ATHLETE TOUGH Program Testimonials

We could spend money on flashy advertising, but we know as well as you do that honest feedback directly from clients is the most reliable and credible way to gauge how good a product or service really is.

“I think the best aspect of the ATHLETE TOUGH program has been watching my novice rowers find their collective, “why?” For a group of collegiate athletes who have never done the sport before setting foot on campus, intentionally choosing to put themselves so far outside of their comfort zone has not only helped them to realize a kind of inner strength they didn’t know existed, but has helped them build relationships with each other based on deep trust. From my perspective as a coach, it is incredibly important to find as many resources as possible to help reach as many different athletes as possible. We’re only halfway through the curriculum and I can already see a huge difference!”

Carol Schoenecker
Assistant Rowing Coach | Robert Morris University

Nikola Milinkovic
Director of Sport Psychology | Intensity Club

Donna Dall
Progressive Coaching Systems | Brisbane, Australia


Carolyn King Robitaille
Field Hockey Head Coach | Saint Anselm College


Dan Mickle 
Mental Performance and Life Coach | Soul Performance Academy

I was really blown away with some of the tools that this program provided us. It really was a fantastic supplement to our physical training. It allowed the players to get a greater mental training and really become well-rounded athletes and people. They used this program on and off the field and I found them talking about it in all areas of their life, which I think is a testament to how effective this program really was. We’re really grateful that Athlete Assessments developed this program and we can’t say enough about it. Thanks again for helping the Hawks become ATHLETE TOUGH.”

Carolyn King Robitaille
Field Hockey Head Coach | Saint Anselm College

It is hard to say what the BEST thing has been about the ATHLETE TOUGH Program because it has been helpful in so many ways. My clients and I appreciate the clear, concise way that the Program is laid out, and that the strategies are practical, rather than just theoretical. Some of today’s Coaches like to wax poetic for the days of “athletes who would run through walls to play our sport” and for how tough the athletes “used to be”. I think that it is important to remember that the origin of the coaching profession is EDUCATION. We need to educate our student-athletes, many of whom have come to us with a very different skillset from their Coaches, and provide them with concrete strategies they can employ to achieve mental toughness. ATHLETE TOUGH does that, and does it very well. Evolution is necessary for growth and to sustain life in every profession, and this is a great resource to use in the evolution of both athletes and Coaches in order to set up both of them for success.”

Becky Ahlgren Bedics
Ahlgren Bedics Consulting
Indiana, USA

What is the best aspect of the Athlete Tough Program – everything!! Having a program like this available to our young players has been amazing. In just a few short weeks, they have increased their communication, starting to hold each other accountable, and raising their expectations of not only themselves but each other. The online videos really help to drum home the messages throughout this program. It allowed the players to hear from someone else other than the coaching staff. Seeing the light bulb moments, the determination, and the start of their self-belief has been amazing. I have been going through the program myself as a head coach, and teaching myself to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Teaching not only the players but myself, how to be mentally strong and tough. I was lucky enough to see Bo present at a VIC netball conference. He was amazing, and his stories were very relate-able. This is a resource any coach can use at any level, especially at grass roots.”

Shea Cunningham
Netball Coach
Victoria, Australia

One aspect of the Athlete Tough Program we really benefited from was the breathing exercises. From a coaching perspective, our team ‘breathing time’ becomes a special place for each individual and I ‘keep my distance’. As a team we stop and breathe during each training session. It’s a time reserved just for the athletes to find inner peace, strength and resolve. No Coaches barking at them, no team members demanding and no opponents challenging them. I have found these moments of breathing, when applied consistently and properly, to be the critical differentiator in match play.

“The breathing technique Bo taught us helps with controlling my temperament, especially when faced with difficult situations. I practice my breathing daily as it helps me find my neutral self, where I’m not too high or too low in regards to my behavior. It helps with my fitness as well, especially after a conditioning session. When I feel short of breath after a grinding run, I use the breathing practice to help me expand my diaphragm and the upper part of the lung where athletes usually never fully utilize.”

