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Tips Uncategorized

Top 7 tips to improve sports performance

Being an athlete requires some level of dedication but dedication doesn’t necessarily equate to improving.

I see many athletes, going through the motions and ‘competing’ yet they don’t improve and I always ask the question why do they play, and over the years there’s some commonalities I’ve learned that stop a person from improving.

Here are my top 7 tips to improving your sports performance

  1. Have a need or desire to improve – I’ve learned some athletes are content being where they are and their current performance level and that’s fine. Each to their own so to speak but these people don’t have a need or desire to improve. They have a desire or need to stay the same and until that desire or need to improve, becomes greater than the desire or need to improve, good luck to them!
  2. Have an open mind to learning new concepts and perspectives – If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got, said Henry Ford, the automotive tycoon. When you go through the same training routines at the same level of effort, having the same attitude towards training and playing, you will always get the same outcomes. Improving involves pushing yourself to come out of your comfort boundaries which means learning how to think and act differently.
  3. Take action – It’s one thing to learn new concepts and strategy and a whole new ball game when you actually take action. I see some athletes learning new strategy then when the moment comes, they fail to take action. There are a few reasons why this happens
  4. Perspective; don’t fear the change, embrace the opportunity – When you learn a new concept or perspective, one reason that stops a person from taking action is fear. Some people don’t like change because it takes them away from what they know and what’s comfortable, yet no-one ever improved by staying comfortable in their own bubble. Change should be seen as an opportunity and with this opportunity comes excitement
  5. Know the power of self-talk – As we just realised, the perspective of approaching a new situation can elicit fear or excitement which ties in with the power of self-talk. What you say begins a series of thought processes and your synapses begin to fire which release emotions. When you talk about fear and negativity, your body and mind will begin to act in a way to protect itself, to keep it safe, but when you talk about opportunity and excitement, your mind and body will begin to act in a way that helps you grow and improve. But beware, if improving your self-talk is new to you, your old thinking habits may try to hijack you and drag you backwards. Stay strong and practice positive self-talk
  6. Know your coach probably doesn’t have the solutions to your need to improve – This harsh reality is common for many competitors and although there are some coaches that understand what it takes to improve, many are too focused on strategy, techniques and plays, leaving players frustrated. As a player you have a right to understand what the coach wants from you and it’s reasonable to ask your coach questions. Some coaches believe they are the be all and end all of communication, placing themselves onto a pedestal, creating an environment where the coach tells the player what to do and the player complies with their instructions. This style of coaching is becoming obsolete as a new breed of coach understands the value of listening to players and understanding their perspective. The question you can ask any coach to help you improve is “what can I do to help the team?” The answer will prompt a new thought from the coach and the answer he gives you will give you clarity on your next moves
  7. Don’t follow the crowd for the sake of it – To improve means doing things differently and if that means doing things that the crowd don’t do, then go and do it. As a younger basketball player I took on many of the tips I’m sharing with you now and at only 5′ 7″ in a game full of much taller, stronger players, I had to do things differently but it was this different approach that led me to be voted the MVP of the England U19 basketball team at a tournament in Etten Leur, Holland. Learn to be bold and set your own standards

BONUS

As you learn and grow, you will make mistakes but know a mistake is just an act that didn’t give you the expected outcome at that moment in time. Go again and make the necessary adjustments.

Are you ready to improve but want some support?

Here at Elite Sports Minds 23 we have created the NEAT System – a proven system that gets results. To find out more click here

Categories
overcoming challenges

The Moral Of The Cyclist

Brand New Bike

Photo by Philipp M on Pexels.com

there was a man who wanted to do something new. He wanted to feel different as he realised he needed something to keep him motivated and after some consideration, he decided to get into cycling.

He was a well off man; plenty of money in the bank and when he researched bikes, he realised there was so many options, but his focus was on getting the most expensive bike his money could buy so he visited the shop that had five star reviews, found a bike, paid for it and took it home.

Action Time!

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Early that evening, the sun was shining, the air was still and he’d finished the last episode of The Last Dance for the second time. It was the perfect time to jump on the bike and head out.

Nervous at first, he set off slowly, but as he headed into the hills, his confidence grew and with his new found confidence, he began to go more off road (his hybrid bike was deliberately designed for both the road and off-road)

The Problem

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Then out of nowhere a large sharp rock appeared out of nowhere! He lifted his front tyre to avoid it, but he wasn’t quick enough. He heard a loud pop, his rear tyre began to slide side to side as he slammed on his brakes. Luckily the soft grass softened his landing, but it was clear he had a problem.

Without a puncture repair kit his options were limited. What was he going to do?

The Moral

The moral of the story is this – Sometimes, it’s not the best that will get you through to where you desire to be, but your preperation and ability to overcome a challenge.

Where are you in your journey?

