Mental Training


“FOCUSED and ON FIRE: The Athlete’s Guide to Mental Training & Kicking Butt”

Click here to Purchase!

and invite Lisa to speak to your team or group and sign books!

Focused and on Fire Cover v4

The Book: “Focused and On Fire” is a fresh, smart, and moving book for kids, teens, and adults. Coach Lisa Mitzel explains mental skills and portrays an authentic view of the athlete’s inner journey. From surgeries, fears, and a broken back, Lisa takes readers through highs and lows to reflect on thoughts and feelings, and inspires them to confront battles and reach their goals. As a mental training expert, her true stories of many athletes and comprehensive curriculum teach methods to manage doubt, distraction, fear, pressure, and how to manifest success. In this powerful compilation, readers will learn self-awareness, higher-mind thinking, and the practice of believing that anything’s possible.

Author-Illustrator: Lisa Mitzel is an NCAA National Champion, 6-Time All-American, and member of 4 NCAA National Championship Teams. She is a former Head Coach of Women’s Gymnastics at Stanford University. She coaches many athletes and teams in mental skills, and has spoken at Stanford University, San Jose State, and TEDx. She has a BA in Psychology, MFA in Writing, and is published in Routledge Handbook of Applied Sport Psychology. Her book is for anyone who is struggling, for anyone who wants to achieve, and for those who truly love to be inspired.  

Praise: “Lisa Mitzel has nailed it with her book, “Focused and on Fire!” We all strive to be our best, which is so often more difficult to achieve than need be. This mental training guide is helpful for any athlete. Lisa draws upon her coaching experience and success as well as incredible personal integrity and insight to help young athletes manage and overcome the many “inner” obstacles which arise along the way! A must read to increase the chances for peak performance . . .”

~ Dick Gould, Director of Tennis, Stanford University, Coach of 17 NCAA National Championship Tennis Teams


Parent Talk on Mental Training – How to Guide and Support your Athlete

Format: I take parents through a couple mental exercises, and I’ll discuss common internal struggles and how you might help. Then I’ll open it up for discussion.

DATE, TIME & LOCATION: TBA  (typically at Airborne Gymnastics, Santa Clara)

REGISTER: Email Lisa 

PARTICIPANTS: Maximum 20, depending on venue.

Bring: Notebook and an open mind.

Provided: Pens, positive energy, and inspiration. 

PLEASE EMAIL LISA: to Register and Hold Space, email

Schedule a Parent talk, Team workshop, or Coaching clinic.

Lisa Mitzel can visit your Team, Camp, or School!



Example of Curriculum, Exercises & Materials
* 6 Mental Skills – Breathing, Relaxation, Positive-self talk, Concentration, Recall, Visualization. Using these tools give athletes the ability to perform their best.
* What CAN you control on your path to achievement? Learn to identify and focus on what you CAN control and change, and let go of what you can’t.
* Self 1 vs. Self 2 – Become aware of your critical voice, trust your preparation and connect with your body for accurate performance.
* Identify Anxieties and Overcome them – break down pressures and expectations and create what you want.

Mental Skills and Speaking Services
Speaking to Groups — $500 – $1000, please contact Lisa in relation to your group.

1-on-1 Mental Skills Coaching – 60-120 min sessions — $150-$300
Team Mental Skills Coaching – 60-120 min sessions — $300-$550

(Sliding fee scale available.)

TO SCHEDULE LISA for your athletes, coaches, or parent group: 


Meanwhile, here’s a little perspective on the mind in sports… 

Mental skills teach you how to: 1) connect with your breath and body; 2) manage pressure; 3) control thoughts and emotions; 4) and how to perform your best when it counts. When you control your thoughts, you have power. How you think, directly relates to how you perform. Lisa works one-on-one with various athletes and coaches, teaching mental skills, how to apply them and heighten performance. She teaches athletes and teams how to get in tune with their thoughts and emotions, generate positive synergy, and most of all…how to bring everything together to give yourself the best chance to WIN.

Lisa coaching SAC.4.14

Lisa Mitzel: NCAA National Champion gymnast, 6-Time All-American, Member of 4 NCAA National Championship teams, Hall of Fame Inductee, University of Utah; Head Coach, Gymnastics Team, Stanford University, NCAA National Top-10 Team, coached NCAA Regional Champions and NCAA All-Americans. Believe in yourself. You can.

How I learned mental skills: I was 15 yrs old when I first worked with Dr. Ken Ravizza, a pioneering sports psychologist at Cal-State Fullerton. I had a bad crash in the gym, and developed an awful fear. I regressed and lost 70% of my gymnastics skills. We worked intensely, two hours a day, twice a week, for several months. I’d been training with hopes of making the 1980 Olympic Trials, but I had a terrible crash. Crashed on my head on a double back (2 flips in the air), and developed terrible fear, anxiety, and even lost most of my skills. I completely forgot how to do them and decided to quit. I was devastated. But then I met Dr. Ravizza, and I learned mental skills, adjusted my goals, gradually re-learned what I’d lost and  — s-l-o-w-l-y gained confidence —  and 6 months later, I was a 2-time U.S. Jr. Olympic National Champion….a miracle.

A couple years later, on scholarship at the University of Utah, my freshman year, our team captains told us they wanted to win Nationals. Seriously, The pressure was immense. But we were driven. We did mental practice with Dr. Keith Henschen. And…every year, we went to NCAA Nationals and WON.

University of Utah - winning the 1983 NCAA National Championships  (Lisa in sweats)

University of Utah – winning the 1983 NCAA National Championships (Lisa in sweats)

The University of Utah women’s gymnastics team won six consecutive Division I National Championship titles — I was on four of those teams. We learned from Dr. Henschen to manage our thoughts, focus on the performance, and create the win in our minds. Believe, and you can manifest success.

This sport psych academic book is one of my excellent resources in teaching mental skills.  I was also honored to co-author Chap 5.

This sport psych academic book is one of my excellent resources in teaching mental skills.
I was also honored to co-author Chap 5.

Me and Kira after a mental skills session.

Me and Kira after a mental skills session, 2015.

Using patience, humor, and mindfulness, I get to know my clients. I use a lot of proven strategies in sport psychology and I dig into your process. I assist you in implementing effective habits, and I help you discover triggers and tools to shift gears and move forward. What is your goal? What do you struggle with? Learn mental skills and clear facets of training that discipline the mind and body…

Engage athletes. Talk, laugh, make them think.  I enjoy meeting them where they're at - touching on goals, challenges, training strategies, and team respect. Most of all, mental skills, how to drop anxiety, be in tune, and believe you can do anything.
Engage athletes. Talk, laugh, make them think. I meet them where they’re at – we talk about goals, challenges, training strategies, and team respect. Most of all, mental skills, how to drop anxiety, be in tune, and believe you can do anything.  — At Santa Ana College with Track Team. April 2014.




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