Why do I need a mindset coach?

A simple question and a very long and varied answer follows.

You don’t NEED to have one, this is a choice. If you choose to have a mindset coach, this is what you need to understand and consider.

Your mind controls everything at the conscious level, muscle movement and at the unconscious level for your internal and external systems like your heart, bones, eyes organs etc. so therefore, the mind is the most powerful resource you have.

If you have a coach for the technical, manager for sponsorship, and social media, a dietitian, a massage therapist, a physio and a strength and conditioning coach… why not a mindset coach?

No matter how good your support team is, if you are not in the right place mentally, their work is ineffective.

Your mind is incredibly powerful and incredibly stupid. How you use it will determine your imagination, your thoughts and actions.

Having a psychologist or counselor or ‘shrink’ has been ridiculed in the past and it has been considered ‘soft’ if you needed help in matters of the mind. These days with the RUOK? Day and mental health focus, you would think that athletes would be racing to grab a mindset coach.

Even more so when you consider the following equation…

Your existing results = your potential – your fears

Fears are the #1 reason athletes, in fact all people, fail in sport and life. You may argue and say ‘I don’t get nervous’, that is OK to believe that. Fears are natural, they are present for a reason and may not always show up as nerves.

Fears manifest as… nerves, lacking confidence, self-sabotage, procrastination, doubts, 2nd guessing, stress, anxiety, lacking confidence, strained muscles, poor posture, poor attitude, inconsistent results, injury, over analysing, not trusting, restless sleep, question your why, give up easily, poor performances under pressure, sickness, anger, guilt, blame and masking… making everyone believe you are OK, when you are really not.

If you connected to any of those, you need to seek help and get someone to help you. If you don’t, then consider that even the best in the world have mindset coaches, psychologists, sports hypnotists and wellness coaches.

Do you think that it is possible, just by managing nerves and strengthening belief in an athlete, it would give them significant results? If the result was to reduce their time by 8%, do you think that would be possible? If this athlete was already a national champion, would you consider that amazing? Well, this is true and a measured example of a 400m hurdler in Australia… now imagine this reduction in time was over 2 months!

Do you need a mindset coach? Even if you still think you don’t need one… I would be!  With results like that, if you don’t… your opposition will.

If you are at 100% all the time and every time then, you are already working with one or you are the World #1 already! But how did you get to be #1 without the belief, resilience? To be the World Champion you need to beat the World Champion.

Every World Champion I know, uses a mindset coach of some form. My clients call me the Athlete’s Secret Weapon for 1 reason… results. If you found the secret to peak performance would you be telling everyone? 36 World Champions choose me to get their head in the game. And more than that, the higher athletes go, the greater they fall.

My role is not taken lightly, only 3% of athletes go out on their own terms. That means 97% of athletes perceive themselves to have ‘failed’ and that is a huge burden to carry for the rest of their lives. Before I begin to lift athletes up, I need to set a plan to manage them down when their sporting life is over.

I had clients who were still suffering with depression 14 years after the Olympics!, yes Olympic medalists, who can not sleep, who are overweight, who can not keep a relationship, who are broke and who have turned to gambling and drinking and medicating to dull the mind…

Consider the brain, it has the conscious mind, and the unconscious mind. The conscious mind is 3-5% of how we think, act and behave. Trying to manage your sport and life with 5% of your brain is virtually impossible.

Add to this, the conscious mind is the one connected to the emotions and all your past issues and programs. Trying to control yourself logically was hard enough to fathom, without the emotions. This is where the head goes around and around, in and out of logical and into emotional and back. This is the ‘Yeh… But’ theory. If you hear yourself say ‘yeh but’ that is a limiting belief shining through.

Fears can be very well hidden, the fear of success is probably one of the greatest I deal with. Having to manage pressure, exposure, social media hate and personal judgement. How do you feel when a camera is shoved in your face at the end of a competition? How about the potential scrutiny of a nation when someone is suspected of being on drugs, what happens if your next tackle is the last ever?  How would your friends and family react to your fame and success? Fear of success can be more debilitating than any other.

The right mindset coach will help you set goals… big ones.

They will believe in your more than you believe in yourself.

Empower you to take the lead in your sporting life.

Keep you accountable to your goals.

Be accessible as a resources (tool) that you can draw on at anytime to support.

They will provide the right tools to help you manage the fears.

They will be able to set up a peak performance state that you can trust that every time you perform, it is at your best.

They can help you to manage external pressures.

They can provide an ongoing specific support program.

They will question you, support you and push you.

Keep you motivated through the challenging times.

And all this will be highly confidential.

They are the glue that brings all the other beneficial support staff together, like the coach, dietitian, strength and conditioning, physio, massage and social media, sponsorships, brand guru and manager. These support roles are the main ones, your mindset coach allows them to get better results by having you at your best to manage the mental load.

They will have a strategy in place for your transition back to life after sport.

Far too many athletes are struggling during and after sport, being told to toughen up, get up and stop being depressed. To change the surface, you need to rewire the underpinning programs, you can not do that alone.


I hope I helped answer the question, do I need a mindset coach? Yes is the only answer. Even if it is a sports role model that you look up to, someone who’s story can inspire you. If you understand the resilience you need, the motivation through the challenging times then you are being coached.

For a more varied and specific plan do your research and I would love you to consider me as an option, as your Mindset Coach. You are going to have to be ready, I can be ruthless and very supportive. I have the runs on the board and 36 World champions as clients, I have resources available for free in the Elite Mindset Institute and have programs as a group or individually.

Remember this is your choice!


Stuart Walter

Founder and CEO of the Elite Mindset Institute

and ‘Athlete’s Secret Weapon’