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Athlete Summer Program

Join Jeff and Dan on TikTok and Instagram! They will be waxing poetic about young people and athletics throughout the summer and giving everyone some free, easy tips for everyone to improve their performance. We’ll be producing 8 podcast episodes which will begin in early July.

About Our Work with Athletes and Teams

 

For decades, college and high school sports have enriched student-athletes’ lives, fostering creativity and meaningful experiences. However, today many athletes feel overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed, impacting their performance and enjoyment.  Today, athletes often have lost the joy of camaraderie, common goals, and “giving it your best shot”, and instead believe every outcome will define them, resulting in more pressure, increased need for external validation, and a disconnection from the “free play” and creative mindset that produces one’s best effort.

 

90% of Gen-Z athletes have what we call “Outcome Fever”—they define,  measure, and judge themselves based on their accomplishments and appearance.

This results in:

  • Compromised mental/emotional patterns & unhelpful physical compensations
  • Feelings of powerlessness
  • Too much focus on their individual play and success in order to advance in their sport

The irony is that they are more likely to be successful, both individually and collectively, if they play as a team. But many players today don’t really know what that feels like. This vicious circle, uninterrupted, can lead to some players literally not knowing who they are; their identities are fractured.

 

The good news is kids haven’t changed:  they still crave connection, competition, communication, and acceptance.

They are still deeply motivated to feel better, play well, and get to the next level. Thankfully, there is no reason we can’t teach players those skills and thus dramatically improve the mental health of many of today’s student-athletes. Through our programs, players connect with their inner selves, understand their own motivation, and unlock the abilities to relax and embrace the process, both the good and bad parts.  They learn how to gain confidence, communicate more directly and effectively, and recognize the value of the experience rather than just the outcome. Most importantly, they learn to address adversity head-on, because they know that growth and consistent effort is what will produce the outcome they desire.  When the journey is your consistent reward, then the current destination can never be wrong.

 

And the players have a blast!

Our Stories

After two hours with Jeff, not a single boy in the room had checked the time. It was a transformative experience for us. Jeff has a gift in reading people and fundamentally wants to improve our outlook on our seasons, our relationships and our lives. Between the group and individual connections, all our emotions were in play, and he created a powerfully trusting and positive environment. He is a healer, a motivator, an entertainer and always an ally.

This summer, Jeff is partnering with Dan Boothby to offer a fully integrated program that directly ties the emotional skills Jeff teaches with both practice and game-day performance. Add Dan Boothby and tie the emotional with the physical!

Dan Boothby is the Director of Sports Performance at Northeastern University and the co-founder of Boothby Sports Performance, sports performance training located in Hingham, Mass., and Biddeford Pool, Maine, which in addition to helping athletes also helps clients achieve personal and performance goals for improved stress management, pain reduction, and better quality of life. Boothby will measure and discuss with clients the physical manifestations of stress and then teaches skills, such as breathing techniques and other physical relaxation practices, to help lessen the effects of stress and ACES. He also coaches students in sleep habits, nutrition, and other aspects of physical and emotional health.

Here are some things Dan adds to our programs.

Improved Posture

By simply positioning the body in a more optimal position, we can improve movement proficiency and efficiency, which changes efforts at all intensities. Improved positioning of the body increases lung volume and aerobic capacity, expedites recovery time between intense workouts/games, and enhances endurance. This enhances performance and recovery, but also improves the feedback provided to the brain regarding these movements and efforts—the brain recognizes them as higher quality, which creates a positive feedback loop.

More Coordinated Movement

Knowing where one is in space is critical for competitors, as nearly every competitive situation is a reaction to external stimuli. This awareness allows for more coordinated and synergistic output. Simply said, we get cleaner impulses from the brain to the muscle, and we get a nearly perfect sequence of muscle activity.

