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Rick W., Chicago, IL Mental Skills Training Coach

Rick W.

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Former college All-American with 17 years of Division I and II college coaching experience, including Mental Skills Training experience and Behavior Change certification. View all coaching experience

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The percentage of time Rick W. responded to client inquiries within 48 hours in the last 3 months.
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Training Locations
Training Locations
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Packages

Trial Package
In-Person Training for a single athlete

1 session package with Coach Rick. 60 minute session length

Session Length: 1 hour

$80 1 session + one-time fee

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Light Package
In-Person Training for a single athlete

3 session package with Coach Rick. 60 minute session length

Session Length: 1 hour

$228 3 sessions ($76/ea) + one-time fee

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Standard Package
In-Person Training for a single athlete

5 session package with Coach Rick. 60 minute session length

Session Length: 1 hour

$360 5 sessions ($72/ea) + one-time fee

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Elite Package
In-Person Training for a single athlete

10 session package with Coach Rick. 60 minute session length

Session Length: 1 hour

$680 10 sessions ($68/ea) + one-time fee

Book Now
Trial Package
Online Training for a single athlete

1 session package with Coach Rick. 60 minute session length

Session Length: 1 hour

$80 1 session + one-time fee

Book Now
Light Package
Online Training for a single athlete

3 session package with Coach Rick. 60 minute session length

Session Length: 1 hour

$228 3 sessions ($76/ea) + one-time fee

Book Now
Standard Package
Online Training for a single athlete

5 session package with Coach Rick. 60 minute session length

Session Length: 1 hour

$360 5 sessions ($72/ea) + one-time fee

Book Now
Elite Package
Online Training for a single athlete

10 session package with Coach Rick. 60 minute session length

Session Length: 1 hour

$680 10 sessions ($68/ea) + one-time fee

Book Now
  • Yale University (CT)

  • 23 years

  • Qualified Private Coach
    Passed Coach Course

  • Adults, Kids, Teenagers

  • Coach, Athlete

  • Visualization, Setbacks, Pressure Situations, Mental Toughness, Goal Setting, Confidence

Credentials

  • Yale University (CT)

  • 23 years

  • Qualified Private Coach
    Passed Coach Course

Services

  • Adults, Kids, Teenagers

  • Coach, Athlete

  • Visualization, Setbacks, Pressure Situations, Mental Toughness, Goal Setting, Confidence

More About Coach Rick

I have 23 years of coaching experience working with runners of all ages, including coaching at the Division I and II levels for 17 years and employing Mental Skills Training as part of my service. I am also certified as a Behavior Change Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

I have worked with athletes (regardless of sport) on mental skills training, helping them define goals; identify personal roadblocks to achieving those goals; developing solutions and strategies to work through and around those roadblocks: and in taking action to utilize those solutions. It is my goal to guide clients through comprehensive written, verbal and imagery exercises to help recognize negative thought patterns and build new, more positive ones that lead to successful actions and successful competition performance.

From 1994-2011, I worked primarily as a college cross country and track & field coach at the Div I and II levels. Since 2011, I have worked with general fitness clients and runners of all ages to prepare for track races between 400 meters up to the 10k; road races of all lengths up to the marathon (including Boston Qualifying performances); and FBI/DEA and police applicants preparing for fitness testing. I officially added the Mental Skills Training to my coaching repertoire in 2013 and have worked with a number of runners, as well as athletes in other sports.

My philosophy is to coach the entire person. By taking time to get to learn about family, school, roommates, friends, career interests, and more helps me to get to know each runner better as an individual. As a result, I believe that helps me be a better coach to each person because I have a better understanding of the other factors that will affect the runner's training and performance. I take a very individualized approach to training runners as each one needs a different blend of endurance and speed work, even if they are training to compete in the same race. Finally, I take a very gradual approach to training, believing that a long-term plan ultimately gets an athlete to his/her goals with the least amount of interruption due to injury.