Are you just starting it, involved and enjoying it or have you had a puncture and now you realise you’re under-prepared?

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Uncategorized

The Recipe For Success – Revealed!

Here at Elite Sports Minds 23 we have deliberately and purposefully created a model that any aspiring athlete can implement right now to give them the best chance for success.

The key to succeeding involves many factors and principles and you should take note that it’s your thoughts that drive you forward.

There is a recipe for success, just as there’s a recipe for baking a cake.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The principles are similar in the sense you have a list of ingredients and a method to follow and when you use the correct ingredients in the right amounts and follow the method, you’ll end up with a great cake.

Here are list of ingredients that help you move towards success…

  • Have a desire or need to want to improve
  • Have an open mind to learning new concepts and perspectives
  • Have an ability to take action

These are the base ingredients you need to have before you are ready to start to use the other ingredients because without a solid base or foundation, everything else you do will come crashing down.

So before you move on, can you honestly say you agree and are able to build the base ingredients into your life?

The next 7 ingredients are the ones that add flavour and substance to your career.

Let’s explore each one to help you understand how to use each ingredient

Reality

Your reality is where you exist. Your reality is your perception of where and who you are. Those that are failing often live in the past or think too far ahead meaning they are stuck on past glories or perceive them to be better than they actually are.

When you accept your reality, you accept your faults, your strengths, your weaknesses but most of all, you accept where you are with confidence knowing you can now make truthful moves forward

Vision

When you create your vision, you give yourself clarity and a realistic goal to strive towards. The goal has to be consistent without wavering but knowing when you reach that goal, you can choose to create a new vision or goal and continue to move forward.

Communication

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

This is a biggy! This is the ingredient you need to master because communication is how we are judged.

We demonstrate internal and external communication, verbal and non-verbal and it’s how we communicate that determines our outcomes.

One aspect of communication that many people overlook is the power of a simple word or gesture at the right time. Sometimes the most powerful and influential communication techniques involve saying nothing.

Expectations

There are two perspectives when it comes to expectations – your expectations and the expectations others put on you. When it comes to success you must set your expectations in a way that motivates you, rather than limit your potential and the expectations others put on you must be considered by you and you have a choice whether to take on that expectation by understanding your strengths and ability to adapt.

Unrealistic expectations put on self or by others can be found in another recipe called “The recipe For Failure”

Values

When you live a life that are in line with your values, life can feel great but when you live a life outside your values, life can suck!

For example, my three values are accountability, balance and calm, meaning when I’m accountable, balanced and calm, I’m enjoying life but when i’m unable to be accountable, imbalanced and anxious, life for me becomes a struggle.

To figure out what your key three values are, create a list of ten then whittle them down to three and feel the difference when you get clarity.

When you hear the expression, be true to yourself, it’s your values you need to connect with that allow you to be true to yourself.

Beliefs

As you navigate life, you begin to form beliefs about how the world works and how you fit in and communicate with the world and people around you.

When it comes to sports, it’s usually your coaches and team mates that mould your beliefs.

But there’s something you need to know.

A belief is formed from a situation that happened some time ago. To work towards your success, you must challenge your beliefs to see if they’re still relevant to your new situations.

If you feel there’s something holding you back, it’s usually because you have a limiting or mistaken belief that’s influencing your behaviours.

Is it right to hold onto a belief you formed years ago, even if your new situation demands a new belief?

Relationships

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

We are social creatures by nature and forming relationships is part of our DNA and help us integrate into communities.

But successful relationships need work and communication forms a big part of whether relationships fail or succeed.

Imagine you’re not playing and not enjoying your sport. You feel confused and unsure and this leaves you wanting something to change but you don’t know how, but at the same time the other person, the manager, has no idea how you’re feeling or what you’re thinking.

They get a feeling there’s something not quite right because your performance has dipped but rather than approach the issue, both of you accept this is how the relationship is. You both accept your position in the relationship and do nothing to improve it.

To succeed, relationships have to have a certain level of honesty, integrity and respect built on a common goal or vision.

What You Can Do Right Now

If there is a sense of something not being right or there seems to be a struggle for you, I’d suggest you consider each one of these ingredients and figure out which part of your life needs attention.

If you’re succeeding, you’ll know there is an alignment with all the ingredients and you’ll be enjoying your sporting career and life.

If you want to know more about this recipe or how you can build the recipe into your club or team, get in touch and let’s communicate.

Live With Purpose

Mike

Categories
#mental health Leadership

Winning V Wellbeing???

The Two Modes Of Thinking

There are two camps when it comes to creating a culture of a professional sports team

Winning at all costs V Wellbeing Of Athletes

Some believe winning at all costs is the way to go and some believe the wellbeing of athletes should come first so let’s explore what happens in each of the cultures.

Winning At All Costs

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The only thing that matters is winning!

