What are the barriers to starting a mental training program for athletes, coaches, and parents?
I received this question recently on my survey for mental coaches about their use of assessments…
The biggest barriers to starting a mental training program include:
- Athletes’ acceptance of mental training.
- Your credibility as a mental game coach.
- Access to athletes and coaches.
First, I’m going to assume that you have a proven mental training program that you’ve done with other athletes.
As for number one above, be aware that not all athletes (or coaches) buy into mental training. I would say the acceptance is roughly around 40-60 percent today.
However, if you find a coach that supports mental training, then you have access to the entire team.
Quick story… I worked with a local high school wrestling team in my area last year. Most of the athletes were very receptive to mental training.
But here is why: The coach used practice time for mental training and involved every athlete on the team. He instilled a team culture that mental training was cool and necessary.
One way you can improve acceptance of mental training is educate your target population. Most athletes avoid it because they don’t understand it.
You’ll also want to shoot down the top myths about mental training, such as “I must be mentally weak to work with a mental game coach.”
“Dr. Cohn, You have provided me with a very organized and effective structure (including training materials) for coaching mental skills. I was already applying some of these strategies while still undergoing the program, and the feedback from my athletes was very positive. I wished I’d done this certification course earlier!”
~Hanson Bay, BSc PSY, BA PE
As for your credibility, athletes want to know whom you have helped recently, and in some cases if you played their sport. For example, golfers often ask me: what’s your handicap?
Many of the MGCP certification graduates have used the certification as a source of credibility to begin working with athletes. Other people use their experience in a sport to gain credibility.
Other mental coaches use their connections in sports to get a foot in the door.
We discuss these issues about credibility and many more in the MGCP program and the mastermind program for mental coaches.
We have opened enrollment for the Fall 2015 MGCP certification course starting in October, but we can only accept 5-6 qualified applicants.
Please contact me today if you are interested in enrolling in the Fall course. Or if you already completed an application, call me at 888-742-7225.
The MGCP course is now an approved ICF course. This means if you are an ICF coach, you can enroll in the MGCP course and receive 20 Continuing Coach Education (CCE) credits with successful completion.