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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:-

Photo by Retha Ferguson on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels.com

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

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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.

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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!


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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 17 – Defining My Philosophy

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

Bruce Lee

The Way Of Jeet Kune Do

Jeet Kune Do was created by Bruce Lee, taking the most useful parts of other martial arts, removing the useless bits and adding some of his personality but he says he didn’t invent a new style, he create a new philosophy.

The practitioners of this martial art believe in minimal effort with maximum impact with extreme speed and eliminating wasteful movement.

In other words, removing the bullshit and using just the useful parts of other martial arts for quick results.

This method divided the people.

The purists were beside themselves. They believed no-one should take one martial art and mix it with another. It was unpure!

People with inquisitive and open minds to learning, embraced the philosophy.

Creating The NEAT Programme

I mould my philosophy based on the same principles of Jeet Kune Do.

The skills I’ve learned through training in NLP, Emotional Intelligence, CBT and Mindfulness all have value but I realised which parts I needed to use in specific situations, depending on my client’s strengths and weaknesses and put aside the useless ones in that moment.

I added my own flavour based on my experiences and personality and create the NEAT Programme.

How Can Professional Football Players Benefit From This Programme?

I understand the career of a football player is limited and I’m also aware that issues and problems can occur and impact on the mental health and performance of players who struggle to deal with certain situations.

A player is a person first and a player second and when the person is struggling off the pitch, the player struggles with performance on the pitch.

When a player is struggling, their career is in jeopardy, meaning their livelihood is on the line and when they lose that, their life can take a turn for the worse.

The NEAT Programme can help them overcome a problem quickly and learn how to eliminate wasteful movement (communication and behaviour) and instil useful communication and behaviours.

How Can You Access The Programme?

Before you consider applying, I need to know which side of the fence you sit on.

If you’re more a traditionalist then perhaps this isn’t for you.

If you have a closed mind to learning, then perhaps this isn’t for you

If you are rigid in your values and beliefs then perhaps this isn’t for you

If you like theories but rarely put them into action, perhaps this isn’t for you.

But if you want results fast with ongoing support and learn how to leverage communication and behaviours, then I invite you to apply.


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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 16

“Thinking and taking action when you’ve learned new concepts and perceptions have two different outcomes. No-one knows what you’re thinking and will perceive you as the same, but everyone can see you take action and will perceive you as improved”

Mike Nichols

Marketing


Joining an Online Community

About four years ago I delved into marketing and learned terms such as funnels, up-sells, One-Time-Offer and Ideal Client amongst others and my mind for some reason didn’t like to really grab onto and believe these concepts and I know why.

When there is something new introduced into our lives, as marketing was with me at the time, I was eager to learn these concepts to help me transition from my day job to a life coach and as part of this process, I learned about marketing to help me attract the right kind of people.

I joined an online community called ClickFunnels which made their branding and services so attractive, I just bought in and paid a monthly fee to access their services, support and community. I got a couple of free t-shirts, a free domain name and really enjoyed learning the principles and concepts of marketing. There are people in the community going through the same journey and I connected with a lady in the USA who was great at designing logos and I used her talents to create one around my life coaching program called Move Me Forward.

On the weekends I’d go over to my parents house and record video content and write copy and put it all together in the online course software which made it so easy to put together. Great job ClickFunnels!

The Reality

I thought I was doing everything right. ClickFunnels has a step by step guide to help me from starting with my idea, to creating my ideal client, to getting it out there. I was following the steps and when I launched my online course, I expected to see clients come rolling in…

It never happened.

What was I doing wrong?

I have some ideas as to why it didn’t work but I’m not upset, angry or frustrated it didn’t work out because I learned so much and am putting some of the principles into my marketing today and I want to reflect and share what I learned about myself and how, if you want to improve your performance, you must have the right mindset

The Right Mindset

Firstly, you must have a purposeful and positive reason to change and improve. Back then my reason was born from the hatred from my day job. I hated it so much, I just wanted out.

But I’ve learned wanting change through hatred will only get you so far.

Secondly you have to have an open mind to learning new concepts and perceptions.

How we see the world is based on our past experiences, and from these experiences we create values and beliefs and we kind of fall into who we are and become comfortable with who we are.

When a new concept or perception is introduced to us, we can be defensive and ignore it without a real reason to change. Without a positive reason, you won’t be able to consider the possibility that a new concept or perception will be beneficial to you. You need a reason to change before you accept different concepts and perceptions.

The final principle is the ability to take action and it is here where many people fail and let themselves down.

