Athlete Success Stories
“I contacted John because our daughter was having major emotional blocks in her gymnastics. She had trained and mastered a very difficult bars release skill over the summer for her upcoming competition season, which begins in January. In October, she just stopped begin able to execute the skill. She would not even attempt it in the safety harness. She said, “I just can’t make my body do it”. All her other events suffered as well. She was not executing any of her skills that she had trained so hard on. She was coming home every night after practice in tears, asking me to fix her. She is a junior in high school, and this is the season when college coaches would start looking at her. She is also doing bigger and scarier skills than ever before. The pressure is really on. I knew she needed help that I was not equipped to give her. After working with John I started noticing changes in her and she is coming home happier and with a renewed level of excitement about gymnastics. John not only spends time coaching her, he is also willing to talk with me and her coach and provide us with ideas and strategies to help us help her be more successful. I am confident that with John working with her she will excel to the next level and have a very successful college gymnastics experience.”
Susan – Gymnastics Mom
“Hello my name is Rubin Williams and I am a professional track athlete. I have always been a gifted athlete with great speed but I am such a perfectionist that it would hinder me. To the point where I would forget about the race I was in and would be worried about how I look or if I was executing my race correctly. Or if I was not doing that I was over excited so my nerves would get the best of me. So I reached out to John to help me correct and harness my emotions.
Since working with john I have seen a vast change in my mental and emotional state while I am competing. I have yet to run my first outdoor season race but if my indoor season is a preview of what I will do during the summer I am very excited. I was very controlled and calm during the indoor season doing the things I do best which is the bottom end of my race and staying relax during my race. John has really help me with my mental game plan. Thanks so much John!”
Rubin Williams – 17 Time All-American – University of Tennessee, Professional Track and Field – Sprinter
“John has made an immediate impact on our players. He has helped them realize what they want from themselves, for the team this season, and has motivated them to strive even harder to achieve their goals. John worked with our team to create a team Vision Statement, and establish Team Performance Goals for the season. This Vision Statement has given our players more collective ownership with how they wish to be seen by themselves as a team and greater sense of purpose for achieving their goals without letting outside distractions get in their way. John’s impact has brought a more focused, determined, and intense attitude for our team. I would recommend him to anyone wishing to create a greater sense of purpose and direction for their team.”
Paul Noche – Head Baseball Coach – Hillsdale College
“I decided to introduce John to our team of ten players and we met as a group in the fall of 2009. A few of the guys had worked with sport psychologists in the past but most had little or no experience so John started with the basics. He established communication channels with everyone in different times and ways both individually and as a group according to their needs and comfort level. From a coaching standpoint, it was interesting to observe how he worked to establish credibility and gain their trust. He worked hard to figure out where he might be able to meet the individual needs of each player while keeping the goals of the team the primary focus. During tournaments, we meet as a team before, during and after the events. It is a testament to John’s influence that they now refer to “Ellsworthisms” in these discussions when they are talking about what they are trying to do or accomplish. They have embraced a number of John’s ideas and concepts to the point that they have developed a language all their own and sometimes to the point that I have to ask them what they are talking about.
I strongly recommend John Ellsworth as a mental game coach. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping athletes become the best they can be. He isn’t out there trying to grab credit, but is right there when someone needs him. He has become a very important part of the support structure and a `contributor to the success of the team.”
Rob Miller – Head Golf Coach – Santa Clara University
“Working with John was the step up I needed in my golf career. He opened my mind up to what is most important in my process of reaching my goals. I learned to clear my mind of distractions and really focus on the most important tasks at hand. John is a very friendly person and easily approachable for questions, but he is very disciplined and knows what he wants to accomplish with his students. He genuinely cares about his students and always checked in on me by phone or email to see how I was doing, which in my opinion is very thoughtful. Golf can be a negative and frustrating game, but John would always focus on the positive and always asked what I did well that day. He made me think about what I did right instead of wrong, which helped build my confidence. Most of all, I found out that I am more important than anyone else when it comes to my own golf game. At the end of the day whatever happens on or off the golf course I won’t let others affect my own game. I am my own person and I am the one that can make a difference in my game. Again thanks for all your help and it was an honor to work with you.”
Lawrence Fu – High School Varsity Golfer
“Before starting my work with John Ellsworth I had no experience with this sort of aspect of my golf game. In reality, the mental game is the most important part of any game because the mental side controls everything. My biggest challenge was my fear of failing and playing at the next level. I didn’t quite realize how the level of competition in college would be that much more challenging. As a result I did not have my priorities in order and my focus was not on the things that mattered most. Once I was able to get my priorities in order I was able to channel my energy and got back on track. I also learned I do have control over what goes through my subconscious, and by controlling my thoughts and what I say to myself in my self-talk I could better control all the elements that go into each shot without distraction. Working with John has allowed me to first get my priorities in order and then to realize the impact your internal thoughts can have such a huge impact on your outlook and competitive success.”