The only athletes you want are the ones that have that desire and hunger to run through walls to win and those that don’t make the grade will fall away, quickly replaced by someone else who wants a piece of the action.

Any mistakes will be punished. The coach has one way to coach and that’s to push the athletes to their limits.

The coach and athletes will knock the opponents down, seek to gain unfair advantages and do what it takes to ensure the win falls in their favour.

Losing is met with anger and extra training sessions and some form of punishment.

Losing brings an almost depressing state of mind as the reality of failure eats away at the minds of those involved.

Wellbeing Of Athletes

From speaking to people in the sports industry, there is a sense that when you put the wellbeing of athletes first, their desire to win will be diluted and their ability to perform under pressure will crack. Some perceive this approach as wrapping the athlete up in cotton wool as if to protect them from a hash reality and to make sure they are comfortable at all times.

This couldn’t be further away from the truth!

Who uses a wellbeing approach?

There are two current coaches I’m aware of that value the wellbeing of their athletes at the elite level and they have won championships by putting the wellbeing to their athletes at the centre of their culture.

I’ll highlight some of the key phrases from articles that demonstrate their approach


Jurgen Klopp – Manager of Liverpool Football Club (Premier league winners 2020)

Credit to Liverpool FC

The first thing Klopp did on arriving at Melwood, Liverpool’s training facility, in 2015 was to memorise the names of each member of the backroom staff, everyone from the kitman to the chefs to the janitor. 

It was clear from the start that the Klopp leadership mantra was based on cultivating relationships, bonds nurtured through humour, compassion, and the eagerness to help.

Be it victory or defeat, promise or pain, there was the leader embracing his troops, absorbing their experiences into his own.

Klopp is a rare leader who leads from the front without basking in the spotlight.

“have strong people around you with a better knowledge in different departments than yourself” is something Klopp has regularly acknowledged, stressing that a manager cannot “act like you know everything.”

Read more about this article here


Steve Kerr – Head Coach Of The Golden State Warriors (NBA champions 2015/17/18)

Credit To CNN.com

“My success stems from my players and the team as a whole. None of this is about me.”

Kerr is famous for always working to hone his leadership and coaching style.

“No matter what field you’re in, you’re managing human beings.” That’s why communication and compassion are so important to him, and how he builds trust and rapport.

Yelling and “tough love” is no longer viable in professional sports.

 “When I hear a coach saying I treat everyone the same, I don’t trust that coach. I’ve learned you have to treat each individual according to what that person needs.”

Read more from the article here


More People Understand The Value Of Putting Wellbeing At The Centre Of Player Development

There is a shift in attitudes towards the power and value of creating a wellbeing culture for professional sports team and blogs like this, and other programmes, articles and individuals are pushing wellbeing more towards the spotlight that shines over professional sports and moving away from the ‘Winning At All Costs’ cultures.

Creating this type of culture within your team has shown it can lead to winning just as Klopp and Kerr have proven.


Let me ask you a question

Would you rather be involved with a team where the manager/coach believes they know it all, they tell the players how good they are, how bad they are, no questions asked, highlight their mistakes to prove to them he’s the boss and when you win it was down to them? Players play through Fear!

OR

Be involved with a team that supports each other, where the manager wants the players to be the best they can be and understand their individual needs and questions and ideas can be aired for the purpose of finding a small margin of improvement? Players play with freedom!

When the person is feeling valued, trusted and respected, the athlete thrives

Listen, I understand creating this type of culture isn’t easy for some people, but if your team has had a losing season let me ask you this…

Knowing a wellbeing culture works and brings wins, wouldn’t you be curious as to how you can learn more and implement this culture?

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Become who you want to be How Can You Help Me?

Four Steps To Improved Sports Performance In 45 Minutes

The Barriers

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Creating change and improving isn’t easy.


If it was, everyone would be playing at a much higher level, everyone would be thriving in life and leaders would be inspiring their teams and productivity would be high. But not everyone makes change easily.  People create barriers, excuses and reasons, limiting the ability to change.


The first question that springs to mind is ‘why’ and it’s the answers that tell the story. But before we get into that we need to dig a little deeper.

 
Before we ask the obvious question ‘why’, we must delve into your psyche and find out if you have a desire or need to change because without that desire, change won’t happen. 


The mere thought of change can instil a sense of fear and uncertainty.  The fear of the unknown is greater than the desire to change and until the desire to change becomes greater than the fear of the unknown, you’re going to continue with your life as it is.


So the question becomes

“How do I overcome that fear?”

Beliefs And Values

 
Throughout your life, you’ve experienced many things and through these experiences you’ve created beliefs and values and it’s these beliefs and values you hold today.

 
For example how you treat others, how you train, what you eat but most importantly how you make decisions.

