Athletes and Teams

Special remote programming during the pandemic:

Tennis legend Chris Evert said, “Competitive toughness is an acquired skill and not an inherited gift.”

This down time is a perfect opportunity to work on acquiring the hard skills that lead to that competitive toughness. We have several offerings for teams to work with Jeff on the mental aspects of the game—in short, we can take your team as far as it wants to go.

Pricing varies, because each program is customized for each team, so we encourage you to call Jeff to discuss your needs and to get a price.

Here’s what we’re offering:

Introduction to Coaching for Confidence: This 2-hour program gives your staff and players a taste of the concepts, techniques, and skills Jeff uses in his approach to the mental game and team chemistry—the 90% rule, Digititis, the Five I’s, gremlins and elephants, the Personalized Performance Plan, and vulnerability and accountability. Your kids will have a lot of fun and learn some basics about the mental game and themselves, and you can pick up some ideas on how the Coaching for Confidence program can help your team.

Level I: Introduction to Coaching for Confidence: an affordable overview of some basic skills and techniques for the mental game, both for individual players and the team. The goal of our program is to begin to develop in players the Five I’s: Imagination, Independence, Intestinal Fortitude, and Integrity, which all lead to Identity. This leads to more confidence and connection. Level I includes individual/small group player meetings.

6 ninety-minute Zoom calls or a full day in-person.

Curriculum for Level I

Week 1

  • The 90% Rule has to be explained and accepted.
  • This week can be just for the kids, or can be for kids and parents—coach’s choice.

Week 2

  • Develop a full understanding of the Digital Age, with its many distractions and confidence drains.
  • Almost all kids have Outcome Fever.
  • Almost all parents use the New Parenting Playbook, which may be a playbook but doesn’t work in any sport.
  • Results aren’t all that matters—enjoying the journey!

Week 3: The Five I’s

  • Learning the positives of failure and using adversity to fuel success: begin to learn the rudiments of identity which leads to intentional confidence.
  • The critical importance of imagination and being true to ourselves and finding a sense of purpose, inspiration, and mission.
  • The overarching benefits of authenticity, independence, intestinal fortitude, integrity, and connection.

Week 4

Introduction to being vulnerable: the chemistry on a team can’t be maximized until the kids really understand one another’s journeys. You can’t get to purpose and good performance without understanding and dealing with:

  • Adversities and trauma
  • Dreams
  • Gremlins (thanks to Rick Carson)
  • Elephants: putting phones away and developing real steadiness and focus.

Week 5

  • Every player works on a Personalized Performance Plan to maximize their mentality and, therefore, their performance on game days and beyond.
  • Setting MENTAL goals: learning to devise a plan, implement that plan, achieve benchmarks, and reach goals.

Week 6

  • Special work with captains and coaches to make them pistons in the engine.
  • Accountability: develop a mission statement and how to stick to it.

Coaching for Confidence Level II pairs the skills and techniques learned in Level I with actual physical skills (ideally, this is done in-person, but it can be done remotely, if necessary) so players learn how to implement those skills, manage their emotions, and focus while practicing and playing. Additionally, more advanced skills will be taught that teach them how to perform well under pressure, and players will dive deeper into how to turn their specific emotional obstacles into engines that drive play forward and develop their Five I’s even more. Team chemistry will also be examined and worked on in-depth. This level is customized, depending on the issues that were identified in Level I. Some common problems:

    1. Trauma: People who are dealing with trauma, past or current, cannot perform to the best of their abilities in anything, including athletics.
    2. Lack of imagination/independence: these often go hand-in-hand. Without the intrinsic confidence that comes from the 5I’s, even physically exceptional players cannot take the physical skills they have honed so well and use them to their full potential.
    3. Perfectionism/Outcome Fever: Perfectionists are often afraid to try for fear of failure.
    4. Lack of team chemistry.
    5. Communication problems with parents.

Crucial to Level II are individual/small groups meetings.

Forty hours of team, small-group and/or individual meeting time (depending on team size and goals). Can be done remotely or in-person (a combination can be arranged).

Level III: The Anatomy of Leadership: Leadership comes in many forms, and at some point in every season, every player is called upon to lead, whether by example, by supporting a teammate who is struggling, or stepping up selfless play for the good of the team, even if it subsumes their individual goals. In addition to continuing to work on the ongoing process of developing the 5Is, overcoming personal emotional obstacles, and managing emotions on game day, we will focus on different forms of leadership and how a deepening commitment to the concept of team and vulnerability only improves both individual and team play. Our goal is to lay a bedrock foundation of confidence and connection that your players will carry forward in their sport and into life. Most of the work is done via groups, both small and large. Level III builds on the work of Levels I and II and fully integrates what’s been learned.  This is best done in person, but can also be done virtually or in combination.

Level III is sold in blocks of 30 hours so can be completely customized for each team, depending on composition and goals.

