My Thoughts: Setting Goals to Make it Through the Winter

Lindy & Beau working hard in Colorado.

Lindy & Beau working hard in Colorado.

It's february 2nd, which means 2 things: I haven't checked in with you in a while AND IT'S COLD!!! Today, the infamous groundhog is supposed to tell us what we're in for over the next couple of months... I don't know about you, but I hope his message is spring-centric! I've been writing articles, building seminars and reading a lot this winter. My competition horse has been vacationing in Colorado with my trainer and it's left me with some time to quietly work on research AND do some pilates. BUT he'll be home in about 5 days and it's time for me to start focusing on the show season (which starts for us in 86 days). 

Goal setting is on my mind this week... and it reminds me of the importance of WHY we set goals. I'm currently working on a piece for a horsey magazine. I was asked to share some thoughts on how to mentally prepare for horse shows. It's a big, complex question... but it has a very clear beginning point: goal setting. It may seem trite, but it's an age-old practice that has gotten many people to where they're headed (including myself.) Make sure your goals help you to practice achievement on a regular basis, but also make sure they push you to the progress and satisfaction you desire!

Tell someone about your goals... This is an important step. I find that many people, these days, fear achievement as much as they fear failure. Confused yet? Sound silly? Typically, achievement means the bar raises... and there is certainly some unknown variables when that happens. "If I achieve my goals this year, that means I have to do better than that and I don't know if I can!" To this I respond with my mantra: "If your goals don't scare you, they aren't big enough." If you don't find yourself in little panics every once in a while, the goals probably aren't worthy of your path... and this circles us back to accountability. Don't let your self doubt and worry plague your ambitions.... your partner, mom, coach or best friend will be your biggest cheerleaders to get you through the valley of self doubt. So TELL THEM WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE! Write your goals down and email them to your support system.

So I'll just be sitting here, writing goals while I try to stay warm. I hope you're either warm, practicing or planning.... preferably a combination of all three! Happy goal setting...

Until Next Time,



Coaching 101: I am not your Mother, I am your coach.

Good Afternoon!

I know it's been a while.... my summer got a little wild and crazy with work and my competition schedule. I am looking forward to it all winding down this summer so that I can focus on my research, clients and this blog!

I was perusing through Facebook this morning and stumbled upon this article. I clicked on it and am so happy I did. READ IT. It's a quick and easy read....

...and IT'S GOOD. The authors points are important for an athlete to chew on.... but I read it from a coaches perspective. I think This woman (Coach Mikaila Etheredge) is the type of coach we all wish we are, were or could teach our kids. She comes off as tough, but passionate. It's also quite obvious that she is passing along skills that she, herself, holds dear and practices.... and that brings me to my main point.

I am not your mother, I am your coach.

I am not your mother, I am your coach.


GOOD COACHES WALK THE WALK. They don't just talk the talk.... As a coach, ask yourself if you're holding your athletes to a different standard than you hold yourself? Coach Etheredge talks about how important it is that she teach her athletes life skills. She says "If I only taught them the skills of softball, I'd be doing them an injustice." It's 100% fair that a coach strives to make an athlete a better product than they may have been..... but a coach is a leader and I believe the most effective coaches live a life of the same discipline and standard that they teach their athletes.

And no.... your coach is NOT your mom... or your dad. Your coach is a leader, a boss. Parents, you need to let your child be coached.... even when it's no pretty. And athletes, you need to show your coach respect by trying your hardest and not giving up.... even when it's not pretty.

Happy reading! Let me know what you think.... 


Until Next Time,



VIRTUAL Performance Coaching, now available!

Good Morning & Happy Monday!

I'm thrilled with the feedback and interest that I've received from my Facebook page and website. One of the most asked questions is regarding virtual coaching.... Many of you have expressed interest, but don't live in Northern Michigan. My solution for you is to offer you sessions virtually. 

In a perfect world, all coaching would be done face-to-face in order for your coach to easily and quickly read body language, facial expressions, and voice fluctuations in order to better assist you on your journey... but lucky for us, we live in a time where video-chat exists! Though not exactly the same thing, video-chat still offers a similar coaching situation and is successfully used in the fitness, teaching and executive business coaching fields. 

I will be offering 30-minute sessions via telephone call or web-based video chat. These sessions will serve those who do not live in the Northern Michigan area; those interested in increasing the frequency of sessions; and those interested in utilizing sessions while traveling!

While I encourage face-to-face coaching whenever possible, this solution will make Mental Performance Coaching available to many more of you. You can visit my "session packages" page to get pricing information, and any further questions can be forwarded to These virtual sessions and packages are available now, set your first session up today!

Until Next Time,


My Bay Harbor office is OPEN FOR CLIENTS!

Good Morning!

I am thrilled to announce that my office in Bay Harbor, MI is now open for client consultations! I am going to be open by appointment only, so please email me to schedule a visit or an appointment.

For the month of July, I am going to offer $50 OFF the New Athlete Package ($25 OFF for the Student Athlete pricing). If you Schedule a complimentary initial consultation in the month of July (or a first appointment), you will be able to take advantage of this offer!

