Coaches, parents, runners – who needs mental game training more?

I’ve seen a lot over my years of coaching youth runners, directing running camps, working with parents and other coaches. I have indeed seen the proverbial good, the bad and the ugly. In almost every case there is no malice or evil intent. But we (coaches, parents) tend to repeat what we’ve seen, been taught or experienced in life – effective or not. And so it is with coaching and managing youth runners and their mental game.

Coaches and parents often give lip service to mental game training (mental toughness training, applied sports psychology – choose your term); more conversationally it’s hidden in the terms: motivation, discipline, confidence, focus, social comparison, composure under pressure, persistence, team building (and many more). Ask any coach, parent or athlete and they will most often state that athletics are 30%, 50%, 80% or more mental. If in fact it is this important, why isn’t 30, 50 or 80 percent of all training integrate mental game training as well? One issue is that some coaches and parents perceive mental toughness as you either have it or you don’t …which is completely untrue. My perception is that mental game skills are great to talk about but practical integration into any program is an afterthought if any thought at all.


Sometimes you need data to support what you think you know. Over the past year I spent time analyzing and quantifying results from hundreds of mental game assessments (from youth runners) that I have amassed.

The results were more striking than I originally thought. The data clearly supports a need for mental game training and integration for youth runners (all sports for that matter). The question is how do we get this to happen!

Want a copy of my white paper on the mental game and youth runners? Get your copy here. I’d love to hear your comments and observations on the topic.

Want to see where you stack up on mental game skills? For the next month I’ll process your assessment and report for only $150 (regularly $250).

Drop me a line. I’ll send you my proprietary assessment (M4PAASS) and then produce a comprehensive personalized report for you with your game plan to fortify your own mental game. 


About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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1 Response to Coaches, parents, runners – who needs mental game training more?

  1. Greetings, I would love to be apart of your mental game plan crew. I am both parent and coach so i need this for both ends of the mental spectrum:) Thanks CS

    On Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 1:30 PM, The Running World According to Dean wrote:

    > Dean Hebert posted: “I’ve seen a lot over my years of coaching youth > runners, directing running camps, working with parents and other coaches. I > have indeed seen the proverbial good, the bad and the ugly. In almost every > case there is no malice or evil intent. But we (coaches” >

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