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How Does A Mental Performance Coach Help Professional Football Players?

When a professional footballer in the Premier league or Championship is struggling, they have to do something differently, quickly!

Here are what some players said about my program…

“Just read it Mike. I love it, there is all the stuff ive been wanting to learn about.”

“All because of you helped me to increase my strength as both mentally and physically to carryon trying out things”

“Definitely since I first spoke to you I haven’t felt any negative thoughts or anxiety completely at all which is fantastic! but was definitely down to releasing those problems verbally.”

Watch the video below to find out how you can benefit

Not a footballer? Please share with a player you know would benefit.

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Why You Should Consider Hiring Me

Believe it or not success doesn’t happen by accident and in the same breath, failure doesn’t happen by accident either!

There are things that have to happen either accidentally or on purpose.

Failure and success means something different to you but if you are experiencing any of the following, now is the time to hire me.

  • Confusion as to your role in the team
  • Frustrations from feeling left out
  • Life events not working out for you
  • Anxiety
  • Always feeling pressure
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • You want things to improve and you’ve tried everything else
  • You want to be the best you can be
  • Loss of trust
  • Clash with team mates
  • Not feeling valued…

The program I deliver is unique and gets results. Here are what some players said about the program…

“Just read it Mike. I love it, there is all the stuff ive been wanting to learn about.”

“All because of you helped me to increase my strength as both mentally and physically to carryon trying out things”

“Hi Mike, thank you so much for all the help🙏🏾🙏🏾”

“I have done some mental training, but i think Mike can help you with different kinds of methods”

“Definitely since I first spoke with you, I haven’t had any negative thoughts or anxiety completely which is fantastic!”

Knowing what deliberate actions to take to move away from failure and towards success will help you.

If you know a #footballer in the #premierleague or #championship that wants more to improve performance quickly in this competitive football world to enhance their chances of a long and successful career ask them to get in touch.

Please message me for your private and confidential consultation or click here to apply

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What I did, driving 6 hours to Dorset

On Saturday I drove 6 hours, from Manchester to Dorset to meet up with a special bunch of people.

I met these people in 2012 at The London Olympics in our roles as Games Maker Volunteers for the basketball events.

Our love for the game and passion for taking part in a once in a lifetime opportunity drew us all together and every year for the last 8 years we have nominated a host who organises a basketball game against a local team, a night out and accommodation and it’s only fair each volunteer gets to host, hence the reason for travelling to Dorset.

There’s another Games Maker that lives in the same town as me, and used to play on the same team so it made sense to share a car for this long trip and with a long trip comes topics of conversation.

I turned the topic to my brand name, The Mental Performance Guy and from a marketing perspective, it didn’t really send the right message to potential clients.

So I ummed and Ahhed about it with my friend, considering options and new names, and decided Elite Sports Minds 23 would be more attractive to potential clients.

Why?

Let’s break this down…

Elite as in the highest level

Sports as in, it’s sports people I want to attract

Minds as in, it’s the mind of the elite sports person I am an expert in helping

23….? My favourite basketball player was and still is Michael Jordan. He wore….you guessed it 23. Arguably the best player in the game, he had amazing individual talent yet he only started to win when he changed his mindset and accepted a new perspective.

So Elite Sports Minds 23 is a reflection of the area of expertise I deliver with a personal touch.

So what do I do?

The mind of an elite sports person is challenged in many ways including facing adversity, change of environment, training, competing, results….

I help athletes, not only understand there are always choices and new perspectives to consider when they need to overcome adversity or improve performance quickly, but I take them on a journey of self-exploration and understanding so they become resilient and able to make the right choices at the right time.

Now I’m changing my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts to reflect this change.

You can find me at

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/elitesportsminds23/

Twitter https://twitter.com/Mikenichols1973

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/elitesportsminds23/

Hope to see you there.

Mike

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Professional Footballers – The hard truth you need to deal with.

In the highly competitive environment which is professional football, there are some actions that will help you get noticed and there are some actions that will leave you on the bench.

That’s pretty easy to understand right, but there is a bitter pill that’s harder to swallow.