I coached at Yale, Brown, Lewis and Loyola-Chicago, helping athletes win 46 conference titles and set and reset 48 school records. In addition, six runners achieved All-American honors and three Brown teams ran at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships with a highest finish of 9th in 1999. Finally, I was a Division I runner at Yale, having set four school records (mile, 1500, DMR, 4x800) and earning All-American honors in Cross Country by finishing 9th in 1991 at the NCAAs. I understand what it takes to be a successful runner from both the athlete and coaching perspectives.

I look forward to working with you to help you achieve your goals. We will work to define your goals and identify mental roadblocks, which will help us devise solutions and implement strategies to help you achieve your ideal performance. We'll work from there to help gradually build you towards your goals!

*All-American, Division I Cross Country (9th place) 1991
*School Record Holder (former) - Yale University, Mile, 1500 meters, DMR, 4x800
*Coached 3 teams to the NCAA Division I Women's Cross Country Championships at Brown - highest finish of 9th in 1999
*Coached 1 All-American at Brown in Cross Country
*Coached 5 All-Americans at Lewis in Cross Country and Track&Field
*Coached 48 School Records between Brown, Lewis and Loyola-Chicago
*Coached 46 Conference Champions between Brown, Lewis and Loyola-Chicago
*Coached 2 Boston Qualifiers (2016 - 56 and 46 years old, respectively)
*Coached 4 DEA/Police applicants to successful fitness tests

A typical first session involves questionnaires to help assess the client’s goals, thought processes prior, during and after competitions and difficult workouts, and to help the client identify any mental roadblocks to successful performance. This first session also includes conversation to learn more about the client’s personal, professional, and social statuses as those will also affect Mental Skills Training and Performance.

Homework is typically given in the first few sessions. That homework involves tasks such as developing an Affirmation List; identifying and describing performance situations that have been successful and ones that have not been successful; describing thoughts and feelings that preceded and occurred during and after those performances; and identifying new thoughts and strategies to utilize in place of previously identified negative thought processes.

Imagery/Visualization work is utilized in early sessions and is also encouraged as part of regular homework throughout the entire coach-client relationship.

As the client completes competitions and/or difficult workouts, subsequent sessions will include discussions about what thoughts and feelings occurred prior, during and after the event; how those thoughts and feelings related to the performance; and if a negative outcome occurred, how the newer strategies and thought processes can be used in the next event.

The ultimate goal is to help the client develop thought processes, visualization, self-affirmation and competition strategies that they ultimately can use on their own to help improve overall performance.

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Client Reviews

The best Coach!!!

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Coach Rick is awesome! Insightful, experienced, and helpful - very highly recommended!!

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I've had a great experience with Coach Rick. Looking forward to continuing.

Great ideas and advice. always available. Loves to help!

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Coach Rick responded within one day of first reaching out to him and we set up a one hour call to get to know each other and to discuss my goals and objectives (I’m a 62 year old beginning runner and would like to run a 1/2 marathon this spring, and the Chicago Marathon this fall). We met in person the following week and he assessed my running mechanics and made some very personalized and valuable suggestions. A couple of days later, he forwarded a draft training plan intended to get me where I need to be to meet my goals. We’ll meet again in two weeks and I’m really looking forward to this session too. I am very glad to have found Coach Rick, I know that I’m in good hands and I’m much more confident today with his support.

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Rick is a very thoughtful coach who has a great ability to meet you where you are at and partner with you to meet your goals! We work remotely with an occasional in-person session; I highly recommend Rick as a coach.

Coach Rick has been a game-changer for our son who is a distance runner. He was able to tailor a training plan and workout strategy that has resulted in marked improvement in our son's times. Rick is a committed, caring coach who listens and works at an individual level with the athlete. We highly recommend Coach Rick.

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Working with Coach Rick has given me a renewed confidence that I will achieve my goal of running my first half marathon at age 47.

