LISTEN: Mastering Your Mind

Dr. Greg Young of IMG Academy+ Coaching discusses mental preparation and confidence as key factors that distinguish elite athletes.

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To be a high-performing athlete, you need physical prowess and awareness. However, there are athletes who may not have the same strength as their peers and still manage to persevere beyond the playground to the arena. What separates the elite athlete from the casual player?

For Dr. Greg Young, Mental Performance Expert, it starts with mental preparation and how student-athletes choose to avoid the noise that can cloud their decisions. "The real task that an athlete has to overcome is figuring out what is noise and what is signal," he explains. "The signal is the important stuff, while the noise is everything else. When I perform at my best, what am I paying attention to?"

In an interview on the Athlete Maestro Podcast, Dr. Young speaks with sports lawyer Tola Ogunlewe about what elevates someone to the highest level of competition. "I'd say that the difference is confidence, but confidence and belief in their ability to get better, to learn, to develop, and to be able to refine the skills that they've got," Dr. Young said.

However, this belief does not come easy. Along with filtering out the noise, the mental training also requires the student-athlete to learn how to limit bad thoughts. "I think athletes need to have a real understanding that when they speak about themselves in a negative way actually has an impact on their performance," Dr. Young says. "It saps your energy and takes you away from what you're trying to achieve."

Want to hear more from the discussion? Give the full podcast a listen below.

Being the best version of yourself, both physically and mentally, requires focusing on aspects of training that are truly important. For Dr. Young, sometimes that can mean being great at things you might not initially consider. "How do you become extraordinary?" He posits. "Relentless consistency. You just do ordinary things extra well."

Listen to the podcast for a full breakdown of Dr. Young's methods for how young athletes can mentally prepare for the demands of sports. To register for a sports camp, online training through IMG Academy+, or another program at IMG Academy, check out the links below.

Want to learn how to improve your ability to handle pressure, focus better, and become more resilient? Explore IMG Academy+ mental performance coaching.

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