Sometimes things will happen out of your control that you don’t agree with, that don’t seem fair, that make you realise you fucked up and even seem unbelievable.

And when I say unbelievable, I heard one story from a former player, that blew my mind it was so wrong!

It made me realise that there are people in football that corrupt the game so they can thrive.

The players are pawns in a game of chess and at times can feel they have no control in what happens to them and the love for the game they once loved, is slowly withdrawn as they fall into a negative spin of deceit and uncertainty.

Then what happens?

The player gets moved around, lied to and left out.

Their mental health begins to suffer because as much as they try to find the answers, they can’t.

A player struggling with negative mental health is more likely to be left on the sidelines as they are considered a liability!

To me, that attitude is Bullshit!

When a player is suffering from negative mental health, the player needs to be find solutions fast with the support of someone neutral with only the player’s best interest at heart.

Did you know that a person can often overcome mental health quickly when a new perspective is given and accepted?

Did you know the performance of a player can quickly improve when a new perspective is given and accepted?

Did you know a player can thrive and even improve performance and therefore increase their value when they are given a new perspective and accepted?

Of course you didn’t because this simple way of helping players isn’t well known or accepted.

I really don’t care if you are a superstar or an unknown.

To me, you are a person first and people that struggle need help.

They need a new perspective to consider.

I believe we all have the capability to change perspectives.

I believe all people have the solutions inside their minds, if only they know how to access them.

Some players can figure it out by themselves.

But some can’t and it’s those that I am targeting with this post.

I’m an expert at offering new perspectives so a person can begin to thrive and leave negative mental health behind and begin to perform better on and off the pitch.

Do you know a player that needs a new perspective?

Please share and like if this resonates with you

Take it easy

Mike

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The difference between winning and losing can be just one thought!

Many years ago as a 16 year old basketball player, my team, Bolton was playing Leicester in the semi-final of the National Cup. The winner would go on to play powerhouse London Royals.

The semi final was a tough affair, with both teams giving their all but it’s the last few seconds that remind me of the difference between winning and losing.

Down by two with just a few seconds remaining, we could either tie the game or go ahead.

The ball was passed to me at the top of the key, near the three point line.

I saw the clock ticking down

This was it!

This was my moment!

As two defenders came towards me I launched a shot!

It missed…badly!

I remember my team mates throwing their arms up in frustration and disbelief!

What had I done!

I’d just lost the game!

This exact moment was the fine line between winning and losing and I ended up on the wrong side!

Over the years, I redeemed myself, hitting a couple of game winners and game tying shots, but I had to learn how to think differently.

One of the things I teach and coach players that come to me, is how to create a calm focused mind in the times when it matters because it’s been proven a calm, focused mind is more likely to make the right choice at the right time, when the pressure is on.

Back when I missed that shot, my mind was racing with so many thoughts, I wasn’t focused on the moment.

I was already thinking ahead when in fact I should have been playing in the moment and if I had been playing in the moment, I would have seen an open team mate.

Whether you’re playing E-sports or live sports at a competitive level, it’s important to learn how to be calm and focused at key moments, because whether you win or lose, can depend largely on the thought you have at that specific moment.

There are many emotions that affect an athlete’s behaviour and decisions including confidence, frustration, anger, jealousy, calmness, fear, disgust, happiness, contempt and it’s important that you know, as an athlete, your actions are led by your emotions.

So how do you train yourself to have a calm mind in key moments?

I’ll share a strategy with you now

Visualisation – Think of the last time you had a chance to win the game. Recall the emotions and feelings and behaviours you demonstrated at that time. Really connect with what you saw, heard and felt.

If the outcome was in your favour, recall that vision in all it’s glory and remind yourself at that time you made the right decision and all the thoughts, feelings and emotions you felt at that time were the right ones. Tell yourself, to repeat this feat, you can recall these emotions again.

If the outcome wasn’t in your favour, ask yourself what emotion would you replace with the one you felt and replay the scenario over in your head and attach that new emotion but with the outcome changing to be in your favour.

Emotional awareness is a powerful trait to have as an athlete and just as you train your body to be a peak performer, you can train your mind to focus at the right time.

