Mental Skills Training
“Our philosophy is deeply rooted in the belief that until you focus on all aspects of player development – the mental, physical and fundamental – a player will not reach their potential. Training your mind is just as important as training your body. We’ve brought Rainer on board to fill this void in our organization. Every time I’ve had a conversation with him I’ve learned something new and excited to have him on our team.”
-Mike Lee, Owner, National Lead Trainer
Mental Skills Training Process
Basketball players at all competitive levels, including the NBA, claim that as much as 70 to 90% of their performance is mental. Yet, very few players take the initiative to systematically train their minds so as to maximize their performance on the court. The focus of Dr. Meisterjahn’s mental skills training is on helping competitive players reach their potential. It’s been said that the key to high-level performance is a sound psychological approach. In order to help players develop the mental skills needed to succeed, Dr. Meisterjahn strives to build trusting and genuine professional relationships. Such relationships are best fostered through open and honest communication. Dr. Meisterjahn is interested in learning from and about the player first. Then he implements customized strategies in collaboration with the athlete to address his/her performance and evaluates his/her progress over time, making modifications to his/her mental training plan as needed. Similar to on-court skills training, mental skills training requires time and effort in order to achieve the desired results. Accordingly, Dr. Meisterjahn typically works with players on a weekly basis in one-on-one sessions. Additionally, he consults with teams as well as individual coaches who are motivated to improve their mental approach!
Techniques and Benefits
Below is a selection of some of the most important benefits players can gain from committing to mental skills training. Additionally, specific tools and strategies Dr. Meisterjahn utilizes to help players achieve these benefits are outlined. Dr. Meisterjahn’s approach is grounded in scientific research and theory and proven techniques taught by the elite sport psychology professionals and academic programs world-wide!
“You can’t be scared to fail. You’re not going to make every shot or every play, but you can believe that you can. I think that’s my strongest attribute. I believe that I can.” – Reggie Miller
Dr. Meisterjahn helps players focus on aspects of their performance they can control (e.g., putting themselves in position to make winning plays) rather than factors that are not completely in their control (e.g., making every shot). Thus, the player’s focus shifts from an outcome focus to making good decisions, allowing the player to (re)gain confidence.
“Mental toughness is really all about not getting too high or getting too low but just kind of staying pretty even-keeled…the trick to it is not to get too emotionally attached to the situation.” – Kobe Bryant
Dr. Meisterjahn teaches players how to control their emotions, tune out distractions, and stay focused on the court. More specifically, he introduces players to techniques such as imagery, diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and attentional focus cues that allow the player to regulate his/her body and mind and perform in the moment.
“I think having a great work ethic, man, is the biggest, the single best success thing you can have in this game.” – Chauncey Billups
Dr. Meisterjahn assists players in (re)discovering their passion on the court and developing strategies that will allow them to work and prepare like a pro. Specifically, Dr. Meisterjahn helps players develop mission statements and identify behaviors that are consistent with the individual player’s purpose on the court. Additionally, he develops goal-setting plans with the player so as to fuel the player’s motivation and effort.
Communication & Leadership
“It’s always been about five people being on the same page, and understanding and playing for one goal.” – Tim Duncan
Dr. Meisterjahn helps players assess communication and chemistry issues with teammates and coaches and teaches effective communication techniques. These allow the player to build positive relationships more easily, perform within the concept of the team, and assume leadership responsibilities.
“You have to get into the right mind-set. It took me forever when I first started coming off the bench. You have to learn how to stay loose and stay warm. It was tough for me at first.” – Robert Horry
Dr. Meisterjahns helps players develop a pre-performance routine that allows them build consistency in their approach by regulating their energy appropriately through imagery and goal-setting techniques in order to get ready for the upcoming game/practice.
“I know I’m never as good or bad as one single performance. I’ve never believed in my critics or my worshipers, and I’ve always been able to leave the game at the arena.” – Charles Barkley
Dr. Meisterjahn assists players in developing a post-performance routine that allows them to process the practice/game they just participated in, evaluate their positive contributions, and identify areas in need of improvement so as to be able to shift their focus to the next practice/game.
“For me, it’s all about when I step to the line I feel comfortable. If you’re confident, your technique will take over.” – Steve Nash
Dr. Meisterjahn dissects the mental factors affecting players’ free throw performance. Particularly, he ensures that the player’s pre-shot routine is consistent, his/her visual focus is narrow, his/her self-talk is confidence-instilling and/or focus-directing, his/her mental approach begins right upon being fouled, and his/her breathing pattern allows for a relaxed shot.
“My diet is mostly chicken and fish. I make sure I get a lot of vegetables, a lot of fruit…And I also get a lot of rest. That’s the key I may be up early, but I’m in bed early too.” – Magic Johnson
Dr. Meisterjahn teaches players healthy lifestyle choices and behaviors that are supportive of their athletic performance. More specifically, he helps players assess general eating habits, sleep patterns, social life, etc. Additionally, he assists players in implementing energy- and time-management techniques along with appropriate goal-setting techniques.
“It is tough…I want to be where I can play and be healthy…Even though I don’t change my look, that’s just my frustration, wanting to be out there.” – Greg Oden
Dr. Meisterjahn helps players throughout their recovery from injury by introducing them to techniques such as imagery and goal-setting that will allow the player to transition back to playing at a high level more quickly and comfortably.
All sessions with Dr. Meisterjahn are conducted on an individual basis and ideally are setup prior to or after a skills workout with Mike Lee Basketball at Woodlands School.
- 30 minute sessions