Athlete Mental Performance with Lorrine Headrick · ep. 50

Athlete Mental Performance Coach Lorrine Headrick

Athlete Mental Performance

I had the pleasure of interviewing Athlete Mental Performance Coach Lorrine Headrick. @Lorrine.Headrick In our conversation, Lorrine discusses:

  • Emotion =/= weakness
  • How your interest isn’t your identity
  • If mental performance is more important than physical
  • Why awareness of thoughts is a game changer

Our special guest today is Athlete Mental Performance Coach Lorrine Headrick.

LORRINE: Oh, I’m happy to be here. I love it. I love working with the youth.

Before we get started, I would love to have you briefly introduce yourself and share a bit about who you are and what you.

LORRINE: My name’s Lorrine Hedrick, and I am a mental performance coach for high school and college athletes. I help them overcome anxiety and create more confidence in their sport and their life.

Why Important for Athletes

Oh, that’s fantastic. Even if you are not in a sport, a lot of what Lorrine is gonna share is definitely applicable no matter what activity you are involved in. So, listen up. Okay. So you are a mental performance coach. Why is that important for athletes?

LORRINE: The culture for so long has been, You just gotta tough it out. You gotta be strong. Don’t show emotions and just focus on the win. They end up going back to their rooms or going back home afterwards, and they’re kind of breaking down internally, but they haven’t got a space where they’ve been able to feel comfortable showing this vulnerable side of them. I think it’s important to teach them that it’s okay because you are not perfect. No one is, that doesn’t exist. And just give them a way to learn and give themselves self-compassion. And so that’s kind of what I coach them on, that you can even perform and show up better as an athlete when you’re more vulnerable in your life as a whole. You’re even stronger because you’re giving yourself that space to process your emotions.

Emotion isn’t Weakness

That is really interesting and I think that, society, with their teammates and classmates, but also portrayed in media emotion. Sometimes it’s just seen as weakness, like, oh, you know, like, like tough it up, like walk it off like you need to get back in it as if they’re some sort of robot or a machine that like doesn’t have like processes. But you’re saying that emotion is not weakness.

LORRINE: Yeah, breaking down this almost sports cultural belief that’s been carried for so long. I just love that we’re now in a society where it’s starting to be brought up more and it’s okay. And it’s actually like a beautiful thing to feel safe sharing that, Hey, it was, that was hard but it doesn’t mean I’m this weak athlete, that I’m less of one. And I think one of the main things that I like to talk about and share with athletes and youth is that you are more than an athlete. And if there are people who are listening who are not athletes, it may be whatever your interests are or whatever your goals are. Sometimes we get so consumed in that becoming our identity, like how well we do in it, that we can’t see ourselves outside of that sphere of what that goal is. And so what I like to say you’re more than an athlete, but you can fill in “more than a ____,” whatever it is that you may feel in your life you could be consumed with, connected to your worth as a whole.

Physical vs Mental

Oh, that’s a really great approach. And identity is really important in these ages. You want to feel like you belong. You want to feel accepted. I think a lot of times, girls may feel like, “Oh, I can’t be honest about how I’m really feeling about this cuz I don’t want to be rejected. I don’t want my coach to be disappointed in me.” And so I think it’s great that you can then show it’s okay to talk to your coach when you’re not feeling it or when you’re struggling. I think it’s also really important if any adults are listening to be responsive and respectful of that and understand that these are kids with a lot of stuff going on in their lives outside of the sport or the activity. I really like your approach how it’s not just about physical health, but more about mental health. What do you think about that? Is is one more critical than the other?

LORRINE: When I’m coaching athletes, they already know the physical part. They’ve been training for that for years, most of the time, and that almost comes like it’s just automatic. They don’t really have to think about it. And so for me, I do believe the mental health is so, so important. That’s the foundation. You can get burnout from all the physical work and you may not even know how to figure out what’s wrong. They just kind of think something’s wrong, but it’s breaking it down and acknowledging that you’re a human being, like you said, you’re not a robot. An athlete doesn’t equal “robot” and “has to be perfect” type of thing. Let’s break it down in what you are as a person, and noticing that you’ve always been a hundred percent worthy. Whether you have this attachment or this label of whatever it is, that doesn’t make any difference to your worthiness from the day that you were born.

Ladder Thoughts

It’s recognizing your inherent traits, first of all, and then building upon that. I call it ladder thoughts. So I meet them wherever they are on this ladder. The goal at the top of the ladder may be confidence, and we just work from where they’re at and take the next step up. We continue to grow and have them recognize how their growth is impacting their physical goals that they want. That’s usually why they come in, but they’re not sure what’s blocking them with their mind block. So we just kind of take off these layers that they’ve been holding on to, these beliefs that they’ve been holding on for so long, repeated thoughts. We give them recognition that these are just thoughts, and that you’ve always had the power to change if you want to, and then go from there.

