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Bill Cole was awarded the LinkedIn ProFinderís Best of 2017, for public speaking writing, coaching and consulting. The Best of 2017 badge signals best in class ranking on the LinkedIn platform. This recognizes the standout ProFinder professionals of the year.

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William B. Cole Consultants
Testimonials for
Mental Game Coaching for Martial Arts

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martial arts coaching

Bill was the sport psychologist for the big-screen Hollywood movie on MMA, The Hurt Business:


He's been the mental game coach to numerous combat sport athletes over the years. He's coached US Open competitors, members of US National Adult and Junior Teams, and state, regional, national and world-class competitors in martial arts. He's trained fighters in multiple MMA associations and leagues, including UFC, Strike Force and Bellator and a Black Belt BJJ competitor who went in to win two US Open Championships.

Bill has been a guest speaker at the Annual National Boot Camp for the Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts Association.

"Bill Cole is one of the leading performance psychology experts in the USA."
Blitz Magazine, Australasia's #1 Martial Arts magazine

Some combat arts forms Bill has coached in the mental area:

  • American Karate
  • American Kenpo
  • Collegiate wrestling
  • Aikido
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)
  • Judo
  • Krav Maga
  • Kung Fu
  • Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
  • Muay Thai
  • Taekwondo

Here are a few comments from our Martial Arts coaching clients.

"Working with mental game coach Bill Cole was a life-changing experience. Bill helped me tremendously with my mental game. Fighting might be one of the ultimate mental sports. Bill showed me how to access my mental toughness in training and in competition. His mental game coaching system allowed me to access my greatness from within, unleashing incredible powers of focus and athleticism. His mental training program helped me win world championships.

Bill helped me understand myself more as a person and an athlete, which helped me navigate the stressful training period before my world championship fight. He taught me the finer points of the zone, and how to enter it, and stay in it. He is exceptionally calm and straightforward. He was very patient in understanding what I go through before and during a fight, and he came up with mental strategies to deal with everything I needed.

He was excellent at grounding and focusing the chaos that can come into my mind. I especially found him helpful in giving me mental techniques which helped to keep my mind focused. It was great to have something solid, positive and productive to focus on. As a very physical person I tend to function and perform better when I have asks to set my energy into, especially my nervous energy. I found that the techniques he gave me were perfect for coping with the pre-competition jitters. They helped me gain a focused rational mind more easily rather than riding the wave of my emotions and nerves as I used to do. This in turn set the stage for the experience of "The Zone." And I know that each and everyone of us, if we could, would live in The Zone. It is the perfect place to be. You feel no self-doubt. You experience feelings of perfect balance and complete power, effortlessly. You are aware of everything yet you're fixated on nothing. It is a long list of dichotomies.

Bill was also very good at reminding me about mental strategies and approaches I already knew. This especially resonated with me because I believe we all have innate powers of strength, focus and wisdom, which we sometimes forget, that need to be woken up. Bill certainly helped me to waken my "sleeping giant." I want to thank Bill so much for all his expert mental game assistance! It is wonderful to have him as part of Team Miriam."

Miriam Nakamoto, four-time world kickboxing champion.
She became the first U.S. woman in history to hold the WBC Muay Thai World title

Miriam Nakamoto with Bill Cole World kickboxing Championship belt
Four-time World Kickboxing Champion Miriam Nakamoto, after winning the WBC World Kickboxing Championship, in China, becoming the first U.S. woman to hold the WBC Muay Thai World title, and her Mental Game Coach, Bill Cole, MS, MA. The WBC World Kickboxing Championship belt Miriam won in her title fight in China.

Lucas Valente Wins The SJJIF World Championship

Lucas Valente

World Champion Lucas Valente

Lucas Valente won the World Championship at the 2019 Sport Jiu-Jitsu International Federation (SJJIF) in the Black Belt Adult 18 Light Division.

"After the very first session with Coach Bill Cole I wasn't sure if he was a mental coach or a magician who got inside my mind. The reason why is because he would understand, in the most genuine way possible, everything that I was saying and feeling and he gave me specific mental exercises that simply made me feel the way I needed to feel.

I always had the best people by my side, and when Coach Bill came into my training and my life things got even greater! He taught me how to access and control my feelings at the right times and at the right moments.

