#110 | Mental “Fitness” for Sport (& Life) | Kate Allgood of Quantum Performance

Mental fitness is much like physical fitness in many ways. As athletes we are also human beings living in a stressful world. Building mental fitness can come randomly over many years of experience, but structured training can make all the difference. Getting professional help can produce the fastest results, but be sure to have a training plan to get you where you want to do. Listen into Kate Allgood of Quantum Performance, as she explains her approach and answers my questions about how to think about mental fitness and some mental tools to deploy to accomplish specific goals.

Kate Allgood Bio:

Kate delivers mental training solutions to overcome the demands faced by elite athletes and other high performers in the military and business. Kate’s life has always involved balancing a healthy body and mind. After a successful athletic career, Kate found her passion for helping others to improve and enhance their mental health and performance. Kate earned two Masters degrees with honors in psychology, specializing in applied sport psychology, and general psychology with a concentration in family psychology. She graduated with distinction for both degrees. And, in 2010 Kate launched Quantum Performance Inc, a high performance coaching firm specializing in the mental training of high performers. Current and past clients have included professional athletes in the MLB, NFL, NHL, AHL, Supercross, PGA, LPGA, skateboarding, the Anaheim Ducks & San Diego Gulls hockey teams, Olympic, college, & high school athletes, Navy SEALs and Marine fighter pilots to ironman triathletes.  And, Kate is the author of 3 books that provide all the details behind her approach.

Kate’s books:

  • The Athlete Within: How to build Your Mental Game for Peak Performance
  • Get Into The Zone: The Essential Guide To High Performance Through Mental Training
  • Fortitude: The Essential Guide to Building and Sustaining Mental Toughness

What is Mental Training for Peak Performance?

Multiple levels of framework, from highest level to lowest:

  1. Self-awareness. Confidence.
  2. What helps with Self-awareness? Medication
  3. What helps with Confidence? Self talk, focusing on small successes
  4. Focus….at the core of everything. Tools for training attention.
  5. Energy…energy level and type of energy to synch mind and body
  6. Imagery and visualization
  7. Perspective. Mindset falls into perspective. Respond vs. react.
  8. Lot’s of skills and techniques to pull all of this together

Outline of Discussion

  • Kate’s background
  • Mental performance in sport vs. in life…separate but connected
  • Kate’s framework for mental training for peak performance
  • Growth mindset: athletes succeed through effort, not talent
  • Growth mindset: constant improvement is at the core of all great athletes. Every experience is an opportunity to grow, not good vs. bad
  • Growth mindset: help others to improve
  • Stress is not good or bad, it is a physiological response. We can learn to have the right response, and use tools to modulate the response to be more appropriate for the situation when necessary
  • Getting centered: feel the grass/dirt, smell the grass/dirt
  • Chewing gum for the mind: music, mantras
  • Breathing for calmness: “box breathing” (4 x 4 x 4 x 4) and “diaphramatic breathing” (making exhales 2x the length of inhales; in via nose, out via mouth)
  • Laughing, singing, emotional release
  • Mental preparation. Think through what could go wrong to prepare your mind for how to react. Cut the stress and make it easier to make a good decision under pressure. Use the “if-then” statement structure.

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The ever curious athlete who demands answers.
About the Author
Curious athlete who demands answers. Husband to Susan ( Father of 3 daughters. Athletic pursuits over time, in reverse order: cycling, skiing, mountaineering, rock climbing, triathlon, golf, tennis, football.

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