They have a good reason for change, they have an open mind to learning new concepts and in their mind they are doing all the right things.

They think they are ready for change, but change doesn’t happen just by thinking differently. Change comes from acting and behaving differently.

Footballers don’t improve just by thinking. Yes they can learn new concepts and perceptions, but unless they take action on and off the football field, no-one will be see and appreciate the learning that took place.

Connections Are Key

I’ve learned some new perspectives about marketing and let me quickly list them

  • You can have the best product in the world but it it isn’t presented to the right people, it is the worse product in the world
  • You can have a shitty product but if the marketing is great, it will sell
  • Sometimes a person doesn’t realise they need a service until it’s too late
  • People often connect to a product or service based on how that product or service makes them feel
  • A person will only look for change when they have a need for change

What Does This Mean For Footballers?

I know there are football players out there that want change because they are pissed off and frustrated or simply want to improve.

They are tolerating the situation, some through fear of not wanting to say or do something wrong that could jeopardise their career and some filing used which lowers their self-esteem which impacts on their performance, which raises anxiety levels because they know they can be so much better than they are showing.

Perhaps they are hungry to be more famous and wealthy than they already are.

There are players out there that have a reason to change.

From a young age, players have experienced being in a bubble of learning and growing and this bubble limits their mental growth, concepts and perceptions. They form values and beliefs at a young age and once they make it to the big stage, these values and beliefs are no longer relevant because the person has grown and the situation has changed and it is this misalignment where problems can begin.

From wanting to change, a player needs to give themselves permission to have an open mind to learning new concepts and perceptions to move in a direction that benefits them.

I can tell you with 100% confidence there is at least one new concept only three football players have experienced that improved their ability and changed their values and beliefs for the better which improved their approach to football and life.

How do I know? I created the concept.

As I mentioned earlier, when you don’t take action, there will be no improvement in performance and I encourage any player that has a reason for change and has allowed themselves an open mind to learning, to TAKE ACTION.

What I’ve come to appreciate is some players don’t know what actions to take or what words to use to create change which is why my service supports them in creating these actions.

“I help players take action WITHOUT the fear of jeopardising their careers”

This Is Part Of My Marketing

Why do I blog?

You may have already realised but what you’re reading has purpose. The purpose is to show you there are ways to improve your performance as a football player but only when you’re ready for change so the question becomes who is ready for change?

Let me explain to give you an insight to help you decide if you are ready for change.

Let’s use this analogy. Imagine you have back pain. There are five stages to experience before you take action

  1. You are tolerating back pain. You aren’t seeking out a solution
  2. The pain is getting worse. You are considering finding a solution.
  3. You’ve heard of various ways to help back pain, surgery, massage, chiropractor etc and are considering your options
  4. After researching you decide a chiropractor is the best solution
  5. You find a chiropractor and start improving.

I don’t help with back pain but I do help players improve performance and remove frustrations quickly.

If as a football player and you’ve had enough of tolerating your situation and want things to improve, you must go through the next 4 stages to find your solution.

To start your journey click here now

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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 15

“Coincidence may be described as the chance encounter of two unrelated causal chains which miraculously, it seems merge into a significant event.”

Arthur Koestler

Scratching The Wallpaper! Argh!


Call With Sam

It’s Thursday evening and I feel my time is becoming more limited as I continue to build contacts which is leaving me with things to do, which may impact on my ability to post every day in this blog, albeit two days behind reality. This will be posted on Sunday.

However I remind myself my quest is to become the most sought after mental performance specialist, so lack of time is a good thing!

I spoke with my mate Sam who’s now in Abu Dhabi, (Note – I wrote he lives in Dubai in my last post, apologies) well, he’s back in Wigan now, sent home during Covid-19 but hopes to get back out there and do his thing.

He told me in Cross-Fit there is a fine line between winning and losing and there are stresses and anxieties that exist at the elite level, and I’m sure at the amateur level as well but it’s these two components that exist in all sports and I recognised a need for having a neutral person to talk things through can make a world of difference, which is why I do what I do.

I used to be the best player in England and can argue I’ve been to the top and although I can’t compete as I used to, I can coach others to improve quickly and overcome stress and anxiety.

No matter what sport you play, the issues are all the same. Different sport, same issues and I often think about how it is, what it is.

Let’s me explain…

Is Your Belief Limiting Your Potential?

When you play at a high level, you’ve done a lot to get there and there’s an expectation put on you from others, but also from yourself to continue to compete at that level, if not improve.

