Dan Trathen DMin, PhD Clinical Psychologist & Certified Business & Life Coach

Elite Sports Services

Developing Athletes from the Inside Out across their entire Life-Span

Elite Sports Services (ESS) is a professional organization dedicated to developing the elite athlete as a whole person by providing assessments, life skills training, mentoring, and assistance in the development of purposeful living. The organization’s desire is to aid athletes in the growth of their cognitive, emotional, moral, spiritual and personal character.

There is a need for this type of player support. Elite athletes suffer from a myriad of issues as a result of participation in their chosen path. Fame, travel, focus and time contribute to pressure on the athlete. Research identifies that challenges such as emotional regulation, poor decision making, and relationship dysfunctions can be very draining and debilitating on the athletes performance. This often leads to family and other relational stresses. The net result is that more time is invested by others to manage the crisis with the player, their families, their respective team, their coaches, or their schools.

The concept for this life-span coaching is driven by the problems that today’s athletes can potentially face with personal and interpersonal issues. These issues can be experienced not only by the athletes and their families, but also by coaches, agents, sport teams, and society at large. The goal is to provide comprehensive life coaching as one spoke in the “Hub & Spoke” approach; to include life skills training and mentoring from the time each athlete enters high school and makes the transitions to college, professional sports and a post professional career.

The model is made to assist the elite athletes with a purposeful, mindful and intentional life versus living a reactive life style. The model is also to help assist athletes develop from the inside out through critical thinking skills, emotional regulation, and decision making skills during the time they are exposed to the worlds of college and professional sports. The desired outcome is to produce athletes of character in their interpersonal and professional relationships. The modalities utilized to achieve these outcomes are one or two day personal or one or two day relationship “intensives” followed up by regular telecoaching and the availability to the athlete of web-based materials. Guidance would be given to establish personal, professional, and relational developmental plans that are reviewed and/or updated twice a year.

We have decades of experience helping clients through a vast array of challenges to live happier, more successful and prosperous lives. We use educational, cognitive, neuroscience and clinical psychology, along with coaching skills and abilities as we seek to generate well-being, purpose, competence and awareness for the client. Our proven strategies and techniques have been developed through education, life experiences and a combined 60 years of professional experience of one-on-one, couple, family counseling and coaching sessions. Our team invests themselves professionally and personally into every client, every session, and every situation to bring about the desired results. Whether it is consulting with a high school or helping with college selection or working with an agency directly, we treat people mindfully with this goal, “The mark of any true leader is their ability to manage themselves.”

Our approach to life-span coaching is based on developmental foundations, which we then build upon by using assessments and strengths – much like an athletic coach working toward improved athletic performance, but emphasize that this is for their entire lives. Whether it is individual or relationship challenges, we seek to avert issues by coaching clients to be proactive and to be a better team player in all aspects of life. The concept for this coaching service is driven by the problems that are often faced by today’s athletes due to personal and interpersonal issues. These conflicts are experienced not only by the players and their families, but also by coaches, agents, professional sports clubs and teams, and society at large.


Phases of Service: Managing the Person

Transition and Continuity Life Coaching:

  • As Elite Athletes in Club teams move into High School
  • As Elite Athletes move from Middle School to High School
  • As Elite Athletes enter their professional lives
  • As Pro Athletes progress in their career
  • As Pro Athletes move from team to team
  • As Pro Athletes retire or make a transition out of professional sports.


We are dedicated to developing elite athletes from the inside out. We have a proven model and process that works with High School and College players moving to the Pros. We also work with Professional athletes, and those retiring or retired from a life of being a Professional athlete. We also specialize in assisting college and Professional athletes with the transitions into their post career lives and relationships.

Our services aren’t for everyone. We only work with those elite athletes, agents and teams that have a sincere interest in developing people for a lifetime. We believe in the “Hub and Spoke” model. In this model, the player is the Hub requiring many different people and services as “spokes” to keep the wheel of their lives and careers moving forward.Successful people realize that their success is in a large part due to others who made a long term commitment to invest in them.

The way we bring value to individuals in the “Hub and Spoke” model is delivered through a 12-month program divided into two 6 month coaching phases. We assess, plan, and then coach according to that plan. For Elite Athletes at the Club, Middle School and High School levels we conduct extensive educational and psychological assessments to assist them and their parents, to understand their strengths and learning styles and to target areas that need enhancement. This developmental plan acts as a compass and through its use we come alongside parents as a resource providing guidance for them as their athlete matures and grows. For Professional and Post Pro athletes we provide the same assessments and interface with other important relationships that they want to include. For all athletes, the assessment phase is conducted in person, and includes an extensive coaching interview before the feedback, plan development phase and coaching phases. For those getting ready to enter their professional sports career, we come to the training facility to provide assessments and extensive coaching interviews before the feedback session, telephone coaching, plan development and coaching phases.


Areas of Service: Managing the Process


  • We interface with Club, Middle School and High School athletes in a developmental way, providing educational assessments to understand their learning styles, and assessments to help determine their strengths and limitations. Further emphasis is placed on taking standardized tests like the ACT and SAT as well as helping with the development of quality study habits to maximize high school academics.
  • We assist parents and athletes in procuring the best colleges or universities that fit their academic, athletic, and post athletic career goals. Parents who seek to do this on their own find this process extremely time consuming and it comes when they are trying to make the best use of their time and of the funds they have planned for their children’s education.
  • We assist parents and athletes with coaching in character, ethical, moral, and spiritual formation as the athletes build “core” life skills to use in decision making and for emotional and behavioral regulation within and outside of their athletics.
  • We provide transition and continuity life coaching for parents and athletes through the transitions from Club, High School, College, or Professional sports as well as from team to team. We also specialize in assisting professional athletes make healthy transitions to a post professional sports life.
  • Personality assessments are given to assist each athlete to understand their strengths and limitations. We also assist them in developing a personal growth plan and mentor them as they progress toward their stated goals.
  • Relationship assessments are given to address strengths and limitations in their significant relationships. We assist them, along with their significant others, in a relationship growth plan and provide mentoring for both parties, as well as for their relationship to progress toward their stated goals. This includes, but is not limited to, relationship, pre-marital, marital, and parental coaching.
  • We teach athletes proper mental training. Athletes will learn how to practice and perform like a champion, understanding when and how to engage cognitive skills and when and how to disengage their minds.
  • We provide parents and athletes assistance as they enter the world and rules of college sports and the world of Professional sports as they interface with sports agents and teams.
  • We provide crisis management for the athlete, parents, agent, and team coaching staffs as the need arises.
  • We provide consultations with parents, agents and coaches as needed.


Contact us at ESS today for more information and join us as we impact sports; one elite athlete at a time.


Daniel W. Trathen DMin, PhD

Licensed Psychologist