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    In order to be an elite athlete and be able to self-coach your own performance in addition to adopting developmentally competitive mindset, you need to master the following mental skills in order to build the characteristics the mindset describes.

    The Core Skills are the first three – Managing Emotions, Managing Stress, and Motivation.  Success Skills include the next three – Set and Achieve Goals, Team Building, and Maintaining Positive and Effective Self Talk.  The Performance Skills include – Self Confidence and Focus.


    • Manage Your Emotions
    • Manage Stress
    • Self-Motivate


    • Set and Achieve Goals
    • Maintain and Create Positive Self-Talk
    • Team Building


    • Build and Maintain Self-Confidence
    • Focus

    At the Center for Sports and the Mind, we can help you quickly identify the obstacles that are holding you back from mastering these skills.  We offer a variety of services to help you get there, which are outlined in Our Services.  Below is a description of these skills adapted from the work of Jack Lesyk, LP, PHD and the Ohio Center for Sports Psychology.

    Manage Emotions

    Developmentally competitive athletes:

    • Accept that their emotions are part of competition. They are able to use positive emotions to their advantage and are able to effectively identify ways the can effectively minimize negative emotions.
    • Realize that managing their emotions is a choice and that they can use them positively.
    • Respect the game and all participants involved.
    • Pursue excellence not perfection. they are able to learn from mistakes and recognize others involved in competition are not perfect.

    Manage Stress

    Developmentally competitive athletes:

    • Maintain perspective and balance between sport and the rest of their life.
    • Effectively problem solve and assertively manage life and sport stressors.
    • Utilize stress management skills to reduce stress and avoid and minimize using skills that are self-defeating.

    Self -Motivate

    Developmentally competitive athletes:

    • Recognize rewards and risks of participation in their sport.
    • Remember rewards when faced with difficult tasks or disappointments.
    • Stay focused on rewards from participation regardless of outcome.

    Set and Achieve Goals

    Developmentally competitive athletes:

    • Set long term and short term goals that are realistic, time oriented, and measurable.
    • Create detailed plans for achieving goals for sport and for other aspects of their life.
    • Accurately assess their own performance and progress toward goals.
    • Commit to achieve goals on a daily basis and are able to meet demands of their training programs and important life commitments.

    Team Building

    Developmentally competitive athletes:

    • Understand that they are members of large and different systems that include team, coaches, families, friends, and others.
    • Utilize skills that allow them to effectively problem solve with teammates, coaches, and difficult people.
    • When needed, are able to tell others what they need and their thoughts and feelings about themselves and the team.

    Maintain Positive & Effective Self Talk

    Developmentally competitive athletes:

    • Recognize effective and positive self-talk that contributes to excellence in performance.
    • Talk to themselves as they would talk to their friends and family.
    • Maintain self-talk that is positive and effective despite mistakes and/or difficult conditions.

    Self Confidence

    Developmentally competitive athletes:

    • Maintain self-confidence when facing difficult situations.
    • Primarily build confidence based on performance and their own assessment.  Recognize that building confidence primarily based on other’s viewpoint does not create self-confidence.
    • Utilize positive and realistic imagery to maintain self-confidence when faced with difficult situations.
    • Build confidence and identity from a variety of skills and aspects of sport and life.


    Developmentally competitive athletes:

    • Able to recover focus with a variety of imagery, self-talk, and emotion management skills.
    • Able to contain distractions created by self or others.
    • Maintain focus on “here and now” regardless of past experiences or outcomes.