WELCOME TO WINNING EDGE SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY
Welcome to Winning Edge Sports Psychology your Saint Louis, Missouri based sport psychology resource. Winning Edge offers “in person” consulting in St. Louis, MO, Naples, FL and Vail, CO as well as national consultation through Skype or telephone.
Winning Edge Sport Psychology was created by licensed psychologist Joe Lenac. Joe’s athletic background, combined with his training in clinical and sport psychology resulted in the sport consulting practice of Winning Edge. At Winning Edge we partner with athletes and their families to develop the optimal balance of mind, body and spirit. Athletes at elite and professional levels regularly utilize sport psychology skills to gain a mental edge against their competition. These top athletes know that mental skills lead to improved consistency and performance.
At Winning Edge we partner with athletes at all competitive levels. Joe is the consulting team psychologist for the St. Louis Rams NFL football team. Our athletes come from all competitive levels including: developing juniors (high school), club/select level, NCAA Divisions 1-3 and NAIA, minor and Major League Baseball, the National Football League, MSL, National Hockey League, Olympic/International as well as serious weekend warriors looking to improve their personal best.
Winning Edge teaches athletes the secrets of sport psychology to help them achieve personal bests in sport and life. At Winning Edge you will work directly with a licensed psychologist, who has sport psychology specific education and training and has helped athletes at all competitive levels learn the mental skills necessary for peak performance.
Athletes seek sport psychology for many reasons some of the more common including: confidence, reducing anxiety/nervousness, mental toughness, to improve motivation, to learn effective goal setting, to improve focus, to assist in their recovery from injury, to develop and learn effective imagery and visualization skills, to sort out and understand teammate or coaching issues, to gain control of their temper and reduce anger outbursts, to help during a transition to a new higher level of competitive play (high school to college, college to professional), with career transition and retirement from sport.
Sports psychology develops the mental and emotional skills that athletes need for successful competition. The physical and mental skills of sport are intertwined. The connection between your physical ability, your thoughts and your emotions is crucial to perform your best. When the mental/emotional component of your game is out of balance with your physical skills your performance suffers. Most athletes know how to work long and hard on their physical skills; however many athletes fall short when it comes to quality mental preparation. The Winning Edge Philosophy is to teach each athlete a core set of sport psychology skills that create a focused, motivated, balanced, confident and consistently performing athlete.
Our program of core skills begins with confidence, mental toughness and intensity. Winning Edge will work with you to grow your confidence, eliminate self-doubt, increase mental toughness and elevate your intensity. Surveys of US Olympic team athletes found that the majority of US athletes said they would like to increase their confidence. This survey emphasizes the importance of confidence at all competitive levels. Confidence and mental toughness are skills you need to build and maintain; Winning Edge will show you how. Focus, the ability to eliminate distractions and control your thoughts, is the second core component of sport psychology. Winning Edge works with each athlete to create positive thought skills which eliminates unnecessary worry and distraction. Controlled thought keeps the athlete in the present which equals focused energy and a strong performance.
Emotional management is the third core skill of sport psychology. The ability to deal with mistakes, setbacks, and unexpected events is critical for peak performance. Mistakes are part of sport; they are a statistical reality and are going to happen. How you perceive your mistakes and deal with them makes all the difference. An athlete who remains mentally flexible can respond with emotional balance, intensity and confidence. The athlete who loses emotional control has lost the game. Winning Edge coaches you to understand your emotional response and effectively manage yourself.
Performing at peak levels requires an athlete to be consistent during the game and between games. Consistency of performance is the fourth core skill Winning Edge teaches, and a skill that many young athletes need to learn. At Winning Edge we help you build pre-competition routines which manage your energy and place you as close to your optimal zone of readiness before each competition. If you do not have a well-structured pre-competition routine, you have not developed your game to its’ fullest potential. Winning Edge also teaches positive performance evaluation skills. Positive performance evaluation teaches you how to accurately evaluate your performance while maintaining confidence and motivation; even after a bad day. The use of pre-competition routines and positive performance evaluation improve an athlete’s consistency of play.
Goal setting is the most widely used and most effective sport psychology technique. Goal setting works because it moves an athlete from wishing or worrying about performing well to a focused, directed and precise plan of improvement. Goal setting is the fifth core skill and Winning Edge will teach you the keys to effective goal setting. We help you develop effective and specific goal setting programs which decrease worry, build confidence, increase motivation and improve skills.
Winning Edge offers services for the injured athlete who is experiencing emotional difficulty with his/her injury, as well as increasing motivation during the rehabilitation phase of recovery. Returning to play after injury is often an anxious period of time for the athlete as he/she is often afraid of re-injuring the same body part. Winning Edge will help you return to play feeling more confident and more focused.
Finally, Winning Edge offers career transition planning for the athlete who is thinking about leaving sport, has a career ending injury or decided that it is time to retire. Everyone eventually leaves competitive sport and how one leaves makes all the difference. Winning Edge offers you the opportunity to look at career transition from sport (at any level from high school to professional) with a research based perspective to help you land in a new and healthy place.
Our programs at Winning Edge teach these core skills, develop your mental game and move you towards peak performance. Winning Edge takes an individual approach with each athlete, tailoring our work to your unique needs and situation. We recognize that each athlete is unique and has differing levels of knowledge and skills. Our philosophy is to develop the optimal balance of mind, body and spirit. We achieve success together by helping athletes succeed in sport and life. We are available to athletes throughout the country by phone consultations and Skype. Winning Edge’s main office is located in suburban St. Louis, Missouri with satellite offices in Naples, Florida and Vail, Colorado.
Our athletes come from a variety of sports, the following is a sample: golf, football, baseball, hockey, tennis, basketball, volleyball, swimming, diving, water polo, lacrosse, field hockey, soccer, fencing, equestrian riding, figure skating, gymnastics, competitive shooting, archery, track and field, cross country, tri-athletes, racing, cycling, synchronized swimming, water skiing, BMX bike racing, wrestling, softball, cheerleading, rowing, weightlifting, and rugby. Winning Edge also works with the performing arts: dancers, actors and actresses.