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esports mindset motivation

Esports FIFA pro journey of improvement

What’s it like to compare yourself to brilliance?

One of my first questions with a client is ‘what’s really holding you back?’  We have to cut through the bullshit and get to the nitty-gritty of what the real issue is so we can begin to find solutions quickly.

Back in February 2020, comparing himself to brilliance was one of the situations one of my clients experienced as a member of a pro FIFA team with the number 4 player in the world as a teammate.  He felt he wasn’t good enough.  He felt under-prepared and under pressure.  He felt he was letting the team down.

After a few coaching sessions exploring limiting beliefs and internal communication (self-talk) we removed the sense of comparison and replaced it with ownership of his own ability for when you learn to focus on developing self to be the best you can be as opposed to trying to catch up to those better than you, great things will happen.  

Does this sound familiar?  Do you compare yourself to your better team-mates?

Stop it now!  They had a different journey and life experiences than you and to compare yourself to them is like comparing the capabilities of a PS4 with a PS1, it’s just not fair.  Learn and appreciate and accept your own journey without comparing yourself to others and great things will happen for you and your team.

New perspectives lead to improved results

You can choose to follow the crowd or walk your own path.  How easy is it to follow the crowd?  Just ask a sheep.  This is what they do best!  Following the crowd creates a sense of belonging, acceptance and common ground in which to connect with your fellow humans so why should anyone dare to walk in the other direction?  

Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant (RIP), Messi.  Do you think they followed the crowd?  

To improve ahead of the natural curve you must do things differently, not necessarily more, but differently.  

My client learned to do things differently, which led to multiple top 100 results weekly and monthly meaning he became one of the top 100 players in the world whereas prior to working with me, he never made the top 100.  

UPDATE ALERT – “I played the pro for Hamburg at 27-1 who beat me a few days back. I beat him 2-0. I controlled the tempo and the whole game.  I’m in the top 20 in the world for the month!” 

Don’t be a sheep, be bold and grow in a different direction than the crowd.

Growth and sustained performance

Small increments of improvement add up to huge rewards and benefits and It’s only in the end result you can truly appreciate the smart work you’ve done has paid off.  

This message from my client showed me the growth of his performance in just a short space of time, ahead of the natural curve.  “The weekend league I finished 29-1. A handful of games finished 1-0 to me, which I now realise, is still a WIN! 1-0 or 10-0 same result!  Don’t celebrate till the final whistle.  My stream hit an all time high!  I usually hit maximum 20 views if I’m lucky, I got tup to 7.6k at one point!!   Sorry for this late message but check this 30-0 A first 30 win weekend!  The amount I’ve improved this last month is crazy, your help is honestly incredible”  

Coaching gives me moments like this that I cherish and value because improving takes guts.  It takes a bold move to come out of your comfort zone and learn how to do things differently.  But not everything will go your way and what happens when the unexpected happens?  What can you do when events out of your control hit you hard?  Find out next time to discover how my client dealt with Covid.

The Covid-19 Factor

Just as my client was getting ready to kick ass in competitions, a virus put everything on hold for FIFA, meaning the momentum we were building could have been lost.  Some would throw in the towel; see it as a way of relaxing and use Covid as an excuse as to why their performance has dropped.  What choice did my client take?  Did he throw the towel in and make excuses?  Here’s what he told me 

“The best in the world isn’t grinding as much, it’s almost as though he’s happy with his position at the top, but it won’t last forever and that’s why I’m not sitting back while it’s off season and accepting the competitive season is on hold, since we’ve been working together I’ve developed an obsession with being the absolute best and I’m not going to stop.  I feel like we’ve made incredible progress but there’s obviously always improvements to be made.  So happy about this Mike.  Mind-set is everything!  You motivate me, knowing every Monday I receive a message from you with an update and I enjoy knowing there’s a little pressure from you.  Even Covid, such a negative effect on the world but I believe I’ve used it as a positive to better myself”  

Boom!  The mind-set of a champion in the making right there!

New beginnings

There’s light at the end of this tunnel and with the momentum on his side; his mind-set has been honed and adjusted and ready for the new season. 

He knows he’s been working smart and doing everything in his power to make an immediate impact.  

