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Welcome to Inside Rival

Dear Athlete, Parent, or Coach,

Your mind is what makes everything work. Before you lift weight, you’re cueing breath. Before you sprint, you’re digging deep for motivation. Before you take your shot, you’re honing in on your focus.

Before you move a muscle, your brain has already done the work; and yet, it’s often the most overlooked “muscle” when we train for our sport.

Tennis ace and athlete Novak Djokovic (ranked no.1 in the world at the time of this article) shared in The Champion’s Mind that among the top athletes, physically there’s not much of a difference that separates them but the “mental ability to handle the pressure, to play well at the right moments'' is what reveals a champion.

Physical talent does not guarantee success. When you start to consider the top athletes in their respective sport and who ends up on top at the end of the season, they all have elite skill sets and capabilities... they all have dialed in their fitness... so it makes sense that the deciding factor comes down to facets of mental toughness such as mindset, drive, and resiliency (among as many as 30 other mental attributes).

We’re not arguing that mental skills are more important than the physical; we’re stating: mental skills are just as important as physical skills, and if we treat our mental game like our physical game, we create the edge that gives us an advantage over our competition.

Take a moment to assess what your week looks like training for the sport you participate in. How many hours are devoted to strength and conditioning, practice, competition, recovery/rehab?

Can you say in that same week you’ve also devoted at least one hour to mental skills practice and mental skill development?

Inside Rival is proud to have developed a system for helping athletes (as well as entire teams and coaches) answer ‘how do I train mental skills’? Through our programming you'll learn practical, evidence-based mental skill strategies to improve sports performance, consistency, and establish that edge. You’ll improve confidence, motivation, emotional regulation, resiliency and mindset, get after your goals, and be equipped with the right tools for any situation sports can throw at you.

I want to be able to look back and say, ‘I’ve done everything I can, and I was successful.’ I don’t want to look back and say ‘I should have done this or that’.” - Michael Phelps.

You are your biggest factor in determining your legacy and it starts in your head. Many athletes don’t realize the challenges they face deal more often with the mental aspects of their performance and sometimes, the biggest rival that gets in the way of what we want, is within. It’s not uncommon for athletes, teams, or coaches to start enlisting services once a barrier has occurred but we encourage clients to be proactive before a performance issue transpires so they’re already equipped to hurdle that barrier successfully.

Discover how to improve your performance and get access to The Mental Toolbox by signing up for our newsletter on the homepage.

In the meantime, visit our social media accounts to learn more:

Instagram: @insiderival

Twitter: @insiderival


Madeline ‘Mads’ Derby, MS.

Founder & Head Mental Performance Consultant

Inside Rival: Get Out of Your Head

Please Note: We are not currently accepting clients at this time. Sign up for our newsletter to stay in touch when services may resume (Updated 5/01/2022)


New to Mental Performance and Sport Psychology?

Check out our services HERE or read our FAQs HERE.


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