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Top 7 tips to improve sports performance

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

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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

BONUS

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

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Become who you want to be How Can You Help Me?

Four Steps To Improved Sports Performance In 45 Minutes

The Barriers

Photo by Travis Saylor on Pexels.com

Creating change and improving isn’t easy.


If it was, everyone would be playing at a much higher level, everyone would be thriving in life and leaders would be inspiring their teams and productivity would be high. But not everyone makes change easily.  People create barriers, excuses and reasons, limiting the ability to change.


The first question that springs to mind is ‘why’ and it’s the answers that tell the story. But before we get into that we need to dig a little deeper.

 
Before we ask the obvious question ‘why’, we must delve into your psyche and find out if you have a desire or need to change because without that desire, change won’t happen. 


The mere thought of change can instil a sense of fear and uncertainty.  The fear of the unknown is greater than the desire to change and until the desire to change becomes greater than the fear of the unknown, you’re going to continue with your life as it is.


So the question becomes

“How do I overcome that fear?”

Beliefs And Values

 
Throughout your life, you’ve experienced many things and through these experiences you’ve created beliefs and values and it’s these beliefs and values you hold today.

 
For example how you treat others, how you train, what you eat but most importantly how you make decisions.

 
There are some people that know how to create change quickly and get what they want. They just know what it takes and they thrive.  Perhaps you can think of one of those people now?

 
These people have something in common and it’s this I want to teach you, so you can create that change you desire.

 
Remember earlier when we asked why everyone isn’t creating change to improve.


Those beliefs and values you created are holding them back.  When a belief or value holds you back we have a name for them. These are called limiting or mistaken beliefs.

Your Comfort Zone

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

 
Creating change also involves being uncomfortable.  You are where you are because your values and beliefs give you comfort. They form part of who you are and being you is comforting. To get different results you have to learn to be “comfortable being uncomfortable“, to step out of your comfort zone so to speak.

 
Many people perceive coming out of their comfort zone as this huge, scary monster, where emotions will run wild and the world come crashing down leaving a huge chasm of emptiness and pain.

 
In reality, coming out of your comfort zone is simply thinking differently, experiencing different emotions and acting differently and only lasts a few moments. 

Would you be willing to experience a few moments of discomfort to remove yourself from the discomfort you’ve been experiencing for some time?

The Pro Basketball Player’s Story

Photo courtesy of BBL

 
I remember a professional basketball player writing in his weekly column in a newspaper and in this particular column he wrote about his frustrations in his form. He was known as a scorer and had played for England but he couldn’t get out of his slump and was averaging about 5 points a game.  He was stuck and didn’t know what to do.

 
We connected and spoke for about 45 minutes and all the time we spoke I was listening to his words, asking specific questions with the aim to discover what his limiting or mistaken belief was that was holding him back. 

We uncovered the problem and once we did that we began to reframe his thoughts to create a new belief.

 
On a side note, the relationship between player and coach should be one of respect and trust and mutual understanding because to win and be successful, you need respect, trust and mutual understanding.

 
Although these three ingredients existed, a simple miscommunication created a mistaken belief and from this belief the player began to behave in a way that supported this belief because he respected, trusted and understood what his coach wanted.

 
This coach wasn’t trained to explore the ‘why’ and in general many coach programs don’t have these strategies in place which, in my opinion isn’t right. As a coach in any sport, and one of your players is struggling, surely you’d want to know why and how to help, so they can begin to perform well and the team will get more wins? Or is it easier and quicker to bring in an expert?

If there are any coach educators reading this, I’d be happy to discuss ways to integrate these concepts into your program.


We broke down his mistaken belief and reframe his thoughts, creating a new belief, leading him to explode for 20 points, hitting 100% from the field. He kindly wrote in his column and I invite you to read for yourself here the impact it had on his game and to this day, working and helping an England player remove his mistaken belief allowing him to play like he knew he could play, is one of my proudest moments.

The Four Steps To Take

Photo by Lukas Hartmann on Pexels.com


He was able to overcome his fear through understanding and accepting 3 principles. 

