About Mark

The Intentional Athlete™

About Coach Mark

I started my coaching path while attending Arizona State University. 

After competing in a Powerlifting tournament in Santa Monica, California, a friend and I had the opportunity to drive across the country in a fleet van his dad had recently purchased. We decided to make Phoenix the first stop. Upon arriving, we headed south to Tempe, Arizona, and decided to check out ASU. Football conditioning was underway in the new Activity Center. I jumped in and began spotting the guys on the squat, bench press, and deadlift, the same lifts I perform in competition. I met newly hired Head Strength Coach Bill Allerheiligan, who had just arrived from the University of Nebraska. Bill is a Founding Member, former President, and Member of the Board of Directors of the NSCA National Strength and Conditioning Association.

The coach said, “You know what you’re doing. You should work here.” I said, “Coach, I don’t go to school here. I snuck in here.” I shared with him that I was attending a small college in the midwest, and we were driving home. We hit it off, and he offered me a job. Arriving back home, I told my parents that I was transferring to Arizona State University. I still remember my late Mother asking, “Oh honey aren’t you going to miss the seasons?” Forty years in Arizona, I haven’t missed winter one bit.

I began working with student-athletes—what a dream. I was going to college and training athletes a couple of years younger than me.

In 1982, while still attending ASU, I had the privilege of working as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with the great Jon Cole at his facility in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Jon Cole was a two-time All-American and National AAU Champion in Track and Field as a discus thrower. He is also the first man to Squat 900 lbs. And is one of the world’s all-time great Powerlifters, coaches, and athletes.

A Personal Hurdle

Anyone suffering from chronic depression or bipolar disorder, please know that a joyful and abundant life is possible. I know because I, too, was paralyzed by the beast.

During this enormous struggle, I realized the benefit of exercise, nutrition, and mastering mental/emotional processes play in coping with a debilitating illness. Although the athletes I was working with were achieving excellent results, there was still a missing component. Life goals and sports performance are often sabotaged by fears and limiting beliefs. How could these ways of thinking and feeling be neutralized or reprogrammed to allow one to become healthy, confident, and maximize performance?

The Aha Moment

The “Aha Moment” arrived when I experienced a severe car accident in 1984. I drove home to Tempe from the Scottsdale training facility when a driver pulled out and struck my car head-on.

One day, while leaving the chiropractor’s office, the doctor handed me an invitation to hear a renowned Psychiatrist speak in Sedona, Arizona.

He said, “Mark, this doctor doesn’t work with athletes, but I think you’ll find him interesting. Plus, you can see Sedona.” I made the turn on State Route 89-A and saw Sedona for the first time and somehow knew I had to end up there. I also met future mentor Sir David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., and dedicated myself to studying human performance. I soon discovered that my well-being and athletes’ progress toward top achievement was not only the adherence to nutrition and conditioning programs but also the entrainment of the mind, body, and sport.

Mark Pruss, Performance Coach

M.B.A, NSCA, ACSM, ACEP

Additional disciplines include Voice Dialogue Therapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Thought Field Therapy® TFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques® (EFT®), PSYCH-K® Advanced, Hawkins, The Sedona Method®, Neurofeedback, and HeartMath®.

The Intentional Athlete™

Active clients include

  • Sports and Corporate Speaking Engagements

  • Major League Baseball Players

  • MLB Minor League Players 

  • PGA Professionals

  • LPGA Professionals

  • NHL Players

  • NFL Players

  • Military Veterans, pro bono (PTSD)

  • Reaching 15,000 College and High School Student Athletes Annually

You Deserve The Intentional Athlete™