I grew up in the Jiu Jitsu world so hard work and dedication were always an obligation to me, but the more professional things were getting to me, the more I noticed that the mental part was a huge part in the sport as well. With Coach Bill's coaching and teachings I'm able to have laser focus, stay extremely cool under pressure on the biggest Jiu Jitsu stages in the world, collecting numerous titles.

Even more important for me than the mental strategies, mental preparation and day by day mental techniques that he teaches me is his teaching on how to "get in the zone on purpose", a nearly magical place where all you feel is positive and confident feelings.

Your mind doesn't get stuck on any thought, and both your mind and your body flow in perfect connection. You're able to focus only on what matters, and once you are there you feel unstoppable!

I'm forever grateful for everything Coach Bill taught me, what he teaches me, and what he will still teach me. He is always there when I need him."

Lucas Valente Lucas Valente gear
Lucas Valente Lucas fights with the Bill Cole logo on his shorts: TMG-The Mental Game

Lucas Valente on Instagram
Lucas Valente on Facebook
Gracie Barra Team Members

Career Highlights For Lucas Valente

1st Place SJJIF World Champion (2019)
1st Place IBJJF American Nationals (2018)
2017 top 10 Pound for pound Brown Belt in the World (IBJJF)
2015 number 1 lightweight nogi IBJJF world ranking
2015 Brown Belt of the year by http://www.txmma.com/
3-time Worlds medalist
Pan American Nogi Champion
Brazilian Nationals Champion
American Nationals Champion
21X IBJJF International Open Champion
3rd place nogi Worlds
Nogi Pan Ams runner up
Grand Prix Grappling Pro Heavyweight absolute champion
Grand Prix Grappling Pro Heavy weight champion
Southeast Brazilian Nationals Champion
F2W Pro champion
Rio De Janeiro State champion
Minas Gerais State Champion
Texas State Champion
3rd place Brazilian Nationals
EBI 13 ( UFC event) Lightweight Semi finalist
ONNIT Invitational 5 super fight Winner
ONNIT Invitational 3 fastest submission winner
Europa Super Show Absolute Champion
Naga expert division champion
IBJJF certified referee

"MMA is a very mental sport, particularly once you step into the ring. In a contest, the importance of the mental component might be well over 80-90%. A fighter needs strong reserves of mental toughness, focus and the will to win.

My MMA coach and I realized I needed to raise the level of my mental game, so he found the best trainers, coaches and consultants around to work with me so I could prepare optimally for my televised fight coming up in three weeks.

For mental training, he called Bill Cole, The Mental Game Coach. I can't thank Bill enough for all his help.

The mental game training I did with Bill Cole on my mental preparation was an important part of my overall training program for my win (second round TKO) at The Awakening, the World Combat Sports Challenge (WCSC) MMA event in San Francisco. I won the WCSC California State MMA Middleweight Title in front of a crowd of over 5,000 people.

Bill went to work with me right away. I worked with him almost daily over that time. He coached me on simple and easy to use mind techniques I could apply right in the gym, at home, in the locker room before the fight, on the walk into the arena and even once my foot hit the canvas.

Just as you need to be dedicated in the gym, in running, in eating right, and in training all aspects of the MMA game, you need to cover all the bases by training your mind. A fighter can lose the contest before they even step foot into the cage or the ring. They can defeat themselves mentally before the contest even begins. Ignoring the mental game is old school now for anyone who wants to excel at the fight game.

Just like you train your standup game, your wrestling, or your Jiu Jitsu, you need to train your mind. Mental game training is an area that many fighters talk about as being important, but few know how to train for, other than working with intensity and dedication in the gym. Having a strong work ethic will get you to a certain level of mental toughness and confidence, but the mental game is far more than that. A well-prepared fighter needs focus, relaxation under pressure, killer instinct, control over his thoughts, and control over his emotions. Bill helped me take all these things to the next level in my game.

Now I have a focused and extremely effective pre-event mental readiness system that gets my mind, body and spirit ready to fight. He helped me bring out the mental toughness and focus I needed to achieve greatness in a pressure situation.

MMA is very much a mental game. Bill is an indispensable part of my training arsenal. If you want to see what improving your mental game can do for you as a fighter, I strongly suggest you give Bill a call. He is a great investment."

Jesse Gillespie, Winner of the WCSC California State MMA Professional Middleweight Title

Bill Cole and Jesse Gillespie

Bill Cole, MS, MA and Jesse Gillespie, with Jesse wearing the Championship Belt, just after winning the WCSC California State Professional MMA Middleweight Title, in San Francisco, CA, May 30, 2009.

