Mental Skills Training

The purpose of California Lutheran University’s (CLU) Mental Skills program is to provide student-athletes with specific techniques and skills to improve their performance through FOCUS, INTENSITY, RELAXATION, and EXECUTION. Elite athletes have a key mix of mental skills they use in practice, in competition, and in life to overcome adversity, enable their spirit, and contribute to overall life satisfaction.

The CLU Mental Skills Program, as part of the overall Center for Performance Excellence (CPE), brings a sense of positive achievement and creates the mindset for excellence in athletic performance. The body cannot achieve what the mind cannot conceive.  

The success of any skill set, whether physical or mental, relies on the correct application of the correct tool at the correct time. Using a set of mental skills without the appropriate training can be of detrimental use to an athlete. Our focus is to help athletes realize their potential through the alignment of physical strength and conditioning with the mental skills necessary to improve practices, perform at ever-higher levels, and ultimately enjoy life as a result.

These goals are achieved by using the F.I.R.E. model of mental skills:


  • Applying the correct amount of focus to any given athletic endeavor.
  • Reducing distractions that detract from focus.
  • Use positive focus to improve performance.


  • Evaluate the level of intensity required in a given circumstance.
  • Control the level of intensity at any given time.
  • Increase the level of intensity for competition.
  • Realize the value of sports as it relates to overall life goals.


  • Use specific mental skills to relax in preparation for competition.
  • Apply relaxation techniques in response to intensity requirements.
  • Application of appropriate relaxation techniques pre and post event.


  • Apply lessons from practice.
  • Improve practice through goal setting.
  • Realize the value of executing specific leader behaviors.

Psychological Factors »

Mental Skills »

Team Skills »