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Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard

I’m sure your familiar with this phrase and it’s connotations but for the uninitiated let me share this.

Over the years I’ve competed, coached and observed, I’ve seen talented players play below their potential and I’ve seen hard working players out player ‘better’ players.

I’m sure you can think of one or two players that match these thoughts?

With such a statement there must be be questions raised

How does hard work out play talent?

Why do talented players fail to meet expectations

Is it a fair comparison?

Of course the statement is a generalisation because it’s not true in all cases.

There are players who work hard but don’t have the physical, technical or mental strength to do well, even against a talented player.

I recall one such player on my basketball team. He worked his socks off in training but he just didn’t have what it took to compete at the level expected of him.

He was a great guy and his work ethic was admired by us.

As a player reading this let me ask you this…

You have a level of talent. You have a level of work you’re willing to put into games and training.

Are you giving your level of talent the best chance to meet its potential by working as hard as you can

OR

Are you working as hard as you can because you believe your talent is limited?

Please comment…

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What it feels like to improve the performance of a team athlete in only half an hour!

It was 2010 and it felt my life plan had fallen apart!

After many years of regretting turning down a place at Liverpool university when I was 18 to study sports science, now in my thirties, I spent weeks figuring out if i could afford starting university as a full time mature student.

It turned out I could; and I would study sports development from 2009 to 2011 with the plan to graduate and get a job in sports development.
The Olympics were coming up and it seemed a safe educational and career choice.

But things didn’t go to plan!

Half way through my course the Government cut funding so many of the sports development jobs that existed would no longer exist!

It was 2010 and that’s when my life plan fell apart. In my head at least.

On lunch one day I walked into town and started looking at books in the local WHSmith and one book stood out to me.

It was colourful and the title just jumped out at me ‘Just get on with it’
It was just what I needed!
I became absorbed by the book and learned so much about how the mind works and how you can change your perception of a situation for your benefit amongst much more.

Through sheer enjoyment and mind opening insights I thought to email the author to say how much it helped me.
To my surprise I received a reply in two days asking if I’d like to take the opportunity to be mentored by him!

Wow!

The offer would include a hefty investment but I was at a stage in my life I was willing to do things differently for different outcomes…so I invested in my learning.

The investment included my participation in an NLP practitioner course, something I had taken an interest from a distance and now the offer was there for the taking.

So I planned my trip and drove up to Scotland and threw myself into this new opportunity.

What a week!  

I learned so much, I saw so many people transform and knew this was something I could use to help myself and others find new ways to live and compete.

In my younger days I was a standout athlete.  I represented England U19’s as a 17 year old and was voted the Most Valuable Player on that team.
I competed in the second highest tier in British basketball and was voted an All Star by my peers.
I had a lot of experience that would benefit others but NLP really opened up new opportunities to help people on a new level. I also studied emotional intelligence amongst other personal development strands.

About a year after I graduated as an NLP practitioner a professional player posted his frustrations about his performance on social media.
I reached out to him and suggested I help him.

We talked on the phone for about half an hour.

His next game was proof that what I had trained in was worth something.  After averaging about 5 points a game, he exploded for 20 points hitting 100% from the field, a rare feat in itself.

I felt elated for him and was proud that I was able to help him create a shift in mindset that he made a noticeable impact really quickly!

At the time he was writing for the Manchester Evening News.  Here’s an extract from that article

“I expected a better personal performance but nothing this drastic! This is the first time in my 10-plus-year career I’ve scored 20 points and not missed a single shot.”

Read the full article here…

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/other-sport/basketball/rejuvenated-david-watts-lights-up-6300260

Do you know of a professional athlete that’s struggling?

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Is it too late to find your self worth in professional football?

There’s a very big difference between self worth and self belief and when it comes to professional football, your self worth is much more important than your self belief and let me tell you why.

Self belief is an inner confidence in your ability to play football at the level you play. You believe you can play at this level because, quite simply, you are playing at that level so the self belief is self fulfilling.

But what about self worth? This begs the question ‘what are you worth?’

