A Mental Training System Checklist
50 Mental Game Tools Peak Performers
Bill Cole, MS, MA
Copyright © Bill Cole, MS, MA 2006
All rights reserved.
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
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
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 empowering yourself.
8. Video tape your performance: seeing yourself perform
9. Relaxation techniques: staying under control under
10. Pre-performance rituals: having a comforting system
for handling details.
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 and centering.
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 control.
17. Psych-out/heckler management skills: dealing with
rude audience members.
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 more efficient.
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 they occur.
28. Pacing skills: controlling your energy and bodily
29. Having a game plan: making a main and backup strategy
for your performance.
30. Performance-charting: having someone analyze your
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 control anytime.
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 you desire.
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, synergistic time.
45. Assertiveness skills: seeking your rights without
being aggressive or passive.
46. Reframing: seeing a situation in a different way,
from another perspective.
47. Action-orientation: overcoming inertia to initiate
and sustain a project.
48. Risk-taking skills: taking appropriate chances
after careful consideration.
49. Perspective skills: keeping all things in strategic
and tactical view at all times.
50. Balancing skills: maintaining center in one's life,
under all conditions.
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.
This article covers only one small part of the mental game.
A complete mental training program includes motivation and goal-setting,
pre-event mental preparation, post-event review and analysis,
mental strengthening, self-regulation training, breath control
training, motor skill training, mental rehearsal, concentration
training, pressure-proofing, communication training, confidence-building,
breaking through mental barriers, slump prevention, mental toughness
training, flow training, relaxation training, momentum training,
psych-out proofing and media training.
For a comprehensive overview of your mental abilities you need
an assessment instrument that identifies your complete mental
strengths and weaknesses. For a free, easy-to-take 65-item sport
psychology assessment tool you can score right on the spot,
This assessment gives you a quick snapshot of your strengths
and weaknesses in your mental game. You can use this as a guide
in creating your own mental training program, or as the basis
for a program you undertake with Bill Cole, MS, MA to improve
your mental game. This assessment would be an excellent first
step to help you get the big picture about your mental game.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance, mental toughness
and coaching, is founder and President of the International Mental Game Coaching
Bill is also 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 a multiple Hall of Fame honoree, 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.
Article Source: SportsPsychologyCoaching.com
Return to The Mental Game
of Coaching Articles directory.