Functional Training Institute

Why Mental Skills Training is Important for Performance with Jay Hedley

In the realm of fitness, the focus often lands on physical prowess – strength, endurance, and flexibility. However, fitness professionals increasingly recognise the importance of mental skills in achieving peak performance. 

Just as athletes hone their physical abilities, fitness trainers, coaches, and professionals can benefit from sharpening their mental skills to excel in their roles. In this podcast episode, we dive into the crucial cognitive skills that can empower fitness professionals to achieve remarkable results, using insights from Jay Hedley, the Managing Partner at The Coaching Room ®.

Mind-Body Connection: The synergy between the mind and body is undeniable. Understanding how the inner game influences the outer game is essential. 

Fitness professionals can optimise their training programs by incorporating mental techniques that help clients conquer challenges, set meaningful goals, and visualize success. 

Techniques such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) can assist fitness coaches in communicating effectively, fostering rapport, and leading clients towards transformative outcomes.

Mental Resilience: In the world of fitness, setbacks are inevitable. Fitness professionals who cultivate mental resilience can navigate obstacles gracefully and guide clients through tough times. 

Just as athletes bounce back from defeats, trainers armed with mental resilience techniques can motivate clients to persist in their fitness journeys, fostering a sense of determination and achievement.

Goal Setting and Focus: Goal-setting is a cornerstone of fitness success. Fitness professionals can empower clients by helping them set clear and achievable goals. 

Jay Hedley emphasizes that focusing on the process rather than the outcome is critical. This concept enhances training experiences and reinforces the idea that progress is a journey rather than a destination.

Performance Anxiety Management: Whether an athlete stepping onto a field or a client facing a fitness challenge, performance anxiety can hinder success. 

Fitness professionals armed with techniques to manage anxiety, such as anchoring, can help clients maintain calm during high-pressure situations, enhancing overall performance.

Client Relationship Building: Establishing rapport and effective communication are vital for fitness professionals. 

By honing their listening skills and understanding the cognitive intentions of clients, trainers can better tailor their guidance and create personalised fitness strategies that resonate on a deeper level.

Mental skills are emerging as a game-changer in the rapidly evolving fitness industry. Fitness professionals who recognise the influence of the mind on physical performance are better equipped to guide their clients to new heights. 

Jay Hedley emphasises that mastering mental skills is a journey that requires commitment and effort. By incorporating techniques from Neuro-Linguistic Programming, goal-setting strategies, performance anxiety management, and effective communication, fitness professionals can help clients reach their fitness aspirations.

Our favourite quotable moments:

“When we lack mental skills is when we lack the capacity to deal with what’s happening around us.” – Jay Hedley

“The relationship between coach and client needs to go deeper than just performance.” – Jay Hedley

“The mind leads the body.” – Jay Hedley

“Rapport skills. I’m not talking about, ‘how is your weekend’; I’m talking about genuine, unconscious, psychological and physiological rapport.” – Jay Hedley


Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey

The Coaching Room Website

Jay Hedley – LinkedIn

Jay Hedley – Instagram

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About Jay:

Jay Hedley is the Managing Partner at The Coaching Room®, specializing in coaching high-performance executives, leaders, athletes, and sports coaches to unlock their full potential. With a focus on identifying key differentiators and addressing blind spots, Jay empowers individuals and teams to challenge existing structures and take meaningful action. He has worked with prominent organizations such as Fiji Rugby 7s, KPMG Australia, and RedBull Racing – Formula 1, guiding them towards transformative change and enhanced performance.

About Your Host:

Tarek is the co-founder of the functional training institute and FitWell Education lab. 

Tarek is an international educator and speaker who has presented numerous times at the biggest convention in Australia, Asia and the US. In addition, Tarek has presented courses to thousands of trainers throughout Australia, Asia, the Middle East and South America. Tarek is also a best-selling author of ‘Purpose Driven Movement. 

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