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Coaching Minds Podcast


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Season 1 Episode 1: 


  • Mental Training Plan uses cognitive brain research and neuropsychology to help athletes gain an edge over their opponents by developing Customized Training Plans to:

    • Overcome obstacles that can paralyze the mind

    • Reach and achieve more than they ever thought possible

  • Episode 2 covers the focus cycle - how to control your mind and body during pressure situations​

  • Research shows us that elite athletes across multiple sports have certain mental skills and strengths in these areas (which make up the remaining episodes for Season 1):

    • Confident and in control - Believe you have what it takes to be successful

    • Motivation & expectation - You are motivated and expect to be successful

    • Focus on the task at hand - Can control your focus and eliminate distractions

    • Energized yet relaxed - Balance getting hyped up to compete while being able to calm down as needed

    • Optimistic perfection - Strive for perfection, but have a plan to deal with failure

  • Research can show that these areas can be improved just like any other part of your game

  • It's not a matter of either having it or not having it, you can improve in all of these areas


Season 1 Episode 2: 
Focus Cycle


Focus Cycle Worksheet:


  • Focus Cycle - What you focus on, how you talk to yourself, your body's reaction, and the resulting emotions drive your performance

  • Daniel Kahneman describes two different "systems" in your brain

  • System 1

    • Does things automatically (ex. 2+2 or the word "dog")

    • Part of your brain that handles automatic reactions

    • We must be aware of what our mind and body do "automatically"

  • System 2 ​

    • Take intentional thought (ex. 37 x 14)​

    • Part of your brain that can respond intentionally

    • Can use System 2 to take back control of our mind and body in high-pressure situations

  • Worksheet

  1. Fill in your System 1 automatic reactions

  2. Cross those out, we don't have to let System 1 be in control

  3. Write down your System 2 intentional responses


Season 1 Episode 3: 


  • Research shows that expecting to be successful increases performance, confidence is important!


    • Deliberate practice can help you train more effectively and increase confidence​

  • Focus on what you can control and what is important right now, everything else is a distraction and should be ignored

  • Your central nervous system directly influences how confident you "feel" so have good body language!

  • Speak confidently to yourself - don't dwell on what you can't do, remind yourself of what you can do

  • Use visualization to practice how you will walk, talk, and act confidently

  • Don't just hope you are going to feel confident...if you want to feel confident generate some confidence!


Season 1 Episode 4: 
Energy Level


Music Playlist Worksheet:


  • From 1990 book, “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience”  by Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi:

    • Challenge-skills balance is achieved when you have confidence that your skills can meet the challenge in front of you.

    • Action-awareness merging is the state of being completely absorbed in an activity, with tunnel vision that shuts out everything else.

    • Clear goals come into focus when you know exactly what is required of you and what you want to accomplish.

    • Unambiguous feedback is constant, real-time feedback that allows you to adjust your tactics. For example, fans and coaches will let you know how you're doing.

    • Concentration on the task at hand, with laser-beam focus, is essential.

    • A sense of control is heightened when you feel that your actions can affect the outcome of the game.

    • Loss of self-consciousness occurs when you are not constantly self-aware of your success.

    • Transformation of time takes place when you lose track of time due to your total focus on the moment.

    • internally driven to succeed even without outside rewards. You do something because you love to do it.

  • One way to prevent yourself from achieving this "perfect level" is to not know how to manage your arousal levels​

  • Ways to increase arousal level or energy level:

    • Increase breathing rate

    • Act energized

    • Positive statements

    • Upbeat music

    • Physical activity

  • Ways to decrease arousal level or energy level:

    • Diaphragmatic Breathing (4x4)

    • Forced Muscular Relaxation

    • Calming music

    • Mindfulness


Season 1 Episode 5: 


Focus Activities Worksheet:


  • Focus affects performance - Golf swing or free throw example - focusing on the wrong things can prevent you from performing basic activities you have already mastered

  • W.I.N. - What's Important Now helping athletes think through what is important now and what can I control 

  • Part of brain that wants to fix things - latches on to bad, we need to emphasize the good not focus on all negative

  • Ways to improve focus:

    • Focus activities - Practice 3x per week 

    • Routines - Develop a routine to help direct your focus before, during, and after competition

    • Self-talk - Don't let the voice in your head be a distraction, use positive self-talk to stay on track

    • Flush and burn - Physically remove mental issues that are preventing you from playing at your best

    • Permission to forget - Using a journal can help you move on and focus on the present

    • Action plan - Develop yours today!  Don't just hope things will get better, make a plan and put it to work!


