On Wednesday, Jan. 4, renowned mental conditioning expert, Trevor Moawad, will address Bellarmine students at an all-school morning assembly. He will speak that evening in the Connelly Campus Center from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. as well.
Some of his clients include Nick Saban and the Alabama football team and Seahawks’ quarterback, Russell Wilson.
“Moawad’s message is focused on mental conditioning, with the idea that continuous improvement is not optional, it is a requirement” (bellarmineprep.org ).
As much as the school is thrilled, Moawad is as well. “Bellarmine has an exceptional reputation, and an incredible legacy of developing its students to become thought-leaders throughout the country. I couldn’t be happier to spend time inside their community this week.”
Some in Wednesday’s audience already know the impact of brain work in sports.
Junior Maggie Smith, a varsity athlete in both tennis and basketball, acknowledges the importance. “The mental game is very important. You cannot let mistakes get you out of your game.”
Another junior, Josh Hanigan, is excited to hear Moawad speak, especially since Hanigan discovered the importance of the mental game at an early age. “When I was younger, I did all the physical training to prepare for three different sports, but when the competition became tougher, I turned to mental work.”
Hanigan consulted with sports psychologist Dr. Eric Bean (getastrongmind.com ) in his middle school years, and continued to explore the correlation between athletic success with mental strength into high school through books such as Gary Mack’s “Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence.”
Continuing his research this year, Hanigan enrolled in physical education teacher Mary Campbell’s Sports Psychology class and asked Psychology teacher Jim Dempsey to serve as his mentor for his ongoing Capstone project, “Mindfulness in Athletics.”
Hanigan scored big by working with these two educators. Campbell and Dempsey are both strong soccer coaches and also created together the first-ever leadership class and curriculum at Bellarmine. They are also proponents of mindfulness in all arenas of life, including athletics.
“Mental skills can be practiced and improved in a similar manner that we work to improve our physical skills. Just as we want to create good physical habits, we want to create good habits with our thoughts as well. Our thoughts are one of the things in our lives we have 100 percent control of. We choose what type of attitude we are going to have each day and it impacts all of the interactions we have with others throughout the day. Professional athletes spend countless hours training their mind to enhance their sport performances, but all of these skills apply to our everyday lives as well. Sports simply provide one avenue for practicing these skills, but the ultimate performance is how we live our lives and I think we can all agree that we want that to be the best it can possibly be,” said Campbell.
She continues, “I am excited for Trevor’s time with us and I think it is great timing for our community. As we start a new year and head toward the end of 1st semester, having the proper mindset will be very beneficial. It will help start us on the right track for accomplishing our goals for 2017 and help us overcome the stress, obstacles or setbacks we may experience along the way.”
And Dempsey was instrumental in arranging this Wednesday’s renowned guest speaker.
Dempsey explained, “Trevor, my wife, Megan, and I grew up in Lakewood together and participated in Lakewood area sports – especially soccer – together. In addition, Trevor graduated from Charles Wright Academy. He and I reconnected when I was working there and he would come to visit the school, and give a speech, or come out and watch a soccer practice on occasion when he returned to visit his family. We stayed in contact over the years as I would try to pick his brain for thoughts, methods and resources to help with my own coaching.
I have always been a great admirer of his father, Bob’s, work and now I have enormous respect for Trevor’s work as well. Trevor has ALWAYS been very generous with his time, and expertise, and I really appreciate him donating his time to the Bellarmine community.”
Spoken like a true follower of Moawad’s philosophy, Dempsey articulates his thoughts on mental conditioning.
“I believe that it is an important component to an individual, or group, actualizing its potential. I believe that, just as we practice anything else that we want to improve upon, we must also become more aware of, and improve, how we approach our psychological state as well. I believe that the old school tends to focus on how someone is “as is,” while the best possibility of one reaching his or her potential lies in working to improve ALL areas. This is not just true for athletics, but also for every human being in all situations. Being more aware of how your psychology affects your potential for success in any given situation, and learning how to harness it for one’s own benefit, gives every one of us the best possibility of reaching beyond the limits of “as is.”
As Moawad will inevitably address on Jan. 4, the brain needs to be trained as much as any muscle in the body. Whether it is through creating a growth mindset or implementing visualization, professional to high school athletes and anyone else yearning for a mental challenge will certainly learn from the best who mentally trains the best- Trevor Moawad.
For more information about Trevor Moawad, consult moawadconsultinggroup.com