Robert Price, CEO at Elite Minds LLC, has worked with hundreds of athletes in a diverse variety of sports to set goals, problem solve and create lifelong success strategies.
Price began working with Jairus Washington, a freshman at football powerhouse Buford High School (Ga.) during the summer of 2022. As a middle school player, Washington had already opened eyes and been invited to several all-star games. But Washington and his parents knew playing high school football for one of the best programs in Georgia was a new challenge, and Jairus and Price started working together to be sure the player was confident in his abilities as he began practicing some of the best high school football players in the state.
Working with Price immediately impacted the way Jairus Washington approached football, and the results have been startling. They met once in person in Savannah while Jairus was attending an all-star game, and then they connected weekly via FaceTime through summer workouts and football season.
During the season, Jairus worked his way from the freshman team all the way to playing on special teams for the varsity team as Buford enters the state playoffs in search of a second straight state championship.
“It helped clear my mind and be able to process what I was doing and not overthink it,” Jairus said. “It helped me not overthink and play more freely. (Price) really prepared me for the next level and even the next level – college. I can see that other players are good but be confident that I’m also good, and one of the main reasons I was pulled up to varsity is I was able to cover all the 5-star players because I was able to think right.”
Price said the talent is clearly there for Jairus, and they worked hard on building his confidence as he transitioned to a new level of competition. Price frequently helps athletes understand confidence stemming from prior experience, but in this case he worked with Jairus on visualization.
“He wanted to find a way to feel like he belonged, and at (Buford High School) it’s crazy that he’s already on the field because every kid is highly recruited,” Price said. “We worked together so he could step into this new space and be confident. Our brain thinks in images, so we worked a lot on imagery. If we’re able to see things over and over again, it becomes more realistic. So when we do something, it doesn’t feel like the first time we’re doing it.”
Even after working with Price, Jairus had to deliver on the field. And he was able to impress the Buford coaches enough to earn playing time for one of the best teams in the state of Georgia.
“There was a definite difference in his confidence,” said Jairus’ father, JJ Washington, who played college football at North Carolina State. “Giving up a pass or a play didn’t affect him, and he’s shown enough to the coaches that he will definitely be a contributor. (Price) prepared him to face guys that are on the next level and compete against those guys.”
Although Jairus doesn’t currently have a star ranking with the college recruiting services, Price expects him to get ranked as high as a 3-star prospect as soon as next season.
“Jairus has all the skill sets,” Price said. “Now we are working on maintaining that confidence we built and teaching him how to manage failure. Expectation management is a real thing, so we teach expectation with reality. We ask where are you right now and what are the expectations in the moment.”
Price, who played football at the University of Pittsburgh and holds Masters degrees from both the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University, founded Elite Minds in 2000 and has since worked with a wide range of athletes that includes collegiate and professional kickers, amateur tennis players, golfers of all levels, basketball players, gymnasts, hockey players, lacrosse players, soccer players, ice skaters, field hockey players and track and field athletes.
“(Price) was an answer to a prayer,” said Jairus’ mother, Tamara Washington. “We saw what Jairus was dealing with but we knew we couldn’t handle it on our own. (Price) was a blessing for our whole family.”
Elite Minds is a mental performance coaching and consulting service that works with athletes to help them reach and exceed their potential on and off the field. Through proven mental skill techniques, athletes are led to more consistent performances even in the face of adversity.
Price has received training in Mindfulness Meditation at the University of Miami under Dr. Amishi Jha and achieved a Level III Master Resilience Trainer from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a certified therapist using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) certified by EMDRIA and a licensed clinical professional counselor in the state of Maryland and Georgia.
Visit the Elite Minds website to learn more about Elite Minds LLC and Robert Price or schedule a consultation.