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#mental health

Comparing mental health with physical health – solutions

The Similarities

When comparing mental health and physical health its important to you that you understand the reality for many people in this world so you know what to do and what to say because this hard hitting blog will open your perspectives in new ways.

I’ll put to one side clinical mental and physical health because those issues deserve much more attention so this blog focuses on general mental and physical health.

Let’s look at the similarities

  • Everyone experiences physical and mental health
  • Both fluctuate depending on life choices
  • Both can improve
  • Both can decline
  • Both have support organisations offering help
  • Not everyone will experience negative mental and physical health
  • Some take both very seriously
  • Some live a life where both aren’t an issue
  • Some live a life where both are an issue
  • Both are the results of experiences and life choices

The Differences

  • You can see the results of one

We are quick to judge when we see others. It’s how we are programmed in our unconscious minds to keep the human race alive and so we judge people by their looks to help us connect and realise if that person is worthy of our time and attention.

We are social animals so we have to create judgements so we create a social circle that meets our beliefs and values so we fit in and have a support mechanism around us.

Looks Aren’t Everything

The world is full of people of all shapes and sizes and we are quick to judge their physical health based on what they look like.

We see all different types of body types, colours, shapes, heights and we create a judgment based on our expectations and beliefs of the world that allow us to understand what we see and we make judgements on the type of person they may be without actually speaking with them.

Is it fair we judge others without getting to know them?

We form opinions of them just as they form opinions of us.

Let’s say you see someone across the room at a party and they are overweight. It would be easy to say their health is at risk and assume they struggle with phsycial activity. But once a conversation starts, you learn more about their situation and the initial judgment melts away as you create a new understanding and appreciation for them as a human being.

Hiding Behind The Mask

Physical health is obvious and when we consider sports, we know when an athlete is out of shape.

Their data is poor, their times are poor and by looking at how they move, you can tell where they are at through comparing their data and movement with others. There is no hiding from having poor physical health as an athlete.

But mental health can be hidden behind a select few words “I’m OK coach, I’m just tired”, “I’ll get over it. I only missed a penalty”, “it’s another loss but I’ll put more work in”.

Hiding behind this mask not only sends the wrong message to others, but it questions your self-worth, creating a dangerous mix of incongruence and hiding the truth, meaning others and yourself will continue to behave as though nothing is wrong.

Making Choices

As I mentioned earlier there are many similarities between physical and mental health and deciding to do something about it when things are going wrong is a choice.

There are people out there who don’t value their physical health. They will continue to eat junk food, take no exercise, drink too much and live a life that’s over endulgant, even though they know their health is at risk and accept they will work it out for themselves and they will be ok

In the same breath, there are people who don’t value their mental health. They are overwhelmed, feeling stuck but feel they should work it out for themselves and they will be ok.

There’s a lesson I’ve learned over the years that I want to share with you because as much as we don’t like to think of people suffering on their own and there has to be more done to help, we have to accept some people don’t want help.

A New Perspective

But knowing not everyone wants help, we can provide help for those that need help. We have to push harder to provide cultures and environments where admitting you’re struggling, admitting you’re finding it hard, admitting you’re in a challenging place and you need help, is seen as courageous and normal.

These environments and cultures need to be implemented in professional sports and within organisations and anywhere where there’s human interaction and responsibility.

Empowerment And Self-Worth

We have to encourage individuals to appreciate, the choices they make will impact on their health.

We have to encourage individuals to understand what you do doesn’t define you but rather who you are defines you. A person shouldn’t be defined as a footballer that’s made a mistake. A person shouldn’t be defined as a player who’s no longer good enough. A person should be defined through how they approach a problem or challenge and if needed, offered the right support.

What Next?

If this blog has allowed you to understand mental health a little better, please comment and share with your network because as you know, you can’t see mental health issues but you can put information in front of a person, allow them to digest it and make a choice.

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My Journey

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

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

Arthur Koestler

Scratching The Wallpaper! Argh!


Call With Sam

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s me explain…

Is Your Belief Limiting Your Potential?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Basketball Team Developments

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

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

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

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

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

Another Iron In The Fire

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

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

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

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


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My Journey

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

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

Arthur Koestler

Clients just two degrees away!


Have you heard of the term 6 degrees of separation?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Cross-Fit Connection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s see what tomorrow brings!


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My Journey

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

“Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.”

Tony Robbins

Is Material Wealth The Answer To Your Problems?


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

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

A Valuable Message

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two Powerful Components

Success has two components

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

Let me explain what this means to you

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

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

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

The Misconception About Material Wealth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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My Journey

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

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

Dr Henry Cloud

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


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

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

Your mindset shifted as your routine shifted.

But what does this mean for your future?

What does that mean to your ability?

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

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

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

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

Let me ask you a question.

