69 episodes

Mental Performance Coach, Dr. Cassidy Preston, talks about the mental game of sports and life. Topics covered include confidence, focus, composure, resilience, and leadership. Mastering these mental skills is key to playing in the flow state, enjoying sport, and achieving Consistent Elite Performance.

The CEP Mindset Podcast Dr. Cassidy Preston

    • Sports
    • 5.0 • 17 Ratings

Mental Performance Coach, Dr. Cassidy Preston, talks about the mental game of sports and life. Topics covered include confidence, focus, composure, resilience, and leadership. Mastering these mental skills is key to playing in the flow state, enjoying sport, and achieving Consistent Elite Performance.

    A New Way for Athletes, Coaches, and Parents to Approach Sports & Life

    A New Way for Athletes, Coaches, and Parents to Approach Sports & Life

    As part of a high-performing team you want to collaborate, support each other, and be a team player… but in the same breath, you also want to hit your numbers, earn your bonus, and chase down your next promotion.
    You try to be ‘positive’ but the projects, responsibilities, and requests keep piling up. And you try to be a team player but the gnawing feeling of your personal goals, results, and targets weigh on your shoulders.
    The default approach is to set goals, create priorities lists, and do your best to finesse your way through the company hierarchy.
    Unfortunately, this can foster a lack of communication, a self-serving culture, and stressful work environment. We’ve all heard the clichés like ‘suck it up,’ ‘grind it out’ and ‘be a team player’ — which can help you get short-term results.
    But, this approach is not sustainable nor optimal. Maybe it’s time to flip our approach. Instead of focusing all of our energy on what we want to achieve, we need to prioritize who we want to be and how we want to show up.
    By ‘slowing down’ and gaining clarity on your inner world, you get grounded, centered, and ready to tackle the outer world.
    This approach is how you optimize your individual performance as well as maximize your impact as a leader and a team player. It allows you to flip the switch from ‘what can I get from my company?’ To, ‘what can I do for my company today?’
    In this insightful and interactive 60 min session, Dr. Cassidy Preston pulls back the curtain and shares the principles and strategies he uses when coaching professional athletes, surgeons, hedge fund managers, and CEO’s to show up at their best day-in and day-out.
    You will learn how professional athletes break free from the weight of results, perform when it matters most, and be a team player. You will learn how leaders and CEOs build trust, resolve conflict, and create accountability in high stakes environments.
    What about surgeons… Have you ever wondered how they handle the pressures of a life or death surgery? Or how they respond and interact with their team when unforeseen complications and adversities arise? Here’s a clue — they challenge the status quo and think differently about success and failure.
    It’s time for you to flip the switch and train your brain like a professional athlete.

    • 44 min
    2 Approaches to Sport and Life

    2 Approaches to Sport and Life

    What if worry, frustration, or feeling down are not the problem? Instead, they are symptoms based on your approach to sport and even life.
    In our society, the way we talk about emotions is backward. We label ourselves and others as anxious, sad, or frustrated.
    That is not who we are—it is what we are feeling, and the distinction matters. When you identify with an emotion, you've got a self-perpetuating problem.
    More importantly, it's not true. Emotions are a feedback tool, specifically about your approach to sport and life.
    If this resonates with you check out my breakdown of the 2 approaches to sport and life. Please note that this is not a catch all framework as there are surely exceptions and other factors to consider. But I encourage you to try it out and see if it works for you. 
     
    The Outside-In Approach
    Most people easily get caught up in the “outside-in” approach.
    This approach means we're allowing the outside world to affect how we feel on the inside, often identified by highs and lows in emotional states.
    Specifically, they'll have charged emotions, such as worry or anxiety, and then go straight to careless and reckless.
    Or they may go from deflated and frustrated to elated and thinking they’re untouchable.
    In the “outside-in” approach, we oscillate back and forth because we're focused on the outside world first. The thought process around this approach looks like:
    What's going on around us? 
    What are the results? 
    What do people think?
    What's the situation like? 
    And how does that make me feel on the inside?
     
    The answers to those questions then dictate how you feel on the side. In other words, your mental state becomes dependent on the external world.
    This approach is fueled by needing to achieve external results. 
    Of course, the external goal or intent is to achieve the desired results, but it is a fantasy to think sport or life can be all sunshine and rainbows where everything's positive all the time. 
    This approach does not create reliable results and it generally makes sports and life way more stressful. 
    The good news is we can flip our approach.
     
