Interview With Mandy
WHY DID YOU BECOME A MENTAL PERFORMANCE COACH?
As a competitive cheerleader in middle and high school, I can remember the frustration I felt after the 3rd, 4th, and sometimes even 5th private tumbling lesson of the week in an attempt to overcome a mental block in my tumbling skills. I spent so much time, energy, and money trying every avenue I could think of to get over the block. As a cheerleading and tumbling coach, I have worked with athletes in similar situations, who are desperately trying to overcome the fear and utilizing every approach I could think of to help them push past it.
I understand what athletes with mental blocks experience and the desire coaches and parents have to help in any possible way they can…
I knew there had to be a better way to tackle these blocks at the source, the mental game. With the knowledge I have acquired as a certified mental game coaching professional, research, and expert interviews, as well as the life experience as an athlete and coach, I have acquired the tools to help cheerleaders tackle their blocks at the source.
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AS A MENTAL COACH?
My role is to help educate and support the athlete, coach, and parent through mental blocks and fears. I help athletes recognize the limiting beliefs they have about themselves and their skills and to understand how these beliefs are affecting their performance. Through one-on-one coaching and the use of workbooks and assessments the athlete is able to begin to change their mindset and improve their mental game.
I help athletes learn how to set goals without having strict expectations about their performance and to implement effective strategies around practice and performance so they are prepared to show up with confidence and a peak mental state. I help parents to understand what is contributing to their child’s performance challenges and give them guidance on the most effective ways to help support their child.
WHY DO I NEED YOU, CAN’T I JUST CONTINUE DOING WHAT I AM DOING?
Performance Sports like cheerleading and gymnastics rewards perfectionism. You are judged on how perfectly you can execute a routine by not only successfully hitting all skills but by doing it without any mistakes. If you do not understand how to process your emotions and monitor your own mental game, you will begin to only focus on perfection, not progress. Have you obsessed over a tumbling pass on video that was landed successfully but maybe your legs were not together or you bobbled on the landing?! Over time, this can lead to blocks in your skills and contribute to performance anxiety.
When you and I work together, you will get support, tactics, strategies, and accountability. You have someone on your side that understands what you are going through and can support you through the challenges. I offer direction when you feel stuck and help you manage the emotions that will be experienced on this journey towards overcoming your blocks and fears.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO WORK WITH YOU?
The pricing of my programs depends on the needs of the athletes I am working with. My programs are structured so each athlete receives consistent feedback and personalized instruction as well as communication touch points regularly. To effectively serve my clients, I am limited to the number of athletes I can work at any time.
I DO NOT HAVE A MENTAL BLOCK, CAN I BENEFIT FROM WORKING WITH YOU?
If you are reading this and do not have a mental block, that tells me that you can absolutely benefit from mental coaching! You want to be the best you can be and achieve your goals by being a well-rounded athlete. You understand that there are things that are holding you back if your performance… maybe its confidence, or anxiety surrounding performance, or fear of failure or any number of other mental game challenges but you know there is something keeping you from performing at your absolute best level and it is not physical…
Championship athletes train 4 areas: fitness, technique, strategy, and mentality. An athlete’s mentality is so important because it impacts your ability to access the other areas fully. For example, if a gymnast is strong enough to perform a tumbling pass on floor such as a roundoff back handspring tuck and has the technical skills to do so but cannot focus during competition, their strength and technique cannot be accessed fully so the athlete is unable to perform the skill successfully. The mental Game is crucial to success as an athlete and avoiding blocks.
HOW DO YOU WORK WITH TEAMS ?
I help teams to improve their cohesion which will result in more productive practices and improved performance. Often, athletes fall into what is called social loafing. This is where they may not give their best to the stunt because they understand they are part of a team where effort and responsibility are shared. This is their way of easing the pressure of blame but leads to frustration on the part of the team members. I help athletes learn how their performance impacts the team, how to communicate effectively, and how to join forces to accomplish a shared goal. I offer seminars to teams as well as customized programs so the needs of the team are met.
HOW DO YOU HELP ATHLETES GET OVER A MENTAL BLOCK?
Imagine there is a wall … on 1 side you have the athlete and on the other is the skill. Before, the athlete was trying to break through the wall but without the proper skills which used so much energy (mentally and physically) in the indecision and attempts. My job is to teach the athlete the skills necessary to successfully get to the other side of the wall. These tools also take mental and physical energy but the athlete is clear on the path. As they begin to use the tools, they will see the wall start to breakdown and it will eventually be weak enough to collapse.
Every athlete is different which is why as a mental coach, I approach the block from multiple angles ensuring it is dealt with appropriately so the athlete can fully recover and chase their next goals confidently without fear of the block returning.
HOW DO YOU SUPPORT PARENTS?
When parents are helping athletes work through a mental block they often try a variety of gut driven techniques which may include: threats (“if you are not going to tumble you will have to quit”), bribery (“I will give you $20 if you throw it” or “we will go get ice cream if you do your tuck”), yelling out of frustration, loving on the athlete and avoiding the topic of their stuckness, and then eventually… they don’t know what to do so they give up trying to help. This is all in the best interest of their child whom they love and just want to support.
I help parents to understand what is happening to their child and give them tips on how to help so they are not lost in this frustration cycle. My one-on-one coaching programs include monthly sessions with parents as well as weekly summaries so they understand what their child is working on and ways they can help. I also offer seminars to parents of teams and organizations.
HOW DO YOU SUPPORT COACHES?
Like parents, coaches do not always know what is causing athletes to freeze up, but their experience has taught them a variety of tools they can use to push the athlete. Techniques could include: drills on the broken down skill, adding variety to the practice surface, extra conditioning, and maybe even getting kicked out of practice after a bailed tumbling pass.
I support coaches by helping them understand the level the athlete is at mentally and how to challenge them and push while staying within the bounds of their current mental strength. I offer sessions for coaches in my 1-on-1 programs so they can understand how they may be contributing to the athlete’s mental game. I help guide communication between the athlete, parent, and coach so that everyone is on the same page. The support of the parents and coaches for the athlete and each other is essential to reducing anxiety for the athlete and helping them succeed. I also offer seminars to coaches.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE TO WORK WITH YOU?
Overcoming a mental block and fears is a process that unfortunately, does not happen in 1 or 2 “quick fix” sessions. To support athletes through the entire process of achieving mental strength, I offer 1-on-1 coaching programs that are structured in 3, 6, and 9 month terms. My programs are comprised of a proven process developed through the Mental Game Coaching Professional Program along with athlete-specific modifications.
Athletes will have a customized Mental Game Plan which is implemented by weekly coaching sessions, workbooks, assessments, and practice/performance application guides to ensure they are consistently implementing their new and improved mental game skills. Athletes and parents receive weekly summaries outlining focus points of the week and feedback on progress. Most importantly, athletes and parents have access to me when they need it, so they are never stuck or left to figure it out on their own.
I’D LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW YOU CAN HELP ME. CAN WE TALK?
Absolutely! I can’t wait to hear your story 😊 The next step will be to schedule a complementary Performance Check Session by completing my online questionnaire BY CLICKING HERE. Following completion, you will receive an email with a link to my calendar so we can schedule a time to meet. I am so excited to “meet you” and uncover if we are a fit for working together!