You have formed beliefs around how to train and compete yet when you feel stuck, a sense of frustration can kick in, and if not dealt with, can lead to stress and anxiety as you continue to search for a solution, but non are forthcoming, so your mind sits in this place of frustration.

Imagine if you will, a glass door in front of you. You can see where you want to go but you don’t have the key to open the door. Others have given you keys but non fit. You tried making your own keys, but to no avail. You’ve put so much time and energy into finding the right key, you begin to create the illusion, getting through the door, just isn’t possible. You accept this is just as good as it gets and you see others, walking ahead of you.

The answer lies, not in finding the key to the door, but in finding a way round it.

But people are stubborn and set in their ways and will often tell themselves, it’s not possible rather than take a different perspective because the emotion formed from the belief they formed many years ago is stronger than the emotion needed to take a new perspective.

People like to hold onto beliefs formed years ago in very different circumstances, even when they serve no purpose in today’s situation.

Sam said he’d connect me with some of the top competitors in the sport which I’m really excited about to learn more.

Basketball Team Developments

I also had a great conversation with a person who can help me set up the basketball team as a CBS (Community Benefit Society). In the last year although we found success on the court, winning the league and gaining promotion from the fourth tier of british basketball to the third, I felt there were other ways we could engage our community and fans and also give back to others. I had no idea a CBS existed until I had a conversation at the right time with someone at Bury AFC who have established the same model.

I’m excited because this gives us an identity of one that matches our beliefs and values and can help drive us forward.

There is lots to do and explore but this new perspective has given me a new sense of hope and direction and a way to give back because there are three things I want to accomplish

  • Do what I love to do (help others)
  • Attract value in the form of money to do what I love to do
  • Give back

Two out of three isn’t bad..i Just need to tick off one more!

Another Iron In The Fire

I do have another iron in the fire so to speak with someone who has a passion for football and doing the right thing. Weirdly he knows some people in basketball that I played against or with. I’m finding more people in football, know people in basketball. Maybe There’s something in this connection???

If you like to read and learn about the business that is football, I strongly urge you to check out his website www.football4football.com

Over the last three days, I’ve been busy stripping walls, preparing them for painting and wallpapering, then painting and wallpapering them and after some incidents that involved scratching a piece of wallpaper I’d just stuck to the wall, and having to take it down, cutting a new piece, I’m done!

Time for some me time. I enjoy the peace and quiet of sitting and just being. No phone, no TV, just a few moments with my own thoughts.


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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 14

“Coincidence may be described as the chance encounter of two unrelated causal chains which miraculously, it seems merge into a significant event.”

Arthur Koestler

Clients just two degrees away!


Have you heard of the term 6 degrees of separation?

For the unitiatated it is the idea that all living things and everything else in the world are six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.

About 25 years ago I was coaching basketball at a local school. I was coaching as part of a programme run by the my local council with the idea to help the players establish a basketball club that had a constitution, secretary etc in an attempt to higher the numbers of basketball numbers.

The guys were decent guys, a mix of white, Asian and black, which, if you know basketball is a sport that attracts people from all different backgrounds which in my opinion is a great way to break down social barriers and prejudices for a greater good.

Basketball for me opened my eyes to new cultures and society from the privileged to the under-privileged and these experiences have served me well in how I appreciate other people from different backgrounds.

One of the players, Sam had great skills but came across as lazy and a bit of a joker. We all pretty much stayed in touch on some level and Sam even made it to a pro team in the UK. I was happy for him.

As the years went by we all went our separate lives but we touched base every now and again.

Social media is great to see what others are up to by scrolling down your feed but it wasn’t Facebook that connected us today.

It’s Wednesday the 10th of June and I got an unexpected message from Sam

“Alright young Michael. Are you still running the basketball down at Bury?”

I figured he was around and wanted to come and play some b’ball and we started a conversation.

Covid-19 is still locking sports down although there has been some movement and you can have 6 people on the same court as long as it’s outside and the 2 meter rule is adhered to meaning, there is a limited amount of things you can do.

I gave him the news and suggested I let him know when things are back on.

The Cross-Fit Connection

I knew he dropped basketball to focus on Cross-Fit, a sport that has taken off in recent times and it turns out he’s now working in Dubai.

He asked me what I was up to which naturally led to me mentioning this blog and my working with athletes and he suggested if I wanted athletes to work with.

He said he knows lots of top people that can kick start my business.

After some more questioning, two of these people were the best in their country and another is a leading coach in the business!

We’ve not talked for years but we agreed to have a chat tomorrow and see what happens.