Coach Tim O’Brien and 2016 Captain Kevin O’Connor
3 x National Champion
St Mary’s College Rugby Union Men’s D1 Coach, USA

It is relevant and directly applicable to the high school student athletes that I am working with. When the opportunity to be a Character Coach came up at the high school where I’ve taught, and coached (football and wrestling) at for many years, I was very excited as I knew this was an area of great need. After a few meetings with the football teams I realized I needed a curriculum to address the many issues that needed to be covered. Fortunately, I stumbled upon ATHLETE TOUGH, ordered it and implemented in right away. It has been and continues to be a key part of our ever-expanding Champions of Character program.

Timothy Hess
Character Coach, Football and Wrestling
Newark Unified School District, California USA

“The biggest positive about the Athlete Tough Program is the short activities it gives chapter to chapter. This Program isn’t just about the theory behind improving athlete toughness. It gives you things along the way to help build toughness and put the theories and facts to work. This really helped me to be able to use consistent language with our players when talking about being Athlete Tough. There are a lot of different programs out there, but I have already found this to really help to make the language consistent between athletes and myself when we talk about being tough throughout our next season.”

Aly Hinton

SNHU Women’s Basketball, USA

“I like the fact that I can reuse the video’s over and over. I also like how the video is broken down into short videos so the players can focus on one aspect.”

We used the videos as a starting point for our team discussions and then related the concepts to our own specific areas of need.”

Tino Fusco
Women’s Soccer Head Coach
Mount Royal University Cougars, Canada

Our athletes loved working through the book with the coaches.  We used Saturday mornings to go through one or two chapters with the coaches facilitating the sessions.  There was a marked difference in the team dynamic and resiliency during the season, and there were even one or two times when I actually stopped myself from getting angry at a situation by using the very things we’d taught the athletes. This is for real! And I hope my team is the only one in the country that uses it because it is for sure an advantage to have mentally tough athletes…”

Division 1 Rowing Coach, USA*
*Name withheld due to University restrictions on product promotion.

“We complete the Chapters weekly, so not only are we making sure we are meeting weekly, but we are covering topics other than physical training and our opposition. We are digging a bit deeper which has been fantastic.”

“For the team, ATHLETE TOUGH provided the opportunity to develop skills that many of them had not been exposed to before, to talk about it together and learn from each other, as well as discuss that extra commitment required from each of them. As a coach, I have also learnt so much more about my players from this Program, and it has helped me focus on the areas that needed improving.”

“I thoroughly recommend this Program, particularly if you are looking for that extra bit of commitment from your team that’s not physical, it’s the mental side of sport that is often overlooked, this Program has been really valuable. If you don’t have access to Sports Physiologists, this is a great Program to work through.”

Jane Cremers
Head Coach
McLaren Vale Netball Club

“The best part about the program was gaining an understanding of what being ATHLETE TOUGH means. Being tough isn’t always trying harder, but its about self awareness and an understanding of many different areas where you can be tough.”

“The ATHLETE TOUGH Program helped me in coaching our athletes and helping them understand themselves better. We talk a lot about being tough, but this gave me different avenues to discuss with them.”

Dawn Shockley
Women’s Golf Head Coach
Oregon State University

“The program has been awesome. The players are really buying in to the activities and taking accountability of what they want out of the program. We use the book and do weekly lessons about certain topics that the team will discuss as a group.”

Nicole Degenhardt
Head Softball Coach
Georgian Court University

Rubilena Rojas
Softball Team  |  Mt. San Antonio College

What we love most about this program is how easy it is to follow and the questions that it asks. As a coach, it makes it easy to elaborate on the topics of each chapter and to have team discussions about them. It has created great team and personal awareness, accountability, and just having a relationship with your sport.”

It has helped me tremendously in getting to know my players better from the answers that they wrote down in each chapter. I definitely pay attention to them and try to find ways to bring out the best in them.”

I am a HUGE fan of this amazing product that Athlete Assessments’ have put together.

Rubilena Rojas
Softball Head Coach
Mt. San Antonio College

I loved this series! I love everything about it from the videos to the models to the activities.”

“The best aspect for me as a college coach were the models and examples Bo used in many of the videos. I love Bo’s ability to direct and concise with his videos. Simple, direct and to the point!”

Sue Behme
Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach
University of Rochester

The best part of the program is the tangible tools these athletes acquire in order to help them get to the next level. They really enjoyed the assignments at the end of each chapter. They also enjoyed the opportunity to really open up and share with their teammates.”

