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mindset

Alternative to using a sports psychologist

What’s an alternative to using a sports psychologist?

“I expected a better personal performance but nothing this drastic!  This is the first time in my 10-plus-year career, I’ve scored 20 points and not missed a single shot”

Let me give you the back-story to this quote.

In 2013, A professional basketball player wrote a weekly column in a newspaper and one week he wrote about his struggles and his inability to create the change he wanted.

He was known as a scorer, had represented England but had lost his scoring touch and had no idea why.

Being a basketball guy with a new set of skills to try, I reached out to him offering my time to listen to him and to see if we could create a change.

We arranged a time to talk on the phone.  He spoke openly and honestly, and as I listened, I pulled out my new bag of tricks at relevant moments, asking specific questions, which allowed him to consider new perspectives to try on and I remember him pausing for a moment after I suggested something particular about miscommunication and in hindsight, this was his breakthrough moment.

Our call lasted around 45 minutes and I for one, had no idea what would happen at his next game which was the night after.

I didn’t make contact with him after the game but remember having a conversation with him and he telling me he would love to write about his experience and give me a mention in his article, which you can read here.

In his own words, he told of his drastic turnaround and unbelievable performance.  I was really happy for him and pleased the money I’d invested in my personal development had helped someone overcome their struggles.

What method did I use to help him? Was it therapy, counselling? Was this an alternative to sports psychology?

Other alternatives to sports psychologists

Therapy – Therapy is working with the client who seeks relief from psychological or physical symptoms and deals with the client’s mental health. Coaching deals with the client’s mental growth

Training – The trainer by definition is the expert, and the training course is likely to be targeted on specific skills for immediate results

Consultancy – A consultant provides expertise and solves business problems, or develops a business as a whole. A consultant deals with the overall organisation or specific parts of it and not individuals within it

Teaching – Teaching passes knowledge from teacher to student. The teacher knows something the student does not. The opposite is true in coaching. The client is the expert and the client has the answers, not the coach

Mentoring – Mentoring is when a senior colleague, seen as more knowledgeable and worldly wise gives advice and provides a role model. A mentor is a sponsor with great professional experience in their client’s field of work

Counselling – Counselling is working with a client who feels uncomfortable, or dissatisfied with their life. They are seeking guidance and advice

What method had I used? 

In the 1970’s two men at the University of California, Santa Cruz, John Grinder, a linguist, and Richard Bandler, an information scientist and mathematician developed Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)

Bandler modelled the methods used by Virgina Satir (1916-1988), American author, social worker, and internationally esteemed family therapist; co-founder of the Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Palo Alto, California.

Bandler also modelled the work of Fritz Perls, (1893–1970), who developed a form of psychotherapy that he known as gestalt therapy. Influenced by Perls’ work, Bandler formed study groups and gave workshops, that were cantered around gestalt therapy.

Bandler and Grinder teamed up, to study the principles that governed the language structure of gestalt therapy. They wanted to define the techniques and skills used by successful therapist.

What was the difference that made the difference?

Bandler and Grinder did whatever worked and removed didn’t work. They studied the work, writings and recordings of Perls and Satir, to extract the essence that made these two therapists exceptional.  (Source)

The NLP strategies I used with the basketball allowed him to understand his reality and what he needed to do differently then take action, all of which he did brilliantly. 

The added value of emotional intelligence

Around the same time with a new open mind to learning and a thirst to learn more, I enrolled on an emotional Intelligence course called Evaluating Truth and Credibility, delivered by The Emotional Intelligence Academy

The course was aimed at helping you understand and identify misalignments in communication between body language and verbal content with the aim to spot when someone is lying or trying to cover up the truth.  I found it fascinating and as the course went on, my mind sought out possibilities to use these concepts in sports, specifically basketball, after all basketball players attempt to trick the opponents and use fakes to gain an advantage.

