Well, 2016 is here and already in full swing. For me a new year always compels me to look ahead - whether that involves setting meaningful goals, choosing a one-word "mission statement" for the year, or simply seeking out new knowledge and inspiration. So with that in mind, I put together a list of 10 outstanding experts from the field of sport psych/mental coaching/consulting who you need to get to know.
These 10 pros practice their craft in different contexts, but they all share one important attribute - the gift of drawing out the best in the people they work with. They spend their time "in the trenches" with elite performers, and they have seen up close what it takes to excel in sport and in life. So get to know them - connect with them on social media, soak up their insight, get your hands on their books, find their newsletters and podcasts. It will improve your 2016.
1. Michael Gervais, Ph.D.
Dr. Gervais is a pioneer in the high performance space. His clients range from Super Bowl champions to extreme sports athletes to Fortune 500 companies. Mike brings an infectious curiosity into his work, and a passion for the pursuit of mastery. Among his many current roles is working alongside Coach Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks) with Win Forever to help organizations develop a culture of high performance. His podcast on Finding Mastery is an absolute goldmine of wisdom for anyone pursuing mastery in any arena.
2. Trevor Moawad
Trevor's resume in the field is second to none. He has worked with athletes and teams at the highest levels (Alabama football, Florida State football, IMG Academy, Russell Wilson, to name a few). He has a way of communicating complex concepts in a way that is engaging and easy to apply. Trevor's current role is President of the Moawad Consulting Group, where they are "committed to delivering advanced mindset solutions to the driven leader(s) in the world’s most competitive environments". Check him out on twitter and Instagram, and soak up the wisdom.
3. Stephen Walker, Ph.D.
Dr. Walker is one of a handful of practitioners in the field of sport psychology who has been at it for 30+ years. I've had the great privilege and fortune of working with and under Doc for the past 3 years as a colleague in his Health & Sport Performance Associates group, so I know firsthand his knowledge, insights, and passion for seeing others reach their potential are as good as it gets. Steve is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Podium Sports Journal, an online resource full of practical articles and interviews from experts across a variety of sport-related fields.
4. Carrie Cheadle
Carrie is another practitioner who I had the good fortune to work under, while getting my Master's in Sport Psychology at John F. Kennedy University. Carrie is insightful, caring, and she loves what she does. She has consulted with collegiate teams, cycling/triathlon teams, and corporate organizations, as well as directing the Mental Skills Training Program for Diabetes Training Camp. Be sure to check out her book, On Top of Your Game, and her newest online program, On Top of Your Goals, via her website.
5. Justin Su'a
Justin is an author, speaker, and Mental Skills Coordinator for the Boston Red Sox who helps individuals and teams develop high performance habits. His passion and authenticity resonate when you read his content, see him speak, or listen to his podcast. His experience working in youth, military, corporate, and professional contexts has created a seasoned, robust knowledge base that you will benefit from greatly, simply by getting to know his work. Check out his Increase Your Impact podcast - short, daily episodes with powerful insights.
6. Brian Levenson
Brian is a mental coach with experience across a wide range of sports and levels, from youth to professional. He has also helped multiple NBA and MLS teams with the draft interview process. I have witnessed Brian's work in person, and I can attest to the immense value he brings to the athletes and teams he works with. He is a great follow on social media - I encourage you to get acquainted with his Message of the Day.
7. Rob Bell, Ph.D.
Dr. Bell is an author, speaker, and sport psychology coach whose books include No Fear: A Simple Guide to Mental Toughness, The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness, and his latest offering, Don't "Should" On Your Kids: Build Their Mental Toughness. Rob has worked with champions and caddies on the PGA Tour, the 2013 USTA champion, the University of Notre Dame, and corporate clients including Marriott and Walgreens. He is also a quality follow on twitter, with daily insights on all things mental game. Be sure to connect with him, and grab a book while you're at it.
8. Jon Gordon
Jon is a best-selling author and speaker who has inspired audiences around the world. His books include The Energy Bus, The No Complaining Rule, Training Camp, The Carpenter and The Hard Hat. Jon is another one on this list who has worked with the best in the world in a variety of contexts both on the field (NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA, US Olympic team, etc.) and off (Fortune 500 companies, schools, hospitals, non-profits). He is passionate about developing positive leaders, organizations, and teams. If you haven't picked up one of his books, that would be a great place to start.
9. Amber Lattner
Amber is a mental performance consultant and founder of the Lattner Performance Group. She is dynamic and gifted in her consulting, driven by her passion to help athletes and coaches better understand who they are outside of their sport to drive performance excellence. She is a former Division I athlete, earned an M.A. in Sport Psych, and is currently working on her Ph.D. at the University of Missouri. To learn more about what she calls "building championship mindsets" and to see Amber in action, check out the Lattner Performance Group's video.
10. Rainer Meisterjahn, Ph.D.
Dr. Meisterjahn is a mental coach and founder of Courtex Performance, which specializes in basketball mental training, education and evaluation as well as career advancement/ development services. He consults with competitive players, coaches, and organizations from the youth to the international pro and NBA levels with the goal of empowering clients to maximize performance. Rainer has a really impressive resume - but more importantly, he does excellent work and thrives in competitive environments. He will soon be launching the Courtex Locker Room (mental training & education app for basketball players) and Courtex Leadership Lounge (leadership training & education app for basketball coaches, executives and professionals) through Edufii. Connect with Rainer and stay tuned.