  1. He had a desire to change
  2. He had an open mind to learning new concepts and perspectives
  3. He was willing to put them into action


He was willing to be uncomfortable for a few moments and create different emotions that allowed him to create change in his performance


He was able to think, feel and act differently.

“It’s the thought of change that will drive you forward or hold you back. Taking action is the simple part”

 
You can remove the fear of change by giving yourself permission to learn and accept these three principles and be uncomfortable for just a few moments.

let’s recap and list the 4 steps you need to take to create change

  1. Have a need or desire to change (Use the exercise below)
  2. Have an open mind to learning new concepts and perspectives
  3. Accept you’ll come out of your comfort zone but understand that discomfort only lasts a few moments compared with the length of time you’ve been experiencing discomfort or frustration
  4. Put these new concepts and principles into action


Have you had enough of your current situation and want change?

If you feel there’s still doubts but you realise you’re ready to make change, and would like to find out if what I offer can help, get in touch and let’s make things happen.


Do you know someone that’s struggling? Please share this as it could help. 

Live with purpose


Mike

To find out more visit my website here

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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 7

“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.”

Terry Pratchett

The death of a player

The basketball community is a tight knit one and in 2017, one coach I knew, hinted at the suicide of a junior player.

The death of anyone is a sombre experience but when someone takes their own life, I feel the pain of those connect with that person. I have no idea where this emotion came from because I don’t know anyone that committed suicide so perhaps I see it as a waste of a life when I have learned there are always other choices.

But I have to remind myself, the person that died, in that moment only knew of one choice. They couldn’t see any other way to deal with the situation they found themselves.

I do know people that have been taken to the edge and looked at the chasm beneath but decided to give life another go.

I believe it takes more strength to walk away from the act than to actually follow through with it but what message does that say to the loved ones left behind? I don’t have personal experience about the topic so you may ask how I can have such a strong view and you’d be right to ask.

What I’ve learned is each person lives their own unique life and very rarely will even the closest person, know what’s going on in their mind, which leads me to promote the importance and value of understanding one’s mind, so you can build resilience and strength so when challenges present themselves, you know how to think differently so you can act differently.

The teachings of the mind is something that needs to be taught in school because stress and anxiety in teenagers is rising for various reasons that I won’t go into here but suffice to say, I’ve listened to professionals in education and as someone working with disadvantaged youths, I hear a lot about anxiety.

In February 2019 The rate for suicides between children and young people between 15-19 is now three per 100,000 in England, whereas ten years ago it was one per 100,000. Click here for more information

I know an NLP Master Practitioner up in Scotland that delivers sessions to secondary school pupils and it’s my personal opinion, he should be asked to do a lot more to promote NLP in schools because learning the stools and strategies helps young people understand, their thoughts in a positive way.

With the death of the player, I chose to create a CIC or Community Interest Company and offer clubs the opportunity to get the tools to help coaches empower and raise the confidence in their players/humans so the rate of suicides in basketball teams doesn’t increase but self-worth does increase.

I delivered a pilot scheme with one of the local junior teams, but with little interest in continuing the program and a change in coaching personnel it faded. Disappointed I put it to one side. I had yet to master the skills needed to market and promote services in the way to attract the right attention. I allowed myself to become distracted which led to me shifting my focus to football.

I began to reach out to people in football to find out more about mental health and build some connections, speaking with former professional players, coaches and managers. One former player from Manchester United, agreed with what I was trying to do with the CIC and my other work, as did other former players and some of the stories I heard about the treatment of players left me flabbergasted! I was learning more about the professional football game from those who had experienced it first hand.

The program doesn’t just help raise the issue of mental health, but it creates a safe environment that players are encouraged to share their ideas, concerns and examples of what they can do differently with purpose and without being judged, around any topic from mental health to training to meals.

It uses a model called The Inner Circle model, derived from principles from Harvard Business School, NLP and emotional intelligence and if you know any coach wanting to improve the performance and culture of their team, they need to sign up and access the resources.