 
There are some people that know how to create change quickly and get what they want. They just know what it takes and they thrive.  Perhaps you can think of one of those people now?

 
These people have something in common and it’s this I want to teach you, so you can create that change you desire.

 
Remember earlier when we asked why everyone isn’t creating change to improve.


Those beliefs and values you created are holding them back.  When a belief or value holds you back we have a name for them. These are called limiting or mistaken beliefs.

Your Comfort Zone

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

 
Creating change also involves being uncomfortable.  You are where you are because your values and beliefs give you comfort. They form part of who you are and being you is comforting. To get different results you have to learn to be “comfortable being uncomfortable“, to step out of your comfort zone so to speak.

 
Many people perceive coming out of their comfort zone as this huge, scary monster, where emotions will run wild and the world come crashing down leaving a huge chasm of emptiness and pain.

 
In reality, coming out of your comfort zone is simply thinking differently, experiencing different emotions and acting differently and only lasts a few moments. 

Would you be willing to experience a few moments of discomfort to remove yourself from the discomfort you’ve been experiencing for some time?

The Pro Basketball Player’s Story

Photo courtesy of BBL

 
I remember a professional basketball player writing in his weekly column in a newspaper and in this particular column he wrote about his frustrations in his form. He was known as a scorer and had played for England but he couldn’t get out of his slump and was averaging about 5 points a game.  He was stuck and didn’t know what to do.

 
We connected and spoke for about 45 minutes and all the time we spoke I was listening to his words, asking specific questions with the aim to discover what his limiting or mistaken belief was that was holding him back. 

We uncovered the problem and once we did that we began to reframe his thoughts to create a new belief.

 
On a side note, the relationship between player and coach should be one of respect and trust and mutual understanding because to win and be successful, you need respect, trust and mutual understanding.

 
Although these three ingredients existed, a simple miscommunication created a mistaken belief and from this belief the player began to behave in a way that supported this belief because he respected, trusted and understood what his coach wanted.

 
This coach wasn’t trained to explore the ‘why’ and in general many coach programs don’t have these strategies in place which, in my opinion isn’t right. As a coach in any sport, and one of your players is struggling, surely you’d want to know why and how to help, so they can begin to perform well and the team will get more wins? Or is it easier and quicker to bring in an expert?

If there are any coach educators reading this, I’d be happy to discuss ways to integrate these concepts into your program.


We broke down his mistaken belief and reframe his thoughts, creating a new belief, leading him to explode for 20 points, hitting 100% from the field. He kindly wrote in his column and I invite you to read for yourself here the impact it had on his game and to this day, working and helping an England player remove his mistaken belief allowing him to play like he knew he could play, is one of my proudest moments.

The Four Steps To Take

Photo by Lukas Hartmann on Pexels.com


He was able to overcome his fear through understanding and accepting 3 principles. 

  1. He had a desire to change
  2. He had an open mind to learning new concepts and perspectives
  3. He was willing to put them into action


He was willing to be uncomfortable for a few moments and create different emotions that allowed him to create change in his performance


He was able to think, feel and act differently.

“It’s the thought of change that will drive you forward or hold you back. Taking action is the simple part”

 
You can remove the fear of change by giving yourself permission to learn and accept these three principles and be uncomfortable for just a few moments.

let’s recap and list the 4 steps you need to take to create change

  1. Have a need or desire to change (Use the exercise below)
  2. Have an open mind to learning new concepts and perspectives
  3. Accept you’ll come out of your comfort zone but understand that discomfort only lasts a few moments compared with the length of time you’ve been experiencing discomfort or frustration
  4. Put these new concepts and principles into action


Have you had enough of your current situation and want change?

If you feel there’s still doubts but you realise you’re ready to make change, and would like to find out if what I offer can help, get in touch and let’s make things happen.


Do you know someone that’s struggling? Please share this as it could help. 

Live with purpose


Mike

To find out more visit my website here

Categories
#mental health

Comparing mental health with physical health – solutions

The Similarities

When comparing mental health and physical health its important to you that you understand the reality for many people in this world so you know what to do and what to say because this hard hitting blog will open your perspectives in new ways.

I’ll put to one side clinical mental and physical health because those issues deserve much more attention so this blog focuses on general mental and physical health.

Let’s look at the similarities

  • Everyone experiences physical and mental health
  • Both fluctuate depending on life choices
  • Both can improve
  • Both can decline
  • Both have support organisations offering help
  • Not everyone will experience negative mental and physical health
  • Some take both very seriously
  • Some live a life where both aren’t an issue
  • Some live a life where both are an issue
  • Both are the results of experiences and life choices

The Differences

  • You can see the results of one

We are quick to judge when we see others. It’s how we are programmed in our unconscious minds to keep the human race alive and so we judge people by their looks to help us connect and realise if that person is worthy of our time and attention.