Adam – NCAA Division I Golfer
I am learning along with the players, and it seems that “high expectations” and “disappointment” are a big part our roadblocks. Your mental game approach gives us lots to focus upon and I can already see results with the players. Receiving your weekly tips sheet would be a great asset to help our game. I look forward to having you work more with the team and specifically one-one with one of the athletes.”
Don Yellum – Santa Theresa High School – Golf Coach
“My son has been working with John for over a year now and I am very pleased with the results. I was initially referred to John through a friend and colleague to help my son get through some challenging times having lost a very close friend, mentor and fencing coach. This loss was difficult and it not only affected his emotional approach to sports and fencing, but also his performance. I really wanted to find someone to help him process the loss, but also to get back his confidence and rekindle his joy for fencing. John has gone above and beyond and has been a great mental game coach, trusted mentor, and has helped my son get back on a successful performance track with his competitive fencing. Through this process my son has also been able to learn valuable life lessons he will undoubtedly reference in the future. Just recently he achieved Top 15 at the Summer Nationals Fencing Tournament. I would recommend John to any parent looking to help their child improve their sports performance as well as gain valuable insight into how performance experiences in sports can provide valuable lessons for the future.”
Trish, Fencing mom and parent
“My husband and I contacted John Ellsworth to work with our son during his senior year in High School. John worked with him to help him understand his roadblocks and to develop tools and techniques to overcome them. John was not only able to work with Kyle on his mental game, he took the extra steps to work on his physical game. The extra support of working on his mechanics was a wonderful addition to Kyle’s development. John’s connections and introductions to local coaches became a valuable asset. We appreciated John’s complete approach to all aspects of Kyle’s baseball development. John’s patient and compassionate approach to working with Kyle was truly unique; he was not given a standard coaching template but rather he was able to work with our son’s personality and make suggestions that he was comfortable with, in a time frame that worked with our family. The structured approach of the coaching relationship combined with focus on Kyle’s goals a created momentum. This focus and momentum increased both his confidence and effectiveness. John continues to check in with our family and keep in touch on Kyle’s baseball progress”.
Julie – College Baseball mom
“My son’s soccer coach felt my son could be a highly successful goalkeeper but his game performance was lackluster. He had the skills to be one of the best players on the team but during games was underachieving. John Ellsworth began working in the fall and within one month my son’s performance improved. My son not only earned the starting job but during State Cup Tournament my son played every minute of every game. He was instrumental in his team’s success (making it to the Final Four).
I knew the work he was doing with John was “sticking” when on the way to the second round of State Cup I asked him how he was feeling, and he responded, “Mom, I need quiet, I am doing my self-talk.”
Liz – High School Soccer mom
“John Ellsworth of Protex Sports has done an admirable job working with my 14-year-old son. John’s coaching has given him the mental skills to compete effectively and consistently as a solid performer on his traveling club baseball team. My son’s batting has definitely improved.
Furthermore, his ability to respond to challenging situations and improved emotional composure has made him one of the most reliable pitchers on his team. He often serves as the “closer” in pool play and as one of the regular starting pitchers in the play-off rounds in tournaments. Thanks, John for helping my son’s baseball efforts become more satisfying and successful for him.”
Brian — baseball dad
“Working with John provided me far more than I originally expected. Not only did we address my initial issues, but then we focused on improving my mental attitude and establishing a game plan for all phases of my sport from training to competition. I would highly recommend John and Sports Psychology to anyone who is serious about competing and excelling at their sport. ”
Megan — Dressage Competitor
“John Ellsworth helped our son during his post surgery rehabilitation and during his Senior year on the Varsity water polo and basketball teams. Immediately after surgery, our son wasn’t sure he wanted to play sports again, but because of his inner strength, a killer conditioning program, and John’s assistance in becoming mentally prepared and tougher, our son returned to competitive sports and excelled. He has even been accepted to the college of his choice along with the opportunity to play both sports. John helped our son defeat mental adversity and improve his competitive in game performance.”
Mike – father of HS basketball and water polo player
“My testimonial may be different than others, but it brings out John’s strengths as a mental game coach.