"In July 2014, Bill Cole spoke at the Annual National Boot Camp for the Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts Association, which this year was held in the city of Campbell, in Northern California.

The audience was made up of a wide range of ages and professions. During Bill's presentation, all 150 martial artists were spellbound. Bill went over concepts clearly and coherently. Everything he said was practical and useful immediately. He is charismatic, and his voice is strong and energetic. I was amazed at how approachable he was afterwards, and he was genuinely interested in people asking questions. Everyone wanted him to keep talking because what he said was so relevant to us. If given a chance to hear him speak again, I will drop everything and go. He is totally awesome.

The gap analysis that Bill taught us is incredibly useful. I used it right away on my vision of testing for 5th degree black belt in 2016. Being part of the Mastery Team brings with it a lot of pressure. I wanted to know where I fell on the scale of 1-10. Then I asked myself what I could do to close the gap. The second way I used the gap analysis is in a course I teach at San Jose State University. The course is very difficult, and students are insecure on the first day. I did the gap analysis with them and then asked them what they could do to close the gap. I was amazed at their answers. The gap analysis was a huge success, and I will continue to use it every semester. (I credited Bill Cole for the gap analysis.) I also liked the time travel activity. I will continue to use it.

We all just wished there had been more time to hear him talk. He has so much to say, and the time went too fast."

Dr. Linda Mitchell, Fourth-Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor in martial arts at the Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts Association, and Professor, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA.


From left to right: Master Tony Thompson, Co-Director of the Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts Association; Dr. Linda Mitchell, 4th-degree black belt; Bill Cole, MS, MA; Master Ernie Reyes.

Master Ernie Reyes, Sr. has been honored as "One of the Greatest Martial Arts Masters of the 20th Century", and was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame, and was awarded a "Life Time Achievement Award" by the National Association of Professional Martial Artist, for 25 years of excellence.

Ernie Reyes Sr. biography at USAdojo.com

Ernie Reyes Sr. in the International Movie Data Base

Master Ernie Reyes school


Martial arts participants at the 2014 Annual National Boot Camp for the Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts Association, held in Campbell, California

"I have followed Bill Cole's outstanding work in mental game coaching for many years and have been privileged to have him as a Guest Expert on our international coaching web site for martial arts practitioners and coaches, and military and police professionals.

Bill regularly provides amazing peak performance insights and leading-edge ideas and principles to the world of martial arts across these performance arenas. He has helped us understand and apply the concepts of mental toughness, mental training, concentration, focus and mental readiness for sports competition and law enforcement and military applications. Our clients must have mental toughness to be able to operate in these very difficult, and often dangerous environments. Bill gives us the mental tools we need to navigate those challenging assignments. In this regard, Bill Cole is a mental toughness master. He's our mental game guru.

While many sport psychologists offer standard peak performance theoretical concepts, Bill goes far beyond that, and knows what actually works in the real world. He teaches new ways of looking at old problems, with expert mind game solutions that really work. His understanding of the mind-body processes in peak performance and how to manage them, in learning, and pressure performance situations is simply uncanny. His background as a top athlete, researcher-writer, teacher-coach and businessman blend together to create innovative and highly practical success strategies. His teaching system for mastering the mental game is beyond compare.

I have studied the mental game extensively over the years, and have worked closely with other international sport psychologists, and it's clear that Bill Cole is a major thought leader in sport psychology. We are fortunate to have him as our Guest Expert.

Bill Cole is a world-class mental game coach who gets world-class results. If you are considering bringing Bill in to speak, coach or consult, I know you will be thrilled with the results he brings to you and your organization."

Rodney King, Performance Enhancement Coach - Johannesburg, South Africa
Founder and Director of the Street Tough World Alliance, represented in 15 countries around the world and leaders in innovative e-training martial arts solutions for business and life.
Voted one of the top 20 martial artists in the world by Black Belt Magazine.
www.coachrodneyking.com and www.crazymonkeyuniverse.com/

Thank you Coach Bill, for all your patient and wise guidance in my MMA career.

I first became aware of you and your work when I saw you were the sports psychologist in the MMA movie, The Hurt Business. I also saw you on the web in videos, audios and interviews about your work. I knew I just had to contact you. You coach some of the top athletes in the world.