Coach Rick is a great coach. He starts with the basics and perfects them first. He also has a very good approach towards the athlete and knows a lot about how the athlete's body works and gives them workouts for their physical and mental needs. I've had only 3 sessions with him and already had a lot of benefit.

Rick is a fantastic coach. For years I had hated running, because it caused me knee pain and I hadn’t been coached/taught how to run with good form to avoid that pain. Rick helped me analyze and correct my form, and after only a few sessions working together I found myself loving running for the first time in my life. Rick is organized, methodical, practical, punctual, and a super nice guy I have really enjoyed working with and getting to know. I’m confident he can help almost anyone achieve their running goals and that they will have a great time working with him along the way.

Coach Rick really has taken the time to get to know my son. I appreciate the throughtful counsel he has provided.

Coach Rick provided great workouts and training exercises. Helped me get familiarized with the exercises. Gives good advice and comfortable to talk to.

Rick is a great coach. Our child loves working with him and has specifically observed how patient he is.

He has a great understanding of the mechanics of running and is excellent at conveying his knowledge and establishing objectives. Our son has already made so much progress in two sessions.

I have been working with Coach Rick for 5 months and can’t imagine not having him by my side! He has helped me with not only the physical aspects of running, but the mental as well. He pushes me when I need it and always encourages! He’s always a phone call, text, or email away. I am excited to see where our training goes next!! I definitely recommend Coach Rick!

We had one session with Coach Rick. Great with children and extremely professional. Looking forward to future sessions

Had an excellent first session with Coach Rick. The small changes made to my mechanics along with drills given to assist those changes were invaluable. Looking forward to continuing my training and seeing what's to come of it.

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Coach Rick has been great! He has created an aggressive and doable training plan, and I am seeing huge improvements in my speed and stamina. After a particularly frustrating workout that I didn't feel went well, he got me to more realistically assess my performance and not beat myself up. He's keeping the training plan varied with the speed work and distance, which keeps the training more interesting.

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Coach Rick greatly improved my running technique and endurance in 3 short weeks. I had a looming physical fitness test which I needed to run a certain time to pass. Coach Rick came up with a plan that pushed me, but didn't break me. I was always able to show up to the next session ready to go without lingering soreness. It wasn't easy and the weather wasn't always cooperative but Coach Rick was there rain or shine. I passed my physical fitness test and without Coach Rick I wouldn't have been offered a spot in the academy. I recommend him to anyone and everyone!

Great time so far with coach Rick! great training plans that have been exactly what I was looking for and great feedback!

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My son (13) has had sessions with Rick over the last 2 years. Rick explains the drills clearly and is very encouraging along the way. These are relatively hard workouts that provide a guide on what it means to expend effort to build a base and improve. Rick is flexible and responsive in scheduling the sessions as well. Highly recommended.

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Coach Rick has been working with my husband for the past few months, and he is incredible! My husband was suffering from several nagging injuries and feeling burn-out from many years of back-to-back, intense marathon training plans. Coach Rick helped him develop a training plan that has not only mended his injuries, but also reignited his enthusiasm and excitement for running. Furthermore, we recently moved out of state, and Coach Rick has made himself available to provide coaching support remotely. I can't say enough great things about him! Thanks, Coach Rick!

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I thought the session was very successful and even though we have only met once I learned a lot of valuable information and can see us working very well together in the future!

Rick has helped my running in so many ways! I started working with him with no idea about speed or interval workouts. He has been able to teach me so much and has been one of my biggest cheerleaders the whole time. He is very professional and friendly, and I'd recommend him to anyone looking to get serious about improving running!

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Coach Rick was extremely responsive, reasonably priced and very professional. I reached out to a few coaches and Rick had the best response rate and best price. We tasked him with coaching 20 out of town joggers for a conference and he received a lot of praise. I would highly recommend him to everyone on the website.

