If you are looking for a sport psychologist or a mental performance coach, we can assume that you are likely an athlete or the parent/coach of athletes. We can also assume that you are interested in one or both of the following:
1- Getting over a mental block
2- Improving the mental game to reach full potential
The interesting thing about the field of mental performance and sport psychology is that there is a lot of variety in how practitioners may go about getting these results. From talk therapy, to virtual reality, to mental skills training, to fancy contraptions that measure brain waves and heart rate variability… the approach depends a lot on the coach or psychologist.
Here is my process when working with an athlete:
The Introductory Call:
The initial call is either with the parents or athlete depending on the age and family. I ask a lot of questions early on with hopes of reflecting back a clear understanding of where the athlete is, their current struggles, and their best hopes for success. I hope to build trust and credibility.
We then discuss my process to help the athlete…
1- My value
2- What we will work on
3- The amount of sessions typically needed
4- Different options of services and fees
Starting with my value:
Here is my value proposition that I share with every client, which also becomes the foundation for all that we work on and the outcomes we hope to see.
“I assist athletes in understanding, managing, and training the mind so they can more consistently and confidently perform at their peak potential.”
What we will work on:
Through the process of relationship building, questioning, listening, and some teaching, the following three elements become a part of every session we will have:
Understanding the mind. Managing the mind. Training the mind
Understanding the mind: This is a two part process! First is some education on how our thoughts, fears, belief systems, and past experiences impact our emotional state and performance.
The second is diving into the athletes own thoughts, fears, etc… to identify how their current way of thinking and focusing is leading to the emotional, physiological, and behavioral outcomes they are having.
This education and personal analysis proves far more meaningful than just confident sport performance. This is a foundational life skill that will always be useful.
Managing the mind: Now we get to the fun part! Here is where we brainstorm together the different types of skills and tools so that the athlete has a personalized plan to manage focus, confidence, stress response, thoughts, emotions, and performance.
What thoughts or actions lead to confidence? And how can we replicate and train those thoughts and actions so that the athlete can start to rely on them to perform well, instead of being afraid of failure or needing to be perfect? What techniques can be used to calm down anxiety or focus an overthinking mind?
We discuss, practice, and plan performance routines (thoughts and actions) that should be used during personal training, practice days, game days, and while in the actual performance.
There are so many options of tools that can be helpful and there is no one skill that fits all. Finding the right tools to manage the mind is a collaborative approach that takes practice and reflection. But I do promise, everyone has it in them to be confident and successful.
Training the mind: Now for the training! Like anyone who wants to get better at something, we need to put time into it. Mental performance is no different!
The athlete and I work on training 4 different core mental skills, each of which has a specific usefulness. Those skills should be trained for 5-10 minutes each day, along with the training regimen the athlete is already under. I have created several audios that will guide the athlete through their training. They will be well taken care of.
We set long term and daily process goals for our mental training as well as our physical, technical, and tactical training as well. We also work through the discipline needed to stay at the goals we set for ourselves.
The Amount of Sessions Needed
As is the case with all of mental health, there is no perfect answer to how long or how many sessions is needed to see gains in performance or confidence. I will say though that nearly every athlete I work with feels more in control of their performance and confidence after just one session.
My hope is to at least have 4 1-hour sessions with an athlete! This gives us the time to work through the presenting concern, manage thoughts and emotions, train a variety of mental skills, and reflect on what has been working and what has not been on their way to consistent and confident performance.
Different Options for Services:
Many performance coaches or sport psychologists will have a variety of options and packages for their services. All of my sessions tend to be telehealth although I have worked with people to meet at a mutual private location.
I offer three different options for services:
1- Paying for one individual session
2- Paying for a package of 4 sessions- giving a discount to the total price
3- Paying for “The Elite” package
* 5 sessions with a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC)
* Reduced cost on future sessions after the initial 5
* Written report at the end of the sessions includes- *Summary of time together with Individualized suggestions and advice *Summary of assessments and personalized suggestions to be aware of * Goals- Long term & Process *Pre Match Performance Routines * Individualized Mental Training Regimen * Mental Performance Resources
A Final Word
What a blessing that we have people in this world trained to help with confidence, performance, and well-being. I got into this business to not only help performers achieve at their peak potential but also to have them learn the skills that will help them to be effective at life, jobs, relationships, and their mental health/ well-being going forward.
The wisdom, insights, and tools to manage the mind are the same for all. We just have to tap into them and work on it. I'm here to help you do that : )
And with that said, I am lucky and grateful to do this job and to help people like you (or your athletes) become your best selves- confident and consistent.
If you wish to inquire more about my services, or have any other questions, you can fill out the contact form at this link: https://positivelyelite.com/contact-us/
Or email me directly at [email protected]
Thank you for reading and be well,
Powell Cucchiella, LMHC