As a psychology major at Oklahoma State University, Julie Bell was fascinated by the complexities of the human brain, but not by the prospect of listening to people's problems. When she discovered the field of sports psychology, she'd found her niche and went on to earn a master's and then a Ph.D. in the subject at the University of Virginia. Today, she helps not just athletes but also business professionals and church leaders.

"That coaching voice in your head sets you up to do your best, and other times it will undermine you and burn you out," says Bell, founder of the Mind of a Champion, a coaching firm based in Dallas. "Some people have a strong coaching voice that sets them up well. Others need help."

Bell, who spoke at the 2010 National Association of Church Business Administration conference, says church leaders often struggle with their coaching voices, but that her firm's Performance Intelligence teaching can help. Bell's clients include church teams, pro fisherman Dion Hibdon, State Farm, and the vice presidents of several Fortune 500 companies.

Question & Answer

A "coaching voice"? Sounds like pop psychology.

It's based in Scripture. You have to be intentional with your thinking. Paul talks about taking every thought captive to Christ. If we let our minds wander to whatever we want, we are in the world and suffering the consequences of sin.

What's Performance Intelligence?

It's your ability to perform your best when it matters most. A lot of people can do their best when the circumstances are right. How do you use the talents and resources that God has given you to do your best, regardless of the circumstances?

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