Category Archives: Mental Skills for Coaches

Water the Bamboo

Matt Long, M.A., M.Ed., CC-AASP Seeds for giant timber bamboo are planted deep in the soil.  After one year of watering, the bamboo has grown…not at all.  After two, and even three years, the bamboo has still yet to break through the soil. But sometime in the fourth year, after many months of faithful watering, the bamboo shoots up and can grow up to 90 feet in 60 days! How many things in sport (and in life) are just like this?  We invest our time, our energy, our effort - only Read more [...]

What Cool Runnings Can Teach Us About Performing Under Pressure

Matt Long, M.A., M.Ed., CC-AASP In my previous post, I introduced the idea of making the intangible components of performance tangible.  In the field of applied sport psychology this is often accomplished by way of mental skills.  These skills (i.e., self-talk, goal-setting, relaxation techniques, focus cues, mental imagery, etc.) are the tools that make it possible to address the mental side of performance in measurable, tangible ways. But to stop there would only skim the surface – the Read more [...]

Making the Intangibles Tangible: The Overlooked Components of Greatness

Matt Long, M.A., M.Ed., CC-AASP Most athletes, coaches, and performers are in constant pursuit of answers to the same question: What will it take to become great?  Through many years of working with athletes in the roles of teacher, coach, mentor, and now sport psychology consultant, I have come to discover that the answer to this critical question can be summed up in a single word.  Intangibles. There is a direct correlation between sustained success and the quality of one’s intangibles. Intangibles Read more [...]

What do the greatest athletes, coaches, and performers have in common?

By Matt Long, M.A., M.Ed. What do greats like John Wooden, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Jack Nicklaus have in common?   How did they succeed at levels others can only dream of?  There have been more talented athletes, coaches who knew the game better, and certainly those who have put in just as many hours of preparation, but none have succeeded at such a high level.  The reason?  In a word, mastery. Mastery is a mindset - a way of viewing yourself, your sport, and competition in Read more [...]

Super Bowl XLVIII: Mental Preparation Provides the Separation

By Matt Long, M.A., M.Ed.                                                                   Photo: Peter Yang As fans here in Denver struggle to pick up the pieces after a heartbreaking loss in Super Bowl XLVIII, one can’t help but wonder what happened to a team with the greatest offense in the history of the game, statistically speaking.  On the biggest stage of all, a Broncos offense that scored an NFL-record 606 points during the regular season only Read more [...]

Sport Psychology Top 5 FAQ

Matt Long, M.A., M.Ed. When I tell people that I am a sport psychology consultant, there are a variety of responses.  But there are almost always questions about what it means and what exactly I do.  So hopefully this brief FAQ offers some clarity as well as a deeper understanding of how working with me can be helpful to a variety of people. 1. What is sport psychology and how can it help me? Sport psychology is quite simply the study of how the mind affects performance in sports, Read more [...]