We are social animals so we have to create judgements so we create a social circle that meets our beliefs and values so we fit in and have a support mechanism around us.

Looks Aren’t Everything

The world is full of people of all shapes and sizes and we are quick to judge their physical health based on what they look like.

We see all different types of body types, colours, shapes, heights and we create a judgment based on our expectations and beliefs of the world that allow us to understand what we see and we make judgements on the type of person they may be without actually speaking with them.

Is it fair we judge others without getting to know them?

We form opinions of them just as they form opinions of us.

Let’s say you see someone across the room at a party and they are overweight. It would be easy to say their health is at risk and assume they struggle with phsycial activity. But once a conversation starts, you learn more about their situation and the initial judgment melts away as you create a new understanding and appreciation for them as a human being.

Hiding Behind The Mask

Physical health is obvious and when we consider sports, we know when an athlete is out of shape.

Their data is poor, their times are poor and by looking at how they move, you can tell where they are at through comparing their data and movement with others. There is no hiding from having poor physical health as an athlete.

But mental health can be hidden behind a select few words “I’m OK coach, I’m just tired”, “I’ll get over it. I only missed a penalty”, “it’s another loss but I’ll put more work in”.

Hiding behind this mask not only sends the wrong message to others, but it questions your self-worth, creating a dangerous mix of incongruence and hiding the truth, meaning others and yourself will continue to behave as though nothing is wrong.

Making Choices

As I mentioned earlier there are many similarities between physical and mental health and deciding to do something about it when things are going wrong is a choice.

There are people out there who don’t value their physical health. They will continue to eat junk food, take no exercise, drink too much and live a life that’s over endulgant, even though they know their health is at risk and accept they will work it out for themselves and they will be ok

In the same breath, there are people who don’t value their mental health. They are overwhelmed, feeling stuck but feel they should work it out for themselves and they will be ok.

There’s a lesson I’ve learned over the years that I want to share with you because as much as we don’t like to think of people suffering on their own and there has to be more done to help, we have to accept some people don’t want help.

A New Perspective

But knowing not everyone wants help, we can provide help for those that need help. We have to push harder to provide cultures and environments where admitting you’re struggling, admitting you’re finding it hard, admitting you’re in a challenging place and you need help, is seen as courageous and normal.

These environments and cultures need to be implemented in professional sports and within organisations and anywhere where there’s human interaction and responsibility.

Empowerment And Self-Worth

We have to encourage individuals to appreciate, the choices they make will impact on their health.

We have to encourage individuals to understand what you do doesn’t define you but rather who you are defines you. A person shouldn’t be defined as a footballer that’s made a mistake. A person shouldn’t be defined as a player who’s no longer good enough. A person should be defined through how they approach a problem or challenge and if needed, offered the right support.

What Next?

If this blog has allowed you to understand mental health a little better, please comment and share with your network because as you know, you can’t see mental health issues but you can put information in front of a person, allow them to digest it and make a choice.

Categories
Leadership

Leadership in today’s sporting world

Fast Fast Fast!

People wanted things to happen fast! In this crazy world we live in, there was an expectation of getting things done almost immediately after an idea had formed and often these decisions lack a certain level of purpose.

Yet in this time of lockdown, there seems to be a change in attitude where we’ve been handed the gift of time and with time, we can afford to reflect and really consider the choices available to us.

Leadership has shifted and with that in mind I’d like to share some insights for the leader of today to consider.

Having A Reason To Change

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

When you’re losing, you’ve not got leadership right.

When you’re frustrated and anxious, you haven’t got leadership right.

When your team isn’t performing as well as you imagined, you haven’t got leadership right.

But here’s the thing…not every leader will admit things need to change.

Not every leader will hold their hands up and say, ‘you know what, this style isn’t working and I have to learn to do things differently.’

They tend to accept their fate which is usually someone else coming in to replace them.

My question is this – Have you got a reason to change?

Have you got what it takes to be adaptable and flexible to the reality that surrounds you?

Change Can Be Uncomfortable

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To change, involves thinking and acting differently and that invites uncomfortable thoughts and actions but there is something very powerful I want you to understand.

Just as a player has to push themselves and experience discomfort to improve, you as a leader must experience discomfort to improve.

Discomfort isn’t negative!

Discomfort when there is a purpose behind it, allows the person to experience lightbulb moments and insights that can quickly remove anxiety and frustrations through shifting perspectives and learning new concepts whilst removing limiting and mistaken beliefs.

Are you able to have an open mind to learning new perspectives?

Taking The Right Action

Once you’ve opened your mind to new perspectives and removed limiting and mistaken beliefs, it’s time to think about taking action.

Action comes in the form of many different guises, one being using different body language, tone and words with people. 55% of communication is visual (your body language) 38% of communication is your voice (tone, inflection, etc) 7% is verbal (your words).

