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Exploring Life & Business with Justin Foster of The Excelling Edge LLC

Today we’d like to introduce you to Justin Foster.

Alright, thank you for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us how you got started?
I provide the best cognitive training and technology to help high performers gain a competitive edge and unleash their potential. From an early age, it has been my passion to help people become the best version of themselves. I grew up in Abingdon, a small Appalachian town in Virginia lined with historic buildings dating back to the Civil War and more churches than coffee shops. I learned the values of faith, community, and hard work. I was a multi-sport athlete in high school, and while I made it to numerous state championships, I didn’t come out on top. I went on to compete in college and pursued a bachelor’s degree in psychology. As an athlete, I left potential on the table. I was talented but lacked the mental skills to be confident, composed, and focused under pressure. Battling to bring out the best in myself, I discovered a whole new field of study in sport and performance psychology. Realizing I could combine my passion for psychology and sport was a dream come true. A teammate connected with me with an internship at a sports psychology practice in the Philadelphia area, where I confirmed my desire to make this my career. After graduation, I headed west to pursue graduate training in Phoenix, Arizona.

After earning master’s degrees in Sports and Exercise Psychology and Mental Health Counseling, I joined an exciting team of young professionals serving the U.S. Army and Special Operations communities. After intensive training at West Point Academy and The University of Pennsylvania, I helped these warfighters prepare their minds for combat’s chaos and perform their best when it matters most. Over the years, I trained more than 25,000 service members to optimize their mental game for the toughest environments, empowering leaders to build better teams, and helped senior command teams develop high-performing cultures within their ranks. I helped some of these tactical athletes compete and win in some of the toughest competitions in the military, including the All-Army Combatives Championships and Best Ranger Competitions. One senior leader asked me to help his installation improve their Ranger School graduation rate, which we did, to more than double the Army’s average, putting more qualified leaders back into their formations. Later, I trained U.S. Air Force fighter pilots to accelerate learning and think, decide, and act faster than the enemy by improving their neurocognitive skills.

I’m a third-generation entrepreneur, utilizing my expertise and years of experience to support sports organizations, performance training facilities, military units, and other aspiring elite performers. Today I’m a Cognitive Performance Consultant and Owner of The Excelling Edge LLC, where we combine cognitive training, human performance technologies, and the latest developments in neuroscience to help people unleash their potential. None of this would be possible without the tremendous support of my wife, Laura, my family, friends, and colleagues. For all of them, I am incredibly grateful.

Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I believe life’s adversities strengthen us and prepare us for the challenges ahead. James 1:3 says that when our faith is tested, our endurance has a chance to grow. I was devastated, frustrated, and angry when I didn’t make the JV basketball team. But it led me to new opportunities to compete in tennis and cross country in college. As frustrating and disappointing as it was to fall short of my potential as a collegiate athlete, it led me to discover a new field that has become my career. When I needed a flexible job to pay for school, I received the opportunity to be a USPTA Tennis Professional, coached at one of the biggest tennis programs in the country, and then alongside now GCU Head Coach Greg Prudhomme. When I began work with the U.S. military, I was a fish out of water. But thanks to my curiosity and drive to serve our service members well, I soon learned their acronyms, language, and mission-critical tasks. When leaders pressed for proof that mental training was effective, I learned to leverage biofeedback, visual-motor, and neurofeedback technologies to validate our training and innovate new training strategies. In starting The Excelling Edge LLC, there have been countless challenges and in each one lies opportunities to learn, grow, and better serve our clients both near and far. I often teach our clients to have a healthier perspective regarding life’s curveballs, challenges, and adversities (small or large). We can often survive and thrive through much more than we give ourselves credit for.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
The Excelling Edge L.L.C. is a West Valley-based small business that helps high-performing athletes, training facilities, and tactical units gain a competitive edge by using the best cognitive training and technologies to help athletes and operators unleash their potential.

Our clients often recognize the importance of using mental and cognitive training to maximize performance but don’t know where to begin. Some dabble but don’t know if their efforts are making a difference. And still, others use a variety of services, tools, and technology but lack the structure and deliberate processes to maximize their impact.

I help our clients identify which cognitive skills most impact their performance. The cognitive skills needed by a basketball player are very different from a S.W.A.T. team member. I help them assess those critical skills and then build strength training programs for the brain (often leveraging cutting-edge technologies) to strategically develop the cognitive capacities that will help their personnel perform their best when it’s all on the line.

While we specialize in combining cognitive training, technology, and neuroscience into structured programs that work, we serve our clients in other ways too. We develop mental toughness and resilience by equipping athletes with the tools, skills, and mental plans necessary to perform under pressure and compete consistently. We help organizations cultivate a championship culture. And we empower high-performance coaches and leaders to build exceptional teams.

We help our clients through various services and solutions, including consulting, staff training, live and virtual group workshops, long-term program development, and more. We even partner with some human performance technology companies to help their customers get the most out of their products.

The best part is that we help people become the best versions of themselves and fulfill their God-given potential. We get to explore the outer limits of human potential. And we have a lot of fun doing it!

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Image Credits
Senaptec t-shirt photo by Nicole Flennaugh

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