Category: Focus

Preventing Mental Fatigue

We’re often asked the best ways for athletes to avoid mental fatigue.  Our answer tends to be a combination of motivation and focus training. First, we tell athletes to tap into their motivators.  We ask them to remember what drives them in their sport.  We ask them to remember what they love about their sport, what gets them out of bed each day and drives them to perform, and we tap into those core motivators.  That’s what we’re really after: those intrinsic drivers that first brought the athletes to their sport. It’s easy for athletes’ focus to drift to the pressures and expectations of competing.  They want to achieve a specific goal or a targeted outcome. And that’s fine. But when we hold our focus on those reasons alone, we can sometimes lose the primary reasons that we began playing the sport in the first place.  That’s what often leads to mental fatigue and burnout. On the other hand, if we’re conscious of what we’re attending to, and how much pr...

How Sport Psychology Has Helped One Hockey Goalie

“I’d probably say 90% of [hockey] is mental.” -Philadelphia Flyers prospect Carter Hart¹ Carter Hart is the top goaltender in the Canadian Hockey League- earning this title the past two seasons he has played in the league. He is also the top goalie prospect for the Philadelphia Flyers, being called the future cornerstone of the franchise. Not only is he talented as a goalie because of his reflexes and hockey ability, but also because of how strong he is mentally. Like most athletes aspiring to make it to elite levels of their sport, Hart has worked with trainers and goalie coaches since he was 10 years old. What separates him from other athletes and hockey goalies is that he has worked with a sport psychologist since he was young. Hart says that working with a sport psychologist has made him more focused, confident, and calm in the nets- lending to his athletic ability and making him an overall better and mature player. Hart considers the mental s...

Olympians: Performing Under Pressure

It takes many qualities to be an Olympian; passion, determination, motivation, commitment, discipline and consistency to name a few. One important mental skill that can often be overlooked in Olympic athletes’ is mental toughness. Mental toughness is described as the ability to cope with pressure, adversity and stress (Bull, 1996). After spending a lifetime of training and perfecting form for a single opportunity to compete in an Olympic games, Olympians can understandably feel an intense amount of pressure and stress when it comes time for their final performance. Research shows that athletes achieve the best performance results when they have more mental toughness, as measured by commonly associated attributes (Bull, 1996). Mental strength and awareness influences many underlying mechanisms that operate in a combination to achiev...