Having completed the course and now with a heightened, weird sense of wanting to stare at people, I and the director of the Academy, had a conversation about moving my idea forward.  He suggested establishing a test condition with players playing 1 on 1 and gathering film to analyse and break down.  We needed evidence and scientific data to support the theory that players can improve quickly when they learn how to read body language and facial expressions.

The research

For the next 3 months I travelled around the North West of England filming players from professional to amateur, banking 1000 clips of 200 players.  Now the easy part was done, I had to watch these clips over and over and spot commonalities, removing what was useless and using what was useful in an attempt to extract data and then create some kind of program.

Thankfully one of the Director’s son’s Jordan, gave me a helping hand every now and again with the use of the studio and the huge screen they used when analysing facial expressions, making spotting the tells, a lot easier than staring at a 15″ screen.

Now I had a program, what could I do with it? 

Not long afterwards, I had an opportunity to work with another former England player.  I coached him to integrate the new tools into his defensive game which allowed him to improve right there, on the basketball camp he and I were coaching on.

So now with NLP and emotional intelligence training under my belt, I set myself the challenge of creating a new practice to help people overcome struggles and improve performance.

The positives and negatives

Using the best bits of both practices and removing what was useless, I went on to help a female soccer player/psychologist in New York win her first ever MVP in 25 years which again spurred me on to connect with more athletes.

My journey took an unexpected route because I was finding there were many former and current athletes struggling with issues that affected their performance and wellbeing.  Unable to reach out for help, they tolerated their situation and some lost out on some great opportunities such as the football player who was on the verge of signing for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), but missed out because he didn’t have the opportunity to reach out and explore how and why his mind was talking him out of taking that opportunity.

The more people I spoke with, the more I learned.  The more I learned, the more I adapted what I now call the Neuro Emotional Awareness Training (NEAT) program.

Using the same principles but different delivery methods to suit the client, here are some of the success stories over the years:

Powerful words from clients

“MY WELLBEING IS 100% BETTER. I’ve tried sports psychologists, I’ve read over 15 self-improvement books, I’m constantly trying to understand my mind and the minds of those who are successful, but the biggest lesson I’ve learned from working with Mike is that my biggest asset is myself and I can tap into that without any special tactics or interventions when I let go of the habits and social constructs I’ve aligned myself with“ Pro basketball player


“I’ve never experienced coaching like this before? Mostly in books I’ve read they give you techniques like visualisation, positive self-talk and body language etc which I find useful, but in this program I actually get to know who I am and what I stand for: I’ve started to realise what are the things that distract me, and the people who negatively influence me. I’ve actually learned to be aware of my thoughts“ Football (soccer) player – Finland


“Definitely since I first spoke to you I haven’t felt any negative thoughts or anxiety completely at all which is fantastic!”  Football player – UK


“I expected a better personal performance but nothing this drastic! This is the first time in my 10-plus-year career I’ve scored 20 points and not missed a single shot.”  Pro Basketball Player – UK


“I am continuing to apply the technique without much thought needed. “I won my first ever MVP!”  Soccer player – USA


“Yes, can definitely recommend with golfers or other sportsmen, it can help anybody improve in their sport”  Pro golfer – UK


“The amount I’ve improved the last month is CRAZY! Your help is honestly incredible”  esports FIFA Pro – UK


The value in talking

Their words keep me driving forward and wanting to help others who are struggling but to those athletes struggling I say this:

Of those who have struggled in the past, the majority have said they wished they had spoken up sooner and sought help sooner, which could have helped them avoid avoid therapy or counselling

It can be difficult to reach out to your coach, agent, or team psychologist because there is the association with the club and that association can be enough to put someone off from asking for help because you might be fearful of being exposed as weak or fear being judged or criticised for asking for help, which in turn jeopardises your career and livelihood.