Is your self worth the salary you command, the sponsorship deals you are offered or the extrinsic rewards that come your way?

The only way to really understand your self worth is when things are going wrong.

When things begin to go wrong for you, your self belief will be the first to go.

No longer do others trust you to score goals or defend like a warrior.

No longer are you in the rotation because a new player has taken your place.

Your belief that you were once worthy has diminished and replaced with self doubt.

Now here things get interesting.

Your self worth is not a reflection of your self belief but rather an intrinsic feeling of your ability to give back to others.

Think about this now.

Players that squander money are often left feeling unfulfilled because they are seeking something.

They are seeking a sense of self worth but focus on thinking the money, the fame, the big house, the cars and the attention from strangers, will fill that void.

Little do they know that when they begin to give back, their feeling of self worth will grow.

Would you rather wait for things to go wrong before you connect with your self worth or would you rather connect with your self worth now while you are receiving a healthy salary and other extrinsic rewards?

Please comment and leave me your thoughts

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Don’t Be A Victim Of Red Mist Syndrome!

The referee just missed a call that should have gone in your favour!

Now the opposition have the advantage!

But you’re still focused and angry about the missed call!

You’re focused on the past!

You let your anger get the better of you and as the red mist clouds your judgement, you make mistakes that cost your team!

Your team mates curse you, shout at you and blame you for the loss!

Do you remember when David Beckham was sent to the ground by the Argentine Diego Simeone in the 1998 World Cup and raised his leg in an attempt to trip him up? He was sent off!

Below is part of the article explaining what happened afterwards. (https://www.sportskeeda.com/football/iconic-world-cup-moments-david-beckham-red-card-kicking-diego-simeone)

Why was it so controversial

Being a dead ball specialist, Beckham would have been one of the five penalty takers during the shootout and would have been expected to score. Instead it was left to David Batty to take and eventually miss the last penalty. A 11-man English side would also have been expected to possibly beat Argentina in regulation time. Not for the first time, the English fans back home were left bitterly disappointed after being knocked out of the World Cup. Unsurprisingly, it was Beckham facing the brunt of the criticism.

The Aftermath

Years of abuse would follow the incident. The press vilified David Beckham and his effigies were burnt outside London pubs. The headline in The Daily Mirror the following day described the England team as: “10 Heroic Lions, One Stupid Boy”. Beckham was to be voted the 91st worst Briton in Channel Four’s poll of the 100 Worst Britons. He also reportedly received death threats and was taunted by a group of England supporters during a 3-2 defeat against Portugal in Euro 2000.

The consequences of seeing red, as demonstrated above, can last for years. Imagine the mental torment for him, his friends and family and team mates!

“Learn to reframe your thoughts quickly, before your emotions get the better of you”

At the precise moment when you sense the unjust, that is the precise moment you should learn to recognise your anger and immediate sense of retribution.

Rather than allow the red mist to cloud your judgement and lead you to do something you will regret later, focus on letting the anger go and reframe your thoughts. Focus on relaxing your body, allowing the tension and anger to subside.

Your mind can be your best friend or it can be your worse enemy. You can control two things, your thoughts and behaviours so practice controlling your thoughts so your behaviours can be positive and productive.

If you relate to this article or want to learn how to reframe your thoughts, please comment below.

Take it easy

Mike

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Getting unstuck and leaving frustrations behind – The Elite Mindset strategy

Do you feel stuck?

Do you feel something needs to change but you’re in a vicious circle?

When talking about problems, it’s unfair on yourself to try to deal with things that have happened, or things that may or may not happen in the future so you can only work with the NOW.

But many people become slaves of the past or future.

Many people live their lives because of thoughts, ideas and fears they have brought forward to the present; or they fear the future. 

Learn to appreciate today more, when you understand how free you are, unless you perceive yourself to be trapped or stuck!

If you feel insignificant, then ask yourself if you want to be significant? 

Then ask yourself are you worthy? Are you valued?

These are just ideas and we buy into them because we act, speak and behave like we are.