Have others been doing the same?  It doesn’t matter.  Have others been slacking off?  It doesn’t matter.  What does matter is my client has been preparing in a way that has allowed him to unlock his potential in ways he wouldn’t have known.  

With a new mind-set comes a new perspective of the world and not only in Esports but in life.  The tools we explore go much deeper than sports and this quote from him demonstrates why 

“The game (FIFA 21) has just dropped for 10 hours early access so I’ve been just grinding it non stop.  I’m learning constantly to better myself on and off the pitch.  I’m excited for the year ahead!”

The first week of competition and this happened!

It came to the first weekend league, the first test & im instantly in the top 100 finishing 29 wins & 1 loss, making me verified first week! I’m happy with this but the 1 loss on penalties is in the back of my mind because I know I’m even better and capable of even more!

His thoughts on the coaching journey

This player is eager, he’s hungry to grow but not all players have this mindset and for me, as a coach I have to know if potential clients have the right mind set and ask three simple questions

  • Do you have a need or desire to improve
  • Have you an open mind to learning new techniques and strategy
  • With my support are you prepared to take new action for improved results

Mike, it’s amazing it’s such a great journey what we’ve been through! Good times and bad times!
I’m a lot more patient, stuff isn’t going to happen overnight and the little details are so so affective! I’m using so much as motivation in everything

Are you a gamer, A performance director or CEO wanting to know how to improve performance?

Have you found this blog interesting and useful?

Let me know and let’s connect

Mike

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esports What is a Specialist Mental Performance Coach?

What Is A Specialist Mental Performance Coach?

The Power Of Your Mind

Your Mind Drives You

Your mind is what drives you

Your mind decides whether you succeed or fail, yet many athletes don’t understand this, and it’s my job to help educate and support you to not only understand your mind, but how to think differently for improved results.

Why Am I A Specialist?

Why am I A specialist?

I’m a specialist in my field – mental performance coach for athletes around the world and please allow me to elaborate and share my experience with you

  • Voted by coaches as the best player in England on the England U19 basketball team aged 17
  • Voted by coaches as one of the top 20 players (All-Star selection) in the second tier of British basketball (At only 5′ 7″ I had to take a different approach to the game to succeed)
  • NLP Master Practitioner
  • Through a research project involving filming 200 players and analysing 1000 clips, I co-wrote an academic paper and developed the world’s first emotional intelligence program for football (soccer) and basketball players.
  • Mindfulness Practitioner
  • Training and development consultant for a National company
  • Assistant Professional coach for The Manchester Giants
  • Helped athletes in football, golf and basketball to improve performance quickly
  • Mental Health advocate
  • Degree in Sports Development
  • Voluntary Director of a National League Basketball Team

Does All That Really Matter?

Who Cares What I’ve Achieved?

In all my time of working, not one of my clients asked me to prove my experience or to see my qualifications.

Many people really don’t care what I’ve achieved, because all they care about is what I can do for them, so you can put aside my experiences and qualifications and know, you are at the centre of my support.

I don’t use jargon because I want to understand you and I want you to understand me. When we understand each other, great things will happen.

Move Forward Quickly

Move forward quickly

It’s your mind and your thoughts, that I’m interested in. The more I know, the more I can help and the more open and honest you are with me, the quicker we can move you from crisis to thriving.

There are two factors that are influencing you right now and keeping you from moving forward

  • Your perception of your reality
  • Your expectations of self and others

Your perception of your reality isn’t aligned with your expectations and it’s this misalignment that leads you to a crisis point.

But don’t worry. You will soon understand how to move on from the crisis point and begin to thrive and improve your opportunities.

Take Action

Take Action

When someone is experiencing crisis, one of two things can happen.

  • They won’t take action and the feelings of anxiety, fear, guilt etc will grow and manifest, leading the person down a dark path as they hope things will get better.
  • They will take action and see the light, not at the end of the tunnel, but closer. Those feelings of anxiety and fear will quickly dissipate, replaced with a new inner-strength and courage and talking of courage. Reaching out for help is courageous, not a sign of weakness, as many others will try to make you believe.

CLICK HERE TO BE COURAGEOUS!

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#mental health Become who you want to be mindset overcoming challenges

Why did the professional basketball player look at his wrist?

