WYC 167 – Youth Soccer – Gad Espinosa – Coaching the Mental Game

Gad Espinosa is a Certified High-Performance Mental Game Coach, and speaker who has been interviewed in numerous newspapers and radio shows.

He has been privileged to train and mentor athletes at all levels, from those just starting their athletic careers to others who have gone on to represent their country and succeed at World Championships and Olympic games.

As a former professional athlete, who has represented his country internationally, he knows first hand the psychological and emotional challenges a young athlete faces.

As a parent of two former competitive athletes he knows the difficulty of raising athletes and as a varsity head coach, he sympathizes with coaches and their responsibilities.

Gad is passionate about helping young athletes discover mental strength breakthroughs that allow them to maximize their development so they can take their game to another level and fulfill their athletic potential.

Website: coachgad.com

Instagram: @coach_gad

Twitter: @coachgad

Facebook: /Coach-Gad


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Coaching Your Own Kids

  • It’s a balance between smothering them and still coaching them and enjoying being a parent with them

Coaching a sport you didn’t play

  • 2 requirements: Enthusiasm and a passion to learn more

A-ha moment

  • Gad, as a player, rarely had coaches discuss the mental side of the game – so he has emphasized this as a coach

Concussion recovery

  • Time is the biggest key. Take the time to let your mind recover and don’t rush it.

Mental toughness

  • It starts with letting your athletes know it’s ok to fail. It’s a very important part of the learning process.
  • Having a clear goal in mind helps build grit to keep working even if things don’t do the way you want.

Teaching skills

  • Tag – they put a pinnie on each hip, and they run around and try to grab as many pinnies as possible from their teammates
  • Keep away – in a circle, 2 kids in the middle, try to keep ball away from the kids in the middle

Culture and captains

  • Leaders emerge amongst teams

‘How do I Improve my Kid’s Athletic Potential?’

  • Book on website: coachgad.com
  • WYC guest enter promo code ‘WYC’ and get 50% off book!
  • A mental program for coaches and athletes

The one that got away

  • Gad had specifically reminded the team about a specific thing to look for in the game, and 1 minute into the game this situation happened, and a player didn’t do what they just had talked about. Gad regrets that he immediately took the player out of the game and didn’t play him much more that game.

Best stolen idea

  • Preparedness

Favorite books/quote:

  • Quote: ‘If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.’ – John Wooden

Parting Advice

  • Take a step back and remember how you wish you were coached when you were younger

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