For example when you tell yourself you don’t deserve good things to happen, you will act like you don’t deserve good things to happen to you.

You are always comparing yourself with where you want to be!  This becomes a notch, a question mark above our current identify misconception.

So how do you change?  How do you become unstuck and start to attract positive outcomes?

It starts with accepting your reality. Look under the rug, look over your shoulder and open your eyes and accept that where you are now, isn’t where you want to be. Own your realty and your self-worth will feel improved.

This acceptance gives you a new perspective, a new direction and opportunity to really ask the question,

“Where do I want to be?”

Begin to form a plan and a vision for your future knowing that when your self-worth increases, so do your opportunities.

Begin to make small steps towards that plan knowing you aren’t striving for perfection, but you are striving to be slightly better today, than you were yesterday and to be slightly better tomorrow than you are today.

Did you find this useful?

Please comment with your thoughts

Take it easy

Mike

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Women’s football is going places!

The thing is women’s football hasn’t just appeared! It’s been around for a long time but last night at an event that included insights from the Manchester United women’s manager Casey Stoney, The England assistant manger Bev Priestman, City manager Nick Cushing and city player Matilde Fidalgo, I learned the women’s game needs some support.

A passionate insight from Stoney focusing on more sport needs to be inserted into the primary curriculum was met with rounds of applause.

I too understand the value and power of using sports as a vehicle for education and learning yet it seems the value and power isn’t yet on a par with other subjects.

Priestman offered her insights of working with Phil Neville and how the two bring different insights to the team, Priestman more about the details and Phil about connecting with the players. It was great to hear how that relationship allows the players to be comfortable and valued at the same time.

Nick told some great stories, I won’t repeat them here, and he passionately talked about making small improvements and striving towards helping the game gain more exposure.

Matilde talked about the British game compared with the Portuguese game, saying the British women’s game here is ahead which was something that allowed her decision to come and play in England.

I was privileged to listen to their stories and insights and was grateful for their listening ear to my ideas around improving performance by a small margin that could help their players.

I have a deeper understanding of the women’s game now and know there are some right people in the right places.

Bev Priestman – England Assistant Coach. So humble yet knowledgeable
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How to improve your teammates confidence quickly

A team is only as strong as it’s weakest link and that link will be exposed by a smart opponent.

So the value and importance of ensuring your team mates are performing as well as can be, will be clear in your games.

So how do you improve your team mates confidence quicky?

Here are three things you can do right now…

  • We all make mistakes. Some of us have learned to let mistakes go and move on quickly but some lesser team mates often blame themselves and feel guilty. When a team mate makes a mistake, the last thing they want is criticism from someone they look up to so show encouragement and support
  • Be a listening ear. Offer to sit with a lesser team mate and offer to listen to their ideas, concerns and examples of what they feel that can do differently or improve on. The power of actively listening will be acknowledged by your team mate and a stronger bond and understanding will be formed
  • Work smarter in training and set the example. We all know training sessions can be boring but when you understand training is a way to prepare your body and mind for game time, the perception of training becomes a positive one. When a lesser team mates sees you working smart, they will adjust and respect what you are accomplishing through smart work.
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Making mental health a topic of conversation in sports

Who likes talking about mental health?

When I first learned the term many years ago, I associated the term with trouble, anxiety and something not being right, partnered with a sense of uncomfortable awkwardness.

It was something I’d avoid!

But now my perception has changed and with a deeper understanding, I’m trying to inspire others to understand it from a new perspective too.

Let’s begin…

Here’s a common definition of mental health…

“A state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”

In addition it’s important to understand mental health can be positive, negative and balanced and our state is in constant flux as we navigate through our daily lives.

When we introduce the definition into sports we can say this…

A state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life and sports, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her sports community”

So far pretty straightforward right?

But here’s the issue. The normal stresses of life and sport can be exaggerated tenfold if not more, by any individual’s perception of a situation.

When there’s an abnormal level of stress in life and sports, mental health will lean towards negative and get stuck on negative. Something has happened and you don’t have the solution to deal with it.