Season 1 Episode 6: 
Motivation & Mindset


  • We want to make sure that we have the right mindset going into competition

  • “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t you’re probably right”  is completely true.

  • Studies have been done in shooting free throws, throwing darts, lifting weights, running a certain distance, etc. all show the same thing - positive expectations lead to increased results and negative expectations lead to decreased results.  

  • What's going on in our mind is directly linked to our CNS and when we are doubtful about our ability to perform we go into defensive mode just a bit and you can’t perform at your best.  

  • Example from weight lifting: squat - wrong form causes muscles to tighten up and not perform at full capacity

  • EXPECTATION -Champions expect to be successful heading into competition

  • DETERMINATION - Champions keep fighting when things get tough

  • PERSEVERANCE - Champions will experience failure, so they learn from it and keep improving

  • If you want to "feel" motivated generate some motivation!

  • Ways to generate motivation

    • Know your Why? - Simon Sinek says this gives you a purpose or cause to keep fighting for 

    • Goal-setting​ - research shows this increases motivation and achievement

    • Self-Talk - Is the way you talk to yourself building motivation or increasing discouragement?

    • Media - There are all kinds of motivating videos/websites/playlists out there! Start with a simple YouTube search for motivational videos and see what you come across.


Season 1 Episode 7: 
Optimistic Perfection


Focus Cycle Worksheet:


  • Step 1 - let's bring awareness to what’s going on in our mind and body 

    • What's the event that causes you to become negative? (what causes the negative reaction)

    • What are you focused on?

    • What's that little voice in your head say?

    • What changes in your body do you notice?

    • How does that make you feel?/What emotions does that generate?

  • Step 2 - let's be intentional with how we are going to respond.

    • What can you focus on that is important now that you can control?

    • What are you going to say to yourself to keep you on target?

    • How will you control your body? Breathing? Muscular relaxation?

    • What new emotions will this intentional response generate?​


Season 2 Episode 1: 
Cailyn Henderson


  • Here are some highlights from the interview:

  • 1:40 - Started playing golf at 7

  • 2:11 - HS Golf

  • 2:40 - Biggest difference between HS and college - pressure!

  • 4:29 - Balancing pressure from outside sources

  • 6:10 - Using positive statements

  • 7:24 - Visualizing your shot

  • 8:13 - Preshot routine

  • 9:33 - Advice for young golfers


Season 2 Episode 2: 
Nick Ferrer


  • 2:17 - Recap of his football career

  • 3:05 - Differences between high school & college football

  • 4:18 - Dealing with failure

  • 6:20 - Moving forward with purpose

  • 7:52 - Performance on the field

  • 9:32 - Preparation for success

  • 12:45 - Leading teammates under pressure

  • 17:25 - Relaxing before competition

  • 19:35 - Being coachable

  • 20:54 - Using failure to grow and "find success"

  • 21:38 - Distractions at college

  • 23:11 - End of season & start of a new one

  • 25:27 - Long term vision, short term plan

  • 29:00 - Handling the national championship trip

  • 30:36 - Advice for younger athletes

  • 32:50 - Taking these experiences into the real world


Season 2 Episode 3: 
Jeremy Fendley


  • Here are some highlights from the interview:

  • 1:16 Past achievements

  • 2:20 Sports growing up

  • 3:38 Joining the Marine Corps

  • 6:30 Life as a Marine

  • 10:45 Things take a turn for the worse

  • 11:52 Joining the Army

  • 13:00 Leadership in the Army

  • 14:10 Getting guys to buy-in

  • 15:30 Building family

  • 16:15 Dealing with difficulties and complacency

  • 20:00 "Stuff" hits the fan

  • 22:37 Finding meaning in coaching 

  • 33:33 BONUS SEGMENT - Helping AB deal with negative voices at the starting line