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Coach Rick does excellent work on biomechanics, structuring proper pace to prevent injury and drills and exercises to enhance your form. Highly recommend.

I have three middle school-age kids (11, 12 and 13) that are cross country and track runners. We just moved to the area and I wanted to get the kids ready for the upcoming cross country season. Rick has been a perfect trainer/coach for them over the summer. We just completed our sixth session with him and he has been excellent to work with. He is working on core training, endurance and running technique with them, and the kids think he is great. They always look forward to his sessions. I would recommend Coach Rick with no hesitations.

Coach Rick is so great! Very accommodating and listens to what you need. I have seen excellent progress in just one month of training with him!!

Coach Rick was excellent. We reviewed running form as planned but also covered some drills that opened my eyes to improving my form. I highly recommend him.

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Coach Rick was very in tune with my needs and development a strengthen and flexibility program that works with my schedule and ability. Looking forward to next session.

Coach Rick was super knowledgeable and very nice. He helped me gain my confidence after coming back from a long standing injury. I can't wait for him to help me to a half marathon PR this year!

Coach Rick is very knowledgeable about running and has helped me immensely. I would definately recommend him.

Great coach! He inspired my dad to step up to a marathon!

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I have been running for over 15 years but, within the last 8 years I started to get more serious about my running. My main focus in running was to become a better running and improve my performance. I began to sign up for various races and my ultimate goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Prior to 2015, I had ran 4 marathons hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon. But during each marathon, I had a set back with some form of injury. Even during the course of my training, I was starting to feel that running was starting to become more of chore than an enjoyment. At the end of 2014, I had decided to hire a professional running coach who would assist me in not only attaining my goal but, to help me gain back my love for running that was slowly starting to fade. Coach Rick started working with me in January 2015. He did a full assessment of my past running as well as taking into account personal factors that would attribute to how he would develop a training plan for me in reaching my goals in a reasonable manner. Through his guidance and training methods I have been able to make great strides in improving my speed, conditioning and avoid any physical injuries. I also accomplished to PR in 5 different distance races in 2015 as well as placing in 3rd place in my age division for a 5K race. Coach Rick also provided me with mental preparation and guidance which greatly assisted me in overcoming any doubts and frustrations that I had developed. I ran the 2015 Chicago Marathon this year and shaved off 30 minutes from my previous time without any injuries as in the past. I missed qualifying for Boston by 11 minutes and 53 seconds but, with the great improvements I made under the guidance of Coach Rick I have no doubt I will qualify in the Spring when I run another marathon. Coach Rick's training has not only been a great investment in my running goals but an asset as well. I have definitely gained back my love for running as well as major confidence building through Coach Rick's training and guidance.

In just one session Coach Rick helped my 11 year old son significantly improve his running form. As a result he is running faster and not incurring pain / injury. Coach Rick has a very nice rapport with kids. I recommend Coach Rick.

Very useful and enjoyable sessions with extremely knowledgeable and friendly coach.
Both sessions and the almost daily advice helped me to amazingly improve my running. My recent 20-miler was much faster and MUCH easier than any before.

This year I had to recover after a medical condition and was about cancelling my marathon. Working with Rick helped me not only to be able to finish with decent time but also returned fun to my running which is much more valuable!

I was able to improve my marathon time by >10 min!
Enjoyed every session!

Rick was easy going and very helpful in breaking down my running stride. His comments and suggestions were spot on and helpful. I look forward to seeing results over time.

I am an adult runner (on biz trip from out of town) and worked with Rick for two sessions. My goal was to find a more efficient and less painful way to run. Rick helped diagnose my areas of improvement and Gave me some very useful tips that immediately made running more enjoyable and efficient. I look forward to working with Rick again next time I am in town.

