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Professor Brian Zuleger on the Mental Strengths of Youth, Community, and Fun

Diving into the minds of collegiate athletes is fascinating. Especially if those days are behind you, it can be hard to remember how different our perspectives were in our late teens and early 20s. What can we learn from this group and apply to our own running?

collegiate runner mindset

Turns out it’s a whole lot! Many young athletes have a certain spark that they bring to their sports. It allows them to train hard, improve fast, and enjoy themselves while they’re at it.

Many teams are now providing their athletes with additional support for the mental side of training. So they can learn to get the recovery that they need, deal with setbacks, and begin to uncover the vast power of their mindset.

We’ve talked a lot about mental training, as you can hear in our recent podcasts about:

If you are interested in learning more, check out our Mindset Mastery course where you’ll get a full toolbox of resources and practice applying proven techniques.

Whether you’re interested in hearing how the young athletes learn mental toughness or what you can apply for yourself – today’s episode is for you.

Brian Zuleger’s Work with College Runners

Brian Zuleger is a professor of sport psychology at Adams State University, where he is also the mental strength coach for the Cross Country and Track and Field teams. He works directly with athletes in an integrative, holistic approach.

Brian is a certified Exercise Physiologist from the American College of Sports Medicine. He applies his education with the athletes he works with as a personal trainer and coach.

We discuss the partnership that he has with athletes, the skills that they focus on, and their unique psychology. We talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the youthful mindset, as well as what adult runners can take away.

Of course, runners deal with many of the same challenges, regardless of age. Hear a short clip of Brian explaining this:

We also talk about:

  • Healthy ways to view competition
  • Temptation of numbers-driven outcomes
  • Getting unstuck after a bad workout
  • Advantages of having a team

I hope you’ll listen along, laugh at your own college days, and take away a few pointers along the way.

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Listen to the entire episode:

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When I joined Brodie to discuss how to create the best training plan, I was impressed with his thoughtful questions and commitment to science-based information. Check out more of his episodes on The Run Smarter Podcast and subscribe to get the newest ones. I know you’ll really enjoy it!

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