The picture suggests even in old age you can enjoy sports but I wonder of these two ever struggled when they were younger?
When you’re struggling, something needs to change
Change comes with doing something differently and thinking differently
What can we determine as needing to do things differently?
Drawing on my experience I’ve identified a few situations athletes find themselves in including
Losing confidence in ability
Losing a sense of purpose and identity
Cracking under pressure
When I write about creating change I have to acknowledge there are other ways you can get help. Sports psychologists, CBT are two examples.
NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming is a way you can overcome your challenges
What benefits can you experience with NLP? The athletes I’ve worked with told me
My wellbeing is 100% better
I won my first ever MVP
I’ve not had any anxiety since
I’ve never shot the ball this well
Each athlete I’ve worked with is unique and each had their perspective of what was wrong and what needed to change but with specific questioning and listening, the athlete was able to find the answers to the questions they dared not to ask before
I love NLP because there is no one size fits all approach. There is no one strategy that works for all athletes yet the outcomes are often the same – a sense of recognition that things will be OK and they should have done something sooner
It’s almost like they are different people! Imagine knowing you had a button but were scared to press it. But you knew if that button was pressed, your troubles and worries would disappear and your performance would improve
NLP gives you the confidence to press that button
As a former high level athlete and professional coach, I have an insight to the challenges you face and with the training in NLP and emotional intelligence, combined with being an introvert, my listening and observations skills are heightened, meaning I can create the perfect environment for a you to open up and allow me to guide you
No professional athlete deserves to suffer because your lively hood will be at risk in this competitive environment in which you can be let go or left to one side at the drop of a hat, so giving yourself the best chance to succeed is a no-brainer
If you have no idea about NLP and you’re struggling, my suggestion is simple
Reach out to people and find a solution that works for you
Now is the perfect time to consider coaching using NLP
We are coming out of lock down, competitions are starting up and you’ll be ready for your next competition
Gaming is amazing! Playing for fun and enjoyment connects you with people all around the world and helps build confidence and social skills and there has been some positive things written about gaming and you deserve to enjoy what you do. remember you started to game for fun and it’s important to remember that
When Things Get Competitive
Perhaps casual gaming turned into something more serious when you started to win. Others began to pay attention to you and offer you opportunities that excited you and raised your curiosity
When the competitive element is added, others can bring a sense of seriousness into the mix as their expectations to win, can sometimes affect your perspective because once winning and money are added to the equation, the purpose of gaming changes
There is a mental shift when gaming shifts from ‘just for fun’, to ‘competing for prizes’ and some people can’t handle that shift and I wonder how these young teenagers do cope with the changes because it’s hard enough as a young teenager dealing with life changes without the added pressure of trying to live up to the expectations of others and unless you have a natural ability to stay grounded or receive training, when things get real, some can be overwhelmed and begin to fall apart
Is Being A Pro For You?
Being a pro isn’t for everyone and there’s no shame in admitting or accepting you’ve gone as far as you choose to go, yet the prizes, rewards and association with others can drive you to learn new strategy and perspectives, have an open mind to learning and improve quickly to stay ahead of the competition
I was speaking with someone in the British Esports Association earlier and he was telling me the bright lights and dreams of becoming a pro and earning millions, suck young gamers in, but there is little to help them manage the expectation so many are left very disappointed, overwhelmed and flapping around spending hours trying to make it when they don’t have a chance, but they cling to a dream
Gaming is fun! Having a strategy is very important for your wellbeing and you need to be able to reflect and take stock of where you are and consider if you’re having fun as a professional gamer. If you’re not having fun you really need to ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing
There will be challenging times, there will be times when you lose, there will be times when you’re distracted, there will be times of success, there will be times of celebration and the roller coaster of ups and downs are part of being a professional gamer and if you can accept this and look after yourself, then you’re on the right path to success
Elite Sports Minds 23 offers insights such as this one but we also deliver services to help the esports industry focus on delivering a player centric approach to improve performance and value by recognising winning is simply an outcome of lots of things falling right and we know what needs to happen to win and want to share those insights with you
Please comment, share and like and remember…have fun!
Being an athlete requires some level of dedication but dedication doesn’t necessarily equate to improving.
I see many athletes, going through the motions and ‘competing’ yet they don’t improve and I always ask the question why do they play, and over the years there’s some commonalities I’ve learned that stop a person from improving.
Here are my top 7 tips to improving your sports performance
Have a need or desire to improve – I’ve learned some athletes are content being where they are and their current performance level and that’s fine. Each to their own so to speak but these people don’t have a need or desire to improve. They have a desire or need to stay the same and until that desire or need to improve, becomes greater than the desire or need to improve, good luck to them!
Have an open mind to learning new concepts and perspectives – If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got, said Henry Ford, the automotive tycoon. When you go through the same training routines at the same level of effort, having the same attitude towards training and playing, you will always get the same outcomes. Improving involves pushing yourself to come out of your comfort boundaries which means learning how to think and act differently.