I look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve your goals this summer!



When it Doesn't Go Your Way

Good Morning,

We've all faced a time when things don't go our way. I'm currently facing a situation that is out of my control leading up to my weekend competition. It forces me to reflect on all of the times that I've coached clients through "letting it go" and "what can we learn". Those are hard words to hear when we've spent so much time and effort preparing for competition.

Earlier last week my pony was showing signs of being sore on one of his front limbs, so I gave him a couple of days to rest and recover. I put him back to work over the weekend only to find a completely lame pony who was uncomfortable and unhappy. I've spent this week trying to encourage rest and healing.... but it doesn't look good for my competition weekend. It's INCREDIBLY frustrating to have to let this one go, but it's the only thing to do.


When we face something we can not change, whether it ruins our plans or makes our plans more difficult, we must practice letting it go. It is very easy to let something we can't control ruin everything we've worked so hard for, but it doesn't have to happen! In competition (and preparation) we face various types of pressure. Internal pressure is what we place on ourselves and because we create this pressure, it's the pressure we can best impact and change. External pressure, on the other hand, are the things that impact us but that we can not change. Expectations from and of others, weather conditions, injuries and traffic jams are all examples of things that we can not change. We all have let one of these types of pressure infiltrate our minds and take over; we've all tried to change them, to no avail. The very best thing we can do is acknowledge the pressure, ask ourselves if there is anything we can do about it, move on and (this is key) NOT let that experience sour our future. This mindset takes patience and practice and the best time to start working on it is NOW. Don't allow yourself to become upset in a traffic jam. Let the comments and opinions of others roll off your back. If rest is the best choice for the day, don't fret about missing a training session. Tomorrow is a new day... don't ever forget that.


Until Next Time,


This one is for the Ladies....

This one is for the ladies!... and their parents.... and their coaches, and team-mates.... This is a brilliant look into the struggles that young female athletes face as their (our) bodies change. Lauren Fleshman was a collegiate runner at Stanford during the time that I ran for the University of Washington. Lauren was GOOD. She was fast and..... tiny. 

This one hits close to home for 2 reasons: 1) I was a college runner and can identify with all of her words about the experience. and 2) Because I experienced these things, I went on to study sport psychology and write my masters dissertation on the coaches role on female distance runners' eating related issues. (If you'd like more information on my dissertation, please shoot me an email!)

The female-athlete triad is a very real issue that is quite common among female athletes. The issues associated with the triad (amenorrhea, disordered eating and low bone mass density) can have a lifelong impact on the athlete, and in severe cases is fatal. It has become increasingly important for young female athletes and their parents to understand the issues and impacts associated.

This is a letter that current Lauren wrote to high school/college Lauren. It's a good read for any female athlete, as well as coaches and parents of female athletes. Support and HOW you provide (or receive) support is integral to the appropriate development and lasting career of the female athlete. I think THE MOST powerful line in this wonderful letter is this: "You will see girls react to a changing body in three ways: give up, ride it out, or fight against it. With 100 percent confidence, I can tell you the best choice is to ride it out. The best is yet to come." 

Thank you, Lauren. You are a fantastic example and role model for the future of women in sport. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these issues, please email me at

OPINION: Let them coach!

Good Morning!

I've been thinking a lot about the role of coaching in an athlete's quest for success in sport. We need coaching and to become masters of our crafts our education should never stop. That being said, I've had many a discussion regarding disappointment (and even anger) with coaching. It comes from both the athletes and their parents (or significant others, in some cases).

Here are some thoughts I have on coaching and what happens when someone becomes disappointed, upset and even defiant towards their coaches:

  1. PUT YOURSELF IN THIER SHOES: Your coach is a coach because of the years of education and experience he or she has. He/she has spent years leaning from others and has gone through the ups and downs that you are going through now. Failure and problem solving are part of the learning process. Learn to cope and thrive the same way your coaches did when they were learning.
  2. ALWAYS REMAIN COACHABLE: Whether you are an individual athlete, or part of a team, it is your job to keep an open mind and be as "coachable" as possible. The moment you believe you know more than your coach, or you begin to question the directions your coaching staff are giving to you, your progression (and/or your team's progression) stops and you may create an undesirable environment that stops the progression for others around you. 
  3. PARENTS - YOU AREN'T THE COACH: Parents, you love your children and would do anything to make them successful. The coach who is charged with passing on their collected information and talent to your young athlete is the professional. Not you. The coaching staff may not have the same approach as you do (maybe they are more harsh, and maybe they are more passive)... but it is your young athlete's job to adjust and learn to cope with various coaching styles. Be an advocate for that development, not a hindrance. 
  4. SOMETIMES IT'S NOT A GOOD FIT: Not all coaches are a good fit for all athletes. If you find yourself struggling to progress and you know you've given it an honest effort, it may be time to try and find a better coaching fit. Maybe your coaching staff doesn't have the same vision for your athletic career (different goals or intensity); it is also possible to "outgrow" a coach.  You have to know when it's time to move on OR when you're just making excuses.