I came to Coach Rick 18 months ago with the goal of qualifying for Boston. I had run 10+ marathons prior but had not been able to run a qualifying time. Using a combination of one-on-one track time and custom training plans, Rick was able to correct my form, build my speed and extend aerobic capacity significantly. At 46, I have set new PRs at every distance and, most importantly, booked my ticket for Boston this Spring! If you're looking for a "cheerleader" go somewhere else, but if you are serious about your fitness goals Coach Rick will help you achieve them.

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I hired Coach Rick to work on endurance and speed for my Daughter. He is very observant He gave her pointers and worked on her technique and she is doing much better now.
Thank you Rick

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Coach Rick has been great to work with. He has been working with our high school son on his running form as well as helping him to mentally prepare for his cross country races. Coach Rick cares about the athlete, and our son has really enjoyed working with him. I would highly recommend Coach Rick.

Coach Rick has done a fantastic job working on the mental aspect of racing with our son. He has given him very useful techniques to deal with anxiety both before and during the race. Our son now runs much more freely and not only enjoys running more, but is running better.

Coach Rick provided an excellent training session with great feedback! It's very clear that he loves what he does and genuinely wants his clients to succeed. We look forward to working with him in the future!

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UPDATE
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The past 6 months of working with Coach Rick have made a tremendous difference for my son. Coach Rick has helped him set and surpass goals and continually found ways to make the workouts varied, challenging and fun. Coach Rick continually meets him on his level and is patient, encouraging and motivating. They have developed a trusted coach/athlete relationship through Rick's willingness to listen and provide feedback As a parent, the most rewarding change I have seen throughout the sessions with Coach Rick has been my son's increased confidence, not only in his running, but as an individual.

We look forward to continuing to work with Coach Rick.
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We chose Coach Rick to work with our son after an initial "get to know you" session. We were impressed with his credentials, but it was the way he really worked to connect with our son and listen to what he had to say that solidified we were making a good decision.

After our initial meeting he put together a tentative running plan with some strength training exercises to get him started towards reaching his goals.

Yesterday was our son's first one on one training session with Coach Rick. He chose a site for the training that we were all comfortable with and even prepped the location by shoveling as it snowed the night before we met. Coach Rick had so many positive things to say to encourage our son and also personally demonstrated strength exercises he could begin to do on his own that will help improve his running performance.

When our son got in the car after the session he said "I was able to tap into my energy and joy with him." That really nailed it for us, because that is what we want for our son.

He is looking forward to working with Coach Rick to develop and reach his running goals.

Rick is as good and conscientious a coach as any I ever had during my HS and Division I running careers (I'm back to being a competitive masters runner now after a long layoff). He is responsive, attentive, encouraging, and very technically knowledgeable. He wants and uses my feedback after each workout so he can keep fine-tuning, and he genuinely cares about keeping me healthy and in pursuit of my goals, so he'll pull back on the reins sometimes too. I feel 100% comfortable putting my training in his hands!

Coach Rick has been a great coach for my son.
He has given great guidance for off season work outs and early season training.
We look forward to summer racing.
I highly recommend Coach Rick.

First session went really well. He made lots of good observations that we believe will really make a difference. He also had a lot of suggestions on making improvements, along with a workout schedule that will fit in with the high school coaches plan. Really looking forward to sessions coming up!

I am an age-grouper level athlete. I'm not winning any races or bringing home prize money. I'm just a 44-year-old guy trying to run faster. Rick, however, has been on board with my goals 100%. He designed a plan for me that met the level I'm at and has followed up and even been a good accountability partner ("Hey do I have to come out and give you an a**-whoopin?").

Rick met me early on to assess my goals and get a view of my history. After that he watched me run and figured where my form was lacking and areas where my strength was in need of improvement.

I am very impressed with Rick's ability to tap right into where I was as a runner and build me up form there. I look forward to continuing to work with him.

In addition to a smart and attentive coach, he's a pretty darn likable guy as well.

Rick has been helpful as I return to running. I had an injury and surgery so I am slowing returning. He is always available.

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