    The Inside-Out Approach
    I want you to strive towards an “inside-out” approach.
    This approach is about prioritizing who we want to be on the inside first - then we go and tackle the outside world. 
    Someone with this approach focuses on getting grounded, being intentional, and taking control of the things they have control over.
    The thought process for this approach looks like:
    Who do I want to be?
    How do I want to show up?
    What traits or mindset do I want to step into?
     
    Reflecting on these questions helps us slow down so that we can take control of our mindset, attitude, and approach.
    This approach isn’t without emotions and feelings.
    But the emotions are more grounded and centered - like being in the flow state or having love, gratitude, and enjoyment.
    There is some oscillation in these emotions, but they aren’t as emotionally charged and you will generally stay way more even-keeled.
    Here are some ways to develop and stick to an “inside-out” approach.
     
    Set Your Intentions
    The first step is to set your intention. 
    This can be something you do every day for the rest of your life.
    Take as little as one minute to reflect on how you want to show up at the start of each day. It is in that moment that you look within — taking the “inside-out” approach — and get clarity on who you choose to be. 
    This sets you to get grounded and centered before you tackle the day. 
     
    Reset Routine
    Right in line with setting your intentions is building a reset routine.
    This routine is about identifying and rehearsing what areas in life you are susceptible to an “outside-in” approach and resetting to an “inside-out” approach.
    You can go check out our full video on how to build a reset routine.
     
    Stay Adaptable
    Once you develop your intentions and reset routine, the work isn’t o

    • 7 min
    The 3 Phases to Transform Your Mindset

    The 3 Phases to Transform Your Mindset

    Do you feel stuck in your own head, or is your mindset holding you back?
    It's normal and okay to get stuck. We can't avoid challenges, pressures, and distractions in sports or life.
    But we can learn how to use these events as growing opportunities. Specifically, this post will show you the 3 phases to transform your mindset.
    I've been using this concept with many of my one-on-one clients because of the simplicity, clarity, and power it gives them.
     
    The 3 Phases
    First - in phase one, things are great. 
    Then, phase two - things get tough. Adversity, pressure, and expectations build. 
    Phase three is the product of growth from phase two. 
    The key is understanding that phase three is actually better than phase one.
     
    The Practical Lessons
    Lesson 1 - Don’t Resist Phase 2
    When people are in phase two, they wish they could go back to phase one. This is a huge mistake.
    It's not about trying to go backward but trying to move forward. Once you get into phase two, you can’t undo it. You can’t pretend like it didn’t happen and go back to phase one.
    We can't change what's happened. 
    Stop resisting phase 2 - you need to go through it to get to phase 3. 
    When you embrace your journey, you are better able to accept, understand, and move forward into phase 3.
    Essentially, this is all about breaking free of the weight of results. Letting go of the need to, have to, and shoulds. It’s where you stop worrying about what everyone else thinks. You make the switch from an outside-in approach to life — letting the external world dictate your internal mindset — and move to an inside-out approach where you take control of your inner world first, then once grounded and centered you go and tackle the outer world. 
    I also refer to this as being Mindset First — it’s the whole premise of my book.
     
    Lesson 2 - Don’t Identify with Phase 2
    People fall into the common trap of identifying with a phase 2 mindset. 
    They may say something like, “I’m always too hard on myself. This is who I am”.
    If you choose to identify with phase two, you aren’t going to phase three. There is no solution because your identity is stuck in phase two.
    To avoid falling into this trap, I like to help clients reflect on their assumed identities.
    For example, “are you really always too hard on yourself? 100% of the time? And who says that you are?”
    Then to really hit the point home — “as long as you keep holding on to that belief, there is no moving to phase 3, so the choice is yours if you are going to keep CHOOSING that identity.”
    Instead, I encourage them to use the language: “In the past, I was often too hard on myself. I have had a tendency to do so…” This change in narrative ensures they stop identifying with it and gives them the ability to more freely step into a phase 3 mindset.  
     
    Lesson 3 - Create Phase 3
    The first two lessons help you let go of phase 2, but to seal the deal you want to create a clear phase 3 mindset. This is about being intentional about who you choose to be and how you want to show up. 
    Then make a stark contrast between phase 2 and 3. By clarifying what each phase looks like for you, the choice to show up in a phase 3 mindset becomes increasingly obvious.
    Todd Herman’s alter ego strategy is a great tool to bring the contrasting identities to life. 
     
