This week on the Way of Champions Podcast, we welcome Ben Freakley, head of mental performance for the Toronto Blue Jays. Ben brings a lot of experience working with athletes at a high level, from working with the 75th Ranger Regiment to now going into his 4th season with the Blue Jays. We dive into how are his players being supported during COVID-19, the difference between praise and affirmation, and how can we be better coaches by understanding our purpose. He has a M.A. in Sport Psychology and is currently working on his Doctorate. You can connect with Ben at his Website, LinkedIn, and on Twitter.

Listen on, iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher

Highlights from the Podcast:

  • What are some things Ben wish he knew earlier in his career?
  • Lessons learned from the book Coaching Athletes to Be Their Best
  • How important is it resists the urge to “right” the mistake of an athlete
  • People are more likely to commit to what they create.
  • “How” do you coach? Spending time on being thoughtful about “how” you coach.
  • The difference between praise and affirmation
  • How has the pandemic effected connecting with his team?
  • The power of “moments
  • Ben answers some rapid fire questions about sport psychology and ho to respond to adversity
  • “It’s not a skill unless it holds up under pressure.”
  • Ben talks about the idea of “identity” with his players.
  • How important is identity during the transition from athlete to coach?
  • The psychology of injury and what to say to an athlete on the sideline
  • What is Psychological flexibility, or ACT?

Resources Mentioned:

Coaching Athletes to Be Their Best: Motivational Interviewing in Sports [book]
The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact [book]

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Tagged under: baseball, mindfulness