Parent Podcasts: Some coaches like to work with parents, others do not. We have found that customized parent podcasts—where the coach and Jeff record a short podcast (or multiple podcasts) for team parents can be extremely helpful. The podcasts tell parents what the team is doing in terms of the mental game and explains how parents can support the effort through how they interact with their kids. Parents love to be included in a constructive way and enjoy the concept of a podcast, which they can listen to at their leisure. It is a safe, positive way for coaches to relate to parents while maintaining solid boundaries. And the result—parents having a better understanding of what the team is trying to accomplish and concrete things they can do to support the effort—can get parents rowing in the same direction as the coaching staff. It isn’t a silver bullet, but it can be an effective arrow in the quiver. You pay by the podcast, so you can try one and see how it goes.

Connect Your Locker Room! You and your staff will learn concrete ways of connecting with and motivating modern, Digital-Age players and will develop new insights and skills that will help your players on game day but also way beyond. As we all know, today’s players lack emotional skills that we all learned by osmosis in our childhoods. Today, we need to consciously teach those skills and help kids manage the stress, anxiety, and depression caused by their lack. Also, research shows that if a child has even just one adult that they trust, that increases mental wellness. For many student-athletes, their coaches are that adult, so we incorporate these skills in every workshop we do and teach coaches to continue this work long after our workshops are done.

We customize every program we do: For more information, please contact Jeff to talk about your program’s needs and how our programming can best serve you.

Individual coaching: As always, Jeff is available to work with players and coaches on an individual basis, by Zoom or in-person if we can be outdoors with social distancing. Feel free to use the contact form below or call/text me at 603-496-0305 to discuss your needs.


Here is our general information on our team-building program for athletes:

Can leadership, confidence, and teamwork be taught?

Absolutely.

Communicating with and motivating today’s “modern” kids can be a challenge for coaches today. My team-building programs provide an airtight methodology for coaches to improve those dynamics on and off the field.

Just as athletes need to work on their physical skills, they also need to work on their emotional and mental skills. With a combination of group and individual meetings, I bring participants to a spot where they know each other much more deeply, are committed to their goals as individuals and as a team, and players have the self-knowledge to remove mental and emotional obstacles standing in the way of peak performance.

Here is more information on my team-building program.

Here is more information on my work with individual athletes.

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 Athletic Director and boys’ lacrosse head coach.

The curriculum includes hard skills such as:

  • Mental steadiness and focus
  • Ability to use adversity to fuel success instead of failure
  • To play with lasting, intentional confidence,
  • To manage the “gremlins” in their heads, so positivity prevails
  • Manage stress and anxiety, both individually and as a group
  • To set goals: participants learn to devise a plan, implement that plan, achieve benchmarks and reach goals
  • 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?
  • Be a better teammate and more coachable player.

I then teach players to apply these skills to specific aspects of their game: mental steadiness and focus allow you to see the ball or puck more clearly, the ability to use adversity to fuel success allows you to not lose your composure when you miss a shot, and so on.

How am I different from a sports psychologist? Sport psychologists have many techniques to help players perform better despite their issues. I delve deeper and focus on why a player has issues in the first place and work with them, using the forward-thinking methodology of life-coaching, to get past their issues and thus reduce their impact on the player.

The work is intense, but fun. I teach athletes about the work they need to do as a team and as individuals to reach their goals and achieve their individual and collective visions and discuss the methodology for doing so. The confidence kids learn, combined with an increasing sense of family, is an unbeatable combination.

I customize every workshop to the circumstances of the situation: Please contact me to discuss your team’s particular requirements and how can they can best be met in a workshop or consultation setting. I am glad to discuss your goals and how we can achieve them.

I also offer both short- and long-term individual life coaching as well as keynote addresses.

I am a senior on the softball team. I just wanted to take the time to email you and let you know that I really enjoyed the leadership workshop with Jeff Levin last night. Going into the meeting I figured it was going to be someone just talking at us giving us pointers on how to grow as a leader on an athletic team. However, Jeff made it so much more than that. The workshop was interactive and everyone participated. I feel like after only an hour-long meeting with him I have learned more about myself and how to grow into a better leader than I have in any other way. After talking to a few athletes who were also at one of the workshops last night, I have heard nothing but positive feedback.

I just wanted to take the time to personally let you know how much we enjoyed the workshop and how much we learned from it. – Emily M.

For us, this is about sports, but also so much more than sports. Here is our mission statement:

JLC Team Building offers aspiring athletes and their families and coaches an opportunity for a variety of immersion experiences in leadership and character development. Athletes across this country have opportunities to create team experiences together that, going well beyond wins and losses, are life changing. Our mission is to teach and inspire student athletes to become the best they can be in all facets of the game on and off the field—to behave selflessly for the Team… to believe in the power of the experience… and to generally come to see that the world needs leaders who are creative, confident, focused, perseverant, caring, courageous, tough, fair, and, most of all, independent in thought and action. We seek to do our part to create young leaders who will advocate for themselves, lead their peers on and off the field, and, when the time comes, guide the families they raise, the companies for which they work, and the young people whom they coach in directions that exemplify true values, keeping the Golden Rule at the heart of everything they do, everything they teach, and everything they are.