It’s all in your head

P.E.I. en­tre­pre­neur de­vel­ops men­tal strength app to aid ath­letes

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - BY JIM DAY

Goal­tender Drew McIn­tyre plays a po­si­tion that can re­ally mess with the head.

Suc­cess marked by mak­ing a big save can be fleet­ing when the next shot hits the back of the net.

“The highs and lows of the po­si­tion are ridicu­lous,’’ says McIn­tyre, a Char­lot­te­town na­tive who plays be­tween the pipes for the Char­lotte Check­ers in the Amer­i­can Hockey League.

He cred­its his suc­cess as a goalie - and the very fact he is still mak­ing a liv­ing stop­ping pucks - to his men­tal ap­proach to the game.

“To find tools and ex­er­cises...it’s skills,’’ he ex­plains.

“It’s just like work­ing in the gym.’’

For the past 10 years, he has worked with Tara Costello, a lo­cal men­tal per­for­mance con­sul­tant.

Lately he has been tap­ping into Costello’s knowl­edge by click­ing on an app she de­vel­oped.

“It’s great,’’ he says of the Ahead Sport Mind Train­ing App. “It’s su­per con­ve­nient.’’ McIn­tyre of­ten clicks on the app af­ter he has back­stopped the Check­ers to help an­a­lyze his per­for­mance in a pos­i­tive man­ner, than move on.

“You’re pretty much as good as your last game in this sport and you have to find ways to deal with it,’’ he says.

Costello says her app, which came out last spring, of­fers ex­er­cises to strengthen nine men­tal skills, in­clud­ing visu­al­iza­tion and pos­i­tive de­ter­mi­na­tion.

“I wanted to de­velop some­thing that was an easy-ac­cess ver­sion of my men­tal skills tool­box to make it avail­able to a broader au­di­ence and so my clients trav­el­ling or liv­ing out­side the prov­ince can work on the skills on their own,’’ she says.

“The app pro­vides a com­mon lan­guage . . . on the men­tal game.’’

Costello says her app, which is cur­rently be­ing used by ath­letes in 10 dif­fer­ent coun­tries, draws on her ex­pe­ri­ence as an ath­lete, coach, and men­tal per­for­mance con­sul­tant.

She plans a strong mar­ket­ing push soon to gen­er­ate more in­ter­est in her app, which re­ceived $25,000 in pro­vin­cial fund­ing through In­no­va­tion P.E.I.

Costello has been do­ing con­sult­ing off and on for about 20 years.

She taught the Sport and Leisure Pro­gram at Hol­land Col­lege for 10 years, and in 2010 started her con­sult­ing busi­ness called Ahead in the Game.

GUARDIAN PHO­TOS

Drew MacIn­tyre, left, goal­tender for the Char­lotte Check­ers in the Amer­i­can Hockey League, was on Prince Ed­ward Is­land last sum­mer and par­tic­i­pated in an event for other pro hockey play­ers from the Is­land held in the Pow­nal Rink. In right photo Tara Costello dis­plays a smart phone with her app in­stalled.

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