Staying mentally active and prepared for competitive play during this quarantine can be a difficult process. With limited space, equipment, and exposure to competition, the mental side of the game can be hard to work on and progress. Coaches from top institutions from around the country such as NYU, Illinois, Knox, and Clemson have given us their tips on how athletes at home can stay mentally prepared for gameplay and sharpen their mental approaches even when not playing or practicing. This will help the athletes be ready to play at a high level and also introduce them to mental aspects of their game that had been taking a back seat before. Now is a great time to learn, focus, and enhance the mental skills of your sport with the ample amount of time we all have during this quarantine. 

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Pat Barry is the Head Women’s Volleyball Coach at Knox College. Knox College is a NCAA DIII institution located in Galesburg, IL.  They are a member of the Midwest Conference with other teams such as Illinois College, Beloit College and Lawrence University.

Pat gives some great tips on how athletes can get their mental game strong. He talks about a few different skills to work on mental toughness while letting players know that now is the best time to learn some new things about themselves as a player. 

Andrew Brown is the head volleyball coach at New York University. NYU is an NCAA DIII program located in downtown Manhattan in New York. NYU is a part of the University Athletic Association or UAA conference along with other schools like the University of Chicago, Case Western and Carnegie Mellon.

Andrew gives some solid advice on how to overcome adversity during this time. He talks about creating a schedule and sticking with it to come out of the break stronger. 

Miles Maynard is the Assistant Women’s Soccer coach with Clemson University. Clemson University is a NCAA DI institution located in Clemson, South Carolina. The Women’s Soccer program is a member of the ACC or Atlantic Coast Conference along with other schools such as Duke, Wake Forest, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and University of Virginia.

Miles talks to us about some tips for athletes to stay mentally active during this time. His tips include visualizing your game and keeping up with the game, without having to be on the field.

Jeff Freeman is the Associate Head Women’s Soccer Coach with the University of Illinois.  U of I or Illinois as it is commonly called is a NCAA Division I institution located in Champaign, IL which is about 1 hour south of Chicago, IL. Illinois is a member of the Big 10 Conference along with other schools such as University of Wisconsin, Rutgers University, University of Michigan and University of Iowa.

Jeff and I talk about ways to keep or build on your mental game. He tells us how this can be the best time to learn some new mental skills because we aren’t at practice focused on the technical and tactical side of the game, and shares that the mental side can/should be honed in on.

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