One question many parents and coaches ask about when getting their athlete started on mental training is how young is too young? The answer to this question is based on several factors such as attention acuity, memory retention, and language development. The majority of the youngest athletes who start training at SPMI begin at ages 8 to 10 years old. Athletes under the age of 10 are also pre-evaluated to see which program they qualify for. SPMI's youth mental training program focuses more on behavioral skills training such as routine development, breathing techniques, and goal setting.
One of the most common questions asked at SPMI is why do some athletes get so emotional when under pressure?
First, we must look at the root of an emotional response. Science has discovered that the number #1 reason why athletes have emotions is due to Survival. Emotions are there to help individuals survive because they help prepare the body for action.
One of the greatest challenges I face among some athletes who are new to the program at SPMI are those who struggle to push themselves hard enough to reach their goals. Many athletes, coaches, and even parents may interpret this lack of drive as laziness or lack of passion. However, in many cases, the lack of effort and commitment is not caused by laziness but instead by a lack of positive vision.
At SPMI, I have worked with athletes in over 35 sports. One key component every sport focuses on is the emphasis on performance data. For example, in baseball, players are focused on areas such as batting average or ERA. In Tennis, players are tracking first serve percentage, number of unforced errors, Golfers are big on shooting low scores, and greens in regulation. No matter the sport, data measures performance and success. But is performance data a good thing to focus on during an athlete’s performance?