The program is player centric and right now any coach can find out more here

It’s at this point I need to recap my work all of which I’ve delivered for no personal monetary gain:-

  • NLP Practitioner acquired
  • Helped a pro basketball player improve quickly
  • Designed and delivered a research program based on an Emotional Intelligence program, Evaluating Truth and Credibility.
  • Successfully helped a former GB basketball player understand the concepts and improve
  • Helped a football (soccer) player in New York improve so much she won an MVP and began teaching her academy kids the principles
  • Worked and achieved a degree in Sports Development
  • Founded a CIC called Youth Sport Solutions (I really need to do something with this and if you are involved in a sports academy or a youth team please get in touch)

Around December 2018, I was contemplating bringing a National league basketball mens team back to Bury. The thought was sparked from a conversation I had with a friend about his idea that didn’t materialise, so I had to make a choice. Do it or don’t do it.

I chose to do it and after finding two other people who wanted to help, the three of us became volunteer directors of a National League basketball team. We won the league in our first year, attracted high calibre players through my strategy.

We were on target to win the league (mathematically, no-one could catch us) and then Covid-19 decided to show it’s face.

In November 2019 I scratched an itch I should have scratched back in 2011 after my NLP Practitioner course, and embarked on my NLP Master Practitioner course, partly to prove to myself I could still study and learn and also to give myself more credibility as I felt I was gaining some momentum in football.

I joined a community that gave me hope, that allowed me to connect with like-minded people and instil hope in others.

In my quest to become the leading Sports Mental Performance Specialist, I had the experience and confidence, I just needed one break…

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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 6

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Will Durant

My time as a professional assistant coach

Although I was helping improve the performance of athletes, I was struggling to gain a consistent flow of paying clients, in fact, finding one paying client was a challenge in itself!

Life took over, I had a baby with my wife and I fell into a 9-5 role, my dreams shattered, I 95% committed to the idea of never helping athletes again using the skills, I’d paid thousands for. It wasn’t a good feeling.

But in 2015, I took another leap of faith. I’d been following the Manchester Giants and seen their struggles and thought to myself, I could offer some value and contacted the head coach, Jeff Jones about joining the team as his assistant.

It was a decision that made sense to me. Jeff knew me, I knew Jeff and I’d seen his frustrations on the court and felt I could bring something in to create a balance.

But rather than become his assistant, there were changes coming with a new head coach coming in and at the time I had no idea who it was and I couldn’t even guess so when I found out it was an old adversary, and team mate, I was surprised but excited at the same time.

I first met Yorick Williams when I was 15 years old and he a few months younger than me, at a basketball camp run by Jeff Jones, who was a player back then with Manchester. Jeff asked me to show this young raw kid some technical skills and I remember the passion and hunger to improve burning from Yorick’s eyes.

He wanted to know everything about a simple drill. Were his feet in the right position, did he move the right way, was he doing it right?

Yorick went on to be one of the greatest players in British basketball history and holds the record for most three pointers made in league history.

And here we were about 27 years later, our paths crossing again.

I spoke with Yorick and a couple of other people who ran the club and they agreed to take me on board. There was an announcement in the newspapers and I was officially an assistant coach for the professional basketball team The Manchester Giants.

Being in this role needed an adjustment as to how a professional club was run and needless to say, my eyes were opened in ways I’m going to try to explain tactfully.

I came in with a certain set of expectations. Those expectations were quickly shattered.

Perhaps my attitude was based on naivety but things were not aligned in a way that showed a professionalism.

When a player is asked to drive the minibus from Manchester to Glasgow, something isn’t right.

I learned more about the behind the scenes arrangements and expected things to improve and change. I was promised a few things that never materialised and the sense of putting my faith in others and being let down came flooding back.

After three months I’d had enough. I spoke with Yorick about leaving and it was agreed I would leave. I said farewell to the guys and moved on.

The experience taught me a lot. I never see failure, I see opportunity. I never see a sense of quitting, but removing myself from a situation that’s providing no value to me.

My time as a professional coach had value and that value would serve me well in 2019.

