WYC 154 – The Struggle of Self-Confidence – Riley Tincher – ‘You are more than an athlete’

Riley’s bio: I am a former All-American pitcher at UW-Whitewater. I am now a Mental Conditioning Coach (Master’s Degree in Sport Psychology), Author, and Speaker. I own a mentorship program called Coachability, where I have had the great fortune of coaching and mentoring athletes at every level. My book, “Pitching Against Myself,” is about my baseball career and all of the life lessons I learned throughout it, and how they apply to life after sports. It also shares an important message that I wish I would have been able to hear back when I was playing before the identity crisis, depression, and suicide; a message that says “you are more than an athlete.”

Pitching Against Myself book: Use discount code ‘WYC20’ at rileytincher.com to save 20% off book
Facebook: /RileyBTincher
Instagram: @RileyTincher
Twitter: @RileyTincher

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Show Notes – WYC 154 – The Struggle of Self-Confidence – Riley Tincher

Lessons from being told “You Should Quit”

  • Riley’s first baseball coach at age 14, after the season told Riley ‘You Should Quit’. This created a huge chip on his shoulder to prove him wrong. But it created an unhealthy need in Riley to prove himself to others.
  • ‘There is purpose in your pain’ – Riley’s struggle with depression and suicide was turned around when a mentor taught him that the purpose in his pain was to help others.
  • I AM MORE THAN AN ATHLETE – The drop caps that start each chapter of Riley’s book spell this phrase, without him planning this.

Performing in pressure situations

  • A big key is understanding we are not alone
  • Practicing pressure situations is also key
  • Confidence comes from:
    • Affirmation – Your words (as a coach) are critical. Remind athletes that they are great where they are. And they can get better. And most importantly, they are worthy enough to get better. A great activity is for athletes to write down affirmation statements about themselves, and then have them share them with their teammates – challenge them if they don’t see to believe them: ‘Speak up, say it like you mean it’
      • You’re the kind of person who _________ (is willing to take the big shot; will learn from any failures or mistakes you’ve had/made)
    • Achievement. Struggle is part of it. The greater the struggle, the greater the reward.


  • The worst: the coach said ‘I am your master and you have to listen to me’. They had ‘rules’ – but the best athletes didn’t have to keep them.
  • The best – Didn’t have rules, had standards. The players created them.

Best advice from a mentor

  • If you don’t change what you believe about yourself, nothing will change

Parting Advice

  • Stop focusing on the scoreboard and start focusing on your legacy

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