Athletes perform best while they are 'in The Zone.'
"The challenge, however, is knowing how to enter into the Zone, and then keep the mind there while competing," reveals Emily Williams, owner and CEO of Champion Mindset Consulting LLC.
"Athletes can spend hours every day training their bodies to be in the best physical shape, but their minds can still hold them back. Once you start training both physically and mentally, you'll gain the edge over your competition and be unstoppable," she says.
Unleashing full, athletic performance potential of individuals is Emily's impassioned vision as a mental coach.
A mental coach teaches athletes how to perform their best, consistently and intentionally, by using various mental skills. Visualization, cognitive reframing, relaxation, attentional focus and emotion control are just a few of the skills that help to improve performance, prevent unforeseen mental blocks and maintain consistency under pressure.
"Every athlete who is serious about their sport should incorporate mental coaching into their training regimen, as it's one of the most effective forms of performance enhancement," Emily asserts.
Her mission is to help driven athletes take their performance to the next level through one-on-one consultation sessions.
"To perform your best consistently, you must train your mind and learn how to put yourself into The Zone," proclaims Emily, a former dancer who was in a pre-professional ballet company for years, and is married to a former collegiate soccer player.
She says she firmly believes that strength comes through trials, and that one can excel in their goals with the right mindset, regardless of how big those objectives are. Drawing on her own athletic experience and formal training, she received her master's degree in sport and exercise psychology and holds a bachelor's degree in kinesiology-exercise science. She's a professional member of both the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and the American Psychological Association-Division 47 (Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology).
Emily trains clients through her three main phases of mental coaching. First, is the teaching phase, during which mental skills are learned and practiced. Second, is the implementation phase, during which athletes learn when and how to effectively use their skills. At this time, a unique, pre-competition mental routine also is created for each athlete, specific to their needs. Lastly, the athlete focuses on maintaining the use of their mental skills throughout their sport progression during the maintenance phase.
Coaching sessions occur on a weekly basis for new athletes. In-between sessions, Emily says athletes must practice their mental skills on their own. "Just as you wouldn’t expect to master a physical skill by going to practice once a week, you also cannot master a mental skill without consistent practice. The more you practice a mental skill, the stronger and more natural it becomes, which then improves the effectiveness of the skill. Consistency is key," she adds.
Emily says mental coaching helps to prevent unforeseen mental blocks, such as from prior physical injuries, and it assists athletes in progressing in their sport.
The first step in working with Emily is to schedule a complimentary initial evaluation. She says this provides an opportunity for her and the athlete to get to know each other before working through a mental assessment. The assessment helps her understand the athlete’s needs and determine the best course of action specific to their goals. All minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the evaluation, however, all future sessions are conducted one-on-one.
Sessions may be conducted via video call, or in-person at Emily’s Plano office with proper COVID-19 precautions.