Be honest with yourself

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

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

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

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

Again be honest with yourself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s your reason to change?

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

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


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

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My Journey

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

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

Blaine Lee

The short message that had so much power

I’ve been let down in the past.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I needed a mindset shift!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was all I needed to read.

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

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

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


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

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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 10

“Most of us have grown up seeing the world as a place of limitation rather than as a place of inexhaustible treasures.”

Bob Burg

Improving My Performance quickly

We are still in lockdown on Friday 5th of June. I’m at home with my wife and five year old and have managed to sneak away for a few moments.

There are two major moves I made recently, ones I’ve put off because I had doubts in my head.

Something was holding me back from taking action and that something was caused by a block I created years ago so I had to reframe my perception of why I created that block and look at the idea from a new perspective, a perspective from wanting to become the most sought after mental performance specialist.

I realised I created that block when I didn’t really have a vision or direction and the time I would have to put into something I didn’t put much value into, was a waste of my time.

I was limiting my growth and potential

That was then.

My new perception is much more positive and has much more potential value because I now have a clear vision.

Marketing is an art form. It takes a clear and focused mind to create a marketing system that works and to create a marketing system that works involves making decisions and choices and learning from mistakes and celebrate the successes.

I’ve completed my Google Analytics online course and passed and have now integrated Google Analytics into my website.

I’ve launched a targeted Facebook Advert, a sponsored post to attract potential clients to my website.

So I’ll be able to analyse the traffic to my website to see what’s working and what isn’t and adjust when and if needed.

Let’s see what happens!

In sports when you feel there is a block stopping you improving, you have to understand that at some point in the past, you created a perception of a situation, an interpretation of a moment in time, and very quickly formed a belief.

That belief can become part of your psyche and acceptance that that’s just how things are so you navigate around it rather than deal with it.

But when that block is detrimental to your growth, you have to consciously allow your mind to explore what happened when that block was created and give yourself permission to look at that block from a new perspective, that perspective being the here and now.

Blocks can be created in the following ways:-

  • A coach verbally instructing you not to do something
  • A coach giving you a look of disgust or disappointment
  • A coach Losing their trust in you
  • Your inner voice telling you, it’s not worth it
  • Your inner voice protecting you from embarrassing yourself
  • I misinterpretation of an instruction (As my pro basketball client discovered)
  • A sense of feeling lost and unsure (A football client was stuck here)
  • Interpreting a situation where you placed yourself as not worthy…

These examples are not an exhaustive list and there are many other ways that can cause a block in your development, but when you remove these limiting or mistaken beliefs, the results can be amazing!

Your beliefs will drive your thinking and perception of the world so for example If you are a fan of a team that play in red and that team is doing well, you may associate the colour red to success and positivity.

These limiting or mistaken beliefs can occur in life, sports and business so if you feel stuck, frustrated or you’re underperforming, it’s worth finding out what the source is and address it.

I’m about to have a call with a person that has a lot more experience than me in a field I need to learn about. This call will expand my learning but lift me to a higher place of value in terms of giving back to the community, therefore allowing me to learn from the community.

I’ll let you know more about that soon.


If you’re like to know how to improve your game quickly, please visit me by clicking here

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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 9

“On some dimension or other, every event in life can be causing only one of two things: either it is good for you, or it is bringing up what you need to look at in order to create good for you.”

Deepak Chopra

Coping with Covid

Life has certainly changed!

Personally I feel it changed for the better as I now have more time on my hands and I spend more time with my family, although at times I wish my son was back at school because a five year old is very demanding of attention! Of course I’m joking, but my skills as a parent to deliver homeschooling is severely being challenged!

But with the extra time, I have time to spend deliberately and purposely and try new things that give me leverage and experience towards my goal.

It’s strange being in lockdown as other people are also locked down including all sports across the world so I have to be flexible in my approach because right now, spending money on life changing services isn’t on the minds of the people.

In May 2020, I’m helping four people within Achology, I have two football players I’m helping, three e-sports players I’m supporting and started up my Facebook group called Live With Purpose, a small community that I offer insights and support for people wanting change for the better. All in all I have 9 individual clients and 11 group members.

All in all, I’m very busy.

It’s in May 2020 when I decided to start writing this blog, because I have to keep my mind active and I’ve found reflecting is a great way to re-engage with my self-worth and the value I can offer others.

One great thing coming out of this, albeit a coincidence is the weather. It’s never been as hot meaning I’ve been able to get out on my bike for some quality rides in the countryside.

I’m surrounded by valley’s and hills and lovely countryside and it’s a great feeling cycling through the villages and through woodland enjoying the world around me. It’s therapeutic and relaxing and allows my mind to settle down, something I’m really appreciating.