With competition levels increasing, it’s important you gain a psychological edge over your opponents, because trust me, there are others out there, wanting to improve quickly.

You will either be left behind or you’ll stay ahead of the field.

You have a choice, you always have a choice on how you approach competition, all you have to do is think what you want…

If this post has intrigued you and you want to know more, please get in touch and let’s connect.

Mike

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The real value of Mental Performance coaching for professional football players

Let’s be real!

There are only a select few professional athletes that rise above the average player and seem to leave others in their wake.

But what really makes them so special?

Is it actually their physical ability?

Is it their technical ability?

Or is it their mindset?

I’ll be blunt…

It all starts with their mindset.

Well, specifically it starts with a thought.

This thought leads to an emotion

That ultimately leads to how they behave or more directly, how they perform.

As I mentioned before there are only a select few that reach the pinnacle of their craft.

These players think the right way

So what about the rest of the players?

What about the ones that are being financially rewarded for playing but are mediocre and have worries?

The life of a professional football player is tough and let me tell you why.

Unless you’re an elite player, you’re just a number

You’re just a player making up the numbers on a team and you can be replaced quickly when the next best thing comes along.

You are only one comment or one bad decision away from being relegated to the bench or even being lost to an untimely injury.

Your career can be over in a moment!

Why do you need to know this?

Because…

40% of professional football players go bankrupt five years after retiring.

Mental health issues are on the rise

I know…I’ve mentioned these in past blogs

I mention them because this is the reality, your reality as a professional football player

And I want to help you have a long, solid career by thinking the right way.

Let me ask you three questions…

If you knew that by changing your thoughts, your performance and life could improve quickly, would you want to know how?

If you knew by changing your thoughts, your career could be extended and therefore earn more money, would you want to know how?

If you could invest only a months salary for 12 months support, available when you need it most, would you consider that a good investment in yourself?

You are my ideal client if you fulfil at least the following:-

  • You feel under-appreciated
  • You spend too much time on the bench
  • Team mates ignore you
  • You’re hearing rumours about you
  • You feel like something isn’t right
  • You have a desire to be better
  • You have an open mind to learning new strategy that will improve your situation
  • You want a chance to show others what you can really do
  • You are struggling with accepting your current situation

I’m inviting professional players in the premier league and championship to get in touch so I can help you, help yourself.

You don’t want to become one of those players that in the future, talks about their struggles with mental health and money problems.

You don’t want to be that player that had potential but failed to live up to expectations.

You want to be that player that enjoyed a fruitful career and retires with dignity and knowledge they did everything they could to be a success.

Take action now and either share this post with someone that fits my ideal client spec or message me for immediate support.

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The media and celebrity status – what can be done differently?

Before anyone becomes a celebrity, they are first a human being with desires and a passion to do well at their craft.

Whether it’s acting, presenting or sports, it is their desire to succeed that drives them forward.

As they drive forward, Some others begin to take notice and others see opportunity and it is here where the problems are born.

Some others see opportunity to make money and enhance their own brand and drive their own passion forward through this person. 

Some others think of themselves first. 
Some agents, sponsorships, the press; some have their own agenda.

Some will say they care about the person as their journey forward grows. 

Some only care about making money and making their own living.

The thing is we all have to make a living. 

So how can the relationship between the media and celebrities change
Two things stand out

  1. Celebrities and those in the public eye must have coaching in how to handle changes, challenges and those moments when it seems everything is going wrong. 
  2. Agents, sponsors and the press must understand how to recognise when a person is struggling and back off and show support rather than dismiss them.  They must understand, this person is striving to make a living in the only way they know how, just as they are. 

This change isn’t just about being kind but understanding us humans make mistakes and as much as we love what we do, we don’t always get it right. 

I’m sure there are people feeling guilty after what’s happened to Caroline flack and I say this to those people – if you could change how you spoke or reported on her on social media or the press, what would you do differently? 

Change can happen. Change can be good and change can still provide you with a decent living, doing what you do best, WITHOUT creating an environment of destruction.

If you know of anyone struggling I urge you to pass on my details.