The Reality

Jamell Anderson knew his reality and knew something wasn’t right but he wasn’t sure what it was or what to do about it. Accepting the reality is the first step towards finding success.

Some athletes choose not to do anything and try to work through the struggles. But sometimes they never find the solution. Jamell reached out to me and this journey to understand his ‘why’ began

Opening up and honesty

When you’re truthful to yourself without the fear of being judged or criticised, solutions come quickly because the mask is removed. Hiding behind the mask serves no purpose other to continue to deflect away from the struggles.

Jamell opened up and I learned so much from this humble young man but at the same time he was learning about himself.

The Options

There are always options but sometimes those options are hidden from view, or a limiting or mistaken belief is stopping you from seeing those options.

We explored many different ways to move forward, trying new things until we found the way that worked for him

Every athlete has their own journey

When helping an athlete there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Each athlete has their own past and values, and the secret is to uncover what these are, amongst other things, and allow the athlete to understand what works for them.

Jamell and I uncovered a lot until he found a way that worked for him

The solution

The goal for Jamell was to discover how to remove the mental challenges then replace these challenges with solutions. We explored his values, reframed his thinking until he felt connected to what needed to be done.

In the clip, Jamell looks at his wrist as a reminder. Over the 6 weeks in which we talked for about an hour each time, looking at his wrist was the culmination of the conversations, insights and discoveries. He had found his purpose and way of playing that worked for him that improved his performance and wellbeing

I was so proud of this young man, firstly for taking control of his situation, and secondly for taking action

If you know a professional athlete or you are a professional athlete who knows something isn’t right but not sure what to do about it or who to turn to, I’m inviting you to talk and I guarantee I will help you find the answers and solutions you need.

You can call me on +447946279135

Mike

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Uncategorized

Sometimes you gotta put a plate down

Have you ever heard the expression “spinning too many plates” or “juggling too many balls”?

They refer to a person taking on too much with the fear that something may go wrong if they continue to spin or juggle.

So the smart thing to do is put one down so you can manage the others without the fear of being burned out or living in a sense of anxiety.

Over the last few months, I’ve taken on a few more projects and now I realise I’m spinning too many plates and I need to create change so I’ve come up with a foolproof plan!

I’m aware I have followers of my blog and I realise I’ve written a load of content that has value, in fact I’ve created 120 blog posts! WOW!

So what do I do? Can I simply leave these posts behind and move on?

Yes I can!

So how can I be so confident in my decision?

One of the new projects I’ve taken on lives at a new website called purposeful thinking which can be found here.

My purpose is to help people but I also have to be helping myself and so by removing this site and it’s services, I free up valuable time.

I don’t know how long the process takes and it feels like I’m trying to split up from a girl but not sure if it’s the right thing to do, but I have to make a choice.

Maybe I’ll see you on the other side but if not, I wish you the best

Mike

Categories
mindset motivation

What is an elite sports mind?

This is my opinion drawn fromy years experience of playing, coaching and helping athletes and there are some commonalities and obvious things like working smart, earing the right food, training with purpose

But an elite sports mind doesn’t have to belong to an athlete that’s an elite performer

Of course the elite level is the best of the best but you don’t suddenly become the best

There are steps you need to take and you have to start somewhere

So where do you start? What do you have to know to help you create that Elite Sports mind?

There are many variables and factors that drive someone towards or away from building this mindset so let me share with you the three key variables that I believe helps anyone create that Elite Sports mind

  • Have a need or desire to improve
  • Have an open mind to learning new strategy and perspectives
  • Have the ability to put your new learnings into action

Growth occurs when you’re ready to grow

Growth occurs when you’re ready to challenge your current beliefs and values

Growth occurs when you come out of your comfort zone by thinking and acting differently

Have you got an elite sports mind?

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Leadership overcoming challenges

Can introverts in sports be great leaders?

Look around at any sport team and you’ll notice a player that stands out

There will be a player that is leading

And although not each leader has the same personality, they have something in common that makes them great leadership material

There are three qualities great leaders posses and I want to share those with you now

  • A drive to improve
  • A desire to make their team mates better
  • An ability to step up when it matters
  • An ability to communicate effectively
  • A high level of awareness

Leading is a role not suited to everyone, and some even go as far as to avoid stepping into the leadership spotlight but those that embrace the role do so with the purpose to be responsible for when things go wrong and to share the wealth when things go right

I used to be really shy and the thought of leading sent shivers down my spine. There were others that were louder than I, some better skilled than I and some that were more suited than I, but in those days, I did a couple of things really well…listen and observe.

