Building Mental Resilience: An Introduction to Mental Skills Training

By Jesse Engelbrecht

By Jesse Engelbrecht



Welcome to SportMind! I am delighted that you are taking the first steps towards creating a healthier and more balanced mind, both in and out of your sporting arena.

As an ex-professional squash player, I was unable to tap into my full technical and physical potential due to my fluctuating mental game. Every time I thought I had a handle on things, and was making some positive strides, another mental hurdle quickly reared its head.

Experiencing a lack of confidence, nervousness, the red mist, wavering focus, a drop in motivation, and an increase in anxiety became all too common and had devastating effects on my performance, regardless of how hard I worked. This resulted in a feeling of complete hopelessness. It was a very difficult time for me. Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Transitioning to a fulltime coaching career in 2012 after 10+ years on the pro tour, I was haunted by my own failure to develop my mental strength as an athlete. This inspired me to make it my goal and mission to delve deeply into the mental side of sport and share my knowledge with athletes who lacked the access to the necessary resources and practical practices.

I embarked on a Masters research project with the University of Gloucester in 2018 to explore mental toughness in squash. It was an amazing experience and the wealth of knowledge I gained was invaluable. Unfortunately, I still felt a sense of dissatisfaction as it was highly academic, and I felt the insights were not as applicable to realworld scenarios as I had hoped.

The power of mental skills training, particularly visualisation for sports, is undeniable based on numerous longitudinal studies and firsthand accounts from athletes who follow a mental training program.

My goal is to create a comprehensive mental skills training program that is robust, easy to use, affordable, and accessible. To do this, I have drawn upon my years of study and application of advice from experts and mentors, as well as my own personal experiences. This is the inspiration for the SportMind app.


Studies have consistently demonstrated that our brains are unable to distinguish between an actual physical experience and a vivid visualisation of the same event. Whenever we experience something, or visualise it, the same brain circuits are activated.

Being able to effectively visualise and being taught how to do it in an attractive, easy, and accessible way creates powerful habits that can be transferred into performance.

SportMind will help you to jumpstart a mental skills training program tailored to your needs. My passion lies in unlocking people‘s potential and guiding them in their journey towards a more balanced, healthier, and happier life.

Explore a range of strategies to maximise consistent performance under pressure with topics such as dealing with pressure, coping with nerves, converting from in front, acceptance, goal setting, habit forming, and the power of process. Unlock practical tips to help you conquer your fears and take control of your performance.


The art of improving mental strength and flexibility is not just a set of teachings or a formula to memorise. It’s a practice that requires constant work.

SportMind is an invaluable tool, but if it remains neglected, it will be fruitless.

Developing mental strength and flexibility requires considerable effort and dedication. In the same way, a hammer will never hammer in a nail, a saw will never cut wood, or a paint brush will never paint, unless it is taken up and used for its intended purpose.

You need to get your reps in!

Turn words into work. Upgrade awareness into action.

SportMind employs an uncomplicated 3step protocol to enhance the mind. Don‘t let its ease fool you it‘s still quite a challenge!

1 – Get the theory

2 – Get the tools

3 – Get to work


Are you just beginning to think about addressing your mental state? If so, why not check out the Intro Course in the SportMind App?

Discover the Intro Course at the bottom of the Home Screen on the app it‘s entirely FREE! This course will take you through the basics, helping you understand how to navigate the app and make the most of your experience. Enjoy the journey!

I am eagerly anticipating seeing you at your first lesson and am thrilled to welcome you on your amazing journey to unlock the power and awe of the mind!

To complement your journey into SportMind, I would highly recommend reading some powerful books that focus on key mental aspects:


– Start by becoming more aware of your emotions in a match and pay attention to them

– Journal for a few minutes each morning and evening to increase your awareness

– Start with some daily meditation using the SportMind Meditation Timers in the drop-down menu to grow your mindfulness and presence


Whenever you’re ready, here are 4 more ways you can consume SportMind content to help you train your mind:

  1. Check out the SportMind podcast. And this is my FAVOURITE episode to date
  2. Get your coach in your pocket by downloading the SportMind App on Apple or Android
  3. Ever wanted the tools to Unlock Flow? I have a workshop just for this
  4. Become a SportMind member and gain full access to mental training. Learn more here

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Jesse Engelbrecht

SportMind Founder,
High Performance Coach,
& Squash Professional

A professional and dedicated coach full of enthusiasm and passion for helping and teaching.

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