The goal of a Coaching for Champions session is to take an athlete’s performance from great to extraordinary! Kamala Nellen offers professional and elite athletes cutting-edge tools to optimize their performance both minute-by-minute and over the long run. Kamala has practiced and taught these performance-enhancement tools for more than 40 years—and she has had astounding results with her clients.
Common issues she has resolved in sessions include distractions, injury, muscle imbalance, exhaustion, fear, and team discord.
Kamala works with individual athletes one-on-one, and she also works with teams. Session work may be 1 hour, 1.5 hours, or 2 hours.
For optimum results we recommend the Coaching for Champions Foundation Program.
Coaching for Champions also recommends reading Kamala Nellen’s book, Working IN; The Elite Athlete’s Guide to Working Out from the Inside.
Kamala’s clients resolved issues
Distractions, lack of confidence, fear…
A teenage baseball player came to me to learn meditation. When Joseph arrived at the training facility where I worked, I noticed he was self-conscious and easily distracted, his eyes darting continuously around the room. There were a number of other baseball players at the facility working on various hitting and fielding techniques, or in conversations, and loud music blared on the speakers. These distractions would have challenged even the most resolutely focused athlete. In light of the situation, I determined that sitting still for an extended time—which is required for meditation practice—was not going to work for Joseph. Instead, we practiced focusing for a few minutes at a time while in motion. Here is what his mom said after session one:
I think the meditation is working because last night at practice my son hit all the balls pitched to him and hit a home run over the center field fence. Additionally, he did his meditation on the way to the game today and during the game and he was very light on his feet moving from place to place on the field making all the right defensive moves at second base. He was like a butterfly gliding while mentally sharp. He continued the meditation at bat and he hit a double. I could see through the fence he was using his breathing technique.
In 2006, a free diver who held the US record told me his goal was to beat this personal best record. Because of the depth and duration of his dives, he found he was experiencing intense fear. He needed to slow his heart rate and overcome this fear. He used the technique described in my book Working IN: The Elite Guide to Working Out from the Inside which involved learning a specific pattern of breathing and a technique for focusing. He overcame his fear and slowed his heart rate—and he did beat his own best and set a new US record.
A high school cheerleader was plagued by a memory of the previous year’s international competition, when she had fallen while executing a complex move. While performing this move, she had glanced at her boyfriend who was sitting in the stands. That glance threw off her concentration, and she fell. Faced with the same competition a year later, Kim’s nerves were really getting in the way, her focus was unsteady, and she was trying to find her lost confidence. She needed a way to avoid distractions, keep her nerves steady, and regain her confidence. We used mental techniques from the science of yoga involving focus and breath. Her perfect performance was perfect!
A college baseball player, his team’s MVP, was finishing his senior year. The next step was to sign a contract with a professional baseball team. Athletically he was having a good year, but he had a number of personal issues that were affecting his performance. He told me that he had been feeling irritable, that he’d had trouble breathing, and that his chest often felt tight. I recommended a breathing practice to get him back on track, and it worked. He was drafted by a professional team.
A professional baseball player’s contract was in jeopardy. Through coaching sessions, he got to the heart of matter and kept his contract, along with learning focusing techniques that helped him to increase his batting percentages.
Getting back on track as fast as possible
A triathlete had suffered an injury, and although he was well, he couldn’t seem to get back into stride. I worked with him using variations of yoga postures to balance the flexibility of his legs, especially the ligaments around his knees and his hips. He was so happy with how he felt that he didn’t want the session to end.
A tennis player who had tried everything else for his ongoing back pain came to me saying he was ready to learn yoga. We worked with a number of postures, and soon he was winning more games and smiling a lot. He told me he was sleeping deeper at night as well.
A kayaker was being kept out of competitions by upper back and neck pain. We worked with various neck and shoulder exercises as well as some recuperation postures from yoga—and he was soon back in competition. He told me he was surprised to find his entire back felt good again; he’d only come to me for the upper back and neck issue.
An MMA professional had tight hips which affected his kick. I taught him a specific series of postures for this issue, and the next day he reported that his kick went up six inches.
Dealing with road trips, packed schedules, relationships…
A university softball team came in for a session late one Friday afternoon, fresh off the field from a challenging three-hour practice. This was at the end of a semester, with a full competitive game schedule and with final exams beginning on the following Monday. The team was dragging, and some were pretty banged up as well. So, I had them focus on recuperation and how to use down-time. ( I had watched one of their recent games, so I was aware that players could manage their time more effectively in the dugout.) As the players were leaving from this session, one of them came up to me with a big smile and said, “I feel like I just slept 8 hours.”
Team Discord and Morale
Dealing with the group reality…
According to the coach, his softball team had been fighting on the bus and losing a lot of games. I sent the players a survey before our first session. The consensus was to focus on self-discipline, communication, and time management. After three 1-hour group empowerment sessions, the team ended the season just one place away from the state championship.
A junior Olympics gymnastics team had come off a losing season. We had a group coaching session to address their loss of heart. After the session, the coach told me her team had a 180-degree change in perspective and were pumped for the season ahead.
A group of ballet dancers were overwhelmed with packed schedules and staying the course of their contract. Through self-empowerment sessions, they realized they each had the power to successfully address their needs.