People are very observant and it’s through observation they judge your behaviours and attempt to align your words and tone with your body language and when there’s a sense of misalignment, a sense of incongruence fills their minds as your disingenuous actions leave them feeling uncertain about your leadership.

You can lose trust from uttering a simple few words, then acting in a way that contradicts your words and although this act is so simple, it can be damaging to your team, your production and reputation.

SUCCESS

As a leader you want to align your words and tone with your body language and guide your team to success but very few leaders know the real meaning of success so allow me to suggest this concept.

Many believe success is winning games, trophies and titles, having big houses, lots of money and a beautiful partner.

Many believe winning equates to success.

Yet there is an element of success that’s missing.

Fulfilment!

How many people do you know that have a great salary, have won on some level, yet they seem down and unsatisfied? How many ‘successful’ people do you know that struggle with life and suffer from mental health issues?

The second element of success is fulfilment and without it, winning is just an empty outcome of the hard work you put in.

You must strive towards fulfilling your life through knowing what really matters to you when the glitz and glory are over because right now, you’re sitting pretty but at some point it will all end and as I found out today from reading articles about football managers losing their jobs, it can end in the blink of an eye.

The value of fulfilment becomes obvious and necessary when you leave the game, when things are going wrong and when others stop believing in you.

I’d like to invite you to download a manual that can provide you with insights and new perspectives to help you understand what you can focus on changing to start winning.


Categories
Become who you want to be My Journey Tips

The Journey Part 20 – Why are you competing?

“Life is a competition not with others, but with ourselves. We should seek each day to live stronger, better, truer lives; each day to master some weakness of yesterday; each day to repair a mistake; each day to surpass ourselves.”

David B. Haight
Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com

Knowledge Is Power

They say knowledge is power and they would be right because without knowledge, how do you compare, contrast and reflect on your journey and I’d like to be frank with you.

If you’re not winning, if you’re not number one, then why are you competing?

It’s not a trick question but a question that puts the power in your hands because when you fully understand why you’re competing as a professional athlete, you can really focus on achieving your goals and let go of some unrealistic expectations others may be putting on you.

Not every professional athlete will make it to number one in the world because to reach the pinnacle takes a dedication that requires sacrifice, some luck, some thinking outside the box, the physical and technical prowess and a mindset so determined, nothing gets in the way.

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

You’re Not Number One!

So let’s assume you aren’t striving to be number one but you are striving for something else; something that drives you enough to continue to invest your time and effort into making a career out of being a professional athlete.

So let’s explore what this question means to you

WHY AM I COMPETING IF NOT TO BE NUMBER ONE?

Motivation comes in different shapes and sizes and I want you to focus on you. Your needs, your desires without comparing yourself to anyone else.

This is your journey, this is your life and this is your choice. It’s perfectly OK not to strive to be number one, but I feel there is an unwritten rule that if you’re an athlete you have to say you are striving to be number one because anything else can be seemed a failure and this expectation can weigh heavily on the shoulders of many, so let’s attempt to remove that burden now.

It’s OK not to want to strive to be number one, but it is ok to be the best you can be.

Let’s look at a few reasons for you to compete:-

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Why Do You Compete?

  • You can’t think of anything worse than having an office job
  • You’ve spent all your youth playing and competing and that’s all you know
  • You want to be earning a lot of money
  • You want the fame
  • You want the big house
  • You want to be able to provide financial stability for you and your family
  • You have a bigger vision of what your role as an athlete can provide to the wider audience and those less fortunate than you
  • You want to prove someone wrong
  • You want to prove someone right
  • You want to be famous
  • When you compete you feel alive and able to express yourself
  • You fell into becoming a professional athlete and liked it…

As you can see there are many reasons for you to compete and this list isn’t a comprehensive list by any means but it gives you an idea of why you compete and for what purpose.

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The Power Of Knowing Why You Compete

Now you have an idea of why you compete, you can begin to focus your time and dedication towards that goal with gusto and passion really driving your performance forward with purpose and dedication.

That powerful understanding frees you from the expectations others place on you, the media, the fans, some who say they have your best interest at heart and perhaps now is the perfect time to let others know why you are competing, so they and you are on the same page and both are striving towards the same thing.

For example, an agent may want you to go for the deal that pays the most money, yet you may have another opportunity in mind where you can feel settled and respected as a player that may not be the deal that pays the most money. By having a conversation about what drives you forward, you will find a deal that’s right for you.

Being in control of your destiny, to some degree, can be great for your mental health and life off the field of play and knowing why you compete creates a solid foundation on which you can build something unique and special for you.

Why I Compete

In my quest to be the most sought after mental performance coach, I’ve had to make some sacrifices and bold moves and come to some realisations about marketing and promotions that I’m working on and come to realise that becoming the most sought after coach, is a personal achievement to me, without comparing myself to other coaches out there.

