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Frequently Asked Questions About IMGCA Certification

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The International Mental Game Coaching Association

A list of Frequently Asked Questions and answers about the IMGCA Certification Program appears below. If you don't find the answer to your question here, please contact us.


I don't have any psychology background or counseling or mental training experience. I do have the desire to learn, though. Do your courses help me take the first step in learning about this field? In other words, can I begin the program knowing virtually nothing?

Can I apply the hours and payments from lower levels of IMGCA certification to complete higher certification levels?

Can I see a list of topics for my certification classes?

How much material can we cover in the classes?

If I take a break from teleclasses for a period of time, do I continue to have access to the back room area, with the audios, videos, assessments and written content?

Once I graduate, do I continue to have access to the back room area, with the audios, videos, assessments and written content?

How long does it take to complete each certification level?

Are the live classes done via telephone or Skype?

Are there set times when coaching call-in sessions take place?

How can I listen to the on-line audios?

Can we complete the entire certification program at our own pace?

My schedule is very flexible now, and might not be later, so I would like to have the ability to accelerate the process, or slow it down. Is that possible?

If I wanted to take the program as a crash-course intensive, all in one week or so, would that be possible?

If I need to take a break from certification training for personal or other reasons (vacations, life transition, illness, etc.) how does that work?

Is there a mandatory time deadline I need to adhere to in order to complete each certification program? Life events have a way of showing up, and when they do, would I then be able to extend the time line of my program to reflect this? I don't want to have to hurry to complete the program so I don't miss a deadline.

What is your policy regarding refunds if I do not complete the entire certification program?

How do fees need to be paid? Over what period of time can they be paid, and in what increments?

Are there extra fees for textbooks, exams or anything else needed to graduate?

Can I test out for a certification level, pay the fees and simply get the certification and all benefits at that level of certification?

English is not my main language. Can I have a translator assist me with the coaching calls?

How much competition is there in the field of mental training? Will I be able to have a quality business?

Who would my clients be?

I want to use the certification for a non-sports population. Is that possible?

Will I be competing for clients with psychologists and psychiatrists in my area?

I am a hypnotist who wishes to add sports hypnosis for athletes, parents, coaches and teams as a specialty in my practice. Do you train hypnotists and hypnotherapists to utilize mental game coaching in their practices and to help them add this new client segment to their business?

Do you offer hypnotist certification or hypnotherapy certification for sports?

What sorts of fees can a mental game coach command?

How quickly can I start coaching the mental game?

Do I need to wait to be certified to call myself a mental game coach?

What makes the IMGCA program different from the other programs out there offering similar training?

Can you progress through the certification levels, starting with instructor and working up to different higher levels of certification?

What are the 1-1 teleclass hourly requirements for each certification level?

Do I get access to materials from all four levels of training – the teleclass contact hours with Bill Cole, the recorded audioclasses and the video collection?

To save time, instead of completing the live, 1-1 private teleclasses with Bill Cole, can I simply audit additional recorded audioclasses and videos?

Does a certification student need to go through all four levels to achieve certification?

Does this certification teach you drills so you can teach players to learn the mental game?

I am interested in how your certification will teach me to coach players how to develop competitive attitudes and mental focus.

Can I use content and techniques from any level in my certification program?

Do you have a certification that is 100% web-based? I might want a course that I can do at my own pace, without phone calls, on my computer.

Would you consider translating the IMGCA certification into various foreign languages?

Who will be working with me on the phone calls?

Who pays for the long-distance phone charges?

Are these teleclasses?

Do you conduct group classes?

Can you do group teleclasses if I get some people together?

Can I have a friend audit my classes?

Can I have a friend take the certification course with me, at no extra charge?

If I choose, may I have friends, family or another student on the line during my class session?

Can I record my coaching sessions?

Can I take the recordings from my coaching sessions and sell them?

Do I need to be an IMGCA member to undertake certification training?

Is there any downside to just obtaining the Level I certification? Does the Instructor Level limit what you can do, and cannot do with clients? I want to be able to work directly with both individuals and groups/teams, and don't want any limitations.

Do you offer discounts?

Do you guarantee that I will have a successful mental game coaching business?

Once I graduate with a certification, does that mean I can open a franchise of the IMGCA?

Is an IMGCA certification the same as a psychologist's license?



