Welcome! My name is Elijah Bartlett-Springer, I am a 23-year-old student-athlete that grew up playing a number of different sports before eventually deciding on chasing my dream - playing professional soccer. Before becoming a mindset coach and mental health advocate,
I spent two years abroad studying and playing soccer in Leeds, England. Soon after, I moved to Illinois for a year on a soccer scholarship. Not only have I been fortunate enough to travel the world playing the sport I love, but I also met and got coached by some of the top fitness instructors and athletes within their respected industries. During my time in England, I was presented with the opportunity to receive and work towards my FA level 1 and 2 coaching certifications.
Battle with Mental Health
My fitness journey commenced when I was 10 years old. Growing up, I was always very self-conscious about my weight. I felt insecure and never once had the courage to speak about it. I felt that as a man, I wasn’t obligated to feel so weak and vulnerable. Throughout my teenage years, I felt like I couldn't discuss or do anything about how I was feeling mentally. I had years of countless individual and team accolades, some including multiple MVP awards in American Football, Baseball, and Soccer, first-place finishes in track and field events, and regional and city championships. No matter what I accomplished or did I never felt aligned with myself. I realized that after all the years of training for my sport and for competition, I was never taught how to properly cope with my emotions. I only saw life within my sport and had never thought about life without it. Throughout a decade of training and performing to be the best athlete I could be, I somehow started to plateau and regress physically. I gained an extra 20 pounds in 2 months while on a “diet”. I ended up trialling the vast majority of diets and went to multiple personal trainers and coaches but nothing worked. I fell into a depression and began to become severely anxious and upset. My mind and body felt completely separate. My thoughts were not aligning with my actions or who I truly felt like
What is a Mental Athlete?
During my time in the US, I began to study the benefits of the practice of mindfulness, the ideology of “energy” and the philosophy of becoming a mental athlete. I started to practice becoming more aware of my energy, protecting my energy and striving to become self-aware. I started to practice holding myself accountable and disciplining myself in everything I do. I’ve learned the relationship between exercise and mental/emotional health, a relationship that is undermined in the fitness industry. Coaches and trainers have far too long portrayed a false and negative narrative of what ‘healthy’ looks like. Not everyone is going to move the same. There is no such thing as a perfect diet. There is no such thing as a perfect gym routine. There is such thing as working out too much. Working your physical self is one thing, but building your mental self is another. Each individual deserves to find true value in all parts of themselves.
Many including myself fail to fully understand or reach our full capabilities due to never fully aligning with ourselves mentally and emotionally. A change of our perspective in regards to how we see day-to-day activities is crucial in facilitating positive growth. Setting goals and beliefs that you can build emotional resilience while building a healthy mindset will drive you.
Becoming a Mental Athlete
I devoted the last 3 years of my life to realign my mind and body. I began putting myself in uncomfortable situations, becoming aware and accepting of my emotions and using them to drive me. It’s not about how often you workout or the intensity of the workout. It’s simply about finding a healthy balance and true self-love. After almost 10 years of feeling insecure about myself and weight, being unaware of my emotions or being scared to express how I’ve felt, I finally reached my 10-year goal within 6 months. To date, I’ve currently lost 60 pounds and have become much more aware of my mental state and emotions.