Take action – It’s one thing to learn new concepts and strategy and a whole new ball game when you actually take action. I see some athletes learning new strategy then when the moment comes, they fail to take action. There are a few reasons why this happens
Perspective; don’t fear the change, embrace the opportunity – When you learn a new concept or perspective, one reason that stops a person from taking action is fear. Some people don’t like change because it takes them away from what they know and what’s comfortable, yet no-one ever improved by staying comfortable in their own bubble. Change should be seen as an opportunity and with this opportunity comes excitement
Know the power of self-talk – As we just realised, the perspective of approaching a new situation can elicit fear or excitement which ties in with the power of self-talk. What you say begins a series of thought processes and your synapses begin to fire which release emotions. When you talk about fear and negativity, your body and mind will begin to act in a way to protect itself, to keep it safe, but when you talk about opportunity and excitement, your mind and body will begin to act in a way that helps you grow and improve. But beware, if improving your self-talk is new to you, your old thinking habits may try to hijack you and drag you backwards. Stay strong and practice positive self-talk
Know your coach probably doesn’t have the solutions to your need to improve – This harsh reality is common for many competitors and although there are some coaches that understand what it takes to improve, many are too focused on strategy, techniques and plays, leaving players frustrated. As a player you have a right to understand what the coach wants from you and it’s reasonable to ask your coach questions. Some coaches believe they are the be all and end all of communication, placing themselves onto a pedestal, creating an environment where the coach tells the player what to do and the player complies with their instructions. This style of coaching is becoming obsolete as a new breed of coach understands the value of listening to players and understanding their perspective. The question you can ask any coach to help you improve is “what can I do to help the team?” The answer will prompt a new thought from the coach and the answer he gives you will give you clarity on your next moves
Don’t follow the crowd for the sake of it – To improve means doing things differently and if that means doing things that the crowd don’t do, then go and do it. As a younger basketball player I took on many of the tips I’m sharing with you now and at only 5′ 7″ in a game full of much taller, stronger players, I had to do things differently but it was this different approach that led me to be voted the MVP of the England U19 basketball team at a tournament in Etten Leur, Holland. Learn to be bold and set your own standards
As you learn and grow, you will make mistakes but know a mistake is just an act that didn’t give you the expected outcome at that moment in time. Go again and make the necessary adjustments.
Are you ready to improve but want some support?
Here at Elite Sports Minds 23 we have created the NEAT System – a proven system that gets results. To find out more click here
Here at Elite Sports Minds 23 we have deliberately and purposefully created a model that any aspiring athlete can implement right now to give them the best chance for success.
The key to succeeding involves many factors and principles and you should take note that it’s your thoughts that drive you forward.
There is a recipe for success, just as there’s a recipe for baking a cake.
The principles are similar in the sense you have a list of ingredients and a method to follow and when you use the correct ingredients in the right amounts and follow the method, you’ll end up with a great cake.
Here are list of ingredients that help you move towards success…
Have a desire or need to want to improve
Have an open mind to learning new concepts and perspectives
Have an ability to take action
These are the base ingredients you need to have before you are ready to start to use the other ingredients because without a solid base or foundation, everything else you do will come crashing down.
So before you move on, can you honestly say you agree and are able to build the base ingredients into your life?
The next 7 ingredients are the ones that add flavour and substance to your career.
Let’s explore each one to help you understand how to use each ingredient
Your reality is where you exist. Your reality is your perception of where and who you are. Those that are failing often live in the past or think too far ahead meaning they are stuck on past glories or perceive them to be better than they actually are.
When you accept your reality, you accept your faults, your strengths, your weaknesses but most of all, you accept where you are with confidence knowing you can now make truthful moves forward
When you create your vision, you give yourself clarity and a realistic goal to strive towards. The goal has to be consistent without wavering but knowing when you reach that goal, you can choose to create a new vision or goal and continue to move forward.
This is a biggy! This is the ingredient you need to master because communication is how we are judged.
We demonstrate internal and external communication, verbal and non-verbal and it’s how we communicate that determines our outcomes.
One aspect of communication that many people overlook is the power of a simple word or gesture at the right time. Sometimes the most powerful and influential communication techniques involve saying nothing.
There are two perspectives when it comes to expectations – your expectations and the expectations others put on you. When it comes to success you must set your expectations in a way that motivates you, rather than limit your potential and the expectations others put on you must be considered by you and you have a choice whether to take on that expectation by understanding your strengths and ability to adapt.
Unrealistic expectations put on self or by others can be found in another recipe called “The recipe For Failure”
When you live a life that are in line with your values, life can feel great but when you live a life outside your values, life can suck!
For example, my three values are accountability, balance and calm, meaning when I’m accountable, balanced and calm, I’m enjoying life but when i’m unable to be accountable, imbalanced and anxious, life for me becomes a struggle.
To figure out what your key three values are, create a list of ten then whittle them down to three and feel the difference when you get clarity.
When you hear the expression, be true to yourself, it’s your values you need to connect with that allow you to be true to yourself.
