Empowering Excellence

by Jessica Evangelista Balduzzi ’05

“William Smith was an empowering experience,” says Tiffany Jones ’99. “As a student athlete, I was able to develop leadership skills on and off the field. To this day, the culture at the Colleges allows student athletes to achieve both their academic and athletic goals.”

Growing up, Jones loved sports, but knew she would never have an opportunity to play professionally. With a burning need to keep athletics in her life and a natural desire to help others, Jones, a double major in psychology and English with a minor in women’s studies, earned an M.S. and Doctorate with a specialization in sport psychology from Springfield College.

Today Jones, a four-time women’s soccer varsity letter winner and center midfielder in two NCAA Final Four Championships at William Smith, is a sport psychology consultant and the president of X-Factor Performance Consulting, a firm that helps athletes of all ages develop mental and life skills. Through innovative workshops and creative individual sport psychology training programs, X-Factor provides their clients with the skills and training they need to compete in every aspect of their “game.”

“My goal is to help athletes reach excellence in and out of their sport, and self-awareness is the first step and key to reaching personal and professional excellence,” says Jones. “I look at the personality, behaviors, strengths, weaknesses, motivators and beliefs that shape their sport experiences. An athlete must take care of his or her emotional needs before achieving success on the field. Mental toughness, or how an athlete responds when something goes wrong on the field, is the most important thing I can teach.”

Jones’ tough love approach has allowed her to work with professional athletes, national programs, colleges and universities, high schools and youth programs from around the country to prepare athletes for life’s transitions after sports. A certified consultant for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP-CC), Jones was the consultant for the USA U-20 Women’s National Soccer Teams (World Cup Champions 2008; 2010), Women’s Professional Soccer, National Football Foundation, Empowering Sports, LLC, and Ultimate Gymnastics. She is in the process of completing her first book, The Jones Method: Reaching personal and athletic excellence by implementing sport psychology techniques.

Throughout her career, Jones has returned to the Hobart and William Smith campus every fall and spring to lend her expertise to the William Smith Athletics Department. During both team and individual sessions with the Herons, Jones addresses topics like mental toughness, managing emotions and anxiety, decreasing negative thoughts, motivation, controlling the controllables, and developing effective communication between coaches and athletes.

“I love coming back to the Colleges,” says Jones. “It’s like Disneyland for athletes. The coaches are educated, passionate and receptive to new ideas. The Herons are competitive, results orientated and passionate about their lives post William Smith athletics.”


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.