As athletes (and parents or spouses of athletes) we inevitably run into trouble with coaching. It is important that as athletes we remain coachable and reasonable when we hit turbulence during our careers. Part of my job as a Mental Performance Coach is to help an athlete through any one of these bullet points (or all of them...). Coaches are key to your athletic success and whether you'd like to become more "coachable" or you feel strongly that you need to make a change in your coaching, I can help guide and mediate that process for you.

As always, please feel free to email me with questions! I've turned on the comment section for this post and I'd love to hear your feedback or additions to this idea!

Until next time,


TRY IT! Meditation for Athletes

Happy Monday!

I'll be incorporating "Try It" blog entries, here and there, to introduce some of the tools that I offer to my athletes during sessions. Look out for these posts as mini-introductions to various skills to aid in mental performance... If any of the information peaks your interest and you have questions, please always feel free to email me!

Meditation is one of the skills I encourage all of my athlete's to try, practice and incorporate into their training and competitive routines. It takes daily practice and patience, but results are a greater ability to calm yourself down, re-frame thoughts and quickly pivot in the middle of a competitive event. Meditation is also good for better sleep and recovery, as well as everyday wellness for those struggling to find sport/life balance. I use meditation as a base for other mental performance skills, so it's a great place to start. 

Again, meditation takes practice... so if you struggle with it in the beginning, don't give up! There are various approaches to meditation, but I am going to have you start with quieting your mind. 



  • Sit upright in a comfortable position in a quiet place
  • Close your eyes and take several deep breaths
  • For one minute try to let all thoughts go by focusing on a color. Let your mind fill up with that color, coating every corner, nook and cranny. Notice your breathing. Notice the color that fills your mind.
  • Thoughts will come to mind. Acknowledge them and let them go. Do not become frustrated that thoughts keep popping up. 
  • I like to imagine that there is a stream flowing into one ear and out of the other... your thoughts are like leaves floating down that stream. Watch them come into your mind and float out at the same rate.
  • Start with one minute each day and slowly increase the time you are able to quiet your mind as you go. 

This can be a difficult project for competitive athletes, take your time and practice every day. 

Happy Meditating! 

Until Next Time,


Positive Psychology

Good Morning!

As my office starts to take shape and the sun starts to shine, I can't help but get really excited about helping out athletes this summer. I thought I'd introduce you all to "Positive Psychology". Like Sport Psychology, Positive Psychology is a fairly modern addition the psychology scene. There are some similarities between the two and they most certainly compliment each other.

Positive Psychology is the study of happiness.  Psychology has traditionally focused on dysfunction—people with mental illness or other issues—and how to treat it. Positive psychology, in contrast, is a field that examines how ordinary people can become happier and more fulfilled. (definition taken from Psychology Today)

I stumbled across this article written by Larsen Jensen, an Olympic swimmer and Navy SEAL. It's a fantastic peak into the practical application of positive psychology. Here are some Cliff-Notes:


  1. Set very specific goals
    1. "If you want to achieve anything meaningful, it won't be an easy journey.... Don't hit the snooze button!... Don't just set goals: set very specific goals." - Larsen Jensen
  2. Focus on the essential
    1. "Our society has become obsessed with the undisciplined pursuit of more..." - Greg McKeown
  3. Risk embarrassment
    1. ACCOUNTABILITY: Make a commitment to one person... or a few!
    2. If your "Team" doesn't know what you want to accomplish, how will they be able to support you? (Team = Parents, Coach, friends, teammates, spouses,etc)
  4. Be positive about SOMETHING every day
    1. Tee up the small victories on a daily basis
  5. Take small breaks after key milestones
    1. Avoid burnout.... it can happen even when things are going well.
  6. Stay in your own lane mentally!!!
    1. Focus on your race, not your opponents. You've worked hard to prepare YOUR race... don't let who is next to you be a distraction.
  7. Know when to make your goal putting one foot in front of the other
    1. Creating a timeline is great, but don't let that time line destroy your endeavor. Be flexible and fare to yourself and your journey.=

I challenge all of you to think about these highlights as they pertain not only to your athletic career, but to school, work and daily life. The principals that emerge from Sport and Positive Psychology help to create a meaningful, productive and ENJOYABLE life. 

Until next time,


Back to Business

I am thrilled to put my mental coaching business back in action, it's been way too long! I have always been passionate about ones mental state as it applies to competitive sport, including my own personal competitive journey. There comes a point when we achieve a level of competition where our opponents possess the same level of physical ability. They are just as skilled and as fit as we are and they may even want the win just as badly.... what separates us from our opponents is our ability to mentally stay out of our own way and let our physical take over and perform. That is THE MOST difficult part of sport and it's the part that makes me the most excited!

I am looking forward to continuing my practice in my new Northern Michigan home. I look around and see some exciting things going on... from ski racing to golf and everything in between, we are an active and competitive community up here! Our high school sports are strong and progressing every year, and we have a fun mix of amateur and professional adult participants, too! 

As I continue down my own personal competitive path (with my sport pony, Beau... I will keep you guys updated on our progress as well!), I am encouraged by the sporting community up here and I certainly look forward to meeting as many of you as I can! Please drop me a line and introduce yourself :)

- Lindy