the pure beauty of what the Olympics are all about. Yet I feel sometimes we forget about that. There is no doubt that Michael Phelps winning 23 medals in his career is an astounding and unbelievable accomplishment. He should be rewarded and remembered for his ability, talent, passion and desire for winning, swimming, and achieving success. The Olympics are a very unique time that so many of us love and look forward to. Athletes devote four years to training and preparing for potentially one specific event and should be recognized for all of their hard-work, dedication and pride for what they do. That being said, this doesn’t mean that problems won’t arise, mistakes won’t occur, and injuries [...]

From First Sprint to Kona – The Fundamental Mental Skill

By |2021-09-24T18:43:24+00:00December 28th, 2017|Athletes, Triathlon|

As a mental skills trainer, I have been able to work with elite athletes in most every sport and in my experience and education there has been a single mental skill that is fundamental to any level of performance, especially in triathlon. What’s the skill? Well let’s see if you can guess it. You need this skill to combat negative self talk and keep you from going into the negativity hurricane. You use this skill, I would hope, at the beginning of every race. You can depend on this skill to help you be the most well rested on race day. Do you have an idea of the skill we are talking about here? The skill is emotional control and it is all about keeping directive to the emotions and energy that course through us on a day to day basis. When we let our emotions rule our process or run our actions you can be sure that you will find yourself in a bad place. Ok, so in my opinion (aka not scientifically proven...) this is the most important fundamental skill within athletics and performance and interestingly enough, athletes at every level can work on it from [...]

What LeBron James Knows About Success That You Don’t

By |2017-12-12T14:15:04+00:00December 12th, 2017|Athletes|

Anyone who caught the Cavs play the Kings on Wednesday may have noticed LeBron’s three different pairs of shoes worn during the game. It might seem quirky, but for LeBron, it actually has a lot of value in getting the mental edge while on the court. After trailing by 14 points in the third quarter, the Cavs made a comeback with LeBron scoring an impressive 32 points. Listen to what LeBron said about his decision to keep changing shoes: “The first ones I put on the strap kept coming loose...the second ones, we weren’t playing well and I didn’t like the way I was feeling, so I took those off and obviously the third pair felt a lot better.” “Do you do that often, change shoes in the middle of a game?” a reporter asked. “Yeah, it’s a mental thing.” For LeBron, it seems that new shoes signify a fresh start, a change in momentum, or a new opportunity. Instead of dwelling on falling short in the last play, or a failure from five minutes ago, focusing on what’s next can make all the difference in your mental edge during a game. Using a trigger, like LeBron does [...]

Playing with Purpose

By |2017-11-22T15:01:11+00:00November 22nd, 2017|Athletes, Mental Skills|

When you hear the words deliberate purpose, what do you think of? What does it mean to you? Today, I am going to share with you the importance of that word in my life and how it can change the way you do everything. As I walk through life and switch hats throughout the day (husband, father, athlete, business owner, mental coach, etc.), I do my best to place purpose on everything that I do. My time has become so valuable that I have to make sure that everything I do is for a specific purpose. As I make an honest effort to do this day in and day out, I ask myself, “Why am I doing what I’m doing?” hundreds of times. In my journey to developing this deliberate purpose, I found out a lot about myself and why I do the things I do. I found out why social media was the first thing I went to when I opened my computer, I found out why I open the fridge 5-6 times in a row, I found out why I have road-anger problem (pre-road-rage), and a bunch more, especially as an athlete. You see, the journey [...]

Indoor Cycling Training – The Body Check

By |2017-10-03T16:32:12+00:00October 3rd, 2017|Athletes, Sports|

Zwift provides a great space for training on the bike. It is indoors so the rider does not have to worry about weather, pot holes, vehicles, or other items completely out of their control. It simply takes all of the environmental variables out of the training and allows the rider to focus entirely on technique. Cadence, efficient stroke patterns, nutrition, and even strategic positioning in racing are a few technical examples of physical technique work. However, what about the mental aspect of cycling? As a mental skills trainer, I have found Zwift to be a unique tool to help athletes deliberately train their mental game In the first installment of this mental training techniques series, we use Zwift to utilize the “body check”. This is used to become more aware of your physical form as well as your mental state. As an overview, the mental skills include the following 5 domains: Emotional control, focus & concentration, self-talk, imagery, and pre-performance priming/routine. Each of these skills play a critical role in optimizing athletic performance potential within athletics. Just like each physical skill (e.g climbing or sprints) within cycling has a variety of techniques, so do the mental skills. Today [...]

Being Present

By |2017-09-27T15:07:44+00:00September 27th, 2017|Athletes, Coaches, Parents|

Take a moment right now and look at the people around you. Where are they? Are they being present, engaged in what is happening right now OR are they in their heads, working some problem they have in life or possibly worrying about something they have no control over? Are they in the future dreaming of the life they want for themselves and their families? As mental coaches, we talk a lot about this idea of being present in practice, competition, and engagement in sport and life as a whole. We talk about being ‘in the now’ and engaging in what is happening moment to moment. We ask our athletes to remind themselves, ’where you at?’ as practice in mindfulness throughout their day to day life. But why? You see, there is something about the present moment that provides a sense of confidence, of passion, of drive that is unlike any other. You could call it ‘the zone’ or ‘on fire’ but I am sure that everyone who reads this article has been present at some point in their lives. Kids in the 21st century know the present moment well through the use of video games where, if [...]

Tools to Increase Effective Practice

By |2017-09-18T13:34:36+00:00September 18th, 2017|Athletes, Coaches, Parents|

A swimmer approached me a few months ago saying that she did not make any progress in practice over the 3 months leading up to her state meet. She was not seeing her times drop in practices and just didn’t believe that she could do anything substantial at the upcoming state meet. I asked her what she was working on at that point to help her go faster. She started going down the list of technique items for each stroke and a variety of strategy items. I asked her to start writing these down on a LARGE white board and she covered it with everything that she was working on over those 3 months. After she wrote these items she looked at it and I asked her how she felt looking at the whiteboard. She said she felt overwhelmed, sick, and somewhat disappointed. Disappointed, I asked… “Ya, I am disappointed that even though I have been working on all of this stuff, there is not one thing that I can go to my coach with and say that I got it down!”. Have you ever felt like this before? Interestingly enough, you are not alone! As performers, we [...]

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