There are three things I strive to achieve:-

  1. Do what I enjoy doing
  2. Be financially, spiritually, mentally and emotionally rewarded for what I enjoy doing
  3. Give back

I work best in one to one situations because I really get to connect with my clients and understand their perspectives, how they perceive reality and understand the shifts in mindset needed to help them get to where they want to be.

My clients benefit from one to one as it gives them a sense of comfort and acknowledgement that they are at the centre of everything we do and that in itself, frees up the mind in such powerful ways that the new knowledge they are introduced to can be absorbed quickly.

This new knowledge is the power they are seeking.


Are you a professional athlete wanting things to change?

If you are, I’m inviting you to visit my website here and see if what I offer is for you.

Live With Purpose

Mike

Categories
How Can You Help Me? My Journey

The Journey Part 19 – Growth and Change for you and I

“To uncover your true potential you must first find your own limits and then you have to have the courage to blow past them.”

Picabo Street

Without growth and change we become stagnant

The interest I have to help others grows, as do my skills when I listen to others and yesterday I received some great news that has made me want to up my game.

Yesterday I was approached by the director of an online community of around 40,000 people from all over the world with an interest in personal growth, professional development and mental wellness asking if they could use my blog to publish within an article and promote on their new website!

This could lead to more blogs being posted to a wider audience.

Sharing my insights, experience and tips to help others is something I enjoy doing, knowing if you can take just one golden nugget from my words, then they have been worth writing and so I agreed.

This new information led me to research how to improve my blogging skills because now, the game has changed and I want to learn and grow from the best and so I discovered a guy called Jeff Goins who really knows his blogs and from hereon-in, I’ll be making small steps in different directions to grow as a blog writer.

I listened to a podcast he was a guest on which can be found here, to help me understand how blogging can help others and generate money, and learned the following golden nuggets:-

Nuggets from Jeff Goins

  • Writing a blog is, in itself a practice and is every growing
  • Writing blogs can lead to Ebooks, webinars, training and tools to share with your audience
  • Run your own race! Be specific in which race you’re running and use a combination of tools, strategy and principles. The tools and strategy may change but the principles set the foundation
  • One of those principles is give before you ask (Heard from Gary Vaynerchuk). Give, Give, Give, ask.
  • Be generous with your audience
  • Make it about them and sometimes, someone may make it about you
  • You can give away your success without asking for anything in return
  • Spread your goodwill
  • Listen to what the people who have done this, have to say and learn
  • Lead magnet rewarding someone for their attention. Start listening!
  • Become a student – Be willing without arguing.
  • The oldest things that have worked for a long time are the strategies that will continue to work.
  • Connect with influential people.
  • Can I write a guest post for you? Can I share this tip with your audience?
  • Case study strategy – Be humble enough to say I don’t know and can I be a case study for your suggestions and insights? People who share advice rarely hear from those who are applying the tips. So when you become the case study of the giants that come before you, you can find yourself in front of the audience.
  • Masterminds – running masterminds growing together. Live events and conferences. Workshops.
  • Do a step by step process for your audience
  • Why Blog? To Spread an idea and to market a product or service I have to sell

What Does This New Direction Mean For You?

Firstly who are you? Are you my ideal audience or are you just a curious window shopper?

There are two audiences I wish to share my knowledge with:-

  1. Professional athletes wanting to overcome a tough time and move on from anxiety to improve quickly
  2. Team Owners/Directors wanting change to improve the results

Taking one of the nuggets above, there are some principles, tools and strategies I would like to share with you and if they resonate with you, then I know we can help each other

Principles Of Values

  • Accountability – Being accountable means taking ownership for successes and mistakes
  • Balance – Knowing what to put down, what to invite in and what to adjust
  • Calm – Letting go of anxiety, stress and bad feelings towards others and appreciating yourself and those you value around you

Principles Of Growth

  • Have a valid reason to want things to improve or change
  • Have an open mind to learning new concepts and perspectives
  • Have an ability to put these new concepts and perspectives into action

Tools for you

There are four areas in which I have experience and expertise I need to share with those wanting to improve…(Click the link to find out more of each tool)

  • 1-2-1 mental performance coaching for the professional athlete. When an athlete is struggling or wanting to remove stress and anxiety, I am trained in helping an athlete connect with their reality, create a vision and use psychological techniques to help them move forward quickly
  • Consultations for teams/clubs. As a director of a national league basketball team that attracted top talent and won promotion in the first year, there are strategies I want to share with the aspiring team or club wanting to win and help them implement them should they need support
  • Blogs. Writing blogs is a great way to share my expertise for free to anyone who has a desire to learn and grow in sports and also to find out a little bit about what drives me. I can categories them so it’s easier for the reader to find a topic.
  • Resources. These free resources give you some strategies to use immediately to help you understand what you can do right now for change and improvements. Why wait! These will grow and change as I learn more from learning from clients and as they learn from me.

