A Season of MENTAL TRAINING: Put Mental Health First for Optimal Performance is a mental training primer from Barbara Teetor Waite, Ph.D. and Erin Hurley. As mental training experts with years of coaching experience, the authors focus on training techniques for peak performance which support and promote well-being. They make a strong case for how peak performance becomes possible when a performer’s well-being is also the ultimate goal. The skills of listening to oneself, learning from oneself, and respecting oneself and others are woven throughout this practical and pragmatic approach to optimizing potential.
Barbara Teetor Waite grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, attended undergraduate school at University of Arizona where she pursued athletics, competitive flying, and a degree in General Studies. She attended graduate school at University of Virginia where she earned a masters and doctorate in sport psychology. Just as her “general studies” degree suggests, Waite pursues a variety of passions, the most enduring of which are writing, music, travel, and the great outdoors via the "silent" sports of hiking, biking, paddling, and sailing.
As a youth sport athlete in western New York, Erin Hurley excelled in swimming. She qualified for the Olympic Trials at age 17. As a collegiate athlete at University of Nebraska, she was a three-time Big Eight Conference Champion and four-time 214 NCAA All-American. After college, Hurley competed in triathlon and marathon, twice qualifying for the Boston Marathon and once qualifying for the Hawaii Ironman.
Hurley began her coaching career in swimming at University of Nebraska. She coached swimmers at University of Iowa and Cornell College while earning an M.A. in physical education (sport psychology) at University of Iowa. After graduation, she coached at Illinois Wesleyan University before finding her forever position (Associate Professor and Head Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Coach) at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.
Her many coaching honors include State of Illinois Coach of the Year for men’s swimming, Iowa Small College Coach of the Year for women’s swimming, Iowa Small College Coach of the Year for men’s swimming, Iowa Small College Co-Women’s Coach of the Year, five-time Midwest Conference (MWC) Women’s Coach of the Year, 11-time MWC Men’s Coach of the Year, three-time MWC Coach of the Year, and the College Swimming Coaches Association of America’s Richard E. Steadman Award. Her Grinnell College women’s team has won 20 of the last 21 Midwest Conference titles; the Grinnell men have come out on top for 17 of the past 19 MWC titles.
In 2013, Hurley coached Michael Brus (’14) to become the first-ever Pioneer to win an NCAA Division III National Swimming championship and set a 200-yard backstroke national record.
Hurley’s men’s and women’s teams continue to be honored by the College Swim Coaches Association for excellence in academics.
Follow Hurley on Twitter @GCSwim and Instagram @gccoacherin.
Praise for A Season of MENTAL TRAINING:
“Today, more than ever, our athletes need guidance in the area of mental health as it relates to their participation in sport. You can’t go wrong following Barb and Erin’s powerful and grounded guidance.”
— Lisa Bluder, Head Women’s Basketball Coach, University of Iowa
“The Waite/Hurley book couldn’t come at a better time. The concept of acceptance underlying their approach to training and performance provides athletes and coaches what they need to tackle complex and often daunting challenges with confidence and a healthy sense of self.”
— Bob Rotella, Ph.D., Sport Psychologist, author of Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect, Make Your Next Shot Your Best Shot, How Champions Think, and others
“There are so many facets and complications in our athlete’s lives today. Building a training philosophy and program on a foundation of acceptance—selfacceptance, and acceptance of others—keeps athletes and coaches grounded and focused on what matters.”
— Carol Hutchins, Head Softball Coach, University of Michigan, 18-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, winningest coach in NCAA Division I history
A Season of MENTAL TRAINING: Put Mental Health First for Optimal Performance demystifies the mental side of sports performance by providing simple exercises to build tangible skills, and serves as a roadmap for both individuals and teams. I love how the concept of acceptance is continually reinforced throughout and how the authors explain the “why” behind each idea. This book is something that coaches and athletes of all levels can benefit from—whether you’re learning these skills for the first time or re-learning ideas you already know, from a different perspective.
—Erica Quam, Owner and Founder of Find Your Peak Sports
Training isn’t complete without a mental component. Using A Season of MENTAL TRAINING: Put Mental Health First for Optimal Performance will optimize your time and effort. You will embrace the power of your mind in the healthiest of ways to maximize your potential!
—Jean Mills, first female President of Professional Tennis Registry (PTR), first female “International Master Professional” as designated by the PTR, Former Director of Tennis and Pickleball, Polo Club of Boca Raton, Florida
Whether you’re training on your own or part of a team, this book should be your No. 1 reference. Built on solid research and years of experience on the part of the authors, A Season offers the keys to optimizing individual and team potential.
—Tomek Rossa, Olympic diver, professional diver, Head Diving Coach, Emory University