Process-Driven Motivation

The consistent exercise routines that help train the physiological functions that improve feedback from the brain also help shift the individual into process-driven motivation, which allows more focus on the journey instead of a hyperfocus on the destination. This awareness, combined with an Internal Locus of Control, allows one to gain knowledge from all experiences (not just positive) and apply that knowledge and self-reflection to increase a sense of self and values. This guides the process and continues the cycle of engagement and reflection, something outside sources of validation can never do. The level of confidence attained is what unlocks potential in critical moments through efforts that are absent of fear of any outcome, because your process and values are what define you, not the results you achieve.

Athlete Summer Program —

How do our programs help?

We teach teach players emotional skills previous generations learned by osmosis and thus dramatically improve the mental health of many of today’s student-athletes
Our programs tie the mental game with both practice and game-day performance.
Our programs empower and connect players, resulting in their taking increasing responsibility for their practice and their play—to own their preparation physically, mentally, individually, and collectively. This gives players confidence in the team’s readiness, because that unlocks an unbridled effort and creates a reasonable facsimile of an old-school outfit.

Our Programs --

30-day calendar

Jeff & Dan

This is an inexpensive, easy-to-do introduction to Jeff’s and Dan’s approach to the mental game. Each day gives you a short (1 minute or less) video, quote, link, etc., that gives you food for thought about what we call Outcome Fever and how to get past it. Unlike the offerings below, the calendar does not include support. Cost: $10/person (material will be emailed to you starting on July 15).

$10 per person

Video series 1-10

Jeff Levin

If you want to take some more in-depth steps towards improving your mental game so you feel better and perform better in your sport, these ten videos are a great place to start. They explain how we got here and provide some information and exercises so you can learn some crucial skills that will improve performance and attitude. 

 

You have a choice of two video programs:

30-day subscription to videos & office hours

$30 per person

Includes weekly virtual office hours and open Q&A with Jeff.

Personalized to an individual, group, or team

$750 in total

Also includes six 30 minute meetings, in person or virtually.

Individual or Small group Coaching

Jeff and/or Dan

Jeff and Dan quickly diagnose what’s holding players back, both mentally/emotionally and physically, and, with the player’s enthusiastic involvement, install common-sense solutions that lead to more joy, maximum engagement, and improved performance on and off the field.  Athletes become more confident, present, and connected and are more physically flexible, stronger, quicker, and literally more productive with every movement.

That’s where the Boothby-Levin model comes in. 

 

Step 1: Individual 90 minute consultation with Dan and Jeff

$200

Jeff – Evaluate, explain, and discuss Outcome Fever levels and explore individual emotional/mental roadblocks stemming from the past, stuck points in mentality, and unhelpful thought patterns and emotional states.  This is thoroughly discussed and initial remedies installed.

Dan – Using Physical routines to “FLOSS” the brain and maximize potential! YOU NEED TO FLOSS EVERYDAY!

Improved Posture—By simply positioning the body in a more optimal position, we can improve movement proficiency and efficiency, which changes efforts at all intensities.

More Coordinated Movement—Simply said,  we get cleaner impulses from the brain to the muscle, and we get a nearly perfect sequence of muscle activity.

Process-Driven Motivation—The consistent exercise routines that help train the physiological functions that improve feedback from the brain also help shift the individual into process-driven motivation, which allows more focus on the journey instead of a hyperfocus on the destination.  The level of confidence attained is what unlocks potential in critical moments through efforts that are absent of fear of any outcome, because your process and values are what define you, not the results you achieve.  This is what our program gets student athletes back to.

Step 2: Three 90 minute group meetings with client and up to five teammates/friends (each of whom has undergone Step 1)

$125 /person/meeting

We integrate the process, providing each athlete with gradually more precise emotional and physical interventions.  The group of friends provides support and accountability for one another characterized by increasing vulnerability, contentment, connection, and inspiration.  The whole is way greater than the sum of its parts.  The athletes,  Jeff, and Dan create a Google Doc where progress is tracked, supported, and exciting victories on and off the field are celebrated together.

 

Athletes end the month-long process with a Personal Performance Plan that includes future goals in their sport and in life, as well as a step-by-step roadmap to get them started on their path, allowing them to be more fully present, engaged, courageous, and ready to move forward on and off their field of play.