I don't have any psychology background or counseling or mental training experience. I do have the desire to learn, though. Do your courses help me take the first step in learning about this field? In other words, can I begin the program knowing virtually nothing?

IMGCA has certified people who have started with no mental training or psychology background at all. They begin at Level I and build their knowledge and skills from there. Even if you are not a teacher or coach, your background as an athlete or participant in a movement discipline or art form, combined with your desire to learn the mental game, would be sufficient.

Can I apply the hours and payments from lower levels of IMGCA certification to complete higher certification levels?

Yes, you may apply any funds paid and hours completed from any lower level, to any higher level. For example, if you complete Level I, with two teleclass hours, you can apply the tuition paid and hours completed to Level II, pay the balance, complete three more hours and other standard certification requirements, and you are graduated in Level II.

Can I see a list of topics for my certification classes?

There are over 700 possible topics. Here is a sample Level I curriculum listing some of these core topics (opens in new window).

How much material can we cover in the classes?

Each certification student moves through the program at their own pace, based on these factors:

  • Each student's time available for study and classes.

  • Each student's level of interest in each topic.

  • Level of each student's comprehension and mastery of each topic.

  • Each student's degree of focus and application of the material to teaching, coaching and counseling clients.

As you can see, the speed of the program, and how much material you cover is virtually all up to you.

Due to the extensive potential depth and breadth of material, and each student's learning style, speed of comprehension, and time available, we can't always complete or touch on every topic a student is interested in, yet we always do our very best to move at a pace that allows each student as much exposure to the material as possible, without diluting the substance of it.

One reason we have four certification levels is so students can go much more in depth on each topic, cover more topics, and be better prepared to deliver services to clients. Many people start at Level I and quickly realize that they want a more intensive training experience, so they move ahead to the other levels.

If I take a break from teleclasses for a period of time, do I continue to have access to the back room area, with the audios, videos, assessments and written content?

Yes. Even though your actual teleclasses may be going at a slower pace (or you are taking a break), you still will have access to the private IMGCA certification back room area at all times. If you haven't already paid the entire tuition amount, IMGCA requires that you make regular installment tuition payments at least once every two months to be granted continuous access to the full range of IMGCA content in the IMGCA certification backroom. Your IMGCA certification tuition is not only applied to your access to live teleclasses, but to all IMGCA certification features and benefits. In consideration for your access to the valuable voluminous audio, video and written content, IMGCA requires regular tuition payments, and these tuition payments are applied to your access to all this content.

Once I graduate, do I continue to have access to the back room area, with the audios, videos, assessments and written content?

Yes. You have access to all this material, and all new material we continuously add, forever, as long as you remain IMGCA certified.

How long does it take to complete each certification level?

Assuming you take a class a week, and make normal progress, here are the typical time frames for completing each certification level.

Level I normally takes approximately one to three weeks to complete all classes, homework, field experiences and final exam or project. Some people with free time available to them complete the class hours in one week or less and complete the entire Level I program in one or two weeks. The fastest person to ever complete Level I did so in two days.

Level II takes approximately one or two months to complete all classes, homework, field experiences and final exam or project.

Level III takes approximately two to six months to complete all classes, homework, field experiences and final exam or project.

Level IV takes approximately six to eight months to complete all classes, homework, field experiences and final exam or project. Most people doing Level IV are highly motivated and arrange for three or more hours a week of classes with Bill Cole.

We encourage you to do a project instead of an exam, as the project can be used as a practical basis for your work with people.

Are the live classes done via telephone or Skype?

One on one classes can be conducted by telephone or by Skype. If we use telephone you can typically purchase a telephone discount card for long distance use, and then call IMGCA using that card. There is no charge to create a Skype account, and the Skype calls are free, no matter where you are in the world. Skype can support audio only or it can support video, again at no extra charge. The only drawback to Skype is that we cannot audio record the classes. If you wish audio recording capability, IMGCA has arranged a separate special phone service that handles that automatically. You would call that number using your telephone discount card and receive a link to an MP3 recording later that day.

Are there set times when coaching call-in sessions take place?


Most people arrange a regular weekly time slot for their coaching calls with Bill Cole. Bill is flexible to your schedule and will work with you to set a schedule that works well for your busy life. You do not need to wait for other people to fill a class to begin your program. Every program is customized to your needs, and you can arrange meeting times to suit your schedule.

