The Mind Coaching Process
As any elite athlete will attest, achieving states of peak performance must at some point move beyond raw physical talent into an empowered state of mind. It is then the competition turns “outside-in,” a game within the game in which we remain strong, stable, and powerful in spite of what the courses, courts, and fields throw our way.
During the past decade, Tim N. Kremer, M.A., president and founder of Peak Performance Mind Coaching (formerly Spirit of Golf) and Peak Performance Coach for Club Med Academies, has developed a mind coaching process in which he trains gifted athletes to take overall performance from average to elite.
Athletes learn to think like champions, act like champions, feel like champions, be like champions. Within the energy of this mindset, success has no choice but to come their way.
Measurable Achievement. For Athletes in Every Sport.
A hallmark of Tim’s private coaching practice is his use of FocusBand technology, a revolutionary new biofeedback device (a band strapped around the head) that monitors brainwaves and allows athletes to see and feel whether or not the brain is firing in states of Zone-like performance.
Tim is one of a handful of instructors throughout the world now using FocusBand technology in his coaching practice. An avatar on the screen gives immediate feedback as to whether the brain is in a highly-focused state (green) or a critical, analytical mode (red).
With the FocusBand, Tim is able to measure brainwave activity (focused or distracted) in a way that was not possible before. Students learn, in many cases for the first time ever, how a calm, focused, confident state of mind actually feels, with the goal of helping them duplicate this peak emotional mindset in practice and play.
A report measuring progress becomes available for students as a way to track mind performance.
Effective Mind Coaching: A Three-Stage Process
Stage One: Developing Emotional Stability
Stage One coaching – a stage that MUST take place for training to become effective and productive – is geared toward athletes whose performance suffers from emotional volatility and reactive habits of thought.
Progress in Stage One happens as athletes gain awareness of their emotions, particularly those that tense the body and sabotage performance. It is then that they become able to consistently drop the internal resistance in exhibiting a poised, confident, self-assured attitude and state of mind.
- Emotions become strong and stable in the face of adversity with less emotional upset and fewer mood swings and highs and lows.
- Stories of victimization (it’s not my fault, it’s not fair) disappear, with emotional outbursts and hissy fits becoming a thing of the past.
- Behaviors such as the tossing of clubs and racquets, screaming and shouting in anger, slumping shoulders and rolling eyes, and other actions and behaviors that “leak” valuable emotional energy get dropped and replaced with more empowering ones.
Much Stage One coaching is conducted indoors (using the FocusBand) in a relaxed environment away from “the scene of the crime.” Specific training practices includes breathwork, meditation, visualization, and focusing exercises and techniques.
As athletes exhibit greater emotional impulse control, and to the extent an athlete can display a high degree of emotional focusing competence, training moves outdoors and is gradually assimilated into practice and play.
The good news is that emotional stability is a highly trainable and coachable skill. The not-so-good news is that this kind of stability often takes time to learn – and more importantly, feel – particularly for athletes who, out of habit, are pessimistic by nature or prone to outbursts when conditions don’t go their way.
Stage Two: Proactively Accessing States of Peak Performance
Second stage training starts as athletes become emotionally centered with little internal reactivity or resistance (something only they can know). It is then that they are able to consciously and deliberately tap into how they want to emotionally feel before, during, and after each shot. Emotional stability is no longer conditional or left to chance, but instead deliberately “front-loaded” into pre- and post-shot routines.
As it might seem, it is important for athletes to handle the skill set from Stage One before graduating to Stage Two. Emotions become proactive rather than reactive as negativity is replaced with optimism and doubt with belief.
Athletes begin to display and feel the mindset of a true champion within a body that moves – now at a cellular, muscular level – with powerful states of rhythm, flow, and ease.
Stage Three: The Mastery of Self-Coaching
Stage Three mind training is achieved as athletes gain mastery over themselves and exhibit a high level of mental and emotional competency in practice and tournament play.
It is at this point that students become “self-coaches” with less need for formal outside training. Students still check in with Tim from time to time by internet or phone (often during tournament weeks as they travel) to monitor progress and make sure that mind practices are being sustained.
How The Process Works
An initial consultation gives Tim the opportunity to get to know a new student, develop rapport and trust, and assess where mind performance stands. (As part of this process, he uses a proprietary Emotional Energy Scale™ he has developed in working with athletes and non-athletes alike.)
As part of the initial consultation:
- Students assess their current mind game using the Emotional Energy Scale™ and total performance goals (physical, mental, emotional) are discussed.
- The ability to focus and access calm emotional states using FocusBand is tested, with baseline activity and progress measured during subsequent sessions.
- A course of action with tangible training steps is developed, often in conjunction with swing coaches and physical performance trainers.
A Timeframe for Skill Development
At the end of the consultation, a schedule for follow-up sessions is discussed. It is difficult to say how much one-on-one coaching is involved, since improvement depends on how willing a student is to replace unproductive mental and emotional habits with newer, more empowering ones (not unlike the proverbial horse that can be led to water, but not forced to drink). In general, however:
- Stage One training requires an intensive level of coaching (often weekly) that usually lasts from
two to six months. (If little progress is made after six months, a discussion would be held to determine if continuing the sport was in the best interest of the athlete.) As emotional proficiency in practice and play is consistently demonstrated, Stage Two coaching can begin.
- Stage Two coaching takes place once athletes demonstrate a high level of emotional competence and self-control. Weekly or semi-weekly training typically continues for up to three months.
- The goal of all private coaching is to help athletes graduate into Stage Three “self-coaching” as quickly as possible, at which time little hands on coaching with Tim is involved. Coaching now takes on a maintenance mode.
Contact Tim for an initial consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 772-879-1978.