Beat the competition demons

The mental game directly influences an athlete’s potential in competition

Competing at your best

The pressure of competition is tough. Athletes have to cope with all sorts of things in addition to the performance itself. There is dealing with distractions, managing anxiety, being aware of your own thoughts – negative and positive, learn from mistakes, letting others down, winning. When you condition your mind to control these situations, you will perform at the top of your game.


The Problem

Do you train your brain as hard as you do your tennis shot? Your golf swing? Your swim stroke? Your race pace?

It is critical to align your mind with your body – to train your brain to work with your physical skills – and be confident that you are just as tough mentally as you are physically. When you show up to play your preferred sport, chances are you are physically ready but most of the time, you have not prepared yourself mentally to take on the pressure that comes with momentous pressure.

Dr. Michelle’s philosophy is based on her psychology practice, research, and experience with elite athletes to help you discover the key moments in the game that interrupt play and cause havoc.

Sports Psychology Coaching

Learn the mental training techniques that get the best outcomes in the shortest time. Small tweaks can make a huge difference to improve focus, increase confidence, and control your game to perform with better consistency and less tension. Dr. Michelle guides elite athletes around the world through proven methods that build the necessary coping skills to reach their personal and competitive goals.

You can learn to recognize and beat your “demons” so that you can confidently play your best game.

If you have already tried to work harder but have gotten the same results, it’s time to change your approach. If you are tired of losing to people you know you can beat and continue to struggle to play like you practice, let’s talk about your game and get you back on track.

Dr. Michelle has been an athlete and coach in many different fields – basketball, tennis, triathlete, track, cross country, volleyball, cycling, golf – and she understands the demands and pressures of performing at the highest level. She enjoys creating that synergy between mind and body for elite performance.



Apply proven techniques and research for professional, college, and junior tennis players.



Specialize in competitive meets and triathlons for professional, college, and junior swimmers.



Focus on specific golf methodologies for professional, college, and junior golfers.

Real results for real people

Case Study: Division I College Runner Conquers Transition From Being #1 to Losing


Jeff* had been a top ranked high school cross country runner. He had been recruited by several top notch Division schools and finally accepted a scholarship at an Ivy League school but ran poorly his first two years. Jeff started running as a freshman in high school which is very unusual for someone who ran in the #1 spot throughout his high school years. He loved running and was a natural at it.

In our first session together, it was apparent that the transition from being #1 in high school to not winning was a difficult one. As a freshman in college he felt a lot of pressure being around a team of adorned runners and didn’t perform at his best. He was challenged with negativity, doubt, and fear. He was tight and tentative during every practice. As a result, he wasn’t asked to attend many meets which further diminished his self-confidence and ability to perform.


Our first step was to develop awareness of what was going on and when. Jeff realized that he was not really showing up for practice so we worked on how he could train in a way that exuded confidence. We spent a lot of time focused on racing. We evaluated where his focus was before, during and after and he realized he wasn’t focused at all on racing but on fear and doubt. We worked on building confidence and diminishing fears and doubts partially by giving him the coping skills he needed to gain control of his thoughts and behaviors.

We meet weekly in my office to evaluate progress and make adjustments, with email check-ins in between sessions.


In six months of mental coaching, Jeff’s times improved and he was asked to run in meets. He made it to the Pac 12 and NCAA Championships. He started getting recognition from coaches and teammates. His parents noticed an incredible difference during competition but also with regards to Jeff’s overall personality. Our work together continues to both fine-tune and address new challenges.


We developed a personalized mental toolkit just for Jeff which included:

  • Getting into practice mode: preparing, showing up, and practicing in an optimal space
  • A simulation training program in which anxiety producing conditions are practiced
  • A pre-meet routine to get into competition mode, focus the mind, and alleviate anxiety at the start of a meet
  • Mindfulness training to learn how to be present and able to deal with persistent thoughts that show up during practice and a meet
  • A method to maintain focus, sense of calm, and relax muscle tension
  • A mantra to disarm persistent negative thoughts

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

  • There comes a point in every athlete’s career when you realize all the training in the world won’t get you to that next level. Your mind is getting in the way of your performance. To get to the next level in my Olympic career I received the help of Dr. Michelle Cleere. She gave me the tools necessary to overcome distractions, barriers, and setbacks as well as the tools I needed to capitalize on my strengths making me a better, stronger athlete.

    Tracy B. Two-time Olympian
  • By any objective measure, my athletic career was wildly successful, but I wish I could time travel and do it all over again with Dr. Michelle on my team. It’s stunning to see what happens when you shine light on your strengths, passions, and personal power, and I wouldn’t have truly figured that out without Michelle’s brilliant questions or personal example.

    Professional cyclist and author
  • Dr. Michelle is a velvet hammer and has the ability to help you pull the best out of yourself and achieve your peak performance…whoever you are and wherever you start.  

  • Confidence is one of the most important mental tools that a person can have. Dr. Michelle helped me to find my confidence again and overcome the mental challenges that were preventing me from achieving my goals. She gave me tools to recognize the things that I could and couldn’t control in my life. Dr. Michelle is to the mind what Muhammad Ali is to boxing. She has perfected ways of helping you overcome your mental challenges.

    Lanny B. Three-time Olympian
  • I really enjoyed yesterday's session and will take some time to think about my priorities.  The cool part about this: I get to choose them and not my parents, coaches, friends or physical therapists/doctors.  This is empowering and very motivating!  

    Female Soccer Athlete
  • I just took a contract for the summer working with Cirque du Soleil in Turkey! I owe SO MUCH of my success, confidence, and drive to achieve to Dr. Michelle. She helped me deal with and understand my own demons and surpass them.

    Eve D. Artist & Aerialist
  • I went to see Dr. Michelle because I had some mental roadblocks preventing me from performing my best. I was amazed at how it not only helped me in sports, but also how it transformed my life in everything that I do. Within a few months I was overcoming roadblocks that I thought were too big to overcome.

    Denise M. Cyclist
  • Dr. Michelle taught me even when things go wrong or I have a bad run they aren't life-ending or anything that will even carry into the next day's training. Also noting the good things about a workout has been huge! It's really got me focusing on the positives that are coming out of my training and it's lead to me being more positive going into workouts. I haven't been this happy during my runs in a long time! Dr. Michelle's advice is amazing.  

  • Several of my clients have used Dr. Michelle’s services when they got “stuck”. Mental ruts may be the toughest to overcome and Dr. Michelle has the tools and experience to help guide us through.

    Stephanie Atwood Long Distance Running Coach


Learn more about Dr. Michelle’s approach and proven coaching philosophy that helps top musicians transform their struggles into star performances and more winning. Her process uncovers the root of the problem and empowers athletes to control their particular environments.


Read more about the constant challenges that athletes experience and how to better deal with nerves, negative chatter, and basic distractions.


Let's Talk!

Interested in a free consultation or just have a few questions? I would love to hear from you.

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