As you navigate life, you begin to form beliefs about how the world works and how you fit in and communicate with the world and people around you.
When it comes to sports, it’s usually your coaches and team mates that mould your beliefs.
But there’s something you need to know.
A belief is formed from a situation that happened some time ago. To work towards your success, you must challenge your beliefs to see if they’re still relevant to your new situations.
If you feel there’s something holding you back, it’s usually because you have a limiting or mistaken belief that’s influencing your behaviours.
Is it right to hold onto a belief you formed years ago, even if your new situation demands a new belief?
We are social creatures by nature and forming relationships is part of our DNA and help us integrate into communities.
But successful relationships need work and communication forms a big part of whether relationships fail or succeed.
Imagine you’re not playing and not enjoying your sport. You feel confused and unsure and this leaves you wanting something to change but you don’t know how, but at the same time the other person, the manager, has no idea how you’re feeling or what you’re thinking.
They get a feeling there’s something not quite right because your performance has dipped but rather than approach the issue, both of you accept this is how the relationship is. You both accept your position in the relationship and do nothing to improve it.
To succeed, relationships have to have a certain level of honesty, integrity and respect built on a common goal or vision.
What You Can Do Right Now
If there is a sense of something not being right or there seems to be a struggle for you, I’d suggest you consider each one of these ingredients and figure out which part of your life needs attention.
If you’re succeeding, you’ll know there is an alignment with all the ingredients and you’ll be enjoying your sporting career and life.
If you want to know more about this recipe or how you can build the recipe into your club or team, get in touch and let’s communicate.
Making change when things aren’t working out sounds simple right?
But when you find yourself in a dark place or a place of confusion and doubt, making change should be the first thing you do.
Yet many people struggle to make that change, even when the situation demands it to happen.
This exact moment is where mental health issues are born.
They are born then reside in this place of uncertainty, and begin to grow when procrastination and an inability to make a new choice, fail to materialise.
People think they can handle it or think things will work themselves out yet this is often not the case.
I’m sure you can think of one case where a professional football player struggled to make change when things weren’t working outa and things didn’t go well for them?
Trying to deal with counter-productive situations, when you don’t have the right perspective and mental tools, lead to a change in behaviour and an inability to see what needs to be done, as the darkness envelopes and clouds the mind, leaving that person confused, unsure and a sense of lost self-worth and drive.
Let’s put this into context with professional football players.
Uncertainty, confusion and a loss of drive and self-worth will lead to their careers being cut short. Then what?
REAL FOOTBALLER PROBLEMS
Over the last few months, I’ve connected with and spoken in depth with former professional players that all had a story to tell me, and one player in particular hadn’t shared his story with anyone else and his situation happened five years ago.
If only at the time of his decision did he have someone to help him and think clearly, his playing career would have turned out a lot more fruitful.
His story is just one of many hundreds that are the reality for many former players and it’s this pain and frustration that, to me, doesn’t need to happen which is why I’m asking current professional players to talk to me so they don’t have a horrific story to tell in a few years.
My speciality is helping people see their situation from a new perspective, overcome procrastination quickly and make new choices that create opportunity.
YOU CAN HELP…
Do you know a premier league footballer?
Perhaps they are struggling, perhaps not, but it’s not your job to decide, but you can point them in the right direction.
Either way, by reading this blog or watching the video, may spark an interest in learning how they can help their career, help their family and friends and ultimately, themselves.
Let’s help and support them before it’s too late for them.
While professional and amateur sports are shut down, these times are ideal to practice working on your mental performance because let’s be honest, how often, compared with your physical and technical performance, do you work on your mental performance?
I thought so!
Here’s a good reason to practice…
We are driven by our thoughts. Our thoughts lead to our behaviours.
A thought is made up of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic communication, meaning what you see, hear, say and feel affect your behaviour or performance in your sports.
“I can’t do it”
“They are better than me”
“The ref didn’t call that!”
The above are all negative examples of self talk.
How do you think you’re going to play when you think of these?
“I’m going to analyse them and figure out their weakness”
“I notice when they are off the ball, they get distracted. I can exploit that”
“I know when I hustle, I’m more likely to gain an advantage”
These are Specific positive examples of self talk as opposed to “C’mon!” and “Let’s do this!”
These are more likely to lead to a positive outcome.
Combining these audiable examples with visions or images of you playing well, will impact on your performance either positively.
What outcome would you rather have?
I messaged a footballer client a couple of days ago with the suggestion to practice visualisation and imagery as in the past he was overly critical of himself.
He tried it but there was conflict because when he tried to use imagery and visualisation he subconsciously introduced negative self-talk.
I suggested he work on creating positive self-talk by using submodalities to create a new ‘recipe’
Simply replacing the negative words and phrases with positive ones and when he is able to over-ride the negative self-talk easily, he can then introduce imagery and visualisation.
Are you overly-critical of your performance? Do you hold onto negativity for too long?
Contact me for a consultation by clicking here
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