As you can see, we are much different than sports psychologists

Our alternative to a sports psychologist

As an individual, one alternative to using a sports psychologist is accessing the NEAT system from the comfort of your own home, in your own time WITHOUT the fear of being judged or criticised and without the fear of your words or experiences getting back to anyone because our primary goal is to help you for your sake.  We will only share your experiences if you give us permission, if you think your experiences can teach others.

Get in touch if:

  • You’re struggling and feel like quitting
  • You feel alone
  • You feel you can’t live up to expectations
  • You don’t trust some of your friends
  • You’ve struggled with confidence in your head

When you get in touch and I listen to your thoughts, I can offer you:

  • The space to be confident
  • Confidential and discreet 1-2-1 coaching
  • Non-judgemental service without criticising
  • Accessible and flexible contact methods
  • Proof that the coaching works from past successes

Should you decide to hire our company to help you, know that:

  • Together we will remove your struggles and rediscover your love for the game
  • Together we will form a partnership of trust
  • Together we will learn what your expectations are
  • Together we will help your mind find balance and calm
  • Together we will improve your status

How we can help sporting organisations

As a professional sporting organisation, we understand success on and off the field of play is essential to your brand, your fans and investors and when a player’s performance drops, losses can come quickly, putting everyone under pressure and as a former high level player and professional coach, I know more than most, what that pressure feels like. 

As a sporting organisation, by hiring us, you instantly remove the distraction of managing the mental performance of the player, and let us do the hard work for you, so you can focus on what you do best. 

Will coaching be used as a replacement for sports psychologists?

Sports psychology and coaching are two very different methods of engagement, each with their merits and strategies. Exploring coaching options when sports psychology is drawing a blank would be the smart option and vice versa. You have to find a way that works for you based on past results and experiences.

What can you do now?

Explore your options, and there is no better way to explore your option than speaking with a professional.

Visit us at elitesportsminds23 or drop us a message

Categories
#mental health Become who you want to be mindset overcoming challenges

Why did the professional basketball player look at his wrist?

The Reality

Jamell Anderson knew his reality and knew something wasn’t right but he wasn’t sure what it was or what to do about it. Accepting the reality is the first step towards finding success.

Some athletes choose not to do anything and try to work through the struggles. But sometimes they never find the solution. Jamell reached out to me and this journey to understand his ‘why’ began

Opening up and honesty

When you’re truthful to yourself without the fear of being judged or criticised, solutions come quickly because the mask is removed. Hiding behind the mask serves no purpose other to continue to deflect away from the struggles.

Jamell opened up and I learned so much from this humble young man but at the same time he was learning about himself.

The Options

There are always options but sometimes those options are hidden from view, or a limiting or mistaken belief is stopping you from seeing those options.

We explored many different ways to move forward, trying new things until we found the way that worked for him

Every athlete has their own journey

When helping an athlete there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Each athlete has their own past and values, and the secret is to uncover what these are, amongst other things, and allow the athlete to understand what works for them.

Jamell and I uncovered a lot until he found a way that worked for him

The solution

The goal for Jamell was to discover how to remove the mental challenges then replace these challenges with solutions. We explored his values, reframed his thinking until he felt connected to what needed to be done.

In the clip, Jamell looks at his wrist as a reminder. Over the 6 weeks in which we talked for about an hour each time, looking at his wrist was the culmination of the conversations, insights and discoveries. He had found his purpose and way of playing that worked for him that improved his performance and wellbeing

I was so proud of this young man, firstly for taking control of his situation, and secondly for taking action

Jamell’s thoughts on the coaching

What was it that led to you connecting with Mike?

I’ve known Mike over the years as someone who has always tried to help when he can, I believe that I needed his advice and knowledge to push me in the right direction at a point in my life when I was ready to make a change for the better.

Had you tried using other methods to help you in the past and what were they?

I’ve tried sports psychologists, I’ve read over 15 self improvement books, I’m constantly trying to understand my mind and the minds of those who are successful, but the biggest lesson I’ve learnt from working with Mike is that my biggest asset is myself and I can tap into that without any special tactics or interventions when I let go of the habits and social constructs I’ve alienged my self with.