First of all, I would like to say that John has a lot of experience in this field, he is very familiar with the sports ‘business’ on a professional sports, college sports, and high school sports level, educates himself well on any issues a client may be facing, and does research on the particular set of issues involved. He is educated on the mentality and behavior of sports personnel, and has a good idea on how a coach or a player or whomever might react in a particular situation.
He is also very strong in pinpointing particular problem(s) that the athlete many have in regard to their mental game, which may then affect their sports performance, for example perfectionism, procrastination, fear, etc. and he builds a plan to work step by step with the athlete to resolve these issues and thus allow the athlete to play to their true game potential.
John has worked with my daughter, a collegiate division I sports participant. He has not only helped her progress through a serious injury, but works and continues to work on her mental game as well. Her whole mental strategy, both pertaining to sports and off the sports field, has become much stronger and continues to become stronger while working with John.
John also adds the element of ‘hope’ to all situations. No matter how bad a situation may seem, John will find rays of light and hope, and turn the situation into a positive, and educate the athlete to deal with the situation, that with hard work, there may/will be light at the end of the tunnel, which in turn, teaches the athlete to better deal with this and other situations, both sports related and non-sports related.
In addition, John cares about the client, he goes the extra mile to help the athlete to reach his or her goals. I have worked with other sports trainers (not mental coaches but sports trainers) and each at times seemed out for themselves, their main goal to promote their own business. John is genuinely concerned with the athlete’s goals and their progress in achieving those goals”.
Pat – NCAA Division-1 Basketball Mom
“Before I knew about Sports Psychology, I was not a very confident individual. In February 2006, I was set back even further when I had a major operation on my ribcage. It took me months to recover from this physically, but I was still damaged mentally. I then met John and he introduced me to Sports Psychology. I soon developed a more open mind set and began to live and play sports without fear. My confidence rose to levels I had never seen before, and this helped me on and off the court, in and out of the pool. Thanks to Sports Psychology and John’s help, I am now living my life in a greater state of freedom and excelling in sports because I know that I have the mental edge over my competition.”
Sean – High School / Water Polo
“John Ellsworth has been tremendously successful in working with my son, a varsity golfer at Bellarmnie College Prep. He was able to help my son work through a significant mental block in his game and gave him the tools to continue moving forward. John’s interest, involvement and expertise went well beyond my expectations. He was able to help my son regain his confidence by working on efficient practice strategies and by developing a positive mental focus. We are so grateful that my son was able to get back into his game and go on to CCS finals and NorCal with his team. I’m absolutely positive this would not have been possible without John’s involvement.
John’s guidance went above and beyond the realm of golf. He has empowered my son in a way that will support his needs through college and beyond. As a parent I am grateful that my son was able to finish out the year in golf and even more grateful that my son has found a fantastic mentor in John. Our group effort has been extremely effective on so many levels. Thanks again John!”
Ida – Golf Mom
“Although John has only recently begun working with our daughter we are already seeing changes in her mental approach to the game. We enjoy watching her use the mental tools John has given her. Not only has this resulted in a noticeable improvement in her physical skills but her overall enjoyment of the game seems to have skyrocketed. We will continue to rely on John’s expertise as her mental approach to the game continues to develop.“
Mike – Softball Dad
“Our son was a top pitcher on a competitive traveling team that played in state and national tournaments. He then played in a competitive high school baseball program which was state and nationally ranked. Something happened however, and he started to change in his thought process, he approached the game differently and he started to play with doubt and started to put pressure on himself.
We knew nothing about sports psychology, but as a parent we added pitching lessons, hitting lessons, acceleration programs and we think nothing about the high pressure of playing a sport in such a highly competitive environment. It seems to me that a crucial link is missing.
I mentioned sports psychology to my son, and he wanted nothing to do with it. He thought he could fix it himself by continuing his hard work of hitting, fielding and working out at the gym. He agreed to meet with John and was instantly impressed. He wanted to continue to work with John on a mental game approach. Each week he would share information John shared with him, his perspective started to change on how he looked at situations and what was in his control.
I would highly recommend John and his approach to sports psychology. John has been a mentor to our son, and when you talk with him, you will see how passionate he is about his program and his students. What John has taught our son is not just game skills it is life skills!”
Mom of College baseball player
“Thank you so much for providing my son with the Mental Game Flash Cards. They are a convenient reminder of what he needs to focus on during the games. The information on the cards has helped him to concentrate on the current game situation, to block out unnecessary distractions, and to maintain his composure regardless of the circumstances. The Mental Game strategies have also boosted his performance, which has resulted in an increase in his confidence level, both on and off the field!”