Captains Series

Jeff & Dan

During this series of four programs, team captains (both actual and/or aspiring) can gain emotional skills that will help them effectively lead their team and set their team culture so there is more of an old-school chemistry on the team.  This series is for captains, players who are contemplating being captains, or any player that wants to increase their confidence level—because every serious athlete, whatever their aspirations, is called upon to be a leader at some point in their careers. This series helps to prepare participants to answer that call.

 

The Captain’s Program is a unique, multi- disciplinary, four-session enrichment webinar or in-person series for athletes that teaches them the mental skills to be leaders in their chosen sport. This program teaches the essentials of setting team culture and respectful accountability. It gives players the ability to eliminate psychological and emotional distractions and also teaches them emotional skills that will help them to succeed in any endeavor they undertake and support their teammates to do the same. Through group activities and individual meetings, every player will leave the program with a concrete, powerful, and animated sense of him or herself as an individual and teammate who is ready to lead in a variety of ways. Sessions include:

 

What makes a leader?
Through lectures and group exercises, we will  explore the characteristic traits of leaders. These include:

  • Have vision
  • Have the courage to hold others and oneself accountable
  • Develop and shepherd ideas into reality
  • See the big picture and the interrelationships of elements and people
  • Think strategically
  • Have integrity
  • Have the ability to foster partnerships and negotiate
  • Be willing to take risks at appropriate times
    Be optimistic.

Are you prepared mentally if called upon to be a leader on game day?
Here are some of the hard skills we will be covering:

  • How to set team culture
  • How to install respectful accountability with peers
  • Mental Steadiness: Staying level-headed during the highs and the lows of the game and helping teammates do the same
  • How to embrace productive conflict
  • The ability to shed failure: The “onto the next play” mentality and culture
  • Focus: How to get in the present “zone”
  • The ability to strategize: ability to be objective, analyze self, teammates, opponents, detours
    Confidence: The difference between hoping you’ll succeed and knowing it
    Drive: Go-get-it mentality
    Trust: Your own abilities, teammates, and coaches.

How do your emotions affect your play?
Participants will look at how emotional issues play out in the context of the team. This gives participants the ability to connect with their authentic selves and eliminate psychological and emotional distractions from their game and help their teammates do the same. The performance plans will include subjects such as:

  • To set goals: participants learn to devise a plan, implement that plan, achieve benchmarks, and reach goals
  • Find a sense of purpose: what does success look like? What is it going to look like if goals are not achieved?
  • Be a better teammate and more coachable player.
  • To live with lasting, intentional confidence
  • To manage the “gremlins*” in participants’ heads, so positivity prevails
  • Manage stress, both individually and as a group
  • Manage the heart rate (and anxiety).

You have a choice of two programs:

Webinar: Individuals can participate from wherever they are and can watch for the next 30 days if they don’t make the live sessions. Four 90-minute programs, which will be available for 30 days after the session.

$50/person.

Starts Monday evening, July 22nd and runs for 4 successive Mondays.

Personalized: Can do this for one team or school, either in-person or virtual. The program is tailored to the team’s needs. Four 2-hour programs, plus a 30-minute individual session with Jeff and/or Dan for each participant.

$1000 for either Jeff or Dan, or $1500 for both

Plus travel, if more than 2 hours away. This is scheduled on a customized first-come, first-serve basis, available starting July 1st.

On-site for Teams

Jeff and/or Dan

This totally customizable program is part of our comprehensive Mental Management program for teams.

“Definitely the single most powerful thing we’ve ever done as a team and that I’ve done with any other team.” – C.J., Castleton lacrosse player

The program is flexible and can be scaled up or down to meet any budget. However, to have a measurable, lasting impact on your team’s play, we need to have a regular presence over weeks or months.

