This article is a part of HeadStrong: Mental Health and Sports, NBC Sports multi-platform initiative on mental health and men's health. NBC Sports Washington will be releasing a series of original short-form features that are all available at nbcsportswashington.com/headstrong.
NBC Sports Washington’s "HeadStrong: Mental Health and Sports" documentary explores the stigma surrounding mental health, featuring athletes opening up about being more comfortable and honest about mental and emotional struggles.
Often when one thinks of an athlete preparing for a game or match, they only consider the physical and technical training that is required. However, mental training is just as important, if not more.
“The mental is what unlocks potential,” said Mental Performance Coach Brian Levenson.
Levenson works closely with athletes on the mental side of performance. Levenson has worked with a wide range of athletes in amateur, high school, college, and professional sports including D.C. United.
Athletes are humans too, they have their own issues.
Levenson has developed an innovative program, CORE Mental Training, to help athletes maximize their mindset and potential. In order to help the players get into a good mental space, Levenson helps them create systems, routines and habits that they can become familiar with.
“This should be something that we’re all working on. We’re all looking to be our best selves and why wouldn’t we work on our mindset and set our mind to be the best we can possibly be to perform at the level that we need to be at.”
However, mental health is a topic that typically gets overlooked and Levenson is working to foster the discussion among all athletes regardless of the sport.