But before then something drastic happened in 2017 that took me on a new path of discovery. Something that shook me into taking action because what happened just wasn’t right!

Find out what that was next time.

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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 4

“The key to success is failure”

Michael Jordan

What criminals and basketball players have in common – Not what you expect!

After the success with the basketball player and actress, I wanted more but my mentor was letting me down and wasn’t providing the mentorship I expected from such a person; I was losing faith in his ability as a mentor and I’ll always remember a conversation I had with another of his mentees, but this isn’t the place to reveal that conversation.

Instead, I focused on expanding my mind and growing my skill set.

I had graduated from University and was working part time (damn government cutting jobs!) and thought it was the perfect time to build my character and skill set and perhaps another career lay ahead of me in the field of Emotional Intelligence.

The Emotional Intelligence Academy in Manchester was intriguing to me and I went across to an information day to find out what it was all about. I met the Director, Cliff, a great bloke with piercing eyes and after hearing about the ETaC (Evaluating Truth and Credibility) course that trained people in the crime industry identify truths and expose lies by analysing facial expressions, verbal cues and body language, I decided I wanted to learn more.

The science was born from the concepts of Doctor Paul Ekman who later helped consult on a popular TV program on SKY called Lie To me starring one of my favourite actors Tim Roth.

I found it fascinating and seriously considered a new career in this field but I was subconsciously attracted to putting these principles into sport and a thought entered my head as I could see how these concepts crossed over into sports and I now understood why I was such a good player when I was younger.

I had to explore this further because basketball needed solutions…or so I thought. More about this later.

Upon completion of the course and having spent a few days with some brilliant people around the world, I suggested to Cliff I wanted to transfer these theories into sport.

He looked at me with interest and agreed but we had to come up with some proof and data.

We came up with a plan which was to film players in a one on one situation and focus the camera on the attacker. By taking this approach, we could identify ‘tells’ and ‘leaks’ which when analysed and learned could give a defender relevant and purposeful information to help them gain an advantage.

But we needed a minimum number of participants and clips to study and use as evidence and Cliff came up with the number of 200 players and 1000 clips and when I first heard this I was, taken back!

Erm. What now!

I did a quick mental calculation in my head that involved recalling how many coaches and players I knew, my reputation in basketball and concluded I could pull it off.

I messaged my contacts and had a great response from players and coaches from professional to National league and amateur and all agreed for me to pick a time slot of around 15 minutes to come down to their training sessions and set up and film.

I had a mobile phone that I did the recording on but soon discovered this wasn’t enough and so Jordan, the son of Cliff who worked at the Academy, lent me a top camera which was a blessing!

Over three months, I travelled around the North West of England filming, reacquainting myself with players and coaches and really enjoying the process.

I remember one day after I’d canned some footage, taking it to the Academy and watching it back on the huge TV screen they use to really focus on the facial expressions. Having such a huge screen really does help identifying ‘tells’!

I had 1000 clips (well, 998 as two clips became corrupted) to analyse and break down so I started the arduous task of watching, pausing, rewinding each clip and making notes of what I observed without judging and after five weeks of intense focus, I had some results and backing up my theory as to why I was such a good player – I read body language and facial expressions really well.

Jordan helped co-write an academic paper (Click here to access it) and now I had to build a training program so I could help others.

I offered it to The National Governing Body of Basketball and even had a meeting with the head of coaching but it went nowhere! I felt exasperated! After all the effort I’d put in and knowing the level of British basketball wasn’t great and something needed to be done, why dismiss this new and powerful training program?

As part of the pilot scheme, I worked with former GB player Devan Bailey who saw and felt the improvements straight away!

I questioned why, and felt British basketball had let me down on two occasions now but I was learning a valuable lesson.

Even if a solution is staring you right in the face, unless you believe there is a problem, you won’t accept or reach out for help.

Mike Nichols

Sometimes life has a way of telling you to stop doing what you’re doing and to do something else.

