Tag: Mental Training

Janus: the Roman God of beginnings and transitions. The double-faced God looks in opposite directions; toward the past and also toward the future. The month of January has been named in remnant of this Roman God, representing the doorway into a new year. As 2015 approaches, we can take time to use Janus as a guide to look both at the past year and what the New Year has in store for us.

The beginning of the New Year is a time for fresh starts, new creations and a chance to begin again. The importance of looking forward to what lies ahead in the upcoming year and what may rise within you, your sport, your relationships and your hopes is something to spend time cultivating. Take time to set daily, weekly and monthly goals for the year that help move you in the direction of what it is ultimately important to you. To help fuel you, remember to let your values guide your goals. Here are three keys questions to ask yourself when developing your goals:

  • What is my passion for doing this activity?
  • Why is this important to me?
  • What am I willing to commit to (emotionally/physically) in order to achieve my goals?

Janus has two-faces; he sees both directions, looking not only toward the future but also at past events. January is also a time to reflect back on the previous year and see the progression of how the past has influenced and shaped who you are today as an athlete. Here are several reflection questions to spend time answering:

  • What accomplishments and areas have I excelled at within the past year?
  • Are there specific elements within my sport that I would like to grow or improve?
  • Which of those areas are within my control and can I let go of those that were not within my control?

Most importantly, we must not forget to take a second to simply just be in the moment we are in, savoring our current surroundings and situations. Become aware of yourself, your successes, mistakes, hopes, what scares you, your dreams… Take five minutes to create a safe space for where you are in this time without judgment and allow yourself to just be. Within that moment, can you discover one morsel of gratitude for yourself, someone else or something within your life?

Let Janus be the light to shine on the beginning of your January 2015 with reflection of your 2014, time to be present with yourself and your gratitude, as well as hope for what is to come for a prosperous upcoming year!

Happy New Year from Premier Sport Psychology!

Hero: A person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities; a person who is greatly admired.

There is one minute left on the clock; the championship game for state is tied 1-1. You’ve got the ball and are dribbling down field on a breakaway for a chance to win the game. As you reach the goal, you strike the ball, aiming it directly at the upper right part of the net. If you make this goal, your team will be victorious and you’ll be given credit for making the game winning goal: a heroic action that you crave, that you have trained and worked hard for, that will be oh so sweet…

We all would love that moment of making the winning shot, putt, lap, or stuck landing for our team or ourselves and can view it as heroic behavior. This is something we train for and that is important. However, what really fuels and energizes our heroism and lasting impressions on others are the small, everyday steps and movements that often get overlooked.

Here are three vital components to help increase your ability to be a hero:

Strengths-Based Approach

Focusing on the positives of a situation is essential for moving forward toward your goals. It’s easy to get caught ruminating on your past mistakes and failures, but getting stuck in that loop can quickly become a barrier, preventing you from achieving peak performance. Acknowledging and learning from past mistakes and re-shifting your focus onto what strengths and areas you have done well with will be beneficial.


Within each of our own athletic careers, we are on a path to achieving a set of goals–all of which would not be doable without a set of core people. Those people can be parents, coaches, teachers, teammates, friends, sport psychologists, and/or other athletes. Research has shown that displaying gratitude to those around you increases appreciation and overall enjoyment in activities. It’s also contagious! If you are outwardly thankful to your coach, your teammates will see and hear that and others may mimic that behavior (great leadership!)

Process Goals

It is essential to become engaged in the process of the game and the smaller goals within the game rather than solely becoming consumed by the outcome (score). When we take time to set goals and concentrate on them (such as “point toes on every leap” or “arms up when playing defense”) we are able to see more progress and success within our athletic careers.

Your athletic journey will be met with many trials and tests which will allow you many opportunities to shine as a hero, role model, and leader. We encourage you to challenge yourself to see how you can expand your definition of what hero means to you and how you can be a hero, role model, and leader every day.

How can you be a hero, role model, and leader on your team, within your family, or community? Take one action step each day moving toward those goals.

Trent Klatt played in the NHL for 14 years before becoming the head amateur scout for the New York Islanders. With years of experience, he is offering one bold bit of advice: to become a better hockey player, get off the ice. Klatt sat down with USA Hockey to discuss his advice that most may disagree with initially. Growing up, Klatt played three different sports: football, hockey, and baseball. Rather than draining all of your energy into one sport, play a variety of them and focus on developing as an athlete. During the recruiting process, Klatt is looking for just that: an athlete. There is something to be said about a hockey player who also excels in other sports. While they are developing different muscles and reflexes, they are also developing skills that transfer over to other sports (such as hand-eye coordination).

Klatt worries that the public, and parents especially, have become so consumed by the idea that their children needs to participate in every possible league and camp in order to reach the professional level. Rather than having that mindset, it is important to give the athletes freedom to do what they want–whether it is another sport or even time off. If the athlete is not looking forward to playing, it can lead to burn out. Never taking time off can also lead to injury–even at the professional level. The best way to develop a hockey player is to allow them the time and space to develop first and foremost as an athlete. When children are allowed the leeway to choose when to pick up the hockey stick, the baseball bat, football or anything else, they will do so with much more eagerness and effort. Without those two attributes, a child may not reach their full potential–on the rink, or anywhere else for that matter! So, instead of having aspiring hockey players partake in every training camp available, encourage them to take a break from the rink instead. Ironically enough, it may be exactly what they need to become the professional player they aspire to be.