Sara_SportPsych@hotmail.com * 510-449-9410

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)


1) What is mental skills training?

Mental skills training addresses the mental aspects of sport and performance. Every athlete or performer has physical and mental demands placed on them. Most often individuals spend the majority of their time working on the physical elements of their game, and don’t think to work on, or don’t know how to work on the elements of their mental game. Mental skills training helps performers develop and refine their mental skills, often becoming more mentally tough and prepared. 

2) who should work with a mental skills coach?

While anyone can benefit from working with a mental skills coach, those who have an interest in improving or refining mental skills, or who feel they are facing a challenge related to mental skills are good candidates for mental skills training. Athletes often work with mental skills coaches, but performing artists, parents, coaches, and business people can also benefit from spending some time working with a mental skills coach.

3) do i have to have a "problem" to work with you?

Not at all. While mental skill building is great to overcome challenges, it is also about creating more mental toughness and preparation. I get calls from individuals who have specific areas related to performance that they would like to work on, and others who just know they want to be more mentally skilled. If you don’t know what we would work on, but you know you want to work on your mental game, that’s a great place to begin. Often athletes benefit from having a place to talk about what is going on in sport and work may focus on helping resolve challenges that the athlete is facing. 

4) what sorts of skills will i work on?

Everyone is different, with unique strengths, and needs that different from others. Working with a mental skills coach one-on-one will allow you to identify the areas that you would most benefit from working on. While no two clients are alike, sample areas of work include:
- Building confidence
- Managing nerves and stress
- Enhancing communication - Setting and working toward goals
​- Learning how to cope with challenges

5) how long are sessions? what do we do in meetings?

Sessions are typically 45-50 minutes. The first session is about getting to know the client, and determining the areas of mental performance he or she wants to work on. Subsequent sessions are about skill building and refinement, checking in about how progress is going, and having conversations about sport performance in general. 
 6) HOW LONG will we work together?
Every client’s needs are different, but starting with a minimum of six weekly sessions is suggested. This way we have time to understand the areas the athlete wants to work on, and have time for mental skill building and refinement. Some athletes will choose to continue well beyond the first 6 sessions, while others will feel like they have the information they need.

7) where do we meet?

I learned long ago that athletes are busy. Rather than have an office that you have to travel to, we will mutually agree on a meeting location, such your training facility or where you do your private lessons.

8) WHat if i am not in the bay area?

Phone and Skype meetings are available for those not in the Bay Area, or who are, but prefer this method of working together. Phone or Skype is also a good option for meetings when clients are traveling or out of the area. 

9) how are parents involved in this work?

Generally speaking, these sessions happen one-on-one with the athlete, giving him or her a safe space to talk about what is going on. Athletes are given confidentiality (what is discussed in the session is not shared by me), but are encouraged to communicate about what they are learning. Before beginning, we will discuss what level of involvement is appropriate, and discuss the specifics of confidentiality, and when it will be broken.

10) how do i learn more about a program for myself, my athlete, or my team? what will this cost?

As everyone is different, so is the program that is right for you. Give me a call or send me an email to set up a time to discuss specifics. Generally, athletes are encouraged to begin with 6 sessions, with a discount for paying for sessions in full. 

Copyright © Sara Robinson, MA Mental Skills Coach

Sara Robinson, MA 

Mental Skills CoacH