While some athletes are back to playing their sport, they still need to prepare themselves mentally to play their game.
In this week’s Starting the Conversation segment, I talked to Derin McMains. He is the Director of Mental Skills for the San Francisco Giants and formally the Director of Mental Conditioning for the University of Notre Dame.
His job really is two fold, to help the athletes be the best they can be on the field, and also making sure they are mentally prepared for everything the game might throw at them.
“Mental skills is about focusing on the right thing at the right time,” McMains said. “There is a lot that comes from that and a big part of that is awareness. Awareness and readiness are the biggest things mental skills coaches deal with.”
Awareness is being aware of who the opponent is, but also knowing ones-self. Self-awareness is also important in mental health.
“The key is to be honest, open and aware of how you are feeling so you can express it,” McMains said. “This will help the athlete be the best they can be, but also be the best teammate they can be.”