What reservations, if any did you have around the coaching? Be honest.

I don’t have any reservations really, I believe he does a great job of communicating bit also at balancing listening with talking to me. Sometimes I just need an ear to speak to and vent my thoughts out loud.

What 3 factors about the coaching delivery style stood out for you

The simplistic nature of the conversation, not using fancy words or over complicated explanations.

His calm nature when speaking made me feel at ease even when before the call I was quite stressed.

His availability, it’s something that goes underappreciated but with my ever changing schedule around training Vs personal life it was great to be able to be so flexible with timings.

The coaching is aimed at improving performance and wellbeing. How did the coaching affect your performance and wellbeing?

My performance was always something that I judged by stats, now I judged it by my mental state. If I’m Inna good mental state it doesn’t matter how i play because my experience will be what I want it to be regardless of the stats. My well being is 100% better because each day I’m just being myself and there’s no bugger comfort in a world filled with false high expectations and fakery.

If you were to recommend Mike to other professional athletes, what would you tell them to expect?

To find their true self by removing the unnecessary baggage the world around them has added to their backs.


If you know a professional athlete or you are a professional athlete who knows something isn’t right but not sure what to do about it or who to turn to, I’m inviting you to talk and I guarantee I will help you find the answers and solutions you need.

You can call me on +447946279135

Mike

Categories
#mental health Become who you want to be Inner Voice Leadership motivation overcoming challenges

Is It Time To Introduce Emotional Intelligence Into Sports Coaching?

The effects of bullying can linger for a long time, depending on the strength of the emotion attached to the words or behaviours associated with the bullying and even through elite athletes can be perceived to be resilient, they are also human and experience emotions just as regular people do, yet the impact can be felt on a much deeper level due to the situation of being a professional athlete.

There are some perceptions that believe the elite athlete must be able to overcome bullying behaviours, and ‘man up’ because to be the best you must demonstrate a hard shell and an almost invincible like exterior, and not to show weakness.  Isn’t that right?

Of course it isn’t!

Maybe the bullies don’t know they are demonstrating bullying behaviours or maybe they are trying to instil resilience in their teammates.  Who knows, but one thing is for sure, there should be no place in professional sports for bullying and if a bullying culture does exist, maybe it’s time to create change?

How do you create change?

Firstly when someone is feeling bullied, it’s imperative they have an outlet to air their thoughts but who do they turn to?

They can’t turn to their manager, because as one former premier league footballer told me, it was the manager that was the bully!  This player, who will remain unnamed, told me the coach used the phrase ‘grow some balls!’  This incident happened a good few years ago and I’d like to think in the time between then and now, there’s been some new coaching techniques being taught to up and coming managers that focus on learning about emotional intelligence and how to recognise when to use it.  But what is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. Emotional intelligence helps you build stronger relationships, succeed in sports, and achieve your career and personal goals. It can also help you to connect with your feelings, turn intention into action, and make informed decisions about what matters most to you.

The aim of professional sports, to me, is simple – from the athlete perspective, be the best you can be, or from a coach/manager perspective, create an environment in which you and your team can be the best they can be.

By learning about emotional intelligence, being the best you can be, will come a lot faster and easier than compared with someone who uses their raw personality and technical ability to coach or play yet this important factor of coaching and playing is rarely touched upon in coaching programmes.

I understand there’s a gap in the coaching market which is why I offer confidential, discreet coaching for those professional athletes wanting to be their best but are unable to open up to anyone else.

I understand elite athletes are human and experience feelings and emotions but there is often a conflict between the emotions and what’s expected of them, which can leave some athletes confused and anxious and unable to shake the fear.

I make my services available to athletes so they can thrive.

You deserve to thrive!

Thanks for reading and remember to Take action, Reflect, Adjust and repeat 

Play with purpose

Categories
#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.


Categories
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!


Categories
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