#tellmewhatsgoingoninyourhead

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What really happens when you deflect blame after a mistake

One of the hardest things we do as humans is accept our mistakes.

It’s so easy to deflect blame or brush it under the carpet and in our haste to deflect and blame we overlook the impact our behaviours have on ourselves and others.

Imagine the relationship between a footballer and the manager. Both have a role to do and both are trying their best yet both will make mistakes. But with football being a game of ego and performance, it is very unlikely either will admit to making mistakes.

When we blame others for our mistakes, we create a fracture in that relationship. It may be a small fracture but our actions create a crack of doubt in the mind of the other person. That crack can grow and manifest which builds resentment, dissonance and trust is thrown out of the window.

Your time at that club and in some cases, the league, can quickly come to an end.

As this crack widens, contempt grows within the other person and they become defensive and wary of helping you out in the future.

What happens to you? You create habits that are detrimental to your health.

You begin to believe you are better than others

You believe nothing is every your fault

You begin to act like a dick!

This behaviour is unconsciously picked up by others and they begin to avoid you.

You may have a sense something isn’t right but are unsure what it is.

Before you know it, things are not working any more and you feel lost and frustrated!

How can you fix this?

There are specific words you can use to fix the fracture and begin to build trust again.

It takes courage to do so I’ll make this as easy as possible for you.

If you blamed someone else for your mistake use the following sentence.

“You may not remember but I made a mistake and I blamed you. I’m sorry. Can you forgive me?”

By saying these words, it starts a new thought process for you and the other person and by nature, we do like to forgive others.

Have you recently blamed someone for your mistake?

What happened and what did you do about it?

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Mental Heath – Do these three things now to remove frustration quickly

We all experience mental health and when we are in a good place, our mental health is good!

But how do we get to that good place and what’s it like when we are there?

I researched many articles, spoke to many people and there’s three things I have found that lead to good mental health

Not worrying about what others may think about you or your decisions – In this age of social media, people’s resilience has been lowered as has self-esteem, especially in the Millennial population. We’ve become a society of hanging on to other’s judgements of us and wonder why people don’t message us back, even when the two blue ticks in WhatsApp appear! Be patient and know life is much more than what happens on social media.

Do more of what you love to do – What is it that you really enjoy to do but are afraid of doing more of, just in case someone may criticise you? What is holding you back from making that move into doing more of what you do? Our minds are very powerful and sometimes to our own detriment as we try to justify a reason for doing what we enjoy doing. When you understand doing more of what you enjoy, brings happiness you will embrace it. When you make that decision, you’ll quickly understand who your real friends are.

Find a balance in your life – Imagine you have learned to juggle three balls. You’re pretty damn good at it. Suddenly, someone throws another ball at you, then another, then another! What happens? You feel overwhelmed and frustrated because the things you do in your life have suddenly increased and you can’t balance them all! When you learn to drop things that don’t bring value to your life, you will quickly accept a more balanced life.

Do you feel overwhelmed and frustrated?

What one thing can you drop from your life?

What one thing can you add to your life?

What one thing do you worry about doing through fear of being judged?

As a specialist in helping professional football players overcome their issues, I’d like to share the same strategies I use with them for you.

Comment below if you want to change something in your life.

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THE REAL REASON WHY PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYERS SUFFER FROM NEGATIVE MENTAL HEALTH

Lack of honest communication between some managers and players

Dishonest communication between clubs and players

Poor management

Distractions off the field (You know what I’m talking about!)

Social Media attacks

Racism

A feeling of low self-esteem

Not enough praise

Too much criticism

Inability to express thoughts

Fear

Guilt

Lack of integrity…

I could go on but I’ve made my point.

Although this list isn’t exhausted, this is what I’ve found when speaking to former and some current players.

So why do players tolerate this negativity?

Let me tell you

Playing professional football is their livelihood. It’s their identity, in some cases it’s all they know.

So the thought of losing their livelihood, identity and only way of knowing how to live, would be more devastating than tolerating the list above.