Strategy

This I need to work on!

I have the principles in place, I have the tools and now I need a strategy to get me results.

What results am I after?

Sharing as much as I can to those people I feel can benefit and when they are ready, they will let me know and I can support them on a more personal level.

Jeff has a few tricks up his sleeve to generate income that include an Ebook, Masterminds, Workshops, Live events, webinars and training to help the audience through investing their money and it’s some of these strategies I need to learn and begin to roll out.

Perhaps if you’re a former or current professional athlete or a Director of a team/club and have a great audience perhaps I could write a blog for you around mindset and how to quickly change your perspective for improved results?

Yes, you guessed it, that’s a strategy I’m open to trying.

The NEAT System

One strategy I have up my sleeve is a system. A system that incorporates principles and allows me to connect with the right people. That system is called The NEAT System and if you’re still reading this, then you believe in the system.

The system is based on the principles you can’t help all the people all the time and even though I may identify people as needing my help, until their desire to want to improve, becomes greater than their desire to stay the same, the NEAT System or any other system won’t be of any interest to them.

So I need a way to save them time and save me time and therefore energy and allowing me to focus on those who really resonate with what I offer.

As my journey continues, I would like to extend an invitation to subscribe to my blog so you’re notified when I next post and also make suggestions on what you’d like me to write about that can help you as a professional athlete or team owner/director.

Categories
My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 18 – What To Do When Shit Happens

“It’s not the shit we face that defines us, it’s how we deal with it.” 

Ahmed Mostafa

Reminding Myself Of The Pain

I started this journey more than a year ago after learning of the frustrations, bullshit and pain professional football players face and it didn’t sit right with me and began to build connections within football around the topic of mental health and how rife negative mental health is in football.

I’ve heard stories of players thinking about suicide, leaving the game and families breaking up and if football is the cause of these outcomes, then something else has to be done. It is something else that has to be done, that I’m driving forward so with that in mind, let’s learn what to do when shit happens, because shit happens a lot in professional football and you need to know how to deal with it.

When shit happens

When shit happens, there’s nothing you can do to change what happened. It happened and you can’t change it no matter how hard you try.

Mental health issues begin when a person tries to justify the event, push it under the carpet or blame someone or something else.

These are the worse things you can do!

What Should You Do When Shit Happens?

The very first thing you should do is accept it happened. Don’t retaliate, don’t make a harsh decision, just let it be for a while.

Don’t ask the question, ‘why?’ for the question Why invites thoughts and scenarios that will drive you crazy as you try to search for an answer that doesn’t exist.

Look Ahead

When shit happens you learn from it. You tell yourself it’s a learning curve and to ask yourself ‘what can I do now to move on from this?’ The answer to this question is, play the game and focus!

Let’s say you scored an own goal. In that moment, shit happened! But there’s still a game going on! You can’t stop playing so you put it to the side of your mind and carry on playing.

Some players allow that mistake to hang around in their minds, distracting them and toying with them and when a player is distracted even further, more mistakes can be made. Even when the game has finished, the player can revisit the mistake and play it over and over again in their mind but for what purpose? To feel guilt, to feel a loser, to change it?

They lose sleep, perhaps turn to the bottle in an attempt to numb the mind and even gamble in an attempt to distract themselves for while. These choices are never great!

Playing mistakes over in your mind doesn’t make sense, mentally or otherwise, meaning the most effective, purposeful act you can do after you make a mistake is to let it go.

This may seem like you’re avoiding responsibility but on the contrary, you’re taking responsibility for improving so the mistake is less likely to happen again, and you’re being responsible for your mental health.

Now I’ve covered what to do when shit happens, let me share what happened to me last night and it has nothing to do with shit happening.

Qatar Connection?!

Last night I was scrolling through LinkedIn and saw a post that Emile Heskey had written, something about feeling nervous when talking in front of ten people and being the person I am, I contributed my thoughts on how to overcome this issue and was pleasantly surprised to see a couple of comments telling me my post was great.

This led to a conversation and a connection and an invite to a podcast in the future!

I believe when someone takes an interest in my work, I have to explore the possibility of it leading somewhere and after a few exchanging of messages, this person had some value he could offer me and perhaps I can do the same for him.

We’re due to chat early next week but it led to me thinking, there are other ways I can help others, succeed, not just football players, for I understand the workings of the mind, and how to change your thinking for improved results in sports, but the principles work in business and life.

Perhaps there’s an opportunity for me to give back to his community in some way? Time will tell.

Roll on Sunday when it’s Father’s Day and I can have a couple of beers as a celebration!