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So, what the hell is Mindset coaching anyway? The Down and Dirty.

If you have been following me and my coaching practice at all, you know that I am a coach that offers both mindset and multisport coaching. Multisport coaching is easy to understand… I create and write customized training programs for athletes that participate in endurance events. Ok cool. But Mindset coaching? What the hell is that?

First off, “mindset” simply refers to the ideas and beliefs we hold about ourselves. It’s the lens through which we see the world. Sometimes its rose colored glasses, other times it’s a bit darker and a bit stormier. Pure and simple, it’s your attitude. Really, Sarah? You’re going to coach my attitude? Um, hell yeah I am. Maybe you are facing a particular challenge and you just can’t get your head right about it, or maybe it’s a general feeling of not having your shit together; whatever it is, how you choose to view your situation and the attitude to with which you approach it is a malleable, coachable skill.

I do a lot of work with athletes specifically around their mindset towards training and racing. I’ve been fortunate to study with Travis Macy, author and creator of The Ultra Mindset, and he has certified me as an Ultra Mindset Specialist. His 8 core principles for creating a success-focused mindset in all areas of life are exceptionally useful and effective. I also add my own insight and experience in the self-development field to work with athletes on managing what’s going on between their ears when things get tough. I cover everything from how to “not quit” to how to sustain motivation through day after day of tough endurance training.

Mindset work isn’t just for athletes though. We all face daily challenges that stress us out and affect our attitude. Challenges in work, parenting, relationships, and virtually all areas of life, each test us mentally and emotionally.   It’s learning to understand that we can control our response to these hard situations through deliberate practice and awareness. Tools such as cognitive reappraisal, true mindfulness and better vision and goal setting can help us shape our attitude and the way we see the world and ourselves in it.

So, how do you know if mindset coaching is right for you?   Easily summarized…you want to be better. You want to train harder, race faster, build the grit, be resilient, be a more patient parent, achieve more, get your shit together, finish your to-do list, lose the weight, make the money, get the girl. I could go on, but I think you are starting to understand, that just about anyone can benefit from mindset coaching.

I had a friend recently characterize what I do as sorting through all the shit in someone’s head and dialing in on the stuff that really matters; then helping them to get rid of the rest. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. If hearing that makes you a little squirmy, then it probably means a little coaching is just what you need.

If I haven’t scared you off yet, but maybe piqued your interest, reach out today for a free initial consultation, or just email to say Hi!


Race Week Worksheet: The Details

I recently made available for FREE this “Race Week Worksheet” to help athletes prepare for an event.  The worksheet not only ensures that athletes have their logistics squared away, but also that their head is in the game and ready to rock come race day.  Here is a brief description of how to use it and where to get yours!




The Race Week Worksheet is designed to be downloaded and printed so that you can keep it available at all times.  It’s a fill in the blank form meant to keep you on point.  There are two separate sections; Race Logistics and Race Week Mental Preparation.  Making sure that your logistics are set is important so that those details don’t take your focus off your performance.  Then, and this takes just a few minutes, answer the questions regarding Mental Preparation.  These few minutes could literally be the difference between the podium and DNF.  Here is a quick break down of each section.

Race Logistics

This is pretty self explanatory, but a helpful way to keep the details sorted.  Making sure that you have the race start time and location correct prevents any mishaps come the morning of the event.  Researching the predicted weather and then establishing your clothing and gear needs based on that is crucial for proper preparation.  This could also effect your race day nutrition, which hopefully you already have tried and tested, but this area of the worksheet gives you an area to write down exactly what you need to have with you.  Finally, establishing your race day transportation plan is a big one.  In a smaller race it might be as simple as driving your car to the start/finish area but big city events with thousands of participants often requires the use of public transportation or a trusted friend.  Don’t leave this important detail to the last minute.

Mental Preparation 

The first two questions ask you about why you committed to this event and how you expected to feel after its completion.  Its quite possible that a number of weeks, or even months have passed since the moment you clicked through Ultrasignup or and pulled the trigger to register for the race. Its important to remember, why, in that exact moment you knew it was a good idea. Getting back in touch with those feelings that made you sign up, including the sense of optimism, and burning desire to do the event you felt will help you bring all of your training full circle and have a great event.  Consider how you thought it would feel to complete the event and then feel that same burning desire to grasp it now. 