But I’m also aware some people are struggling and I was told a story earlier about a healthy fireman aged around 30 was struck down by the virus. He and his wife, a nurse, felt they would have a strong immune system because of their active lifestyles yet it seems the virus doesn’t discriminate, sending the fireman to intensive care.

My parents have self-isolated for months and being in the 70’s they have been classed as vulnerable yet my god mum who does no exercise and has dementia caught the virus and shrugged it off at the age of 90!

There doesn’t seem to be any patterns or consistency which can make it even more worrying.

There are three things I’d like to offer to people at this point and although lockdown may have relaxed by the time you’re reading this, the tips will help you in your daily lives

  1. Know you are vulnerable and appreciate those you care about and let go of those who bring trouble or stress to your life
  2. You are worthy of a great life. You have opportunities around you and if you are feeling stuck, now is the perfect time to try new things and discover your true potential
  3. Find a balance within your life that works with you. You are allowed to let things go that feel too heavy or burden you in some way. A balanced life is one of appreciation.

Join me next time to see what developments have occurred and I welcome your thoughts and comments.


If you’re like to know how to improve your game quickly, please visit me by clicking here

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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 8

“Personal growth is not a matter of learning new information but unlearning old limits.” 

Alan Cohen

Developing The System

In November 2019 I completed my NLP Master Practitioner course and felt a great sense of achievement.

I was invited to join a growing community called Achology. A community of like minded-people that wanted to learn the strategies of improving self or others. I could access courses, take part in discussions but most importantly connect with other people.

I would become part of an online community building connections all over the world and enjoying it, and in the background I was building connections in the world of football.

One of the most powerful messages and life lessons I learned was the power of the mind and knowing we all have the ability to control what we think and therefore what we do or behave so I set about creating a system, a program aimed at professional athletes that were struggling and wanted to improve quickly.

In my younger days I was voted the Most Valuable Player of the England U19 basketball team, meaning for that moment, I was the best player in the country.

To this day, I do wonder what if I had the mental tools to thrive, would things have worked out better for me because I was really shy and I let my basketball do the talking. I didn’t really know how to communication in a way that would allow my ability to go as far as it could.

People guided me and sometimes they led me down the wrong paths and I know this is typical to the young footballers and other athletes today. A young athlete eager to do well, will very rarely question a coach or manager, (the person in charge).

Basketball was my outlet and I believed when I played well, people would like me, which to some extent they did, yet I know now, external praise and appreciation only goes so far when it comes to self-worth and confidence and because I was shy, I didn’t know how to speak to coaches or ask the right questions so the system builds communication into the program.

Just imagine how a team could quickly improve if the players were all encouraged to talk and ask questions rather than do as they are told??!!

Young athletes need to know the value and power the right communication can have, bother verbally and non-verbally.

When I created the system, I reached to a few footballers on LinkedIn and offered to coach them for free to see how the system worked and if they saw the value in it.

Two out of four players I connected with bought into it which leads me to another lesson. As much as I know the program will help any player wanting to improve, not all players have the right attitude and a player will only commit if they are ready. The lesson – rather than chase players to participate in the program, those who didn’t engage I left them to their own devices.

These two wanted to come out of their comfort zone. They wanted to be pushed and challenged, and that in itself will get you places.

So I had two great players learning the system and both saw improvements with one player improving so much a club was about to sign him but then it happened.

The greatest lockdown in human history hit us.

COVID-19!

Wow!

Life changing!

I had a day job and I was put on Furlough, meaning, I didn’t have to work but I would be paid 80% of my salary! Perfect! I could now spend time working on building a reputation and working for free with clients and build something unique for players.

I continued to work with my clients and even expanded my clients to include 3 e-sports players and at this moment in time, I can’t divulge who they are because that’s what we agreed, but I’m hopeful when the e-sports competitions start again, we will be having serious talks about working for the team.

Let’s go back to Achology and the potential to work with other people wanting change because sports wasn’t my only interest. Procrastination is a topic that has interested me for so many years and now I understood the thoughts and actions needed to overcome procrastination, I wanted to help people who suffered from it, so I connected with four people through Achology, a golfer in Scotland, A woman in Switzerland, a woman in New York and a man in India.

During lockdown I was able to practice my growing craft and keep improving my offer all working towards my aim of becoming the most sought after sports mental performance coach.

But there was one thing that I was struggling with – Marketing.

I’ve seen some great marketing but received shit services, but it’s the marketing that attracts you to the product.

I know I’m a great coach because the results speak for themselves and I love to help people overcome the challenges in life and sports that hold them back or affect them in negative ways and I want to offer you an opportunity.

I know there are some people reading this who won’t take the offer up. I know some are sceptical and I know some are stuck in their ways.

But

If you have an open mind to learning and want to know how to improve quickly for improved outcomes, I invite you to download your free download that includes three tips you can use straightaway.

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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…