I've always been a very, very hard worker, and now you've shown me how to also be a very smart, hard worker. Thank you. You've helped me manage my energy, know when and how to pace myself, listen better to my body and to keep my mind, body, spirit and emotions in alignment. It feels amazing.

My mental game has never been better. I didn't even know it could be this good.

Our explorations and discussions of the zone have opened up new vistas for me and I am getting in the zone far more often. Far more than I ever have before.

My training is on another level. I am performing extremely well in the gym, and my coaches are even noticing a huge difference, thanks to you. I feel back to being the unstoppable Collin once again, I feel so grounded in training. I'm in the game.

This is a personal victory for me that Iíve been trying to accomplish for years.

I also wanted to say thank you because I now have the best sleep ever, from when you taught me the subtle differences between meditation and centering. I completely shifted my awareness to understanding the difference between the two. Now I can finally sleep deeply and feel refreshed when I awake. I have the best sleep ever now. Not getting good rest used to plague me for the longest time.

I am so grateful for your help and guidance. You are the greatest sports psychologist on the planet, I truly believe that. I feel major shifts after each session.

Thanks Coach! Iíve also been reading through your book The Mental Game Of Sports, and I gotta say this info is incredible!
You are great!
Thank you,

Collin Baikie Collin Baikie
Collin Baikie training in Montreal, Canada with Georges St-Pierre (GSP), three-time former UFC Welterweight Champion, and one of the greatest fighters in the history of mixed martial arts (MMA). He is cited as the top MMA Welterweight of all time and the most accomplished fighter in MMA history by Fight Matrix. Collin has also trained with Canadian Ultimate Fighter winner Chad Laprise. Collin Baikie celebrates after winning in the UFC octagon in Canada.
Collin Baikie Collin Baikie
Collin Baikie in the UFC octagon in Canada. Collin Baikie after winning the Quebec Canadian Middleweight Championship.

"Bill Cole spoke at our Annual National Boot Camp for the Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts Association. I have listened to many motivational speakers over the years, but they mostly talked about sales. I love that this applied straight to my Martial Arts business and psychology. I think that this was the best sports speaker that I have heard yet! I really want more from him!

I really enjoyed the concept about mental time travel and how to stay in the NOW. I have always thought about that in my own mind, however I could not put it into words until now and now because of Mr. Cole I am able to express to my students what I've always thought how to stay in the ZONE, and turn their brain off... being in the NOW. Martial artists live in the now as well as many other professional sports, and this hit the Nail on the head and drove it past into another level! I wish we could have had more time on the 'time zones of the mind' and more stories about winners! I thought that it was too short... I wanted more of everything!"

Master Shawn Hugh, Owner and Master Instructor,
Kim's Academy of Tae Kwon Do, Roy, Utah.

"I am so grateful that I found Bill Cole! I had just a few short months to go before grading for my black belt in kempo jujutsu. I was at my wit's end with my training. I knew that I needed something drastic to pull myself out of the slump I had fallen into. I suffered from constant choking-the kind that was paralyzing my performance. I was really entertaining thoughts of quitting. I took the 'mental game of sports assessment' on Bill's website and realized that my underlying problem was that I didn't really have a "mental game" at all. Right then and there, I made the decision to do coaching with him - and I am so glad I did.

Bill helped me put together a plan of action that got me out of my slump and back on track in martial arts. He made his techniques easily accessible to my style of learning. He frequently drew parallels between other areas of success in my life that I had missed.

Because of the sessions we did together, I performed VERY well at my black belt grading. As we say in my dojo, "Mizu no kokoro", which means heart and mind like water. I am no longer under the trance of negative, rigid thinking about my sports performance. I have a newfound awareness and fluidity of thinking about myself as an athlete. I now have a strong mental game and I am looking forward to future success in my sport.

Domo arigato. Many, many thanks to you Bill!"

Brandi L., Kempo Jujitsu Practitioner-Black Belt
Denver, Colorado

"Veteran MMA coach Bill Cole is a trusted source of advice for fighters who are looking to alleviate overwhelming emotions before and during a fight."

August Constance

The Mental Game of Martial Arts
William B. Cole Consultants - Mental Game coaching, consulting, speaking and training

2085 East Bayshore Road #50412
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Phone: (510) 270-0311
E-Mail: Bill@MentalGameCoach.com
Website: www.mentalgamecoach.com

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