How can I listen to the on-line audios?

Once you have enrolled in a certification class, we'll give you the location of our audio archive, which contains a large selection of teleclass audios on various topics. Then you can listen to the archived audio files on your own schedule. Since we are constantly adding new entries (generally one or two per week), you'll want to return to that page frequently to hear the latest additions. If you have not enrolled in the certification program, you can listen to excerpts from a few audio files, to give you an idea of the topics discussed in some of the teleclasses. The topics for your own teleclasses will be tailored for your needs and interests.

Can we complete the entire certification program at our own pace?

Yes. This is a self-paced program. We have students at various stages of the certification process at any given time of the year. You begin any time of the year, and proceed at the pace that works best for you and your life.

My schedule is very flexible now, and might not be later, so I would like to have the ability to accelerate the process, or slow it down. Is that possible?

Yes. You are in control of the pace of your program. We will accommodate your requests as much as possible, taking into account the volume of our other certification students.

If I wanted to take the program as a crash-course intensive, all in one week or so, would that be possible?

Yes, this would be possible, depending on which level you select. Of course, it would also be dependent on matching your schedule with Bill's schedule. He would need advance notice to create an opening for this intensive. People have done this before, when they know they have an open schedule coming up.

If I need to take a break from certification training for personal or other reasons (vacations, life transition, illness, etc.) how does that work?

Altering the pace of your program is fine. We have people who have taken breaks, changed the speed of the program, and done so more than once along their path to certification. The IMGCA wants you to succeed, so we will work with you to make your program manageable and convenient.

Is there a mandatory time deadline I need to adhere to in order to complete each certification program? Life events have a way of showing up, and when they do, would I then be able to extend the time line of my program to reflect this? I don't want to have to hurry to complete the program so I don't miss a deadline.

There is no such time deadline for when you must complete your program. Unlike some rigidly structured mental training certification programs and degrees, we recognize that you have a life, and that other life activities, events and business obligations can often appear. To that end, we work with you very closely to make these transitions smother for you. You can place your program on hold as long as you need, and can return to certification training when you are ready.

What is your policy regarding refunds if I do not complete the entire certification program?

The IMGCA wants you to be successful in your certification program, and to be successful in using it to further your work in this field. To that end, we intend to work closely with you throughout your certification process. Sometimes though, your plans and life situation may change, and you may find it necessary to either take a break or withdraw from the program. If you are enrolled in any IMGCA certification program you agree to accept an IMGCA-calculated pro-rated refund if you do not complete your certification program. The IMGCA pro-rated refund is not solely dependent upon the number of certification classes you have completed, because part of the IMGCA certification value you receive is calculated from the value of the proprietary IMGCA handouts, articles, forms, assessments, audios and checklists you are granted access to as part of your certification fee. Should you decide to apply to a future IMGCA certification program, any coursework you have done towards a previous IMGCA certification can be used in partial fulfillment of a future IMGCA certification program.

How do fees need to be paid? Over what period of time can they be paid, and in what increments?

If you are accepted into an IMGCA certification program, at that time you can either pay for the full program using our Certification Payment form or make an initial payment and pay the rest later in installments. This can easily be arranged, in manageable increments. For details on this, please contact us.

Are there extra fees for textbooks, exams or anything else needed to graduate?

There are no extra fees or costs. You will purchase your textbook from a list we provide you, from the source you choose (not IMGCA) and all exams, materials, handouts, forms and all else are included in your certification fee.

Can I test out for a certification level, pay the fees and simply get the certification and all benefits at that level of certification?

Yes, you can completely bypass any classes, homework, fieldwork and simply pay the fees. When you pass the final exam, you would be certified at that level. This would of course save you considerable time. We would supply you with the areas of study for this exam, suggested readings and speak with you to guide you in advance of how to study. This is an excellent option for individuals who already have experience and/or a degree in this field. Your certification would be the exact same one as someone who undertook all the training.

English is not my main language. Can I have a translator assist me with the coaching calls?

Possibly. It depends on the level of your comprehension and communication skills in English. The IMGCA material is very nuanced and detailed, and you would need to engage in active dialogue with the IMGCA trainer, as well as be able to understand the audio classes, and write reports in English. To determine your level of English, we would be happy to speak with you by telephone in an initial screening session, for no charge.

