Sometimes the game on the field isn’t the hardest one we play. Sure, it’s challenging to make a three pointer, jump over a hurdle, stop a hard-hit puck, and stay on pointe. But, maintaining the right frame of mind, especially when the pressure is on, makes it difficult to be a mentally tough competitor. Athletes who learn to manage their “side games”—the term I use for the psychological games athletes play—are bound to see immediate benefits. Let me explain.