It’s all in your head
P.E.I. entrepreneur develops mental strength app to aid athletes
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.
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.