We train and certify people from all over the world, including some whose main language is not English. We regularly work with translators (you would supply this person, at your cost) in coaching sessions. This can work quite well. You can also have the translator write and submit your class work to us via email, but we strongly suggest you have a solid command of the English language. In the future the IMGCA will be training certified and licensed facilitators and trainers who will teach IMGCA classes around the world. At that time you may be able to undertake IMGCA certification training in your native language.

How much competition is there in the field of mental training?

The mental game coaching field is expanding rapidly, but there is plenty of room for quality practitioners. Coaches, parents and athletes all recognize the extent to which sport psychologists are utilized in the pro ranks, college world and amateur athletics. No one wants to be left behind, and everyone wants that extra, special winning edge. There are very few training programs like the IMGCA certification process, and getting into the field now would give you an extra edge. Check around your local area now. Look at the local yellow pages, Internet for your area and other venues. How many sport psychologists and mental game coaches are listed? That answers your question about how you could start your own business.

Who would my clients be?

You would consult, coach and train coaches, parents and athletes. In addition, you may find yourself working with fitness and health professionals, mind-body practitioners and dance and movement specialists, among others.

I want to use the certification for a non-sports population. Is that possible?

Yes. The mental game encompasses all sports, occupations, hobbies, pursuits and life experiences. We work with people from all walks of life who want to use the certification for their special purpose. Please contact us and let us know what you have in mind. We would be happy to work with you on devising a special, customized program for you.

Will I be competing for clients with psychologists and psychiatrists in my area?

To a very limited degree. It is the rare psychologist, psychiatrist or counselor who has any background, training or expertise in mental game coaching. You would have a specialty in mental training that they do not have. We teach you how to differentiate and position yourself in the marketplace as a mental training expert people would turn to first, before they consider going to a mental health professional. You also may differentiate yourself from the mental health professionals who charge top dollar for their services, by pricing your services just under theirs, thereby giving you a competitive edge in the marketplace. We can show you how to do that.

I am a hypnotist who wishes to add sports hypnosis for athletes, parents, coaches and teams as a specialty in my practice. Do you train hypnotists and hypnotherapists to utilize mental game coaching in their practices and to help them add this new client segment to their business?

Yes, we offer this training. Hypnotists and hypnotherapists are probably the single most perfect background to have in mental game coaching, other than a degree and training in sports psychology. You already have an excellent understanding of much of what mental game coaching is all about in what you do every day in your practice. You could easily add this dimension to your business. We also suggest you consider adding offerings on stage fright training for public speakers, artists and performers, and persons undergoing job interviews, law and medical school interviews and performance reviews. The mental game concepts and approaches can readily be used in these contexts as well. We can make that part of your customized certification program.

Do you offer hypnotist certification or hypnotherapy certification for sports?

At this time we do not certify sports hypnotists or sports hypnotherapists. We are planning on offering these certifications in the very near future. However, at each level of IMGCA certification now, you will receive training in some of the key concepts and techniques of hypnosis that you can use with your clients. The advanced levels of IMGCA classes offer more advanced approaches in sports hypnosis.

What sorts of fees can a mental game coach command?

You would be pricing your services similar to what those mental health professionals in your local area charge, typically in the $90-$200/hour range. Companies other than IMGCA who also train and certify mental training coaches or sports hypnotists claim that their graduates can charge fees up to $500/hour or $7500/day. This is irresponsible and misleading. Only the very, very top leaders in the field can command fees like that, and then only with their pro clients. Your business overhead will be very low, so you should be able to keep almost all of the hourly fees you charge. In addition, when you conduct team trainings, workshops and seminars your fees can range from $1000 to $5000 for a 90-minute to all-day program.

How quickly can I start coaching the mental game?

You are probably doing mental game work now with people. You can continue this coaching and go into more depth as soon as you start the IMGCA certification program.

Do I need to wait to be certified to call myself a mental game coach?

No. You can call yourself a mental game coach anytime, but you can say you are certified only after you have completed our program. However, you can state that you are undergoing certification training with the International Mental Game Coaching Association, and have that on your web site and other business materials immediately.

What makes the IMGCA program different from the other programs out there offering similar training?