Perhaps you’ve been transferred and feel alone?

Perhaps a new player has come in and now you’re out on the bench

Maybe there’s issues away from the game that distract you?

Maybe you’re about to retire and you have no idea what you’re going to do

Or perhaps you’re simply struggling?

And it’s at this point of realism that people suffer.

I’m sure you’ve seen YouTube videos and interviews with sports stars and celebrities talking about their own battles with mental health and through my research, there’s one common denominator…

They all wished they had spoken up sooner

But speaking up is half the battle. Why didn’t they speak up earlier? What made them think they had to hold in the debilitating thoughts? What emotions stopped them from talking?

Fear of being ridiculed. Fear of embarrassment, loss of kudos, ego, pride?

To change the perception of mental health, we have to understand three simple yet powerful steps, whether you are suffering or you’re a team mate or coach, please take these suggestions on board

  • Create a nurturing compassionate culture within your organisation by taking purposeful actions to allow people to talk openly, without judgement and criticism about their ideas and concerns
  • Spread the word that speaking up isn’t a weakness, but a definitive sign of courage
  • Give examples of what you can do differently. Take ownership for your mental health and know if something isn’t working, it’s time to seek out alternatives. (THERE ARE ALWAYS CHOICES)

Your mental health is worth much more than a contract, a large following on social media, the nice cars or the mansion. Your mental health is to be appreciated when times are good and to be challenged when things are a struggle.

Learn to enjoy the sport you play and be supportive of others and your sporting career won’t go far wrong.

Task giving back is a great way to find positive mental health. How can you use your position to help someone else? Perhaps offer a listening ear or offer your experience to the younger generation.

I invite comments, thoughts and questions and invite you to consider hiring me to help you.

Take it easy

Mike

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Your value as a professional football player is at risk!

Do you remember when you first kicked a ball?


Do you remember the passion and excitment as a younger player?


Then things changed.


Your ability was spotted by a scout and opportunities were presented to you.


Over time more people wanted to get to know you, advise you and guide you.


Your ability grew as did your income.
Before you knew it, people were offering you things you had only dreamed of.


Suddenly you realise the love and passion you had for the game have been replaced by trying to please others.


What happened?


When did things change?


The dark and cold truth is you’re now a commodity.
You have a limited use.
You are a pawn in a much bigger game.


People will try to bleed you dry and want to be your friend, thinking when they get in your inner circle, you’ll be easier to influence.


It’s time to play the game…it’s time to get yours.


So what if I told you, I can increase your value, kudos, exposure and performance using techniques only a handful of people are aware of?


What if I told you I’ll offer you full transparency on the strategy and techniques because my passion is driven by my success from coaching and mentoring athletes to overcome their own challenges in sports performance and life to create their own success.


I don’t want to be your friend. If I was your friend I’d be telling you things you want to hear, not things you need to hear to improve.


I want to help you, because helping you helps me.


One player I helped in only six hours, won their first ever MVP!


Now is the time to capitalise on your ability before others catch you up.


If you’re intrigued as to what you need to do to increase your value, kudos, exposure, performance and life, send me a private message.

Take it easy


Mike

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Does working hard guarantee success?

Working hard and training hard will give you some success.

As you work and train hard, your body grows and adapts as do your technical skills and abilities giving you some confidence in your ability to play well.

But…there’s another aspect of performance that many athletes pay little attention to. There’s an aspect that can give you a boost in performance just at the right moment, but in the same breath, can destroy you.

The aspect of performance we are talking about is the mind. Your mind is the most powerful tool you have yet to unleash.

“YOUR SUCCESS IS DETERMINED BY YOUR PERCEPTION OF A SITUATION AND HOW YOU BEHAVE IN THAT SITUATION”

Be honest with yourself. Have you always given your all in every game you’ve competed?

TASK – To find success you must prime your mind to focus on the right things at the right time without any distractions.

Next time you’re competing and you have a break in play, be mindful to ask yourself “What can I do to differently to improve my chances?”

Post your answers below

Take it easy

Mike