When we work with a team, we use a variety of means to reach players:

  • In-person, both group and individual: we have an introductory program that explains how we got here—the societal causes of this problem and how they have affected young people and adults. I also provide an outline of how I “soften players in order to harden them,” and how connection and vulnerability actually make for tougher players, including examples of how this works in practice and on game day.
  • We also like to meet players for the first time in person.
  • We then can follow up with both individuals and groups with a mixture of in-person and virtual meetings, which can range from formal video calls or just texts.
  • We create video series for teams (and also have standard videos for teams trying to save money), or short (~2 minutes) videos that teach individual emotional skills so players can continue the work in a cost-effective way in between meetings with me.
  • “Help Desk” – We are available by phone and text to anyone who needs us..

Coaches are kept in the loop at all time:. Coaches participate in most group meetings. We discuss individual players with coaching staff, always with the goal of improving play in practice and on game day. We write a weekly report with progress and next steps.

Nuts and Bolts

  1. We earn athletes’ trust by demonstrating true caring, knowledge, and the capacity to help create both internal change and results on the practice and game fields.  The group connects and bonds old-school style.  Vulnerability,  the only way to true connection, is normalized, and coaches learn A TON about the baggage today’s student-athletes carry.
  2. We create a dynamic understanding of what “Outcome Fever” is, how it entered their minds, hearts, and bodies and how it hampers performance and happiness on and off the field.
  3.  We identify the outside “elephants” (the Overwhelming Tragedy List, with phone addiction and social media leading the way) that affect athletes and identify the “gremlins*” (negative self-talk) that impede confidence and connection.
  4. We help student-athletes experience the visceral power of connection, friendship, and team.
  5. We show them the causal link between stress and the degradation of physical skills, flexibility, oxygenation, etc. We create the clear, visceral link that stress is the enemy both on the mental/emotional and physical levels.
  6. We further catalyze chemistry and camaraderie.
  7. We meet with individuals to develop a specific, concrete Mental/Emotional Personalized Performance Plan.

Skills Covered Include 

  • Mental steadiness and focus; learning to proactively shed stress and trauma and to enjoy the journey.
  • Ability to use adversity to fuel success instead of failure—or fuel success even despite failures along the way.
  • To play and perform with lasting, intentional confidence. 
  • To manage both the “elephants in the room” and the often trauma-related “gremlins”* in their heads—the negative self-talk we all experience—so positivity prevails.  Managing elephants and gremlins are a keystone of this program.
  • Manage stress and anxiety, both individually and as a group. 
  • Learn Internal Locus of Control—players understand that they are the drivers of their play and their lives, which allows them to take more responsibility and be more accountable for their actions.
  • Drive: Find a sense of purpose—what does it look like if they’re successful? What is it going to look like if they don’t achieve their goals?
  • How to install respectful accountability.

Dan ties the mental aspect in with the physical.  This leads to:

  • Improved Posture
  • More Coordinated Movement
  • Process-Driven Motivation

Our program can be scaled up or down. Please contact either of us to discuss your team’s or coaching staff’s particular requirements. We will be glad to discuss your goals and how we can achieve them together.

 

  • ½-day: Cost: $1000 for either Jeff or Dan; $1500 for both
  • Full-day retreat: Cost: $1500 for either Jeff or Dan; $2000 for both
  • Three-day workshop: Cost: $3000 for either Jeff or Dan; $4000 for both

The price is further reduced if you hire us for the season.

Limited availability. Scheduled on a customized first come, first serve basis starting June 17th.



After two hours with Jeff, not a single boy in the room had checked the time. It was a transformative experience for us. Jeff has a gift in reading people and fundamentally wants to improve our outlook on our seasons, our relationships and our lives. Between the group and individual connections, all our emotions were in play, and he created a powerfully trusting and positive environment. He is a healer, a motivator, an entertainer and always an ally. – Chip Davis, Deerfield Academy boys’ lacrosse head coach.

 

* Many thanks to Rick Carson for his excellent book, Taming Your Gremlin.