The IMGCA is the worldwide leader in the field. Our breadth and depth of training is far-reaching. Our customization far exceeds our competitors. The international scope of the certification you receive carries far more weight in the marketplace than local or regional training programs.

Can you progress through the certification levels, starting with instructor and working up to different higher levels of certification?

Yes, you may start at the level appropriate for you and advance as high as you want.


What are the 1-1 teleclass hourly requirements for each certification level?

Level I – Two teleclass contact hours with Bill Cole
Level II – Five teleclass contact hours with Bill Cole
Level III – 15 teleclass contact hours with Bill Cole
Level IV – 40 teleclass contact hours with Bill Cole

Do I get access to materials from all four levels of training – the teleclass contact hours with Bill Cole, the recorded audioclasses and the video collection?

Yes. When you enroll in any level certification program you get immediate and ongoing access to many, many more hours of classes beyond your private, one-on-one teleclasses with Bill Cole. You get instant access to over 120 hours of audioclasses, and over 500 videos. So in Level I alone, you can access over 520 hours of mental game training.

To save time, instead of completing the live, 1-1 private teleclasses with Bill Cole, can I simply audit additional recorded audioclasses and videos?

Yes, you may bypass the live teleclasses and simply replace those with class hours via recorded audioclasses and videos, for the classes portion of the certification. The other certification requirements remain as is.

Does a certification student need to go through all four levels to achieve certification?

No. Each level is a standalone level in its own right. You can be certified at Level I and not have to continue in any other levels.

Does this certification teach you drills so you can teach players to learn the mental game?

Yes, this certification trains you to train others. To coach others. To help others. You will benefit in powerful ways in your own sport and performance arenas, but the focus is on guiding you to be a powerful agent of change for others.

I am interested in how your certification will teach me to coach players how to develop competitive attitudes and mental focus.

The will to win, desire to succeed, mental readiness to compete, the warrior attitude, mental toughness and the ability to call forth mental focus and get into the zone are taught in virtually every session.

Can I use content and techniques from any level in my certification program?

Your program is 100% customized to your needs and with what you want the program to do for you once you graduate.

Do you have a certification that is 100% web-based? I might want a course that I can do at my own pace, without phone calls, on my computer.

The IMGCA is formulating such a course. Please stay tuned for details.

Would you consider translating the IMGCA certification into various foreign languages?

Yes, we would be interested in speaking with someone who would like to explore this.

Who will be working with me on the phone calls?

You will be working with IMGCA Founder and President Bill Cole, MS, MA directly, by phone, in 1 on 1 private sessions.

Who pays for the long-distance phone charges?

In the US we call you at no charge to you. Internationally, you will take care of the telephone charges and call us, or use Skype, which is free. You probably can find a cheap telephone long distance card or company, as you will call in to our special phone number. We have people from all over the world taking certification classes and each call is very cheap with one of these cards or plans.

Are these teleclasses?

Yes, but they are private, one-on-one tutoring sessions. No one else will be on the line during your session. You will have Bill Cole's attention 100%.

Do you conduct group classes?

As of now IMGCA does not conduct group classes, but may do so in the future. One of the best features of IMGCA certification is that the training is highly customized to each student, and 1-1 classes allow for that very nicely, while group classes do not.

Can you do group teleclasses if I get some people together?

We can certainly do that. We welcome larger class sizes. Perhaps you have a team or class that wishes to undertake certification training. This would be fine.

Can I have a friend audit my classes?

If by audit you mean listen in, we don't mind one time if your friend is curious about the training. Beyond that though, they would need to be accepted to the program and pay the appropriate tuition.

Can I have a friend take the certification course with me, at no extra charge?

The IMGCA offers discounts for groups and teams taking a certification course. Please contact us for details.

If I choose, may I have friends, family or another student on the line during my class session?

If these people would be on the line as a specific adjunct to your learning, on a one or two time session basis, we probably would consider it. The certification you purchase is for you alone, so anyone wanting to take the course with you would need to also pay a certification fee or class auditing fee.

Can I record my coaching sessions?