Many folks say that they like to “zone out” and let their thoughts wander during a hard workout or event.  I believe that generally speaking its fine to do this,  but when you know something is going to be tough, its better to have a game plan and direct your thoughts, otherwise, the “zoning out” can lead to a brutal downward spiral if things turn bad, or even cause you to go too hard and blow up if things are going well.  First, when things are going well, its important to acknowledge how great you feel but temper that with sticking to your pacing plan and remembering that it likely won’t last forever.  Second, when things start to feel like hell, its important to again remember, that it wont last forever. Races are full of ups and downs and maintaining an even keel throughout is a key to success.

Finally, and this is a super easy and important thing that you can do to prepare yourself mentally to have a great race.  You must write your script, and stick to it.  This is a mantra, a set of words or phrases that will be what your subconscious needs you to remember.  This is unique to you! If you need to remember to be “steady” then steady should be one of your words.  If you grateful for the experience then include gratitude.  Whatever motivates and moves YOU.  Keep it short and simple but meaningful and useful. It might be inspirational or it could be practical advice.  Read this post about how the later worked for me during the Frosty Foot 50k.

Intrigued? Click HERE to get your FREE copy of the Race Day Worksheet!  Have questions or comments? Reach out to   Also, I’d love your feedback on the Worksheet so feel free to leave a note in the comments or reach out to me directly!

Think you are tired? Why “Action First” Part II

tiredI get it. You’re tired. Full busy days, constantly feeling like you have to be “on.” Exhausted, you flop on the sofa after a long workday hoping you can at least muster up enough motivation to eat something other than a frozen pizza for dinner. Escaping the gravity that holds you to soft cushions seems insurmountable. I mean, come on! You had carpool this morning, back to back to back meetings throughout the day, a lunch on the go, that nagging headache, and a million emails screaming your name. You are a hero, just for getting the dog out for a walk and the trash to the curb on the right day of the week. I mean, after all that, of course you are tired. Or, are you? Continue reading

Fake It Till You Make It…and why it works.

mind-tricksIf you recently listened to my interview on Randy Eriksen’s Podcast TA-1 then you heard me talk about how the conscious and subconscious minds work, or in many cases, don’t work, together. Being able to grind out the hard stuff is mostly a matter of mindset whether it is a physical activity or other challenging scenario.   Understanding how the mind works, and how your conscious thoughts effect what’s happening deeper inside you, is a key to overcoming difficult situations.

Continue reading

I’m Glad You’re Here

Determination. Self-Control. Resiliency.

These are the pillars of grit. Dr. Angela Duckworth, defines it as “sustaining interest and effort for very long term goals.” I prefer to use Justice Stewarts language for defining the undefinable:

You know it when you see it.

In 2013, a handful of days before my very first 26 hour Adventure Race, I nervously confided in my best friend that I didn’t think I was ready. I was petrified. I felt like I hadn’t put in the work. I was terrified I would let my team down. There was a silence between us in the conversation during which she might have been agreeing with me, but, as an All-American athlete herself, she found the right words. Finally, she said:

“You’ll be ok, you’ve got grit.”

At that time, I hadn’t studied any self-development literature, and was years away from becoming a professional coach, but there was that word, GRIT. I couldn’t define it, but in that moment it resonated. I didn’t necessarily know why, but I agreed with her and it gave me the confidence to go into that race feeling ready, tough, and confident.

Today, I still agree with her. I’ve got grit. And even better, since that time:

I have even MORE grit.

Things that once seemed impossible, are downright easy. The desire to quit is a manageable emotion. I’ve learned to let my strong self, prepare for my future weakened state. Through years of racing, training, and work as a professional success coach, Ive learned:


It can be cultivated, matured, refined, created and manufactured. It can be packaged and delivered to those willing to get educated and do the work. Here at The Grit Factory, we build grit.