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The Four Core Mental Training Exercises for Athletes, Parents, Coaches, and Business Leaders

To Athletes, Parents, Coaches, Business Leaders...

If you have worked with me in the past or have seen my posts or presentations, you will have undoubtedly heard a similar message: That we have the ability to manage and train the mind to consistently and confidently perform. 

I think it is incredibly interesting, although it is catching on more recently, how little attention is paid to the mental and emotional as it relates to our daily performance. We spend hours and hours each week training our physical, technical, and tactical skills to perform at a high level, but pay no attention to the most critical element come game day or race day. You could be super prepared as an athlete but still lack confidence, belief, or focus. You could have performance anxiety or let the vast number of uncontrollables get the best of you. We need to train the mind like we train the body. It is indeed a skill like any other. The good news is that it requires far less of your time than technical practice, but it does certainly require some of your time!

Most teams I work with agree! But they inevitably ask the same question, “but, Powell, I don’t know what to do.”

Well here you go! 

Here are the four core mental training exercises: rhythmic breathing, mindfulness, visualization, and self-talk.

Those are it! They may not be much of a surprise to you. Psychologists along with experts in every other branch of health have found these exercises to be at the core of well-being and performance. Future blog posts will dive into each one at length, but for now I’ll give you a bit of insight into their usefulness for performance.



  • Critical with maintaining and creating confidence
  • Helps to manage negative thinking and unpleasant emotions
  • Helps to manage failure, setbacks, thinking traps, and criticism
  • Assists in maintaining motivation and orientation towards growth
  • Look forward to a future blog on self-talk as well as practices to train this critical skill. 

Rhythmic breathing

  • Triggers the relaxation response
  • Resets your thinking and emotional state
  • Puts you into the present moment
  • Helps to manage fears and doubts
  • And much much more… Look forward to a future blog on rhythmic breathing as well as a detailed explanation and audio of how to practice this skill. 


  • Gives us more control of our mentality and confidence
  • Reduces stress and other unpleasant emotional states
  • Triggers present moment play
  • Improves focus
  • Creates emotional intelligence
  • Helps us to let go of the past: mistakes and failures 
  • Helps us to become aware of faulty beliefs, thinking traps, and self-esteem blocks 
  • Look forward to a future blog just on mindfulness as well as a detailed explanation and audio of how to practice this important training tool. 


  • Creates confidence
  • Decreases stress and performance anxiety
  • Increases positive energy state
  • Creates belief
  • Trains mindset and positive thoughts
  • Builds muscle memory
  • Aids healing
  • And much much more… Look forward to a future blog just on visualization as well as a detailed explanation and audio of how to practice this powerful mental skill. 

If you are interested in having your athlete or team work with Powell on these skills, connect with him at [email protected] 


Til next time!

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