55 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 • 16 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.

    'Jump' into the Zone

    'Jump' into the Zone

    Imagine someone on a dock, they are hesitating to jump in.
    They are worried that it is too cold, so they dip their toe in.
    The even jump in, but they get right back out.
    This person is not swimming and certainly not enjoying themselves.
    Alternatively, what you want to do is get on the dock, run full speed, jump in, and enjoy swimming.
    This is a relatable analogy that I use to simplify the mental game.
    Instead of being the person that is hesitating and has a head full of inner conflict, you want to clear the noise and ‘jump’ into the zone.
    You either do it or you don’t.
    The challenge of being on the dock is there can a lot of inner chatter - including:
    Self-doubt Overthinking Worrying about what others think Holding on to the past, or Worrying about the future The bottom line is if you lack alignment within your thoughts, feelings, and actions, you end up losing the ability to just be in the flow.
    So here are 3 steps to align your thoughts, feeling, and actions, so that you can ‘jump’ into the zone and achieve Consistent Elite Performance.
    STEP 1: Name the Noise
    The key here is becoming more aware of your inner dialog. The negative self-talk or inner noise that holds us back is most commonly related to:
    Results Challenges What Others Think Once you get better at naming the noise, then you also want to measure it. This gives you a baseline to work from.
    STEP 2: Prepare to Jump
    Acceptance is the fundamental concept to getting centred and clearing the noise.
    Accept that you might lose.
    Accept that you might get uncomfortable.
    Accept that you might not be liked by everyone.
    It is a willingness problem, but when you truly get perspective and accept the range of results you optimize the probability to achieve the intended results.
    The four fundamental tools our athletes use to prepare to jump include:
    Unique Alter Ego 10 Second Reset Routine Personalized Mental Scorecard Imagery with Coping Planning for Adversity STEP 3: Jump into the Water
    This analogy boils down to being aware, then choosing to jump in.
    You can feel the difference.
    When you are stuck on the dock you have an internal conflict between your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
    But when you jump in the water you can feel the alignment. You are in a mental state that is:
    Connected to the love the game Appreciates the opportunity to grow Prepared for the ups and downs of competition You are fully in the water.
    If you have any questions, want 1-on-1 coaching to help you ‘jump’ into the water, or you are interested in mental performance coaching program visit www.cepmindset.com
    Remember to like, subscribe, and share!

    • 11 min
    How to Develop Your Personal Scorecard

    How to Develop Your Personal Scorecard

    Elite performance comes from being fully immersed in process; It’s what we call being in the moment, dialed in, or in the zone.
    But the challenge is that the external scoreboards of sport and life can consume our focus and distract our attention from the process.
    We all know the cliché, “focus on what you can control,” but the problem is that it is a lot easier said than done.
    In fact, the root cause for most mental blocks stems from getting caught up in society’s definition of success – the external scoreboards.
    For example:
    Struggle with confidence? Then you probably tie your confidence to results. Get nervous & tense? Then you are probably worried about results. Struggle with resilience? Then you probably beat yourself up after negative results. To make matters worse, it’s hard to escape the external scoreboards. There are literally massive signs with bright lights in your face all game.
    Follow these 3 steps to develop your own personal scorecard and you will learn to focus on the things within your control, be immersed in the process, and achieve Consistent Elite Performance.


    STEP 1: What to Score
    They key here is clearly identifying what matters to you. These should be highly within your control and meaningful to your performance.
    The two main categories you should include are:
    Mental State Process

    STEP 2: How to Score It
    For mental state, we encourage using a percentage based on a contrast.
    For example, 70% attack vs. 30% fear mindset.
    The goal should be to hit 95%+. This is not about perfection, but doing your best to be fully committed to the mental state that matters to you.
    When measuring your process, you can use percentages as well, but the key here is that that it depends on the standards you set for yourself. We call this EPS: Executing my Process to my Standard.
    We recommend using a three tier system to measure your EPS:
    Well: At or above you standard Meh: Close but not at your standard No: Not even close and was likely a mental mistake What most people get wrong here is that they start tracking the result, like successful plays made. This is not what we want to track here.
    Instead, it’s about how you actually executed your process. You could execute your process well but get an unlucky result, or execute poorly but get a lucky result.
    So on your personal scorecard, we want how you executed your process to your standard, not results.


