My team was focused only on the scores at the end of their round. They did not comprehend the importance of the mental aspect of their performance and the various components necessary to have a good round of golf. We discussed some short-term and long-term goals for the season in the past, but we never addressed them on a continuous basis throughout the season. The team did not understand the importance of having an effective process in place that should be used in practices and competitive tournaments. They did not consciously evaluate their practices and competitions in a manner that would lead to self-improvement in the future.
The players’ scores continued to rise, and frustration overcame many of the players. These frustrations turned into stress, which in turn, impacted their overall game. They did not have a reliable process in place that would bring order and stability back into their game. The players did not have goals to work on in practice, which in turn did not improve their overall performance during the season.
My teams have been extremely talented and have performed in State Finals in the past, but it was apparent that they were only relying on their physical assets to perform well. They did not have any other options besides their physical skills, to rely on during competitions.
Bringing on Coach Mary to the coaching staff as our sports performance coach has made a difference in so many ways. Here are just some of the results:
- Began to set individual and team goals for myself and the team
- Became more patient and deliberate with the players
- Encouraged them to play in the moment and rely on the processes they have identified
- Developed a relevant and effective process when creating practice agendas and game day procedures for the teams
- Were crowned League Champions both for boys and girls golf three out of the four years of coaching
- Reached the State Finals in both boys and girls golf in the last three out of four years.
- Division III State Champions in boys golf in 2015
Head Golf Coach, Lansing Catholic Boys and Girls Golf Teams
Our daughter was struggling with anxiety and we felt like it was starting to affect her ability to perform as an athlete at a higher level. Dealing with adversity, lacking self-confidence, and comparing herself to other runners were challenges too.
We were having difficulty figuring out how to help our daughter. It started to feel like we were failing as parents. Our favorite aspects were having Coach Mary give perspective and offer advice and guidance. We also saw our daughter become more aware, have tools to deal with the challenges, and feel empowered to use the tools for success.
As a result, we are happier with our relationship with our daughter. We feel like we have a better understanding of what our daughter needs. We have definitely been affected by having Coach Mary in our lives in a very positive way.
Linda Cleary, mother of high school senior student-athlete (cross country and track)
I was comparing myself to other athletes times, size, capabilities, etc. as well as not believing in my own capabilities. Plus, I wanted to run in college and I did not know what to expect, so I wanted to learn about the process. These challenges were causing me extra and un-needed stress that made me run for other reasons rather than for the love of the sport. I wanted to take my career to the next level, but I did not know how to do so.
My favorite aspect of working with Coach Mary is forming a relationship where she gets to know you better and better each day and help you know yourself even more. Coach Mary has helped me re-frame my thoughts and increase my mental toughness. She has helped me reach my highest goals, but also know the journey is never a straight/flat path and that there is no limit to what you can do.
Lauren Cleary, high school senior athlete (cross country and track)
I wanted my daughter to become a strong, confident, caring, independent woman. I felt that she needed to have a strong influence in her life. I have a lot of respect for Coach Mary personally and have also seen the great things she has been able to accomplish with the other individuals that she has worked with.
Through our daughter’s work with Coach Mary, we have seen growth and confidence. We have seen this in the way she been able to handle all the different areas of her life and succeed in so many ways. She was able to have athletic and academic success receiving accolades in both areas. She was accepted into all of the colleges that she was interested in attending and was able to obtain a competitive employment opportunity. Also, I am confident that she is prepared to handle anything that she will face as she moves into the future.
Bill Hufnagel, father of high school senior student-athlete (volleyball and tennis)
Our daughter was overwhelmed and had a hard time prioritizing. We as parents were trying to decide what to do and whether to nudge versus push her. She also was not taking action or initiative to do the things needed to help her reach her goals.
There was constant arguing about where her time should be spent or what she should be doing. This resulted in lack of sleep, negative self-talk and not feeling confident. Our daughter was not reaching her potential and we knew she had an opportunity to have a special experience and win a state championship with her high school team. Our daughter told us this is what she wanted. It was clear she needed an outsider to provide perspective and guidance. She was no longer really able to listen to us as her parents and we needed a calm, positive, and focused voice in her ear and in her corner. Coach Mary provided this along with reiterating lessons taught at home.
Cathy, mother of high school junior student-athlete (volleyball)
Prior to working with Coach Mary, my biggest challenges were that I was:
- Concerned that my playing abilities wouldn’t fit the standard my team and coaches expected from me
- Worried that my team would freeze again on the court and we would lose another big game
- Nervous that one of my players would shut down and I wouldn’t be able to help her
As a result, I couldn’t fall asleep because I was worried if I was enough for the team. I didn’t finish my homework because all I could focus on was the fear of losing or not playing my best and I was at a loss of words and encouragement on the court. After one particular game where no one could pass and one of my outside hitters was so in her own head she couldn’t hit the ball over the net, I had a flashback to losing at the state tournament (the year prior) and I was terrified that we would lose again if I didn’t change something about how my team and I played the game.
That’s when my parents and I decided to work with Coach Mary. It helped to get to talk to someone who was removed from the situation. Coach Mary had no preconceived notions and was there for whatever I needed, whether I needed a laugh or serious advice she would be there no matter what. I am more confident on the court and I am more in the moment now. One of the biggest things Coach Mary talked about was being IN the moment. Never worry about the last point or the next serve, but to focus on being my best self in the current moment. I took that off the court too and to not stress about things that are out of my control. A lot of things Coach Mary taught me I shared with my teammates and helped us to be successful. We went on to win the state championship.
Allie, high school junior student-athlete (volleyball)
Our daughter would not participate in team sports. She did not want to do anything independently unless she was good at it, understood it fully and was confident in her ability. She frequently worried about the unknown and lacked confidence in school.
I saw Coach Mary working with another girl at school and witnessed something different about her coaching. She was working on the mind as much as she was on skill development. Our favorite aspect of her coaching is developing a champion mindset. Focusing on a process that our daughter can control rather than focusing on possible outcomes has changed her outlook on sports, school and friendships.
Our daughter went from not wanting to participate in team sports to looking forward to it. She is more confident in her own ability. When she gets nervous, she knows she has the tools to help her feel confident. She focuses on what she needs to do which alleviates all doubt and nervous thoughts. She is now willing to try new things without the worry of making mistakes.
Melissa Sambaer, mother of 6th grade student-athlete (basketball)
Mary is a best-selling author and a leader in her field. She is passionate about the work she does with student-athletes and their parents. The results that her clients experience are a direct result of this passion and of her overwhelming desire to make a difference in the lives of her clients. If you or your child have an opportunity to work with Mary, jump on it. It will be one of the best decisions you have ever made.
I've known Mary for a few years now and I'm always amazed by her ability to think rationally and speak from the heart. She has a passion for her work that becomes contagious with those in her presence. Helping others to have a positive mindset so they can reach their dreams is what Mary is all about. She's a great coach, mentor, and most of all a friend to all who meet her.
Business Career Coach - Trainer - Facilitator