Perhaps my introverted self allowed me to become a master of listening and observing, just as the stereotypical introvert would, but that ‘training’ served me well because at some point I would step into that leadership role.

I was self critical because I believed, through observation and listening, to be a great leader you had to be the best, you had to be loud and you had to give orders and there was something that didn’t sit right with me, so as the reluctant leader, I forged a way forward in my own way.

Listening and observing came naturally to me so all I had to figure out was how to transfer those skills into leadership skills.

So I asked questions. I asked players what they thought needed to change and what was working well. I’d read books on leadership and the mind and taken some courses and when I learned introverts can be leaders and leadership qualities do include listening and observing, I felt a sense of comfort.

The true secret to leading is to understand each individual on your team and learn what makes them tick and what motivates them to succeed and that involves asking questions and listening, then simply helping them understand what they need to do differently for them to thrive

I don’t believe you have to shout and criticise to get results

I don’t believe belittling someone is a way of motivation

I don’t believe the leader should take credit for all great results

Leading in sports is fun yet challenging and is a role that can be filled by an introvert that listens and observes so if you are the kind of person that likes the idea of leading but doesn’t have the confidence because you’re not loud or the best, think again!

You may just be the leader your team needs!

Do you know someone who wants to be a great leader?

Are you someone who wants to learn how to lead?

I’ve recently launched a new website called Purposeful Thinking which can be found by clicking here and If you want to chat about leadership, book a call

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Uncategorized

The value of accountability

Over the last few weeks I’ve been spending time coaching a client, researching to develop an app and launching a new campaign around mental health.

I’ve been busy!

But my busyness has been on my terms, they are things I felt compelled to do and I enjoyed doing them

My client told me he’s finally found a sense of freedom

I’m in conversations with two organisations about my app development and learned so much terminology including PWA’s (Progressive Web Apps) that I’ve been told are coming more to the forefront

My new campaign around mental health can be found on Instagram Bouncebacktoyou. I’m a basketball dude and have had some friends do a short video and I’ve posted some carousel photos

Making a positive difference is important to me and I hope you, as the reader is gaining some insights to the content I put out there and would love your feedback and comments.

Check out my Instagram page and if you’d like to contribute a video and help raise awareness let me know and let’s do it!

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#mental health Inner Voice mindset overcoming challenges

Pro athlete improves wellbeing by 100%

What was it that led to you connecting with Mike? 

I’ve known Mike over the years as someone who has always tried to help when he can, I believe that I needed his advice and knowledge to push me in the right direction at a point in my life when I was ready to make a change for the better. 

Had you tried using other methods to help you in the past and what were they? 
I’ve tried sports psychologists, I’ve read over 15 self improvement books, I’m constantly trying to understand my mind and the minds of those who are successful, but the biggest lesson I’ve learnt from working with Mike is that my biggest asset is myself and I can tap into that without any special tactics or interventions when I let go of the habits and social constructs I’ve alienged my self with. 


What reservations, if any did you have around the coaching? Be honest. 
I don’t have any reservations really, I believe he does a great job of communicating bit also at balancing listening with talking to me. Sometimes I just need an ear to speak to and vent my thoughts out loud. 

What 3 factors about the coaching delivery style stood out for you
1) The simplistic nature of the conversation, not using fancy words or over complicated explanations. 
2) His calm nature when speaking made me feel at ease even when before the call I was quite stressed. 
3) His availability, it’s something that goes under appreciated but with my ever changing schedule around training Vs personal life it was great to be able to be so flexible with timings. 

The coaching is aimed at improving performance and wellbeing.  How did the coaching affect your performance and wellbeing? 
My performance was always something that I judged by stats, now I judged it by my mental state. If I’m in a good mental state it doesn’t matter how i play because my experience will be what I want it to be regardless of the stats. My well being is 100% better because each day I’m just being myself and there’s no bugger comfort in a world filled with false high expectations and fakery. 


If you were to recommend Mike to other professional athletes, what would you tell them to expect?
To find their true self by removing the unnecessary baggage the world around them has added to their backs.