    STEP 3: Get the Most Out of It
    All of this can be ruined if you don’t stop checking, let alone obsessing over, your stats or results.
    What we look at and focus on matters.
    That’s the whole point of the personal scorecard. So you can thwart the main purpose of it if you keep going online and filling your mind with external scoreboards and comparisons.
    On the flip side, it’s really helpful to add a column for 5 things you did well each day. This helps keep you focused on the little wins and not overly focused on the mistakes.
    You can also use your personal scorecard as a type of checklist to ensure you are using some of your other mental tools or keys to performance:
    10 Sec Reset Routine Detailed Imagery Script Getting 9+ hours of Quality Sleep Nutrition or any other healthy habits Connecting to an Intrinsic Why (i.e., the love of the game) Your personal scorecard is something you will continue to iterate and adjust. Finding someone you trust to give helpful feedback can greatly improve the impact.
    The bottom line and the paradox of the whole thing is:


    Your personal scorecard is something you will continue to iterate and adjust – finding someone you trust to give helpful feedback can greatly improve the impact.
    The bottom line and the paradox of the whole thing is:
    If you follow the above steps and consistently use your personal scorecard, then you will see the results on the external scoreboard – although you shouldn’t be looking!
    If you have any questions, want 1-on-1 coaching t

    • 16 min
    Fear Mindset vs. Attack Mindset

    Fear Mindset vs. Attack Mindset

    Fear can be paralyzing.
    Fear of mistakes, fear of failure, fear of letting others down, or fear of not meeting expectations; Whatever it is, it holds us back from just trusting our capabilities and attacking what we want.
    In most sports, and other areas of life, it pays to have an attacking mindset:
    In sports like hockey, soccer, and basketball, this often means taking the puck or ball and attacking the net While in tennis, golf, baseball, or softball, this means not being afraid to fail and fully committing to the shot In life, this means having that important conversation, putting yourself out there, or doing anything else related to going after your dreams. Follow these 3 Steps to go from a Fear Mindset to an Attacking Mindset:


    STEP 1: Differentiate Fear vs. Attack vs. Reckless
    You want to move from a fear mindset to an attack mindset, but you don’t want to end up being reckless. Here is a breakdown of the key traits within each of the 3 mental states:
    1. Fear Mental State: Afraid to make mistakes, doubting ability, worrying about results.
    2. Attack Mental State: Willing to make mistakes, trusting capability, being in the moment.
    3. Reckless Mental State: Carelessness, over-compensating.
    We suggest you write out what each of these mental states looks like for you to make it clear how you want to show up.


    STEP 2: Going from Fear to Attack
    To go from the fear to attack mindset, you have to align your thoughts, feeling and actions. The following two concepts are key to helping you get that alignment:
    1. Attack Mistakes > Fear Mistakes: You are going to make mistakes regardless of what mindset you are in, but the attack mindset will generally not be as harmful of a result, not look as bad, and it will serve as a learning opportunity.
    2. Thinking Long-Term: The fear mindset could be better in the short-term, but the attack mindset is better in the long-term.
    While reading this, you might cognitively understand these points, but you need to have the emotional feeling to match or the behaviours won’t come consistently. So don’t just read this and nod your head. Make sure you reflect and look at your game; Look at when you are playing in the attack mindset vs fear mindset. Truly reflect on which mindset serves you better.
    The goal is to feel yourself break through the fear and fully arrive in the attack mindset.


    STEP 3: Lock it In
    To lock in the attack mental state consistently, you need to be aware, set a high standard for yourself, and have the tools to get into the state.
    Awareness comes from reading this and reflecting – not just once, but consistently.
    You should be aiming to be in the attack mindset 95% of the time or more. It’s not about perfection, but about doing your best and being fully committed to the attack mental state.
    The tools to develop and use to help get you consistently into this state include:
    Unique Alter Ego 10 Sec Reset Routine Personalized Scorecard Detailed Imagery Script If you have any questions, want 1-on-1 coaching to work on your mental tools, or you are interested in mental performance coaching program, contact us today.