It’s funny how things can play out because I’ve been working a lot around learning marketing, funnels and strategy and was focused on creating adverts to attract clients, but a simple message from Sam and my intrigue led to something more relevant to my vision.

Today I’ve been at home, still on furlough, with my five year old who was helping me strip the front room of wallpaper, and paint three walls and you can imagine what it’s like to try to strip walls and paint with a five year old!

The message later on in the day, from Sam was light relief and much needed.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings!


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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 13

“Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.”

Tony Robbins

Is Material Wealth The Answer To Your Problems?


Did you find a reason to want to change from the last blog?

Having a reason to change drives you forward when things aren’t working but not everyone wants a reason to change. They would rather stay in the comfort of their own little bubble.

A Valuable Message

Last night I rediscovered a valuable message that I need to share with you.

This is relevant for people in sports, business and life so please share with people that might need a gentle nudge in the right direction.

Whatever your craft, whatever you excel at, you know you’ve spent hours, months and years honing that craft.

Your performance in that skill is unparallelleded and you’ve accomplished some great things.

This is what we call being skilled in Achievement. You took your time to learn a skill that has helped you get as far as you have.

You have become skilled in achieving something, be it sports, business or life. You may have achieved winning a league title, achieving a remarkable turnover of 5 million in a year or have achieved cool dad status!

Two Powerful Components

Success has two components

  1. Mastering The Skill Of Achievement
  2. Mastering The Art Of Fulfilment

Let me explain what this means to you

Your Achievements lead to external rewards – Money, houses, cars, fame just to name a few and in some way, having this material wealth can give you some satisfaction.

But this is short lived and can be taken away from you in an instant.

Just look how Covid-19 has changed the way people are living and earning a living. I know there are people out there suffering

The Misconception About Material Wealth

Many people with material wealth often have a sense of something being missing and they think they need more cars, a bigger house, more money to fill that gap and for a short period, the sense of something being missing goes away.

This only heightens their mistaken belief that having more material wealth solves their problems.

But the reality is that gap can only be filled with a sense of fulfilment but very few people know how to accomplish that.

Although they have Mastered The Craft Of Achieving, they have yet to Master The Art Of Fulfilment.

There is no blame to associate with this lack of knowledge because as much as we can assign importance to learning how to be fulfilled, schools, colleges and universities don’t deliver lessons on how to accomplish fulfilment, yet it is one of the most powerful arts and can be life changing in so many different ways.

I’ve researched and connected with former professional football players and talked about mental health and understand if only they had invested time, money and effort into mastering the art of fulfilment, many would have avoided the hardships they find themselves in now.

But a message to these players, it’s not too late! You can quickly discover a sense of fulfilment when you shift your focus away from you and onto others you care about. It’s easy to blame yourself, be critical to yourself and tell yourself what if, but this energy only drains your ability to feel fulfilled because you’re missing out on life as you focus internally on what you believe the problem to be. The problem is your perspective, not the situation. Shift your perspective and see what happens!

Being a professional football player has a shelf life and at some point, all that time and effort spent on mastering the skill of football suddenly becomes redundant as playing stops. You can no longer achieve on the field.

But being human lasts a lifetime so it makes sense to spend time on mastering the art of fulfilment because once playing football ends, you must find a way to fill that gap.

One of the most powerful ways to fill that gap is to give back. To take your skills and help others, either through charitable work for example.

If you’ve invested your money well during your time as a football player, you will have enough money to live on and perhaps you want to live a more fulfilling life by spending quality time with your family, building a business or perhaps becoming a wine connoisseur?

But you must start setting the foundation now. Don’t wait until the football ends!


Perhaps you want to chat about fulfilment and what you can do differently and I’m opining up my calendar. If you feel you would benefit from a chat, please book a time slot by clicking this link.

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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 12

“Growth is actually contagious, so if you want to reach your goals, you’ve got to get around people who are going in the same direction you want to be going, and you will catch the success.”

Dr Henry Cloud

If you’re not improving, what are you doing?


The player you are today is not the same as the player you were before Corona hit us.

You went from playing and training consistently, competing against your team mates and other teams, to training alone.

Your mindset shifted as your routine shifted.

But what does this mean for your future?

What does that mean to your ability?

Have you improved or lost a step? How do you know?

During the season with consistent training and playing, you gauge your ability based on how your opposition and team mates play and will rank yourself amongst your peers in various categories.

How fast you are, how tall you are, how skilled you are, how smart you are, how strong you are and so on.

You’ll have an idea of where you fit into the team.

Let me ask you a question.

Be honest with yourself

Before Corona locked us down, were you enjoying your time on the team?