Do you know a professional athlete who would benefit from this coaching?

Drop Mike a message and start a conversation

Categories
#mental health Leadership mindset overcoming challenges

The Secret To Getting The Best Out Of A Player

There’s a secret that few organisations understand, because either their focus is on other things they feel demand more attention or they have yet to understand the value and power of this secret.

I’ve been using this secret for over ten years with outstanding results yet when I presented the idea to other organisations, they either ignored them, believed things should be done as they have always been done or had their eyes on other methods to get the best out of a player.

Let me share the secret with you because whether you believe it or not, or whether you have other methods to help a player, at least I have done my bit in passing it on.  With the idea simply sitting in my head, who benefits from that?

There’s a powerful lesson I learned many years ago which forms a huge part of this secret and it’s at this point I have to tell you, you won’t suddenly start winning once you know this secret, but the player will learn to be the best they can be and it’s also important to know, and I’m sure you do, there are various levels of ability and no two players are the same, yet this secret allows any player of any ability to be the best they can be.

Many organisations get the formula wrong.  They go for the best players, and when they struggle, they simply replace them.  I understand why organisations do this, but there is so much more to winning than getting the best players together and crossing your fingers.  Even when you have the best players together, you’re not guaranteed to win but start to use this secret and you’ll feel and see the results.

Our performance is driven by our emotions.  Our emotions are driven by our thoughts, therefore our thoughts drive our performance.

No that wasn’t the secret, but it is an inight. The insight isn’t to simply know this, but to learn the details that exist in the thoughts, break them down, and remove any challenge or internal barrier that stops the player from being their best.

I’m trained in identifying these details and breaking them down and recognising the real challenge and barriers that exist.  I’m also trained in breaking down those barriers and challenges, and creating new ways of thinking with purpose for improved results.

As a leader in an esports organisation, perhaps you’re a former player that naturally progressed into a leadership role, do you believe you know what it takes to get the best out of a player based on what you’ve read?

It’s OK if you don’t.  You’ve spent your life gaming without really thinking about why you think and do what you do.  There is no shame in not knowing how to get the best out of a player but there is shame in not doing anything about it.  There is shame in not consulting or taking advice from someone who knows.  Your players and yourself deserve to know how to be your best because when you’re not at your best, all those around you will suffer.

The secret to getting the best out of a person isn’t to force them to try harder, train more hours, push them to their limits.  The secret is to actively listen and teach them how to think with purpose.

Thanks for listening and remember to Take action, Reflect, Adjust and repeat 

Play with purpose

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#mental health Become who you want to be esports mindset motivation overcoming challenges

Your past does not define whom you can become!

Who you are today is a culmination of experiences and perspectives and most of the time, how you are is OK.  You do OK.  But when it comes to professional sports, being OK isn’t good enough.  You have to be excellent or at least be striving for excellence but reaching that level takes determination, guts and smart work, but what happens to your focus when something negative happens in your life.  Perhaps a death, an injury, a fall out with a family member or even succumbing to pressure and stress.

Many athletes over the years have spoken about their struggles, Frank Bruno, Kevin Love, Michael Phelps, just to name 3 but a quick google search will bring you up a list even longer with no surprise.

So what can you do?  What can you do to move away from the struggles quickly and get yourself back on track.

Let me share this story with you

For many many years, a man had taken the same path to work.  He saw the same people, saw the same shops and felt the same way.  He was familiar with this routine and familiarity gave him a sense of comfort and this comfort gave him happiness.  He had no reason to change his route, he had no reason to walk faster, yet one day something changed but he didn’t know what.  His thoughts began to niggle at him.

This niggle grew into an itch and after several days, his happiness has turned into anxiety.  Instead of smiling at the people he walked past, he was on edge and avoided eye contact and had thoughts of changing something but he didn’t know what or how.  He was so familiar with his journey that thinking about changing it, only brought on a fear, so he tolerated and tolerated until one day he decided not to get up.

Sometimes when we feel the need for change, we fear what might happen if we did change, and the sense of familiarity pulls us back from growing and we continue to tolerate, even when you know something needs to change.

But these past events do not define who we can become.  Past events do not have to hold you down and stop you from achieving by doing and thinking differently.

