Amateur Sports Psychology and Dealing With Your Stars
by Rich Simmons

I've realized over the last few years that the biggest impact with my top athletes seems to have come from the mental side of things. While I was fretting over the details of what workouts they needed to be performing, they were fretting about things that had a much bigger impact on their performance.

I have no formal education in sports psychology, but after 13 years of coaching there are a few basic principles I've leaned to help get the most out of your stars.

CoachSimmons Rich Simmons

I am the head cross country and track and field coach at Cheney High School in Cheney, KS. It is a 3A school with 234 students. My goal is to provide a resource for coaches and athletes, especially those who may be new to the sport or unsure on how they should be organizing their practice time.

I started coaching in 2004 at Wichita East (Jim Ryun’s alma mater) before ending up at Cheney, my own alma mater. I am USATF Level 2 certified in endurance, sprints/hurdles/relays, jumps, and youth specialization.

Check out my ever in progress blog/website at

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