“The program helped me by getting to know my athletes even better. I learned more of their fears, insecurities, perceived weaknesses, strengths, motivations, as well as how they view themselves and how they view me.” 

“I truly appreciate this program for enabling my players and myself to dig a little bit deeper in order to get greater results both on and off the field. We truly became better people using Athlete Tough.”

Carolyn King Robitaille
Field Hockey Head Coach
Saint Anselm College

“So far the program has been met with huge enthusiasm from my team. I coach School level rowing in Melbourne, Australia. I currently manage the Senior Girls Team (ages 16-18) and coach the 1st VIII. I introduced your program on rowing camp where we covered 5 chapters over 6 days.”

The change in some of my athletes has been immediate, and the skills we have covered so far instantly applicable. The students regularly refer to the key lessons they’ve learnt and I’ve found it to be a great bonding exercise for my crew.”

“Thank you. I am personally very interested in this area of coaching and this has been a great tool. I’m looking forward to completing the rest of the book over the season.”

Alysha Batliwalla
Rowing Coach and Team Manager
Melbourne, Australia

The best aspect of the program is the hands on application that ties the lessons together… and puts the information into “real life.”

I have seen such a difference with my team and how they approach competition, especially in adverse weather conditions. They do not even think about the weather any more. They also are holding each other accountable for positive attitudes, comments, etc… They reflect on every competition and point out things that went well and things that they can learn from… no negativity.

I have loved seeing my athletes transform into much stronger/tougher mindset athletes. In a sport, such as running, when you are in control of the outcome and your personal performance, mental toughness is the key to separating the competition. This program has really helped my athletes learn a lot about themselves, and thus, improved the culture of the team.

Leslie B Payne
Head Cross Country/Track & Field Coach
Meredith College

“The combination of video and reading was definitely the best part of the program. The fact that the athletes are able to read and do the tasks on their own. Most of the material was not new, but it was presented in a way in which made it easier for the athletes to read and understand.

It helped me present some ideas in a new way. I was able to make the athletes accountable for their own improvement. It was a great reference tool, something the players could always carry with them and use when necessary as a reminder.

I have seen some improvements in some players and shall continue to use this program with my teams.”

Trish Riddell
Head Women’s Tennis Coach
Florida Southern College

The Athlete Tough Program gave each player on my team a different way of thinking about how they approach their sport. And while not every concept was applicable to the sport of golf, we found ways to be creative and adapt it to our team needs.”

Furthermore it gave our team a chance to really talk through how we each handle situations out on the golf course. The more experienced players were able to provide some great insight for the newer players.”

Brianna Broderick
Head Coach, Women’s Golf
University of Missouri-Kansas City

Your handbook and videos are excellent. North Central Elite Archers had an elite camp with 24 archers in attendance and I played the chapter 2 video. We then discussed how mental toughness was at the hub, not technical skills. In their mind technical skills was at the hub. We then practiced chapter 9 breathing strategies, followed by chapter 14 where we created some of our own Holistic Cue Words. I always re-read and review chapters to help me teach mental toughness to all my archery athletes. Thank you for one of the best (if not the best) products I’ve found for teaching and improving athletes mental skills.

Coach Linda Beck
USA Archery Level 5 Coach
Head Coach North Central Elite Archers

Our coaching staff and athletes loved our weekly ATHLETE TOUGH sessions! The ATHLETE TOUGH program was easy to follow, it promoted an overall ‘buy-in’ from the athletes, and was a great way to help train the complete athlete. I loved that the chapters were easy to follow, where very clear in their intention, and gave the athletes the ability to write their own thoughts and feelings in the exercises at the end of each chapter. This is a program that not only gave our athletes tools for their competitive sport but is a fantastic resource for life outside of the gym. The strategies in the ATHLETE TOUGH program encouraged us to maximize our unique abilities and work together as a team to strive towards our team goal. Many thanks to Bo Hanson and the team at Athlete Assessments in creating and implementing the ATHLETE TOUGH program!”

Vicki May
Head Coach, Women’s Gymnastics
Towson University

“I thoroughly enjoy the way the material is presented. You can take a small section of a chapter and it provides immense value when discussing with young athletes, particularly the references relating to being a good team member.”