You always have a choice to move away from negativity and choose to walk a new path and doing it is as simple as changing the direction in which you walk, who you talk with and recognising when you want change.  You have to hold yourself accountable.  You have to make new decisions because it’s very unlikely someone else will recongnise you want to change and help you.

So if you feel something needs to change, create that change for yourself!

Thanks for listening and remember to Take action, Reflect, Adjust and repeat 

Play with purpose

Categories
#mental health Become who you want to be Inner Voice Leadership motivation overcoming challenges

Is It Time To Introduce Emotional Intelligence Into Sports Coaching?

The effects of bullying can linger for a long time, depending on the strength of the emotion attached to the words or behaviours associated with the bullying and even through elite athletes can be perceived to be resilient, they are also human and experience emotions just as regular people do, yet the impact can be felt on a much deeper level due to the situation of being a professional athlete.

There are some perceptions that believe the elite athlete must be able to overcome bullying behaviours, and ‘man up’ because to be the best you must demonstrate a hard shell and an almost invincible like exterior, and not to show weakness.  Isn’t that right?

Of course it isn’t!

Maybe the bullies don’t know they are demonstrating bullying behaviours or maybe they are trying to instil resilience in their teammates.  Who knows, but one thing is for sure, there should be no place in professional sports for bullying and if a bullying culture does exist, maybe it’s time to create change?

How do you create change?

Firstly when someone is feeling bullied, it’s imperative they have an outlet to air their thoughts but who do they turn to?

They can’t turn to their manager, because as one former premier league footballer told me, it was the manager that was the bully!  This player, who will remain unnamed, told me the coach used the phrase ‘grow some balls!’  This incident happened a good few years ago and I’d like to think in the time between then and now, there’s been some new coaching techniques being taught to up and coming managers that focus on learning about emotional intelligence and how to recognise when to use it.  But what is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. Emotional intelligence helps you build stronger relationships, succeed in sports, and achieve your career and personal goals. It can also help you to connect with your feelings, turn intention into action, and make informed decisions about what matters most to you.

The aim of professional sports, to me, is simple – from the athlete perspective, be the best you can be, or from a coach/manager perspective, create an environment in which you and your team can be the best they can be.

By learning about emotional intelligence, being the best you can be, will come a lot faster and easier than compared with someone who uses their raw personality and technical ability to coach or play yet this important factor of coaching and playing is rarely touched upon in coaching programmes.

I understand there’s a gap in the coaching market which is why I offer confidential, discreet coaching for those professional athletes wanting to be their best but are unable to open up to anyone else.

I understand elite athletes are human and experience feelings and emotions but there is often a conflict between the emotions and what’s expected of them, which can leave some athletes confused and anxious and unable to shake the fear.

I make my services available to athletes so they can thrive.

You deserve to thrive!

Thanks for reading and remember to Take action, Reflect, Adjust and repeat 

Play with purpose

Categories
esports Leadership motivation

The Real Impact Of Not Listening

You’re in a room full of people all wearing hats. You look around and listen to the conversations and notice 5 people have green hats on, 5 people have blue hats on and 2 have red hats on. How many people are in the room?

While you’re working that out let me remind you you’re also listening to the conversations in the room with great interest. 

Listening is a skill that few have mastered but many lack the understanding or purpose of listening so let me suggest why listening is a skill you need to master and you’ll be surprised at how easy it can be. 

Let’s imagine for a moment you’ve got something you just have to share with someone. Something inside your head is urging you to share this emotionally charged news so you call your friend and begin to talk enthusiastically, sharing as much as you can. 

When you’ve exhaled all the news you stop and wait for a response, hoping for some kind of recognition or acceptance. 

In sports it’s very common for coaches or managers to talk at the players and expect them to carry out those instructions.  The coach talks, the player listens. 

Yet some of the better coaches approach communication from a different perspective often giving the players the opportunity to talk, and for the coach to listen. Why is this a good strategy?  

When a coach is only giving instructions they are missing part of the bigger picture.  Through listening to the players, the missing piece is found and solutions to improving performance can be found quickly.

And by the way, the answer to the question of how many people are in the room is 13.  5 plus 5 plus 2 plus 1 (you) 

Thanks for listening and remember to Take action, Reflect, Adjust and repeat 

Play with purpose