    Separate Mindset from Results
    Just because you have a “phase three mindset”, does that mean you’ll get “phase three results”?
    The answer is simply no.
    Sometimes, you get “phase two results.” That's part of life and part of sport.
    If you’re chasing a phase three mindset for phase three results, that means you don’t have a phase 3 mindset.
    The phase 3 results will come, but you need to ruthlessly follow the practical lessons above and lock in your phase 3 mindset first. 
    And once the results do come, expect new adversities to arise. As they do, stick to the process, stay in a phase 3 minds

    • 9 min
    Winning vs Enjoyment - What Matters More?

    Winning vs Enjoyment - What Matters More?

    Winning versus enjoyment: what matters more?
    The tension between the two is one that many high performers struggle with. I got this question recently, and the person said, “it's not just about winning - but it's ultimately all about winning.”
    This conundrum can create a lot of inner conflict without the mental model to resolve it.
    You can be left oscillating between an unhealthy win-at-all-costs mentality that leaves you frustrated and consumed with the results. Or on the other end, you lose the competitive fire needed to perform at your best.
    I share the mental models to resolve this age-old conundrum in this recent vid. I’ll briefly walk you through three concepts below (make sure to watch the video for more details and diagrams):
    1) Internal Experience vs External Results
    Comparing enjoyment versus winning is comparing an internal experience (e.g., enjoyment) versus the external result (e.g., winning, stats, etc.). They are not dependent on each other; the goal is to have both. They are very different, and we want to treat them differently.
    This is why that question of enjoyment versus winning can inherently just be misleading. Nonetheless, the goal is to help you process and decide your priorities. 
    2) Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation
    The mistake athletes and high performers make as they climb the ranks is to confuse their external goals and results for why they play. You can have intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, but the best athletes in the world stay connected to their intrinsic drivers. 
    3) Choose Your Priority
    You have to choose what your priority is. What is the number one thing?
    Most people make the mistake of prioritizing their achievements  (e.g., what I want to have, what I want to achieve, the results of the winning) and only focus on who they will be in the experience (e.g., play with confidence) to get those results. The paradox is this makes their mindset worse and less likely to achieve the results. 
    But when you flip the priorities, when you focus first on who you want to be, how you want to show up - aka Mindset First — that’s when you get clarity, that's when the actions flow and the results, well, they're not guaranteed, but the probability is now going to go up.
    And the best part is you're more likely to enjoy the whole experience and the journey.
    Who Do You Choose To Be?
    There's an important point to clarify here. When you focus on who you're being (your mindset) and the enjoyment in that, you're not sacrificing competitive fire or killer instinct.
    You're often heightening it because you intentionally choose to be in attack mode. By playing with more patience and aggressiveness, you will have more poise 
    The Big Trap
    Most people will focus on their mindset because that will lead to better results.
    But this is the big trap - you are prioritizing the results again.
    Instead, I want you to prioritize the process for the sake of itself. This is where enjoyment comes from because enjoyment is not just dependent on results.
    It is about who you are, the process, the game itself, and the experience. That is what evokes enjoyment.
    This is a lot easier said than done. The results are everywhere - stats, social media, standings, cultural norms. People are talking and obsessing about results. 
    But when you can prioritize the process over the results - that's what I call the realm of the super-elite.
    Make sure to watch the full video for more details and diagrams. 
    Please share this with anyone you think would be interested.

