Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club hires mental strength coach
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club has coaches for dozens of programs and disciplines, helping athletes perfect their skills and execution of whatever sport they choose.
Athletics isn’t just physical, though. There is a huge mental aspect to it that is difficult for some coaches to address.
Now, SSWSC has a coach focused solely on mental strength and performance in Luke Brosterhous.
“It’s just developing mental skills training, really. Giving them tools to develop more fully as mentally tough athletes,” Brosterhous said. “There’s certain techniques and perspectives that we can give them throughout the season.”
The club has had the idea of bringing on a mental strength coach for a few years now and has been setting aside funding for the position.
“At the higher levels, it’s indicated by top athletes that it’s perhaps the most important area for their success,” SSWSC Associate Executive Director Jon Nolting said.
Brosterhous coached alpine skiing for the club from 2007 to 2010 and will return in this new position to work with both coaches and athletes. His coaching will primarily be with the high school and post-grad level competitors, of which there are about 150.
“What really impressed me about Luke was, it was actually through his experience coaching that he realized, ‘Boy, I don’t have all the answers. I don’t have all the knowledge I’d like to have to help these kids with the real challenges they face, in particular their mental skills,’” Nolting said. “That motivated him to get his Masters degree, and I think that’s a great story.”
Determined to learn more, Brosterhous earned his Masters degree in exercise and sports science at the University of Utah. His degree focused on the psycho-social aspects of sport, performance-based coaching and youth development.
Using his skills, he and the SSWSC administration and coaches will develop a “mental strength training program” for all athletes.
Brosterhous has spent the past few years at Catamount Ranch & Club as the director of golf, teaching one of the most mentally-immersed sports out there. He said his experience with that will undoubtedly carry over into his new position.
“Really, when you look at the amount of time you’re actually, physically acting upon the golf ball, it’s about two to three minutes over the course of five hours. You have 4 hours and 55 minutes of time with your thoughts. It’s important for a golfer to learn how to manage that. Probably the most important thing with golf is learning how to manage your emotions because you spend a lot of time with those. Those skills transfer directly into all performance settings, but winter sports athletes in particular because there are a lot of similarities in having quite a bit of time between performances,” he said.
He also has a personal business, Luke Brosterhous Performance Coaching, which will expand to non-golf athletes.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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