If you answered yes, that tells me you were satisfied with your contribution and accepted your role on the team.

If you answered no, that tells me you want things to change.

You’ve had opportunity to improve during lockdown so what have you been doing about it?

Again be honest with yourself.

Have you stepped up your game and set a training schedule to help you

Or have you fallen into poor habits and been lackadaisical in your approach?

I understand through specific training in NLP, CBT, Emotional Intelligence and experience, you can improve quickly when you shift your mind.

For the uninitiated, this concept can seem unreal or pointless so little attention is paid to knowing more so let me try to convince you otherwise because you deserve to know how to improve.

It’s my passion to help struggling athletes understand the power of the mind, so they can improve their situation and continue to do well in the sport that allows their passion to thrive. Currently I’m helping three athletes, two from football and one from golf, to improve their situation.

To give you a taste of what can be achieved, let me share these tips:-

A simple conversation can break down mental barriers that are limiting your potential. One player was feeling anxious and lost but we created a simple sentence to ask his manager. This removed the anxiety and gave him clarity.

Your perception is only one perception of your reality but when you shift your perception, you can improve your ability quickly. You may be good, but I know you can be better. One player I’m working with has recently started a six week program of shifting perception to gain a psychological advantage over opponents and in the competitive nature of football, gaining an edge over your competitors is essential to your survival as a professional player.

Self talk or your inner voice will drive you to success, mediocrity or failure.

The lesson here is simple. Our behaviours and perceptions are learned from various experiences in our lives. The brilliant thing is because it’s learned we can unlearn these behaviours and perceptions and create more appropriate and purposeful ones.

The first thing you have to do to create change is having a reason to change.

What’s your reason to change?

If this blog has intrigued you and you want to know more, get in touch and I’d be happy to share more with you. Perhaps your curious to learn what it’s all about, how it works, what you can do right now and if it’s worth your time.

As a specialist coach, helping people like you improve is what I do best so allow me to help you be your best.


Are you a professional or amateur athlete wanting a new perspective on how to improve your situation? Find out more by clicking here

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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 11

“When people honor each other, there is a trust established that leads to synergy, interdependence, and deep respect. Both parties make decisions and choices based on what is right, what is best, what is valued most highly.”

Blaine Lee

The short message that had so much power

I’ve been let down in the past.

People have told me they can use my skills and abilities and the opportunity will happen soon, yet fail to produce that opportunity.

This has made me skeptical to offers. About four years ago I stupidly put my faith into one person who pretty much convinced me a new role had been created for me and it would be ready to start in September.

September came and went. He had no answers to me because the creation of the role was out of his hands and although his intentions came from a good place, the reality was, I had relied on this move happening and had mentally prepared to leave my day job. My respect for this person dropped immensely.

History has a sense of repeating itself and about a year and a half ago, another person promised me a role and sold the concept really well but this time I was more cautious.

Although my hopes were raised, my eggs weren’t all in one basket and when the opportunity failed to materialise, I shrugged it off. But my respect for this person dropped.

Something had to change and for change to happen I had to identify the pattern so I could change it. There is a pattern that has three key stages

  • I reach out to others with my ambitions and abilities
  • They suggest an opportunity
  • The opportunity doesn’t happen

The feeling of disappointment when putting my faith into others, hurts and I had had enough.

I needed a mindset shift!

I had to shift from relying on others to make things happen, to relying on myself to make things happen.

This mindset doesn’t come naturally to me and the learning curve has been insightful and eye-opening and over the last few months, I’ve been having conversations with people that see the value in my skills, but rather than rely on them providing me with opportunities, I’ve been suggesting opportunities to them.

Mindset shifts are powerful and although I help others create mind shifts for improved performances, I had to reflect and have a word with myself to create change.

When people let me down now, I quickly put them to one side until they are ready, if ever, to prove themselves to me as that allows me to redirect my energies into my ambitions and growth.

After a phone call lasting about an hour, I learned we had a lot in common and what I offered would be beneficial to their cause.

I put something together based on our conversation and the direction they want to go in and popped it across in an email.

Later on that day, I received a message saying ‘spot on’.

That was all I needed to read.

You may be thinking this blog is a bit ambiguous and you’d be right.

One of the other lessons I’ve learned is to keep things under wraps until the I’s are dotted and the T’s crossed.

My journey to become the most sought after sports mental performance specialist is twisting and turning in new ways and I am practicing patience.


Are you a professional or amateur athlete wanting a new perspective on how to improve your situation? Find out more by clicking here