Getting Ready

Getting ready. 2023 themes for mental fitness

This is Mental Fitness Fridays, and I’m Hans Skulstad.

Last week, I went to a conference called Elite By Choice. It was hosted by a woman named Lauren Johnson, who is a leader in the world of mental performance. She used to work for the New York Yankees and had many great experiences to share. 

But it didn’t stop there. Many of the participants and speakers shared experiences as well. It was outstanding. They were like farmers — outstanding in their field. 

Others there included Brain Miles, who works for the Cleveland Guardians, and Hannah Huesman from the Texas Rangers. There was also Mike Kim, who has helped many people build personal brands, and Brent Kocal, who is a master of building effective relationships with others, and Jake Thompson, a keynote speaker. There was Val Demmings, an Emmy Award winning producer, and Lauren Whitt, who developed a resilience program at Google. Another impressive person was Marius Aleksam who teaches mental performance to the Army and Green Berets. The best part was they all stuck around the whole time and were available to talk and share. 

I left energized and determined. It was awesome to be among people who shared a love of mental fitness and its power to make a difference. There was a spirit of cooperation, learning and equality.

The presenters got me thinking about purpose and my theme for next year. It’s a theme I am excited to share soon.  

I’ll give you a hint. I want to put something in every athlete’s pocket. Although some of them will think accepting would be mean — considering thinking deep and from a whole different perspective. 

We have just scratched the surface on the mental toughness myths, their impacts and what to do to change them. It’s time that we work together to change them. It can be done, but it won’t be easy. After last weekend, I am convinced it’s the key to changing the conversation.  

My hope is that when I tell you more, you will be willing to join me to redefine the role of mental fitness in sports and our lives.

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