The Mental Half
The Mental Half is about the mental side of all kinds of performance, including sports, performing arts, high-stress work, test-taking...basically any endeavor where people need to be at their best when the pressure is on. We focus on real-life cases and their solutions.

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November 2017
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TMH 011 - How You Played is Not the Score

This is part three of my interview with Sport Psychologist Extrordanaire Adam Naylor. Adam is a professor at Boston University, and the founder of Telos SPC. He knows a lot about the mental game. In this episode, we talk about the concept of situational independence, the ability to think about performance seperately than the score, and what to focus on at the end of matches.

The Mental Half is a show about the mental side of performance. We talk about the skills necessary to succeed when the pressure is on, whether the pressure is in sports, work, the performing arts, or any other situation where focus is required.

Please subscribe in iTunes or another podcatcher and leave us a rating or review. You can reach me at Astley Performance Coaching or on twitter @mentalhalf

Direct download: TMH.011.Naylor3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:11am EDT
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TMH 9 -  Adam Tackles Momentum

In this episode of the Mental Half, I continue my discussion with Dr. Adam Naylor about a range of topics, including the elements of the Mental Game Pyramid, The Two Mental Skills that most of his athletes have, and the slippery concept of momentum in sports performance.

The Mental Half is a show about the mental side of performance. Please subscribe to the show and tell me what you think I am at mason@aperformancecoach.com or on twitter @mentalhalf

Direct download: Naylor2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:24pm EDT
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TMH 8 - Adam Brings the Threat Level Down

In this episode, we have Part One of my conversation with Dr. Adam Naylor. This is a wide-ranging discussion of topics in Sport Psychology. As such, I decided to keep the interview intact and present our conversation in (almost) it's entirety (I had one major coughing fit that I edited out, for example). 

Adam is a professor, author, and player development expert who can be found at Telos Sport Psychology Coaching.

I love talking to Adam about all things sport psych, but I brought him into the studio to talk about a recent article that he wrote contending that the Mental Skills are overrated.

The Mental Half is a show about the mental side of performance. We talk about the skills and philosophies needed to be at your best when the pressure is on. We focus on real-life cases in sport, performing arts, and other high stress situations where time and performance are of the essence.

Please subscribe in iTunes or another podcatcher and leave us a rating or review. You can reach me at Astley Performance Coaching or on twitter @mentalhalf

Direct download: TMH_009_Naylor_One.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:01am EDT
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TMH 7 - The Josey Problem

In this episode, we tackle "The Josey Problem," a thought experiment about ethics in sports. When should you help your opponent so that they have a better chance of having a stronger performance against you?

The Mental Half is a show about the mental side of performance. We focus on the skills necessary to be at your best when the pressure is on. Our focus is on real-life cases and their solutions in sports, performing arts, intense work environments, and any endeavor where prime performance is at a premium.

Subscribe here or in iTunes, where you can leave a rating. Thanks for your support.

Direct download: TMH_008_Josey.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:26am EDT
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TMH 6 - Control

In this episode, I talked to six members of the MIT women's tennis team about factors that determine the outcome of a tennis match. I then explore the level of control over those factors that a player has, and discuss ways to approach those things that are in control, and those that are not. 

The Mental Half is a show about the mental side of performance. We discuss the skills necessary to succeed in sports, performing arts, high-stress work...any endeavor where you need to be at your best when the pressure is on. I am at www.aperformancecoach.com and on twitter @mentalhalf

Please subscribe to the show and leave a rating or comment on iTunes.

Direct download: TMH_007_Control_2014.5.15_B.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:05pm EDT
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TMH 5 - Alessandro Makes Latte Art

In this epidode, I speak to the multi-talented Alessandro Bellino about how to build confidence in a variety of skills. Alessandro was the #1 singles and doubles player on his college tennis team, has won prestigous jazz singing competitions, and is now the proprieter of a The Coffee Trike, a mobile espresso bar that friends of mine (who didn't know that I knew him) have told me is the best coffee they have ever had. 

The crux of our conversation was, "How do you build confidence in any given activity?" We touched on his past successes and his current challenge: rounding off his espresso skills by learning how to draw attractive designs on the top of his drinks.

You can find Alessandro at TheCoffeeTrike.com and you can find me at APerformanceCoach.com

The version that includes charming Australian profanity is available by email request.

Absurdly Special Thanks to Bernard Adnet for creating the new logo that accompanies this episode. I will be phasing out the Grasshopper Who Invaded Our Kitchen Logo in the near future. A fond farewell to that little critter.

4/29 Uploaded a version with slightly higher volume.

Direct download: San_Boost.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:45pm EDT
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TMH 4 - Tehnaz is Running This Code

In this episode, I spoke with Tehnaz Boyle, M.D. Ph.D., a Senior Fellow in Emergency Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston about the mental skills of running a "code," which is doctorspeak for when a patient is in a life-threatening situation. Codes are mixed in with much less acute cases, so the Code Team must get organized quickly when one is called, and operate at maximum efficiency in order to give the patient the best chance for survival.

The Mental Half is a show about the mental side of performance. We talk about the skills needed to succeed in sports, performing arts, testing...any endeavor that requires you to be at your best when the presssure is on. We can find us on iTunes or aperformancecoach.com

Direct download: TMH_005_Tehnaz_best.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:56am EDT
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TMH 3  -Ryan Takes Away Facebook

In this episode, I talk with Ryan Segelke, founder of High Altitude Tennis Academy in Parker, CO. I worked extensively with Ryan and his team when he set up his academy five years ago. HAT works incredibly hard to help their students acheive their goals. I came away from this conversation really impressed with the blueprint they've developed, starting from a long-term view and breaking things down to very short-term training regimens. This type of thinking can help lead to success in almost any field.

The Mental Half is a show about the mental side of performance. We talk about the skills needed to succeed in sports, performing arts, testing...any endeavor that requires you to be at your best when the presssure is on. We can find us on iTunes or aperformancecoach.com

Amazing photography by Christina Mills Astley

4/29 Posted new audio mix for more clarity

Direct download: TMH_004_2014.3.11_Ryan_Remix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:43am EDT
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Coinciding with a big news story in the last day or two, in which the College Board announced that there will be big changes in the format of the SAT in the future, I talk to Annie Padnuk, who tutors high school students. We talk about her techniques for minimizing the stress that her students experience during the test, and describes how variations in how they prepare can greatly affect their confidence.

Point of clarification: When I asked about some of the families that she works with, she is talking about 2 different families: one prepared the summer before their daughter's junior year; the other is literally planning to take the test for the first time in a few days. Incidentally, she was too busy to be reached for comment.

Annie is at anniethetutor.com

The Mental Half is a show about the mental part of performance in any endeavor where people want to be at their best when the pressure is on.

Direct download: TMH_003_Annie_2014.3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:06pm EDT
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As a supplement to the Colin Episode, here is some more detail about Efficacy-Performance Spirals and the breathing techniques that help control our energy levels.

The Mental Half is a show about the mental side of performance, including sports, performing arts, and any other arena where it's important to be at your best when the pressure is on. We talk about sport psychology techniques, called mental skills, and how they are applied to real life situations.

Supplemental documents are at 

http://www.aperformancecoach.com/journal/

Direct download: TMH_002_Update_2014.2.26.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:54pm EDT
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