Elaine – Little League Baseball Mom
“When I first approached John about working with my son Matt on his baseball skills he was quite reluctant to work with a mental game sports consultant. His confidence was the real challenge, but in order to get him past his fear of working with a sports coach John was flexible with his approach and focused on helping Matt improve his pitching skills. Matt was about to start high school in the fall and wanted very badly to make the freshman baseball team, but was not confident in his skills. Once Matt became comfortable with John’s coaching approach and actually started to see his skills improve he was eager to meet with John as often as he could. Over the course of three months not only did Matt’s pitching mechanics improve, but his confidence, and trust in his ability as a ball player jumped significantly. At the end of the day my son’s skills improved and his appreciation for the mental game of baseball also improved. I plan to have John work with my son once again this fall.”
Dave – baseball Dad
“I believe the “Mental Edge Performance Journal” is a great tool for any athlete wanting to take their sport to the next level. It allows me to access my golf game on a daily basis and gets me to pick out both good and the bad. I believe this is key both for my confidence and shows me where and what to improve for tomorrow. The “Mental Edge” also keeps me focused on my goals. It is important for me to have my goals written down on paper, where I can remind myself of them everyday. I also have used the success journal to write down positive self talk statements. Reading these everyday helped me rebuild confidence in areas that were weak”.
Matt – Division II College Golfer
My team and I traveled overseas to England to race in the Henley Women’s Regatta. We won our first race easily, and then dominated the best junior rowers in England winning by over 3 lengths of open water. Despite bad weather conditions (40 mph winds) we won the finals race by 4 lengths of open water to win the Peabody Cup and our division at the Henley Women’s Regatta! It was really exciting and everyone was overjoyed! The help I got from you made an incredible difference in my confidence, overall approach to racing in general, and helped me gain a much deeper appreciation for the importance of having a strong mental approach.
Becca – NCAA Division I -Rowing
Going into my Freshman Football season my confidence was really low. My high expectations got in the way of my confidence, but as the season went on my confidence began to grow because I learned to play without expectations, and trust in the skills I had mastered. My confidence grew even more when I started using a pre-game routine in the locker room to pump up the entire defensive team. The defense started looking to me as a leader during pre-game. This was a huge confidence boost. John has really helped me to appreciate myself more and as a result I enjoy the game much more than I did last year.
Dario – High School Football player
I lost my desire to play tennis after spending many years at a private tennis academy. My dad was concerned because I just didn’t enjoy playing anymore. John helped me figure out that I was playing to please others and not myself. This was an important ah-ha moment for me because I learned that pleasing others was always a moving target and I really had zero control over anyone but myself. It was amazing how my becoming aware of this simple fact made such a huge difference in my outlook and enjoyment with tennis.
Spencer – Tennis player
As a 45 year old Triathlete I had set some pretty big goals to qualify for the Ironman in my age group. I was devoted to my training, but had a really hard time with balancing my aggressive behavior and focus during events. I knew this kept me from reaching the performance success I had set for myself, but was not sure what to do about it and felt like I needed some help. John helped me create a program to channel my energy into improving my performance, and add a series of tools to help me with distraction control. I did not believe it at first, but these tools really made a positive difference.
Mike – Triathlete
“John worked with our girls golf team at Harker School and was successful in helping them to focus more on the process of golf rather on end results. With a better understanding of “process golf” their concentration improved and as a result their performance results improved. With better focus the girls were able to pay more attention on the finer skills of execution rather than be distracted by things that were unimportant. This was an excellent first step in the team’s mental game education.”
Ie-Chen – Women’s Golf Coach – Harker School
“My son Jonathan in the last year went from the 439th ranked player to the 23d ranked player as rated by AJGA and in the process earned a spot on the UCLA Golf Team while still a High School sophomore. A huge part of this was that he acquired better mental discipline with respect to general attitude on the course, how to react to negative and highly stressful situations, and practice and advance planning. I credit much of this to his work with John, who spent frequent and regular in-person and phone time with Jonathan helping him to think about how to approach the mental part of the game, in general and for specific tournaments. There is no doubt that Jonathan’s recent improvement and success was to a large extent attributable to his improved mental approach to the game, for which John deserves much of the credit. Bobby Jones said that the most important part of playing golf is with the six inches from ear to ear, and this is what John helps you with. And believe me, that is more important than banging out balls on the range. . Jonathan and I are both thrilled and of course highly satisfied on how John’s approach to mental conditioning translated into significantly better performance and results.”
George – father of (SFHS) High School basketball player
“Our son has played far better than he had in the months before he started talking to you. He is having more fun, plays with more confidence, and actually feels like he is contributing to the team.”
Linda – mother of High School Hockey Player