Over the past several months we’ve been telling you about all the ways in which we are upping our game and improving for 2023 – and now we’ve got something else to add! Introducing Berky’s new and improved Mental Skills program, coming your way THIS SUMMER!
Our new mental skills curriculum is geared toward empowering Berky players to own their growth by giving them the tools & guidance they need to become their own best inner coach, on and off the field. With this refreshed program, we are committed to helping players grow their self-awareness and expand their mental skills toolkit through daily self-reflection, group discussions and team activities.
The Importance of Mental Skills Training
Here at Berky we understand the immensely important role that mental skills training has for our campers, both in helping them enhance on-field performance and in helping them cultivate overall mental wellbeing. And as much as we love the beautiful game, we also know that these days, it can be HARD being a female soccer player playing at competitive and elite levels. The pressure, the expectations, and the culture of comparison that surrounds it all can be difficult to manage, and left unchecked, can take a toll on a player’s performance, confidence, overall wellbeing and mental health. By bringing mental skills work into the Berky environment and by working to help normalize conversations around these difficult topics, we are helping players prepare to better navigate obstacles and challenges year-round.
The special thing about mental skills work is that it has the power to help soccer players see their worth beyond the bounds of their performance. It reduces a player’s dependence on external validation and helps a player to become her own best inner coach by building true, stable, deep confidence and belief in herself and her abilities. When players are given the space to learn about themselves and to focus on identity and character development alongside their soccer game, they come to see that who they are as a person is ultimately what will drive their success.
Lessons with a Purpose
Every day during camp, before the first training session, players will participate in a short mental skills lesson. Every lesson has been expertly designed to bolster growth-mindedness and to teach players to reframe and look at things with new perspective and with a healthy striving mentality. All activities will center on a mental skills concept that coincides with the Berky theme of the day and have each been crafted to help players with that day’s soccer tasks. Players will learn specific, useable tools that they can easily integrate into their training and game play. The mental skills lessons that players will be learning at Berky this summer are not random, they are lessons with a PURPOSE and this is what sets Berky’s new curriculum apart and makes it great!
Sunday – Connected and Safe. Corresponding Mental Skills theme: Get Invested in Growth.
Monday – Challenge Yourself. Corresponding Mental Skills theme: You Can Do Hard Things.
Tuesday – Finding the Groove. Corresponding Mental Skills theme: Control the Controllable.
Wednesday – Step-up and Perform. Corresponding Mental Skills theme: Play with Focus & Composure.
Thursday – Show Off. Corresponding Mental Skills theme: Be your Confident Self.
Mental Skills Coordinator
On-site Mental Skills Coordinator
Our revamped program has been designed and will be overseen by our new on-site Mental Skills Coordinator, coach Jenn Ireland. We are thrilled to have Jenn with us this summer implementing the new program and working with players to help them level up their game. Jenn is a USSF C-Licensed youth soccer coach who focuses on empowering female soccer players to own their growth and to maximize their potential by expanding their mental performance skills, reframing limiting beliefs and uncovering authentic passion and drive. She is the founder of Expand Your Game and the Mindset Mastery Academy, a 1-on-1 mental skills program for female soccer players. Jenn is currently the Mental Skills Coach for Minnesota Aurora FC, a pre-professional team playing in the USL W League. Previously she coached youth teams with Chattanooga FC Academy in Tennessee and Seattle United in Washington state. In addition to overseeing Berky’s Mental Skills program, Jenn will also be serving as Res Life Coordinator.
Beyond Berky, 1-on-1 Opportunity for Players
Because our new mental skills curriculum is so awesome, we know that many players will want the opportunity to go deeper with the content in their own time – which is why Jenn is setting aside 50% of the available spots in her Mindset Mastery Academy this fall EXCLUSIVELY for Berky players. This is a game-changing, one-of-a-kind transformational program that offers individualized, personal 1-on-1 mental skills coaching for female soccer players. When it comes to making the greatest impact on confidence and game play, there is no substitute for 1-on-1 mental skills coaching. That is because 1-on-1 coaching provides a safe, supportive environment where players are given the expert guidance, tools and care they need to empower themselves to reframe their thinking and transform their soccer mentality. There are two available sessions this fall, both remote via Zoom (weeks of August 14th – October 16th, and weeks of October 16th – December 18th). 10 players will be accepted into each program, of which 5 will be reserved exclusively for Berky athletes. Both sessions are currently open and accepting applications now. Once the spots are filled, the program is closed and the 2024 waitlist will open. Players will be accepted into the program based on overall general fit, meaning they demonstrate a willingness and strong desire to get invested in this piece of their game and they are ready to hold themselves accountable to doing the work each week and showing up with an open mind and a general curiosity to learn and grow. For more information and program application, go here.