Training System Checklist: 50 Mental Game Tools Peak Performers
What mental tools do you have in your peak performer's tool kit
that will propel you to excellence? Peak performers have a wide
array of mental technologies to help them overcome obstacles, prepare
for performances, and review and adjust their mental game. Here's
a list of superior psychological tools you can use to create your
own custom mental training system.
A Mental Training System Checklist
50 Mental Game Tools Peak Performers Use
Bill Cole, MS, MA
Founder and CEO
William B. Cole Consultants
Silicon Valley, California
What mental tools do you have in your peak performer's
tool kit that will propel you to excellence? Peak performers have
a wide array of mental technologies to help them overcome obstacles,
prepare for performances, and review and adjust their mental game.
What follows is a list of some psychological tools you can use to
create your own custom mental training system. Scan the list, try
some skills that intrigue you, and then develop your own comprehensive
peak performer's tool kit.
1. Visualization skills: using your mental movies to imagine
yourself at peak.
2. Positive self-talk skills: keeping yourself motivated
and on a positive track.
3. Breathing techniques: staying relaxed and in the present,
staying calm under fire.
4. Goal setting: staying focused, energized and on track.
5. Mental game journal: noting your dreams, observations
about your performances.
6. Audio tapes: using off-the-shelf music/voice or customize
your own for inspiration.
7. Affirmations: talking nice to yourself, inspiring and
8. Video tape your performance: seeing yourself perform is
9. Relaxation techniques: staying under control under stressful
10. Pre-performance rituals: having a comforting system for
11. Posture awareness: controlling your perceived image and
your bodily energy.
12. Post-performance review: analyzing how you did and how
to do better.
13. Anger management skills: handling frustration with goal-setting
14. Centering skills: staying grounded, focused, relaxed
and tuned in, all at once.
15. Mistake management skills: dealing with inevitable errors
by cognitive techniques.
16. Momentum skills: using a performance's ambiance to gain
17. Psych-out/heckler management skills: dealing with rude
18. Coach communication skills: having clear, open dialogue
with your coaching team.
19. Contingency plans: having back-up strategies, in addition
to a main plan.
20. Percentage thinking: thinking the way experienced performers
see their discipline.
21. Pre-performance warm-up: having a system for being ready
mentally and physically.
22. Practice performances: practicing gives confidence and
makes skills automatic.
23. Time management skills: using your precious time to become
24. Distributed practice: breaking up your practices instead
of having one big session.
25. Concentration skills: learning how to focus, inward/outward
26. Awareness in-the-moment: being aware of yourself in the
here and now.
27. Thought-stopping: saying STOP! to unwanted thoughts when
28. Pacing skills: controlling your energy and bodily movement.
29. Having a game plan: making a main and backup strategy
for your performance.
30. Performance-charting: having someone analyze your performance
31. Interventions: any skill, technique or approach you use
to improve performance.
32. Shaping: making progressively closer attempts to your
ideal performance target.
33. Process vs. product focus: letting outcome take care
of itself by focusing on process.
34. Reinforcement: giving yourself praise, rewards and strokes
when you succeed.
35. Meditation: relaxing and focusing your mind so you have
36. Modeling: observing ideal behaviors in others and making
them your own.
37. Music: using the power of music to soothe, psyche-up
and motivate yourself.
38. Self-hypnosis: using trance to program yourself for anything
39. The third eye: having an objective, observing part of
the self to self-coach.
40. Role-playing: practicing as an actor how you want to
perform in actuality.
41. Sense of humor: gaining perspective on a pressure situation
by finding mirth in it.
42. Creativity tools: using your mind to see new possibilities,
43. Mentoring: having a mature, successful guide who has
been where you want to go.
44. Daydreaming: using mind wandering as constructive, creative,
45. Assertiveness skills: seeking your rights without being
aggressive or passive.
46. Reframing: seeing a situation in a different way, from
47. Action-orientation: overcoming inertia to initiate and
sustain a project.
48. Risk-taking skills: taking appropriate chances after
49. Perspective skills: keeping all things in strategic and
tactical view at all times.
50. Balancing skills: maintaining center in one's life, under
To learn more about how sport psychology coaching can help you become
a better, more confident athlete, visit Bill Cole, MS, MA, the Mental
Game Coach at www.mentalgamecoach.com/Services/SportPsychologyCoaching.html.
Go to the International Mental Game Coaching website to see hundreds
of additional free
articles on sports psychology. IMGCA has the world's largest
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including leading-edge strategies on the mental game, mental training,
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sports sociology, sports medicine, human performance, exercise psychology,
stress control, youth sports, motor learning, sports coaching, teaching,
teamwork, sports ethics, mind-body disciplines and human movement.
For additional information on this topic, see a list of Best
Sports Psychology books, as recommended by Bill Cole on Amazon.com.
Copyright © 2011-
Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority
on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and
CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps
organizations and professionals achieve more success in business,
life and sports. He is also the Founder and President of the International
Mental Game Coaching Association (www.mentalgamecoaching.com),
an organization dedicated to advancing the research, development,
professionalism and growth of mental game coaching worldwide. He
is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school
alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author
and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league
pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For
a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and comments
visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.
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