In this episode of The Jeff & Heidi Show Podcast we hear from Tami Matheny and learn of her entrepreneurial journey.
Tami Matheny, Mental Game Coach, Author, and Jon Gordon Certified Trainer
Tami Matheny became a Mental Game Coach in 2008 and started Refuse2LoseCoaching, LLC. In 2018, she became an author as well. Recently she became a part of the Jon Gordon Team and is certified to present workshops on “The Power of Positive Leadership” and “The Power of Positive Teams”
Tami knows the role the intangibles play in career success and longevity and has had experience with working on the mental skills at the collegiate level with tennis, basketball, softball, baseball, volleyball, golf, field hockey, cross country and soccer student-athletes. In addition, she has worked with recreational athletes, post collegiate athletes and junior high/high school athletes in golf, soccer, volleyball, tennis, basketball, running, and weight lifting. She has a passion for sports and how the mental game affects performance.
Tami believes that while it’s important to work on the physical and technical aspects of sport, the mental side is just as important; mental skills are often the differentiating factor for the most successful athletes. Tami understands that talent cannot always overcome a lack of confidence or mental toughness, but a high level of confidence and mental toughness can often overcome a lack of talent. She enjoys interacting and working hands on with coaches, athletes, and teams to make a difference.
In addition to working with student-athletes and teams, Tami has written “The Confident Athlete: 4 Easy Steps to Build and Maintain Confidence” as well as “The Confidence Journal”. Tami also has spoken at numerous professional conferences across the nation, various businesses, Rotary Clubs, and churches.
In high school, Tami was a tennis and basketball standout at East Rutherford High School and is in the Hall of Fame. She graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1993 and earned a master’s degree in sports administration from the University of North Carolina in 1999. In college, she was a scholarship student-athlete in both tennis and basketball. She was named the 1993 NCAA Woman of the Year for North Carolina while at Lenoir-Rhyne.
Before becoming a Mental Game Coach, Tami Matheny was one of the most successful tennis coaches in USC Upstate tennis history. Working physically and mentally with the men and women’s teams to produce nationally ranked teams, conference champions, and numerous individual awards.
Matheny became the head men and women’s tennis coach at USC Upstate in 1998. During her five-year stint with the tennis programs, she elevated the programs to levels never seen. In her first two seasons as coach, Matheny led the women’s team to a remarkable improvement, as the team went from 0-12 the year before she took the job to 9-16 in 2000 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 2003. The men similarly quickly developed after an 0-12 before season in her first year. The Rifles won five matches the next year before reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2001. By 2003, Matheny earned the Peach Belt Conference Men’s Coach of the Year, thanks to leading the Rifles to a 20-2 overall record and a share of the Peach Belt Conference regular season crown. Matheny coached the men to the Peach Belt Conference championship match and to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight time. On the women’s side, a 15-8 record helped the Lady Rifles earn their first bid to the NCAA Tournament since 1995. The women finished the season ranked 25th in Division II. In total, Matheny coached one All-American, five All-Peach Belt Conference selections and 39 Peach Belt Presidential Honor Roll selections. She took the Spartan men to the NCAA Division II Tournament a school-record-tying three times.
After transitioning to Associate Athletic Director, Matheny continued to stay involved with both tennis programs as Tennis Director. With the implementation of her “Mental Toughness Program” the Spartan women’s tennis team won its first regular season league title in school history in 2008, sweeping the Atlantic Sun Conference slate with a perfect 11-0 record. The men’s team followed suit in 2010, ending the year nationally ranked with a perfect 10-0 conference record.
Aside from the USC Upstate tennis teams, Tami worked with the women’s basketball team in 2010 as a mental coach. With Tami’s help, the team improved from 7th to 3rd in the conference and finished with a 20-win season which culminated in Freshman of the Year, Coach of the Year and the best year seen in women’s basketball at Upstate in over a decade.
Throughout the years, she has worked with a handful of collegiate and high school teams in a variety of sports. She also has worked with individuals who needed to strengthen their mental game in order to achieve the goals that are necessary to compete at the collegiate level or prefer them for life in general. Recreational athletes have seen improvement in their game as well after working with Tami.
This past year, Tami became a certified Jon Gordon speak and trainer of The Power of Positive Leadership and The Power of Positive Teams.
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