Mental Fitness Skills for Peak Athletic Performance
Almost everyone is amazed by the sheer physical skill of great athletes who push their bodies so hard for so many hours a day, month after month. And almost everyone knows that just as important as their physical training—and as relevant to all of us—is the mental fitness training that goes into peak performance in stressful situations.
When two athletes or two teams are equally fit physically, the winning edge goes to the ones with the better emotional/ mental skills. These are skills that everyone can learn, and they include maintaining a positive energy level that is neither too intense nor too relaxed, and perhaps most importantly, achieving a 100% focus totally on the situation in the present moment, a focus that goes beyond even thinking about it.
All sports whether professional, Olympics, amateur share in common that most people prepare physically much more than they do mentally. Champions, winners and the individuals as well as the teams are the ones that invest more time, energy, coaching, practice and consistency into mental fitness,
Here’s what some champions and their coaches say about what they've learned....
“Brian Alman has the most complete command of performance-enhancing ideas I have ever experienced. The simplicity of his ideas and (I can’t say this strongly enough) the way they connect everything into a viable performance bubble, has allowed me, at age 61, to play scratch golf, again. You’re the best, Brian.”
—A.J. Bonar, Founder of the Society of Golf Educators, Director of Instruction, and consultant for education for TaylorMade Golf
“I have worked in the field of professional athlete rehabilitation and development for 22 years now. In that time, I have worked with many professional sports teams and famous athletes and continue to do so today. My professional success has come, in large part, because I have stood on the shoulders of intellectual giants like Brian Alman. Brian is not only one of the most effective experts in psychology of our era, but he is also a very loving and honest man, which brings out the best in each and every one of his clients, regardless of their pursuit!”
—Paul Chek, Founder, C.H.E.K Institute
“I have been a member of the US Surfboat Crew for many years now, and in 2002, we won the Gold Medal in the 140yd Masters Division at the World Surf Life Saving Titles in Daytona Beach, Florida. In 2004 we won the Silver Medal. It seems that no matter what I involve myself in these days, from lecturing about nutrition or exercise, to training and competing in rowing or amateur golf tournaments, Brian’s simple, effective, and empowering methods work fantastically.
Brian and his work have been invaluable tools for me. I wholeheartedly recommend the methods used by Brian to take us to the next level and beyond….”
—Peter McConnell, Champion rower, lifeguard, and scratch golfer
“I had not made a game field goal in over 2 years…and now with the game on the line in front of nearly 80,000 people in the stands and millions more watching on TV, I was able to relax and kick the game winner. I was able to excel in the most stressful situation thanks to what I learned from Dr. Alman.”
—Michael Husted, NFL Kicker
“Thanks once more, Brian, for working with me and my volleyball teams. I learned a great deal from you about how to control stress during competition, and even use it as a tool for greater success. My mindset has always been that of an overachieving type of athlete with a very low tolerance for making mistakes. Your visualization techniques help me see how I can be my own worst enemy by being overly critical and negative. Having a positive mind-set and visualizing what you want to happen seem to come pretty naturally to good athletes who have figured out how to be successful. However,
just like fundamental physical skills, your mental skills improve performance and become more automatic with practice.”
—Duncan McFarland, UCSD Men’s Volleyball Coach and Player
NBC TV on Simone Biles during Olympics and Dr. Alman’s positive impression of her comeback win at the Olympics and against all odds.