It was 2014. I married and was working full time in Halifax/Leeds as a trainer, delivering training for the unemployed, integrating NLP and emotional intelligence concepts into my programs of delivery and was falling into a life of routine with the exception of working with a golfer wanting help with his putting. He continued to grow and win and is now pro and has been for about a year. He kindly said he’d recommend me to other athletes who are struggling.

I spent some time completing a Mindfulness course, A tutoring course and a teaching course so up-skill myself as I felt I needed to keep my mind occupied but something was missing. I had all these new skills and wasn’t doing anything with them. I was frustrated and mad at myself.

But then I had an idea!

I was inspired!

Football is like basketball in many ways, a team sport, defence and offence, close proximity to your opponents. Plus football has the money to invest. Perhaps…just perhaps football would be my saviour!

Find out next time how a call to the USA gave me hope!

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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 2

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.”

Michael Jordan

When I got back home…

Something wasn’t sitting right with me.

Before I was leaving to head home and just before Ali made the comment about me being a great NLP Practitioner, he was waiting in a room with his staff, I believe his business partner and his PA and I went in and asked if there was anything I could do for him.

I was a little bit star struck as he presented himself as a celebrity Life Coach and had worked with Kelly Rowland and others and he talked the talk so I was happy to help him out and I thought showing my eagerness would show him I was serious about making a go of this NLP career.

But on my way back after completing the task he asked me to do, I turned the corner to the room and was met by faces that looked like they had just been caught discussing me behind my back. You know that sudden silence and blankness?

In hindsight, I should have said something but what do you say in those moments?

I left it, did what i needed to do and made my way back home.

NLP was new and exciting and I was eager to try it out and follow his instructions on how to make it in the self-development world.

This was it! This was the start of something special. I’d take my new skills, begin to help people, they would pay me handsomely and the world would be a better place.

But I had other things going on and my focus wasn’t as great as it could have been. I had applied to become a Games Maker for the 2012 Olympic Games and I was travelling down to London for Test Events and training. For a year I was part of the Process and in 2012 I was selected to be a basketball Games Maker filling the Field Of Play role, meaning, I was to be courtside for games! I had one vision for that Olympics which was to be sat court-side for the men’s final and I was determined to make sure it happened.

It was the night before the final and up to now I had been a professional volunteer and created memories and friends that I cherish even today. Watching the best players in the world compete close up was unreal!

One of the volunteers, Craig and I sat in a bar and talked about the final as we had both been selected to volunteer that game and we both knew the positions would be posted in the morning. We wanted to be posted in positions we wanted to be in. So we decided to text the manager and let him know the exact spots we wanted to accompany in the second half and waited.

The next morning as we checked the list, we broke out in huge smiles!

For the men’s final I was sat mid-court watching the USA take on Spain. I kept shifting my vision from the court to the people behind me, specifically the area where VIP’s were gathered including Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Stern,Boris Johnson and I believe David Beckham and Mark Zuckerberg. I sat still, taking in the atmosphere and feeling great because I took action to make this moment happen.

In 2013, I got a new lease of life and a focus.

I’m a basketball player and coach, so helping basketball players was first on my agenda. I started to research and found a newspaper column in the local paper the Manchester Evening News, written by a current player on the Professional basketball team The Manchester Giants.

I had a connection with the team, a friend who was the physio but also to the coach, Jeff Jones, whom I’d known for about 20 years. I knew a few of the players as well.

He told the readers he was struggling and wanted to get out of his slump, so naturally I reached out to him and we agreed to chat on the phone. I’d implement the NLP strategies I’d learned and it was this conversation that led to him writing an article on how he turned his game around.

Not only did he go from averaging 5 points a game and struggling, he exploded for 20 points and hit 100% from the field, a rarity in basketball!

But don’t take my word for it…read his column here.

After you’ve read the article, join me next time in part 3 as to why I hooked up with an actress!


Has the quick improvement of an athlete intrigued you?

Would you like to know how?

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How Can You Help Me?

How I Can Help You In Your Moment Of Crisis

The very first thing you have to do is accept you aren’t in a place you want to be AND you want to do something about it.

