The streamlined process isn’t enough

 In Coaches, Professional & Olympic Athletes

Hello happy readers of mental training! Today I am going to talk about the work I do: what works and how in my experience, flexibility is the key to being able to fully help and support people in their endeavor to reach their goals.

Office and on the court, field, course, etc.

The first 4-8 sessions with clients are important to hold in my office, Skype or phone.

  1. It is important for me to get to know you and you to get to know me.
  2. It’s important for me to have a clear idea what you are struggling with.
  3. We want to develop a plan to deal with those struggles.
  4. You need an opportunity to try different elements of a plan to see what works and what doesn’t work.

From there we can keep going by refining the plan. This can be done in my office, Skype or phone or on the court, field, course, etc. One of the greatest successes in my career when was I helped a client overcome her fear of open water swimming by donning my wetsuit and progressively helping her mentally work through an open water experience from shallow to very deep water.

For me, what I do is about flexibility and doing whatever needs to be done to help a client feel successful. This means being at practice on the tennis court, basketball court, volleyball court, softball field, track practice, transition area, gym, pool, lake, golf course, the symphony, the stage, etc.

Office, Skype and phone

I love when clients come to my office because it gives me the opportunity to see then and interact with them in a way that is up close and personal. Given the options, many clients prefer this as well. I feel that when I am able to meet with clients in person it solidifies there being a ‘real’ experience because there is no real escape.

Some clients choose Skype or phone sessions for these reasons. It is hard to sit across from each other and talk about personal struggles no matter how far or wide. Other clients choose Skype or phone because they live in other areas of the world. For this reason, I am glad that this option is available because it gives me greater flexibility to work with clients all over the world. Skype would be my second choice because it still provides many of the same benefits as having someone come to my office. The downsides are that clients can still escape and technology doesn’t always work perfectly.

Email and text

In my career I have also come to realize that I also need to be flexible in my ability to communicate with clients. With so much technology there are a variety of ways to follow up and work with clients that are a necessary part of working with my clients. What this means is that some clients want me to be available by email in between the times that I see them. Sometimes I provide email summaries of what we talk about in our sessions including what the clients need to work on. Sometimes things come up during training or competition and clients want to share that looking for instant feedback so they can make immediate corrections.

Some clients want motivation and support via text particularly before competition. Whether it’s a mantra or a pep talk, this can be a helpful step toward ingraining the appropriate mental plan.

This process is not about me

This process is about you and your needs and what we decide together is the best plan of attack to help you move past your struggles into the place you need to be to get where you want to go.

I hope you have a great week!

Dr. Michelle

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