Tolerating the above can seem the easier option and sometimes there’s a sense of “I’m a professional football player and these things should be tolerated”

Yet so many players do suffer from negative mental health because the choice to walk away is almost impossible for them so they tolerate up to a point before the cracks begin to show.

And when a player is showing cracks, rather than the club spending money and time into helping them, they put them to one side and look to replace that player as quick as possible.

They are now damaged.

The asset turns into a liability and in the quest to win, they dispense of the liability as quick as possible.

This is the state of football today.

This is what actually happens in some cases.

The thing is I understand why this happens.

Clubs want to win, they want the best players and there’s such a diverse market of players out there, any player can be replaced should they not be performing.

But I have a question.

When a player is struggling, rather than cast him aside and spend millions on a transfer or even selling the player as a liability, losing money and time in that quest to be a winner, what if there was a way to improve that player quickly and at least retain their value?


Einstein once said

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”.

All players have the potential to be genius’s with the right surroundings and support yet I believe many players are fish in a tree, put there, under false pretences.

I’m sure you can think of at least one player that’s played well for one club, yet as soon as they move to another club, they have played crap?

An article by Jamie Spencer that you can find here lists the worse 27 signings in the last few years.

Here are three that really interest me:-

Andy Carroll (Liverpool) – Liverpool had already broken their transfer record on winter deadline day in 2011 to buy £23m Luis Suarez from Ajax, but smashed it to pieces mere hours later to land Newcastle striker Andy Carroll for £35m.

The Geordie target man had only 18 months of regular first-team football under his belt at that time and represented a huge panic buy for the Reds. Carroll scored four Premier League during his only full season and was eventually sold to West Ham in 2013 for a £20m loss.


Angel Di Maria (Man Utd) – Angel Di Maria wasn’t the only one at fault for his dismal season at Manchester United in 2014/15. He was played out of position and often restricted by manager Louis van Gaal, while an attempted break-in at his house irreparably unsettled the Argentine and his family.

United fans thought they were getting a superstar when the £59.7m deal was completed as Di Maria had been named Man of the Match in the Champions League final for Real Madrid only a few months early. But after a strong start, he never looked prepared to put any effort in.


Winston Bogarde (Chelsea) – Winston Bogarde’s four-year spell at Chelsea is infamous because the Dutchman, who had previously won the Champions League with Ajax and played for Barcelona, spent most of his time at the club simply training and collecting lucrative wages, without actually playing.

Claudio Ranieri had been hired shortly after Bogarde’s arrival and didn’t want him. But the defender had signed a contract worth €15m over four years and didn’t believe he could earn as good a salary anywhere else. So he stuck around until 2004 to take every penny he was owed.


Let’s look at some contributing factors to these failures:-

  • Panic buying
  • £20 million loss
  • Played out of position
  • Restricted playing time
  • Previous man of the match in the champions league final but never looked prepared to put effort in
  • Never played a game

These decisions are not only stupid, but a waste of resources, money, time, and human effort.

In the quest to win, the people who make these decisions are blinded from making purposeful decisions and end up making stupid ones!


Winning clearly isn’t about panic buying, playing someone out of position or limiting someone’s minutes.

Winning is about having a clear vision and sticking to it.

So how about this for a radical idea –

Firstly establish your culture

Secondly find players that match your culture and support them through thick and thin to build trust and familiarity which in turn breeds a winning attitude

Thirdly don’t have your hand forced by others you want to please

The simple rule is this

“Treat your players well and good things will happen”

Players are not robots

They are not gambling chips to be used on a whim

Players will be at their best when they feel valued and understood

Players need support in tough times

The manager that understands this will do well

The players that play within this culture will perform well

The club will begin to win

If you are a #premierleague #footballer or a #championship player and you feel like a fish out of water, I need to speak with you.

I can help

If you are a manager with a player that isn’t performing as expected, I need to speak with you.

I can help

Now at this point, I’m sure you are creating excuses in your thoughts not to get in touch and if you are having those thoughts, let me ask you one simple question

If the solution to your problems exists, but you can’t accept the solution because you’re stuck in your ways, would you be willing to spend ten minutes listening to a new perspective that will help you believe the solution is right for you?