You wouldn’t wait until you had an injury before investing in dry land training, so why wait until there is a performance problem to start training your brain? Unfortunately not everyone recognizes the importance of training the mind like they do the body. Performance is 90% mental yet most athletes spend 100% of the time training their physical bodies. Why? 

Why do athletes, parents and coaches view mental training as a sign of weakness?

When I meet parents and coaches at competitions I am asked about the work I do and a typical conversation goes like this… 

Me:“Hi, my name is Rebekah Dixon, I am a High Performance Mental Trainer. I work with skaters to help them perform their best when it counts!” 

Parent/Coach:“My skater needs to work with you but she/he would never because she/he would think that meant they had a ‘problem’”.

Me:My work as a Mental Trainer takes a preventative, proactive approach. You don’t need to have a problem to work with me…you just have to acknowledge you have a brain and that it impacts your training!”

Parent/Coach: “Oh”.

Mental Training or Performance Training?

In 2019 we are very familiar with the word “mental”, it is associated with words like; mental illness, mental health. Whether we want to believe it or not, admitting to needing Mental Training continues to carry stigma that holds many back from getting the training every athlete requires. 

Since performance is 90% mental, Mental Training is really Performance Training. Learning to perform your best, despite any distractions, when it counts is the key to excelling in your sport. Bravery, resilience and confidence are also key characteristics of elite athletes. These skills are just a few of the important skills an athlete will strengthen when they participate in Mental Training or Performance Training.

If I called it Performance Training and it was offered as part of the off-ice program, like dance and stretching, would it carry less stigma? This may seem like a silly question but names are powerful! What is it going to take to break down these barriers?

Until next time,

Keep Your Brain in the Game!

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