    • 11 min
    3 Steps to Strengthen Your Self-Confidence

    3 Steps to Strengthen Your Self-Confidence

    Confidence is a key to high performance. Unfortunately, confidence is often misunderstood and people overlook the most important part - self-worth.
    Most people struggle with self-confidence because the self-talk in their head is their own worst enemy. Here are 4 other reasons why people struggle with self-confidence:
    Yo-Yo Confidence: Tying their self-image to external results or praise Imposter Syndrome: Believing they are not worthy and/or don’t belong Victim Mentality: Blaming others and not taking responsibility Negativity Bias: Constantly beating yourself up and overly focusing on the negatives However, you can go from being your own worst enemy to being your own best ally by following these 3 steps to strengthen your self-confidence:
    Step 1: Start with the Roots of the Tree - Self-Worth
    Step 2: Grow a Well Rounded Tree
    Step 3: Put in the Work & Own Your Capabilities
    Listen to this episode for a full explanation of each step.
    The most important takeaway from this episode is that you are in control of your self-confidence. Start by strengthening your self-worth, then grow a well-rounded tree by developing your self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-efficacy.
    Self-confidence is a skill that can be developed if you’re willing to put in the work and own your capabilities.
    Be your own best ally, not your own worst enemy.

    • 12 min
    Taking A Critical Lens to 'The Draft'

    Taking A Critical Lens to 'The Draft'

    Any draft day can be emotional!
    If you're an athlete (or parent/coach of one) who is entering a draft - then you're going to want to read below and watch the video.

    Be sure to use a “Critical Lens” when thinking about the draft. It is not a make or break moment in your career like you might think! The draft might be important, but the results (positive or negative) DO NOT predict the trajectory of your career. It's just a day, it's just a result, it does not determine your future. For example, only 60% of OHL first round picks even get drafted into the NHL.

    It is important to OWN your story, regardless of what happens. If you get picked that's great, but that does not mean the work is over, it's only just the beginning. Do not get complacent and stop putting in the necessary effort. If you don't get picked, use it to your advantage. Look at the aspects of your game that you can adjust and use the result of the draft as motivation to improve! Be the hero of your story and take initiative in writing the next page of your life by staying grounded, centered, and true to yourself.

    Remember to stay connected to your love of the game. As you rise the ranks and hockey becomes more serious, it is so easy to lose sight of why you started playing in the first place. When you were younger you didn't start playing to get drafted, make lots of money, and become famous. You started playing to have FUN! The more you block out extrinsic motivators, and start focusing on things such as your love of the game, embracing and enjoying challenges, and having fun - the better you will perform.
    Yes the draft might be important, but it is not everything. Do not let it skew your perception of who you are as an athlete or person!

    • 9 min
    Obstacles Make Us Stronger

    Obstacles Make Us Stronger

    We know how frustrating it’s being in yet another lockdown in Ontario & having to take a step back from the sports we love. However, we also know this doesn’t mean your progress should stop.
    For those of you that are in another lockdown - this is a mental challenge and it can make you mentally stronger, as long as you lean into it and make the most out of it. In fact, the mantra we adopted since lockdowns have begun is Obstacles Make Us Stronger!
    To help you lean in and to ensure obstacles make you stronger we made a new CEP Mindset Talk video - here are some key takeaways:
    1. Be the Bonfire: A candle is blown out by the wind, but a bonfire requires wind to grow. In this analogy the wind represents challenges and obstacles and the choice you have is whether you are a candle that gets blown out by the wind or you grow to be the bonfire that uses the wind as fuel.
    2. Adapt to the Situation: The extra free time from lockdowns gives you the opportunity to spend more time and energy on your mental game. It’s not about being positive, it’s about neutral thinking and creating structure in your days.
    3. Take Action: Mental inputs lead to performance outputs. What are you spending your time watching, listening, and reading? What will you get from it?
    Three fundamental actions: Meditation, Imagery and Reflection

    • 23 min

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