The self reflection is such a powerful tool, particularly when put alongside the coach reflection scores. The variety of activities and videos that keep delivering a strong message to young athletes (of which we have plenty here at Hills Sports) are truly excellent.”

“Thank you Bo and the team at Athlete Assessments for this wonderful resource. I refer to it on almost a daily basis.”

Andrew Tetley
Director of Sport
The Hills Sports High School

The ATHLETE TOUGH content is excellent and the girls are now using the principles during our practices, games, and goal setting sessions. Bo is a good speaker and expands on many workbook points in detail through the videos. We found the diagrams very helpful since most kids today are visual learners. The licensing model is also very generous for the price of the program.”

Guy Lum
Head Volleyball Coach
Westminster Christian School

“Engaged! Every team member on every video. Uncomfortable sometimes, certainly but less so as they grew as a team. The round-table discussion after every chapter and friendly banter quickly turned into accountable behaviours on court. As the weeks rolled on, the ‘team’ emerged. I watched the girls adapting their behaviour both on and off the court and into their interpersonal relationships. The grit they attained through the programme helped them grow from failures rather than letting a backward step define them. The Athlete Tough course has helped every player individually in their own journey, lifting when required and taking accountability for their own performance. Parents noticed the difference and I saw their behaviour modify in response.”

“Not every season runs to plan and after some points shuffling the girls weren’t able to compete in local finals. Rather than leave the season at a low ebb, they used the energy. They re-grouped at seasons’ end competing in a large carnival on the coast and took all Bo’s lessons to the court there. The result of a long day was a championship and the genuine smiles in the team photo.”

What words would the team use to describe ATHLETE TOUGH?
“Inspiring, intellectual, great advice, helpful, encouraging, opened my mind, so many important lessons, excellent presentation, well thought out.”

Matthew Bekker
Head Coach
Gympie Storm Netball

Love this curriculum, it has really been something applicable our athletes can use in both practices and races on a daily basis, but also in their day-to-day lives. I really feel it’s helping them grow as independent, self-assured young women in this world, it’s really having an impact on them in a big way. Thank you for all of the work you all do with Athlete Assessments day in and day out. Your work is really making an impact on a lot of people in a steady, powerful way.”
Megan Mitchell
Assistant Rowing Coach
University of Central Florida
“We have been using ATHLETE TOUGH for 6 weeks now and our athletes are really enjoying it. The activities are really making them think and grow. After each activity we talk about how we can or did apply in practice or a scrimmage. We especially appreciated the Navy Seals chapter. Many of the athletes have expressed that they have never thought about many of the questions before and as we know, becoming aware is the first step in the process of becoming a champion.” 
Patti Gerckens
Head Softball Coach
UC San Diego

“The best aspect of the ATHLETE TOUGH Program was the organization of the topics. The program spurred great conversation amongst our team and helped me to lead some necessary topics to cover as a team.”

Lindsay Jackson
Head Coach, Field Hockey
College of the Holy Cross


The best aspect of ATHLETE TOUGH is the informative nature of the book and the link to the videos which can visualise what has been written and discussed.

ATHLETE TOUGH helped me to create a resource for my MAP students to access, allow students to listen to an elite athlete and his experiences, understand the importance of the wide-ranging area being mentally tough in different competitions and situations.

David Cremasco-Schmidt
Brisbane, Australia

“The Athlete Tough Program is an extremely valuable resource to working with my player clients. The program is laid out very nicely for a user friendly experience and can be simply passed along to athletes to work at on their own , or utilized like I use it to assign mini-projects and assignments that get the athletes to think about how they handle adversity and how to optimize their potential. As we already know, elite performance is more about self-awareness of what happening in the 6 -inches between our ears, than the technical aspects of the sport.”

“My clients have benefited greatly from the program and will continue to do so as I pass along the program to them when I finished working with them.”

“Having access to the Athlete Tough Program has provided me a platform from which to coach with confidence in knowing that the information was developed by a world class athlete and coach. The program adds a level of professionalism that would be very difficult to create without it. Thank you Athlete Assessments for your guidance.”

Reuben Erhardt
Black Swan
Hockey Development Services

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