Why Athlete Avoid Mental Training
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.”