Season 2 Episode 4: 
Improving Toughness


  • Here is the worksheet we reference in the podcast: 


Season 2 Episode 5: 
Dick Dullaghan

We sat down with former high school and college football coach Dick Dullaghan. Coach Dullaghan won 213 games and had an 84% winning percentage.  His Ben Davis High School team won a National Championship in 1991 and 7 State titles in 16 years.  Coach D is a member of the Indiana Football Hall of Fame and was selected as one of Max Prep's greatest 50 all-time high school football coaches.  In this episode we talk about:

1:50 - Taking over a new high school job
4:20 - Instilling confidence into players
6:36 - Coaching with enthusiasm
8:45 - Mental is to physical as 3 is to 1 
12:08 - What separated the best 
13:36 - Koby Bryant Story
15:30 - Helping an average athlete believe in himself. 
17:42 - Helping an athlete deal with failure
19:45 - Stretch of successful seasons
24:45 – Seeing your players every day
25:40 - Mental strain coaches had to deal with
27:09 - This era of specialization
28:30 - Advice for kids
29:40 - Advice for brand new coaches


Season 2 BONUS Episode 6: 
Managing the Effects of Covid19


  • Here is the worksheet we reference in the podcast: 

So to be completely honest, when I heard that school was shutting down the first thing that popped into my mind was, "oh man this will be like an extended vacation for these kids." After getting off the phone with a very concerned athlete who is now looking at the rest of his senior year of baseball (that he was planning on using. to help him decide on what college to commit to) being completely up in the air and in jeopardy.  He has spent the last 48 hours playing through every worst-case scenario over and over in his mind and it is causing him way more anxiety than catching this bug that isn't necessarily a big threat to his age group ever did.  

Our hope for releasing this "bonus" podcast outside of our every other Tuesday schedule is that it will provide some immediate relief for anyone who may be struggling to handle the mental toll that this pandemic may cause in any number of areas of your life.  If you need help, please reach out! If you don't have anyone else you can talk to or reach out to you can contact me directly (317) 557-3022.

Stay safe!

Coach Carnes


Season 2 Episode 7: 
Ryan Pepiot


We sat down with Dodgers pitching prospect Ryan Pepiot to talk about the mental tools he uses as a professional baseball player and the role his mental preparation plays on the mound.

:50 - Playing & balancing multiple sports

2:15 - College baseball life

4:30 - Cape Cod League 

6:57 - Maintaining confidence in the face of failure

7:52 - Managing pressure of being drafted and still performing

9:50 - Handling success

11:55 - Being drafted

14:00 - Keeping focus after being drafted by Dodgers

15:15 - Mental preparation in Major League Baseball

18:00 - Specific tools he uses

19:15 - Separating yourself from your competition


Season 2 Episode 8: 
Tavio Henson


1:00 - Mental piece of playing SEC football

3:23 - Positive self-talk and visualization

5:45 - Developing mental toughness

10:00 - Working with the Houston Texans

11:45 - Maximizing yourself as a player

17:15 - Being called to work with high school athletes

19:20 - Loving our athletes to help them believe in who they are

22:06 - Having high expectations for athletes

24:50 - How to approach the COVID 19 quarantine

29:10 - Don't fall prey to negativity


Season 2 Episode 9: 
Kurt Hines


Kurt Hines has had an incredible amount of success on the football field winning state, district, and conference championships. In this episode, we talk with Coach Hines about a deeper calling to empower others and how he builds success on and off the field through relationships.

1:56 - Living a life of Purpose

2:40 - Learning from others

3:50 - Great coaching is about people

6:05 - Keeping family as a priority

9:00 - Priorities in season

12:50 - Still being fully committed to the game

17:27 - Quality time vs. quantity time

22:23 - Date night in-season

25:38 - Connections during the COVID 19 pandemic

28:24 - Changes after the pandemic

30:30 - Advice for younger players and coaches


Season 2 Episode 10: 
God's Game Plan for Anxiety


God never created us to live in a constant state of anxiety, fear, or worry. Since He designed our bodies and knows exactly what we need to perform at our best, He also provided us with clear directions of how to handle anxiety in a world full of fear and worry.

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