Coaches Connect-the-Dots

Jeff & Dan

Players today are a whole different animal from athletes even just 20 years ago, and many coaches find dealing with them a challenge. However, once you understand what is happening with these young people, it is possible to create a locker-room culture that resembles—and, in some ways, is superior to—an old-school locker room. Join Jeff and Dan for a 4-part series for coaches. The topics:

  1. How did we get here? Explains the societal causes of Outcome Fever and how it affects young people, both directly and indirectly. You are given simple things to do to break the ice on this problem.
  2. Making inroads in curing Outcome Fever: using presence to increase focus and confidence
  3. Empowerment. Most young people today feel powerless, and that translates into poor athletic performance. By teaching young people that they always have choices, you can improve their outlook on life and their sport.
  4. Softening players (and coaches!) to harden them. The importance of vulnerability to today’s student athlete.

You have a choice of two programs:

Webinar: Individuals can participate from wherever they are and can watch for the 30 days after each session if they don’t make the live sessions. Four 90-minute programs that start on Tuesday, July 23rd and run for 4 weeks. 

$50/person.

 In-person:  The program can be tailored to the school/team’s needs and coaching staff. Four 2-hour programs, plus a 30-minute individual session with Jeff and/or Dan for each participant. 

$1,000 for Jeff or Dan 

$1,500 for both

Individual / small group coaching for coaches

Jeff & Dan

Coaches know that many young people today grapple with mental health problems, most commonly anxiety and depression. Building anything resembling team camaraderie or chemistry is extremely difficult under these circumstances. Naturally, these issues often play out in the locker room,  in practice, and on game day.

This can be perplexing to coaches, many of whom were successful in their sport in great part because of these psychological lessons. Add to this the specters of the professionalization of college sports and the transfer portal, which cast a pall over team connection, and the result is many teams where both players and coaches are unhappy and play is subpar.

 
Program

We wanted to give this program legs so coaches have the tools and support they need over time to implement some of the emotional skills players need to learn remedially. So our program for coaches has three components:

  1. In-person program: I present an in-person introductory program that explains how we got here—the societal causes of this problem and how they have affected young people and adults. I also provide an outline of how I “soften players in order to harden them,” and how connection and vulnerability actually make for tougher players.
  2. Videos: I distribute a series of five short videos on things coaches can do on their own to help their players. Topics:
    1. Acknowledgement
    2. Respectful accountability
    3. “Controlling the Controllables”
    4. Permission to fail
    5. F.U.N.
  3. Help Desk: We are available, either in person or virtually, to answer questions about the subject matter and help coaches with particular situations or players vis-a-vis the video subject matter.

Like all of my programs, this program can easily be scaled up or down. Please feel free to contact me to discuss your school’s needs and to get more information.

Our Glossary --

Why do these things happen?

The first step in the plan of attack is to understand why, exactly, these issues are affecting young people so badly, and who is at risk. We have defined a few key terms that we use in our program to explain the different phenomenon that you or a teen in your life may be feeling.


“Give your fear a name. Once it is named, it is understood, and it loses its power over you.”

Businessman, stress and headache on laptop multitasking, team management or chaos in modern office.

“The Overwhelming Tragedy List”

Threatening societal issues, such as school shootings, COVID, climate change, political rancor, etc., that our kids read about on their phones daily, yet very few adults talk about in a constructive way. We call these the Elephants in the Room.

Little child reaching for numbers on a scoreboard

“Outcome Fever”

Often prevalent in high-achievers, athletes, and young creatives, this is where children are judged by their accomplishments, not who they are. Outcome fever often results in highly anxious individuals with no sense of self and identity outside what they are trying to accomplish, which can create problems later in life.

Depression, mental health and student thinking on a floor, stress and social anxiety at university.

"Internal Locus of Control"

Stress and feeling like they’ve lost control can degrade physical skills, flexibility, oxygenation, and more. It’s important to focus on what can be controlled and let go of what can’t. Players should understand that they are the drivers of their play and their lives, which allows them to take more responsibility and be more accountable for their actions.

For deep dives into these terms, read the free eBook “Raising Kids in the Digital Age”.