    • 10 min
    Stop Obsessing Over Results

    Stop Obsessing Over Results

    For most athletes, traditional goal setting is holding them back. Yes you read that right.
    Goal setting itself is not the problem.
    The problem is being obsessed with results. 
    You can want and care about results, but the best athletes in the world are more obsessed with the process than results. This can be easier said than done.
    I learned how big of a problem this is first hand. As a junior hockey player, I obsessed about points and my spot in the lineup.
    The more I obsessed about results, the harder it was to achieve my goals. It was infuriating to want something so bad and work so hard, but when it was time to perform, I was in my own head, forcing plays, and underachieving.
    I eventually realized I needed to let go of the results and prioritize my mental game.
    Symptom vs Root Problem
    What I didn’t understand, and most athletes don’t understand. is the difference between a symptom and the root problem.
    The symptom you might be experiencing could be:
    Overthinking Lack of confidence
    Performance anxiety
    Choking under pressure
    Afraid to make mistakes
    Worrying about what other people think
    But the key to resolving the symptom is to clear your mental blocks.
    Also known as getting to the root of the problem. And based on the thousands of mindset assessments we have conducted, it is unanimous that the most common and biggest root problem is an obsession with results.
    The Process vs Results
    Paradox Clearing this mental block, aka The Results Trap, can be challenging for numerous reasons.
    First of which is the overuse of traditional goal setting that perpetuates this trap.
    Second, is the Process vs Results Paradox - where by letting go of results and obsessing about the process, you will achieve greater results.
    This presents a unique problem - if you try to let go of results so you can achieve results, then you have not let go of the results.
    So you need a different reason to let go of the results, and I’m going to share that with you right now.
    Here are the 3 steps to stop obsessing about results and start enjoying the journey.
    STEP 1: Separate Your Goals from Your Why
    The mistake most people make is they think the main reason they do something is to achieve the goals they have set.
    Although there is ‘some’ truth to this, it will leave you in the results trap and it is not the full truth.
    Although not all athletes are getting paid to play, the shiny objects of praise and results are what distract them as they climb the ranks.
    You can have the goals and intentions to achieve certain results, but don’t confuse this for why you started playing your sport in the first place.
    STEP 2: Intentionally Set Your Priorities
    Now that you understand the difference between your why and your goals, you need to keep your why and your mindset your top priority.
    Be ready for the sport structure and the people around to pull you back towards results as the top priority.
    You will need to intentionally fight against this. All of the strategies we teach athletes will help, but one in particular is the personal scorecard.
    When an athlete finally gets this and can consistently keep their mindset the top priority, then they can truly start to enjoy the journey.
    STEP 3: Learn to Enjoy the Journey
    One of the most common clichés in sports is Have Fun.
    The problem is most athletes are not having fun - mainly because they are still stuck in the results trap.
    When you are in the results trap all the fun is tied to achieving results.
    But ALL the fun should not be tied to the destination. Rather, the majority of the enjoyment in sport is the journey.
    This is why we say - the biggest benefit to mental training is not helping you achieve Consistent Elite Performance, but rather, enjoying the journey.
    Instead of framing enjoyment as something you experience, we want to frame it as something you can learn to do.
    I hope you found this helpful.
    Please share this with anyone you think might benefit from this episo

    • 14 min
    Transform Your Mental Game With an Alter Ego

    Transform Your Mental Game With an Alter Ego

    If you want a sure fire way to quickly transform your mental game - you need to develop a personalized Alter Ego. 
    This strategy is not about putting fixed labels on who you are as a person.
    Rather it is about creating a narrative about how you want to show up on the field of play. 
    The Power of Simplicity and Creativity Credit to my coach and mentor Todd Herman for writing the book: The Alter Ego Effect and helping bring more simplicity and creativity to the mental game. 
    Unfortunately most sport psychology strategies are:
    Dry Boring Overcomplicated As an athlete you don’t want to be out on the field of play trying to remember to use positive self talk, thought stopping, breathing exercises and re-framing situations.
    These strategies won’t get you repeatable and reliable results, instead they just give you more things to think about, when what you need to do is think less.
    You want to keep it simple and just play your game.
    Therefore, you need practical and personalized strategies that work for you. 
    That’s exactly what you get in our 1-2 punch of the Reset Routine and Alter Ego. 
    Here are the 3 steps to creating a personalized Alter Ego:
    STEP 1: Develop a Contrast  Think of the Alter Ego strategy as creating two contrasting narratives.
    On one side you have your worst self, your shadow self, or your comfortable self. This is the self that holds you back, that plays safe, and that worries about what other people think.
    On the other side you have your heroic self, your best self, or your courageous self. This is the self that embraces the moment, that is confident in their capabilities, and attacks the game. 
    STEP 2: Be Creative The quickest way to get started is to think of your favorite superhero. If you don’t have one, then think of someone that inspires you - it could be a relative, famous athlete, public figure, or tv show character etc. 
    You might even have two or more people you lean on to help create your Alter Ego. The more creative and playful you are in this process - the better. 
    The person or people you pick should represent the traits you identified in step 1. 
    For example a hockey goalie that resonates with Batman could see the overlap as such:
    Before the game/the battle - he is calm and collected
    Taking shots against/in the fight - he is agile and trusts himself
    After adversity/gets knocked down - he gets back up
    STEP 3: Map It Out  The last step in creating your personalized Alter Ego is literally drawing it out on a map.
    This step is crucial to simplifying your Alter Ego. You want to be able to boil it down so it is easy to understand yet still holds a powerful narrative that clicks for you.
    Drawing it out on a map helps add another layer of tangibility to the process.
    You can see clearly how you want to show up in the various key moments of impact on your field of play. You can color code it and use it as a cheat sheet summary of your Alter Ego. 
    The goal here is to keep it simple - it should not be over complicated or have too many words. 

    • 14 min

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