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 a unique relationship with the basketball team at Dawson County High School in Glendive, Montana, in 2022 after being contacted by Dawson County head coach Wade Murphy. After Price started working with Murphy and the rest of the Red Devils’ team, the work went so well Price traveled to Glendive later in 2022 to work with other athletic teams at the high school.
Murphy, whose son, Michael, plays a starring role for the Red Devils, said his team and his program were having trouble getting over the hump, and it finally reached a point where he realized the barriers in place weren’t necessarily physical. After some initial sessions between Murphy and Price, the team conducted Zoom meetings on Mondays to begin changing the program’s culture and to help the players perceive themselves in a more positive way.
“(Price) does what he does for a reason, and to hear him talk about some of these things at a deeper level was invaluable,” said Murphy, whose team went on to qualify for the Montana Class A state tournament seminfinals. “For instance, what does it mean to be nervous and understanding that nerves and self-doubt are part of the normal routine that athletes go through at all levels. But how do you use those feelings to promote a more positive outcome and how teams that are always successful focus on successful things.”
What Price saw at Dawson County was a team that was inadvertently doing things that could have been sabotaging their hard work on the court. But he worked closely with the team to change perceptions, establish roles, set goals and evaluated outcomes in a way that benefited both the players and coaches.
“We needed to work together to change that culture and the mindset,” said Price, who did similar work with the National Football League’s New York Giants in the past. “We did a lot of work over last two years to believe that they’re talented. We had to get them to understand the keys necessary to have a champion mindset and get them to understand what that looks like.
“It took a little bit of time to get them to have some self-belief, team belief and team cohesion, team cohesion, but when you can get a team to believe in itself and see something special from a group of guys, it’s so cool,” Price added.
In 2022, the Red Devils advanced to a point the program had not reached since the 1980s, finishing 17-7 and playing in the state semi-finals. Along the way, the team overcame one of its biggest rivals, a private Catholic school in Billings, Montana, that had routinely beat Dawson County in the past.
Before the semifinals, Murphy said the team had a Zoom meeting with Price in which a video of Muhamad Ali was paired with Price’s pre-game message. He said some members of the team watched the video more than a dozen times, and the whole team’s attitude was positively affected as they prepared to play their biggest game.
Even in 2023 when the Red Devils were in rebuilding year after losing eight seniors, being able to talk to Price about about topics like confirmation bias prevent the Dawson County program from sliding into old habits mentally. Murphy was also able to evaluate if his team was doing things subconsciously to create their circumstances help his players make perpetuate habits that confirmed that they have the champion mindset.
Ultimately, the 2023 team peaked at the right time and was able to make a postseason run after a rocky regular season. Working with (Price) enabled the Red Devils to maintain focus on the process of getting better during the frustrating parts of the season without losing confidence.
“(Price) was very generous with his time, and we were in Georgia I would have him (on campus) in every season talking to our kids as often as I could,” Murphy said. “I’ve been coaching more than 20 years, and working with someone like (Price) is ahuge advantage to any program. A lot of it has to do with (Price) as a person, because his heart is in the right place and his priorities are right. It makes a huge difference, and I can tell you if I could do it, I would have him be a part of our programs from start to finish.”
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.
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.
Visi Elite Minds website to learn more about Elite Minds LLC and Robert Price or schedule a consultation.