Common Mental Blocks

I think it’s really neat that you meet the athletes where they’re at because everyone is individual and has different struggles, even if they’re in the same sport or on the same team. I’m wondering what are the most common struggles, or you were saying mental blocks, that you have seen with tween and teen girls.

LORRINE: Honestly, it’s probably lack of confidence and also aiming to be perfect. It’s not seeing and forgetting that they were already on a team when they come to me. They start to feel like, “Why am I even here?” And I just remind them of the facts: you were chosen, your coach didn’t feel like you were a charity case like, “Oh, she looks sad. I’m just gonna put her on the team.” And reminding them that they were chosen for their skills already. That’s a fact. It’s not some thought that they’re like trying to twist it into to defeat themselves, which is what happened. So I just bring back the circumstances, you know, the facts that they can’t disagree with, and and we work from from that point. So that’s kind of where the confidence comes in.

Game Changer Mindset

That’s fabulous. I love that you are empowering girls that way. Is there like a certain change or habit or mindset that girls today listening, if they could just adopt that, it could be a total game changer.

LORRINE: Okay, so the first thing I would say is start even knowing what you’re thinking and having an awarenes. We repeat beliefs, these thoughts over and over again that we start not even acknowledging that it’s a thought and we just think it’s a fact. It could be, “I’m just not good at this,” or “I’m a really bad player,” “I’m not a good athlete,” whatever it is. You’ve repeated it so many times that you don’t even realize that you can change it. So it’s just starting to notice. If you have an error in your game, what is your thought in that moment? Once you start to notice, you could be like, “Oh, I’m thinking I’m terrible at this. I shouldn’t be here.” Whatever it is. Just notice. Then the next step would be like, “Is that true?” Start to question your beliefs and ask yourself, “Is this serving me? Do I wanna stay here? Is there another option?”

Oh I think that putting that space in between yourself and negative thought is really important. Otherwise, like that’s all you can see. That really limits your perspective and you’re like, “Okay, that’s just the way it is. Having that awareness gives you some distance to broaden your perspective to see, “Yeah, I’m having an off game right now.”

LORRINE: Curiosity versus judgment. Cause it’s so easy to judge ourselves. It’s so easy to go into the negatives and just let it spiral and think of all these reasons why you’re a bad athlete or whatever it is that belief that’s not serving you. But once we’re able to question it, it’s like putting that tiny little bit of space and then we become more of the observers of our brain than just being stuck in it like there’s no control.

Most Important Thing from Lorrine

I am all about curiosity, compassion, and confidence. And you girls, you’re all very capable of being able to develop it. But man, it’s the application! That’s the hard part. That’s why we have mindset coaches like you. Okay. This could be any topic, but what is the most important thing that you want girls listening to know?

LORRINE: I have to just go back to the basics. I have four daughters of my own ranging from 14 to 22. So as a mother and as a coach, what I want them to know is they are loved. Of course it’s so simple, but it’s the most powerful emotion out there and impactful emotion. If we can just harness a little tiny little piece of that and start to do practices that are gonna get you closer to knowing your value, such as, “Oh, I noticed this belief is not serving me,” “I can step back and decide if I wanna stay here or choose another one,” that is taking one step into having compassion and love for yourself. Even listening to this podcast is taking that step into investing in you. So it doesn’t mean like, “Oh, look at this big thing: you are loved!” and think, “Yeah, thanks for the generic kind of message.” It’s what are you gonna break that down into? What is one small thing that you can do? Today that’s gonna help you to feel compassion because it’s not just about, “Oh yeah, I love myself.” Cuz when we care about ourselves, we wanna take action to grow. We wanna take action to become who we are meant to be.

Okay. That was an absolutely beautiful answer and thought, Thank you for sharing that. Before we wrap up, I definitely want you to share where girls can find you and connect with you.

LORRINE: So my Facebook group is The Athlete Mindset, that’s for the parents. But for the youth, it is just my name @Lorrine.Headrick on Instagram. I have a website too:

Yes. Go check her out. Look her up. If you happen to be local in the southern Utah area, she does live events and coaching in-person, but you also do virtual coaching.

LORRINE: Yes, I do one on one Zoom virtual coaching.

So no matter where you are, you could connect with her. This has been an absolute pleasure talking with you and I am so grateful that you are doing what you do and helping athletes and those in sports and any sort of activity, helping them work through mental hurdles so that they can keep performing as they want to as an athlete. So this has been a joy. Thank you so much for being on the show Lorrine!


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