Struggling and Tolerating

Many athletes struggle but think things will get better, things will change and struggling is part of the job. They tolerate and try to shoulder the burden and anxiety. They try to figure it out themselves or ask family and friends for their advice, which is nice, but unless your family and friends have the skills necessary to help you, the frustrations will linger.

Yet those few people who thrive, know differently.

They know a moment of crisis needs to be dealt with because if it isn’t the path to self-destruction isn’t too far away.

They know they need to do something about it!

You deserve to thrive again

Consider what you’ve been through to get to where you are as a professional athlete

You’ve spent hours, days, weeks, months, years, developing your physical and technical abilities to get you to where you are today.

You’ve challenged yourself, pushed yourself and lived a life, very few people on the planet can say they lived.

Perhaps you’ve had great sponsorship

Perhaps you’re very well paid

Perhaps you’ve won awards

Perhaps you’ve even won a World Cup and been number 1 in the world?

But something changed

Something isn’t right and when was the last time you had mental performance training?

Honestly….

I didn’t think so.

There is no club, NGB, college or university that trains you in mental performance coaching

Listen, I’ve spoken to current and former professionals and one thing they all say is they wished they had reached out sooner rather than later, or had someone they could trust, to contact in that moment of crisis.

You always have options. You always have other perspectives to consider, but most of the time, these choices and options are either hidden from you as others try to manipulate you, or you are that stressed out, you can’t see the answer, even it came up behind you and kicked you in the ass!

How Can I Help You?

I can help you by listening to you without judging

I can help you by understanding your situation

I can help you by understanding you and not using jargon that just confuses you

I can help you understand how to move forward quickly in a discreet and confidential manner.

Only you and I need to know what’s said between us because once you’re thriving again, others will benefit from your improved performance including your family, team-mates, coach and others who put their faith in you like the fans.

If you know someone who is in a crisis moment, and you know this by their mood change and poor performance, let them know you can help by asking them to read this post then click here to start moving away from stress and towards thriving

Categories
mindset

Basketball Players – OutSmart Your Opponent With This Simple Shift Of Perspective

WINNING

There’s no better feeling than winning!

There’s no better feeling than getting an edge on your opponent and feeling you are getting the better of them.

You lock them down and limit their ability to do what they do best

CONTROVERSIAL CONCEPTS

What I’m going to tell you, some may find controversial.

Traditionally, basketball players when being taught defence are taught to focus on the chest area of the attacker because this is the only part of the body they can’t fake. That makes sense until you discover another perspective.

Another perspective that was born from experience, research, pilot schemes and live performance, will tell you that this traditional method needs to be left behind.

GB PLAYER TEST

In a test, one former GB player, Devan Bailey was coaching on a camp I was also coaching on a few years ago in Bury up in the North of England. Devan is a quiet guy, humble yet intelligent and when I approached him with this new strategy to try out, he was open to it.

I explained the concepts to him and he took them on board. As a baseline I asked him to give me a number from 1 to 10 as to how in control and his confidence was in stopping the attacker, before the exercise and he gave me a number. After the exercise I asked him the same question and the number had increased! It also showed in his movement and behaviours.

His level of feeling in control and ability to stop the attacker had increased!

Just by shifting his perspective.

ACCESS YOUR COPY HERE

To outsmart your opponent with a simple shift of perspective, click here to access the academic paper and methods, for free.

The research included travelling around the North West of England, filming 200 players from amateur to pro including players from The Manchester Giants, Moss Side Tropics, Burnley basketball club and Bolton University.

Are you a professional player?

Are you a university wanting to improve performance?

Get in touch by clicking here

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What is a Specialist Mental Performance Coach?

What Is A Specialist Mental Performance Coach?

The Power Of Your Mind

Your Mind Drives You

Your mind is what drives you

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

Why Am I A Specialist?

Why am I A specialist?

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

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

Does All That Really Matter?

Who Cares What I’ve Achieved?

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

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

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

Move Forward Quickly

Move forward quickly

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

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

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

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

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

Take Action

Take Action

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

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

CLICK HERE TO BE COURAGEOUS!