Stephany C. Coakley PhD., LPC

Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC)

(866) 277-3401

Five Keys to Strengthen Your Mental Muscle During the Off Season

The end of the season is the perfect time to honor your dedication, determination and drive. It is also the perfect time to reflect on the past season and start to craft “The Comeback”. These tips are for your personal development and designed to help you optimize your potential as a professional athlete, and man; now and in the future.

1) Review and reflect on the role that you played on the Team this year. Reflect on the progress that you made from the first day of pre-season and begin to think about the impact you plan to make next season. Also, take some time to reflect on what the Team did collectively. Although the season didn’t end the way everyone in the locker room hoped, there were countless accomplishments that the Team will build on next season.

2) Moving forward, BE BOLD as you establish a plan for the off-season and OTA’s. Yes, they are several months away but it’s not too soon to set goals. Remember this – you get what your mind sets. Your review and reflection should have highlighted areas for personal growth and mastery. How do you plan to elevate your game? Do you need to get stronger? Do you need to learn how to perform better in pressure situations? You will benefit from training both the physical and mental (concentration, resilience) aspects of your game. When you set your goals, be specific and focus on things that you can control e.g. effort, conditioning, etc.

3) REST, RECOVER, RELAX AND RECHARGE (R4). The season is officially over and you have just played a PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY demanding game at the highest level. Everyone on the team is at various levels of health and well-being. When you go that hard it is essential that you give your body a chance to achieve R4. Spend time doing activities that you genuinely enjoy and that will bring you happiness. Engage in activities that will strengthen your relationships. Spend quality time with people that you love and enjoy being around. Use this time to restore balance to your life.

4) Maintain readiness and prioritize self-care. Take care of your MIND and BODY. It’s the off-season and you have had to be very disciplined for many months, and now you have tons of free time. Avoid the temptation to let go of all your healthy behaviors. Make sure that you get enough rest, eat balanced meals, drink alcohol in moderation, minimize stressors, and workout. The goals that you set will help you to stay on track so that when you come back to camp you will be ready.

5) Stay positive and optimistic about your future. Optimistic people create better outcomes. You have great coaches and great teammates. Thoughts are very powerful, they impact your behaviors. You control them so think in ways that will create the outcomes that you want.
Have a great off season. As you think about applying these tips remember to be specific and to focus on what you can control. You will reap the benefits that come with mental toughness and resilience.

Stephany C. Coakley, PhD, CC-AASP
Mental Strength and Conditioning Coach
Telephone: 1-866-277-3401