Hi! I'm Valerie Alston
Certified Mental Performance Consultant
Resilience Trainer and Performance Expert for the Army
Health and Wellness Coach
Former D1 Softball Player
Avid Traveler and lover of food
And Awesome Auntie!
I want to help young athletes find success and enjoy the journey.
By creating Mental Toughness Training programs for teens, I hope to share the wisdom, guidance, and tools that I have learned through all my experiences as a player and professional. My goal is to help teen athletes learn from those who have gone before them, so that they do not have to make the same mistakes. I want to empower them to take charge of their mental toughness and give them the tools to succeed in their sport and life. All of these tools are relevant to life, not just sport and they will need them to thrive while trying to “adult.”
Since 2008, I have worked with Soldiers. As part of this work, I teach classes on Resilience to help Soldiers build the mental toughness needed to bounce back and thrive despite the real struggles they face. I also teach them the principles of sport psychology to help them be at their best when it matters the most. Which allows me to see and do some pretty cool stuff that most civilians never get to. In my years spent working with Soldiers they’ve taught me a lot about what it means to be mentally tough and how to endure hardship. I’ve learned the value of humor, honoring the good times and maintaining perspective in the bad. The biggest thing I have learned is that while sports are amazing, trying to win and being your best matters, sport is not in fact life or death. (Contrary to popular opinion)
I am also a former Division 1 athlete (University of Minnesota, Softball 2002-2006). I grew up in Southern California and was on national-level softball teams from the age of 8-18. I have personally experienced the stresses and demands of being an elite youth athlete who dreams of playing in college and all the pressures and sacrifices that entails. I understand the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears that it takes to excel in sport.
I personally understand the pressure of the recruiting process and its emotional ups and downs. I felt the anxiety and pressure so intensely that in my junior year it began to affect my play. I was freezing up at the plate and started to act out of character to the point where my parents had to step in. I worked with a sport psychologist to learn the tools I now teach young athletes in my programs, to move past it and thrive.
I also was a 4-year starter and full scholarship athlete in a D1 program at the University of Minnesota (GO GOPHERS!!!) so I understand the real-world life of a D1 athlete and what it takes to play at the collegiate level.
On top of all of that, I have a Master's Degree in Mental Health/Sport Psychology from Boston University. I am a Certified Mental Performance Consultant with the Association of Applied Sport Psychology and a trained Health and Wellness Coach from the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy (FMCA).
Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC®)
Demonstrates that an individual has met the highest standards of professional practice, including completing a combination of educational and work requirements, successfully passing a certification exam, agreeing to adhere to ethical principles and standards, and committing to ongoing professional development.
A little more…
In my spare time when I am not working or doing yard work, I get my sweat on at the local Crossfit Gym. While I am no longer a competitive athlete, I love the camaraderie and the opportunity to practice what I preach. When I finished my softball career and got out of grad school, I realized I had never worked out by myself a day in my life and I missed people. Crossfit gave me the opportunity to meet great people and attempt to stay fit.
I like to get outdoors either hiking, paddle boarding or borrowing family and friends dogs to take for walks.
I love to travel and have been to 35 countries. I lived in Germany for 3 years (working for the Army) which greatly increased my access to travel. Exploring new places and learning about new cultures through food, drink and music has been an amazing experience. Some of my favorite memories involve my adventures abroad from bungee jumping in New Zealand on Christmas Eve, riding camels and "glamping" in Morocco, eating street food in Korea, enjoying Oktoberfest in Munich, biking through Tuscany and watching ballet in Moscow. I've had some great opportunities to meet people from all walks of life and I try to bring that perspective to my work.
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