Tami Matheny, Mental Game Coach, Author, and Jon Gordon Certified Trainer
Tami Matheny became a Mental Game Coach in 2008 and started Refuse2LoseCoaching, LLC. In 2018, she became an author as well. Recently she became a part of the Jon Gordon Team and is certified to present workshops on “The Power of Positive Leadership” and “The Power of Positive Teams.”
Tami knows the role the intangibles play in career success and longevity and has had experience with working on the mental skills at the collegiate level with tennis, basketball, softball, baseball, volleyball, golf, field hockey, cross country and soccer student-athletes. In addition, she has worked with recreational athletes, post collegiate athletes and junior high/high school athletes in golf, soccer, volleyball, tennis, basketball, running, and weightlifting. She has a passion for sports and how the mental game affects performance.
As a mental game coach, she assists people in all walks of life (not just athletes) with improved confidence, focus, motivation, mental toughness, leadership, teamwork, etc. Tami has a passion for helping others build a foundation of confidence and overcoming adversity. She has seen first-hand how confidence is key to success in any area in life.
Although a standout athlete (Hall of Famer) and student (salutatorian) at East Rutherford High School (NC), Tami struggled with maintaining confidence. Confidence continued to elude her during her time at Lenoir-Rhyne College where she played basketball and tennis while earning a degree in psychology. She went on to receive a master’s degree in sports administration from the University of North Carolina. It wasn’t until she became men’s and women’s tennis coach at the University of South Carolina Upstate, that she began her journey exploring and researching confidence. Not only did this lead her to discover how to maintain it for herself, but it led her to where she is
today. Today, Tami’s goal is to help others on their confidence journey.
When not working with others, Tami remains physically active. She has completed a handful of marathons, including the Boston Marathon and ultramarathons. Her longest race to date is a 40 miler. She is an avid cyclist, completing rides over 80 miles. Tami continues to seek new mental and physical challenges.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a mental coach do?
A Mental Game Coach is a strength and conditioning coach for the mind. Their job is to prepare the athlete mentally just as a coach works on the physical skills and X’s and O’s. A mental game coach is a blend of peak performance coach, counselor, consultant, educator, mental guide and mentor. The goal is to develop strategies to help coaches, athletes, and teams improve in the mental aspects of the game. It is a segment of Sports Psychology concentrating on assisting athletes to break through mental barriers preventing them from performing to their peak potential. Basically, it’s another facet of student-athlete well being.
Why use a mental game coach?
Most coaches will say the mental game makes up at least 70% of sports, yet few even take 10% of available time to incorporate it efficiently. The mental game is the newest frontier in athletics, for athletes to gain an advantage.
Almost every major pro sports team, Olympic team and the majority of top pro golfers and tennis players have a Mental Game Coach or Sports Psychologist. Colleges and high schools are starting to turn toward one. Summer travel teams and club teams are slowing but surely adding this aspect to their organization as well.
A lot of these teams and athletes are already good. Even great. Some are all-stars. Why do “they” have a mind coach? Because they want every little edge they can get. They want to maintain their excellence and to get better.
What can mental game coaches do for athletes and teams?
- Create positive environments- teach how to have a positive outlook and block out negative thoughts
- Mental skills training- performance enhancing
- Focus, trust, confidence, fear of failure, stress management, pre-shot routines, mental imagery
- Mental skills- to handle adversity
- Emotional control, bounce back from mistakes/failure
- Teach mental toughness
- Goal development
- Leadership development
- Motivational assistance
- Practice efficiency (Improving performance in practice; transferring practice to competition)
- Team building (Cohesion, communication, bonding, etc.)
- Cope with injuries mentally (Keeping skills sharp while injured, using mental skills to return from injury)