Yes, this is possible in two ways. You may either record a session from your end, using your equipment, or we can do that for you, at no extra charge, and provide you with an MP3 recording later that day. We have a web service we use that takes care of the phone bridge line and the recording. If we record a session, we may ask if we can utilize it within IMGCA as a teaching audio. This is not mandatory. This way other students may learn from our session. You will not be identified (unless you choose to be) so your privacy is respected. Ultimately, you are the final judge as to whether you want a session recorded.

Can I take the recordings from my coaching sessions and sell them?

The IMGCA does not allow reuse of any recordings for other than private, personal reasons, so no, selling any IMGCA recordings, or recording you make are not allowed.

Do I need to be an IMGCA member to undertake certification training?

To undertake certification training you do not need to be an IMGCA professional member.

Is there any downside to just obtaining the Level I certification? Does the Instructor Level limit what you can do, and cannot do with clients? I want to be able to work directly with both individuals and groups/teams, and don't want any limitations.

You can deliver services to individuals and teams using Level I certification, with no problems at all. There are no limitations, other than the fact that higher IMGCA certification levels give you many more tools, more knowledge, more credibility and better results with folks.

The public will see that you are IMGCA certified, and may or may not actually go to the IMGCA website to see what that means. People are quite impressed with the logo and the diploma, and you can post these on your website. Even before you are actually certified, you have permission to say that you are undergoing IMGCA certification, and if you are also a member, can post that professional logo. You can begin charging fees for mental coaching now, before you are certified. That's what many people do, to get going.

If you want, you can simply sign up for Level I and finish that, and as funds come available, sign up for Level II, etc.

Do you offer discounts?

Our policy is to not make any changes in the price once your program begins. We only consider discounts prior to the start of their program when the student can offer a trade or barter for the amount of cash money they are asking for in discount. Sometimes people will have something we want in consideration of the discount.

There are some options. You can make an installment payment now and take your next class, and then take a break of a month or so before your next planned payment, and continue with these break cycles over the course of your program. Of course it will take longer to complete it, but at least your budget will be more manageable.

Another option is to take a month or more break now and when you have the money, make the installment, and continue.

Still another option is to suspend your program completely, and come back to it next year, when you have money saved for the remainder.

Do you guarantee that I will have a successful mental game coaching business?

We wish we could make such a guarantee, but there are so many intangible factors involved, including each person's drive, business abilities, work ethic, etc., that we can't guarantee how your business will turn out. But we do guarantee that we will assist you every step of the way.

IMGCA can't provide any guarantees as to the success of your launching and sustaining a mental game coaching business. IMGCA does not guarantee that any portion of the website (https://www.mentalgamecoaching.com) or work which it performs or suggests to be implemented via its articles, teleclasses, books, videos, newsletters, programs, certifications, resources or any other information will increase performance, income, or specific earnings as a result of working with https://www.mentalgamecoaching.com, Bill Cole, MS, MA and the IMGCA. For more details, please refer to this section of our website: https://www.mentalgamecoaching.com/IMGCALegalNotices.html#ServicesAndResults


Once I graduate with a certification, does that mean I can open a franchise of the IMGCA?

No. IMGCA does not have franchises. IMGCA offers a certification license. Upon certification you will be able to use the IMGCA logo, name, reputation, including directing potential clients to the IMGCA international website for your credibility. We do not receive any additional fees from you other than the annual re-certification fee of $100. Any coaching, speaking, training or other fees you collect in your business stay with you. Backend support is available by adding additional levels of certification, or customized consulting from IMGCA. Your certification is not a franchise. It is a private license from the IMGCA. As such, you will not be a "branch of IMGCA, nor a division of IMGCA". You will be an individually certified mental game coach, with an IMGCA license:

https://www.mentalgamecoaching.com/IMGCACertification.html#CertificationBenefits

In contrast to licenses and franchises, we do accept applications for IMGCA Trainer's Licenses, and these will be considered on a case by case basis, open only to individuals who have completed Level IV certification:

https://www.mentalgamecoaching.com/IMGCACertification.html#TrainerLicenses

Is an IMGCA certification the same as a psychologist's license?

No. IMGCA offers a certification. We certify mental game practitioners, not psychologists. Only a state or national governmental body can confer a license to a psychologist.

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The International Mental Game Coaching Association
P.O. Box 50372, Palo Alto, California 94303, USA
Phone: 408-705-8877
BCole@MentalGameCoaching.com
https://www.MentalGameCoaching.com


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