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Four Steps To Improved Sports Performance In 45 Minutes

The Barriers

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Creating change and improving isn’t easy.


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


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

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


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


So the question becomes

“How do I overcome that fear?”

Beliefs And Values

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

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

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

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

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


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

Your Comfort Zone

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

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

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

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

The Pro Basketball Player’s Story

Photo courtesy of BBL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The Four Steps To Take

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

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


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


He was able to think, feel and act differently.

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Live with purpose


Mike

To find out more visit my website here

Categories
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.

Categories
mindset

Goal-Keepers : Penalty’s! – The Striker’s Secrets EXPOSED!

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH

Picture the scene…

The score is 1 – 0 to you

But after a questionable tackle in the box, a defender gave away a penalty

There’s 1 minutes of stoppage time remaining

This is it!

This is the moment where you become a hero or a loser

You need the three points to stave off relegation because anything less than three points send your team down

But you know you’re bad when it comes to saving penalties

YOUR INNER-VOICE IS A THREAT

Your mind begins to wander – your inner voice pipes up…

Why did he have to make that stupid tackle!

If only we scored down the other end when we had the chance!

This player has only missed one penalty in 5 months!

You’ve gone over the data thousands of times!

You know the tendencies of each player on your opponents team and now here you are going one on one with their most feared striker

Again your inner-voice talks to you, trying to persuade you…

He’s more likely to go right, so I’m going right!

But what if he’s going to trick me!?

You see the player take a few steps backwards, poising himself, ready to launch his attack.

The whistle blows…

TIME TO FOCUS

Being a goalkeeper can be a lonely experience

You are the last line of defence

There is plenty of time for your mind to wander, to think…

So when the striker puts the ball on the spot, it’s that moment you need think the right way (focus) rather than the wrong way (distractions)

SUBCONSCIOUS SIGNALS

Every striker will leak information or tells (think poker players). These tells are subconscious signals, that when you understand the meaning, you can anticipate, and as a goal-keeper, anticipating and gaining the psychological advantage is a necessity to your craft.

Strikers don’t even know they are showing these tells!

You might get some strikers who think they are smart and try to fake you out. But let me tell you the thing with fakes.

A fake is identified by an over-exaggerated facial expression or body movement. A widening of the eyes too much for it to be natural is a sure-fire way to know a fake is on its way.

BE CALM AND RELAXED

So as you stand on the goal line, watching the striker place the ball on the spot, you watch and analyse his movements, his facial expressions, the direction of his eyes.

Breathe normally and calm your mind. Allow your mind to focus on the moment, putting all other thoughts to one side, for this moment isn’t one for distractions.

This is a moment to observe, analyse and anticipate for it’s the striker that will tell you what he’s going to do. You just need to know what you’re looking for

It does take time to learn these strategies but think of the rewards saving this penalty will bring you.

BONUS INFORMATION

The bonus is knowing that these techniques work in the normal run of the game!

Learning to shift your focus away from the ball and onto the attackers movements, and facial expressions allows you to gain an advantage.

Here’s a quick tip – when a ball is crossed in, take note of the flight pattern, the trajectory, speed and anticipate where it’s going. Now shift your attention to the players on the ground and how they are positioning their bodies. It’s this moment you make a decision, go for the ball before the attacker gets it, or

The striker secret weapon has been exposed!

Are you a goalkeeper wanting to improve?

Do you know a goal-keeper who wants to learn how to improve their game?

Get in touch by clicking here

and to receive more tips, insights and opportunity to develop your sports mind subscribe below

Categories
Tips

Top Ten Tips to win at professional sports

Many like the idea of being a professional sports person, the money, the competition and in some cases the fame and the rewards that come with that, yet there are many that don’t know what it takes to win.

When I say win, I’m not just talking about the end result on the scoreboard, but how to navigate the ups and downs that being a professional sports person can bring.

Over the years, I’ve gathered a lot of information from books, experiences and players and come up with this top ten list that any player can take right now, and begin to implement to see results almost immediately.

Are you ready?

Are you sure you want to start to win?

Ok, great then let’s do this!

  1. Have an open mind to learning – Up to this point, you’ll have a perspective, down from your experiences, but it’s important to remember there are other perspectives out there that have value
  2. Ask questions – I was speaking to one football player a few weeks ago who told me he felt lost and under-appreciated. He talked, I listened, and concluded the manager didn’t appreciate him because he was keeping himself to himself. We came up with a plan to ask a specific question and as soon as he asked that question, he felt the anxiety lift almost immediately. The question he asked was “What can I do to help this team improve?”
  3. Consider a plant based diet – There have been many studies, programs and positivity around athletes having a plant based diet. One thing that stood out for me was the blood samples taken from meat eaters and the plant based diet athletes. The plasma in the meat eaters was cloudy that meant the oxygenated blood struggled to flow and be distributed around the body. The plant-based diet athlete’s plasma was clear and flowed more effectively around the body.
  4. Social media is to be used sparingly and not to voice your anger and frustrations towards others
  5. Look after your mental health and wellbeing – There will be times you will be asked to do things that aren’t in line with your beliefs and values and this can affect your mental health in a negative way. Consider your options before saying yes because too many incidents of doing things that don’t feel right, will lead you down path that can be difficult to come back from. Know there are specialists that can help you overcome these issues, I included, and have tools and strategy that can help you quicker than you imagine. Asking for help isn’t a weakness, it’s a smart move to make sure you the person and athlete thrive in a very hostile environment
  6. Engage with a trustworthy person to manage your finances – There are a lot of fraudsters out there that want your money. They will promise you a high return in an investment opportunity and if the rate is high, it’s more likely to be a con.
  7. Train smart – The manager and coach will be judging you in training. Aim to be the first one there and the last one to leave. Be humble enough to help set up or clear up after a session. This is what you get paid for , so put the work in and good things will happen
  8. Play with a passion – The TV camera’s and the fans will be watching and hoping you play well. They are indirectly investing their money and time into you and they want to see someone play with passion. Theres nothing worse to see a player playing half arsed in a losing effort. In addition when your career ends, you can look back and be proud of what you accomplished because you did the best you could with what you had.
  9. Rest and recover – Your body needs rest and recovery after a competition, so make sure you do all the right things to make sure you recover well and quickly. The last thing you want is an injury that never heals properly and your career from the moment, is one of pain and anguish because you know you’ll never again be the athlete you were before the injury.
  10. Enjoy it – Your time as an athlete is limited compared with other careers, so enjoy the time as a professional athlete.

If any of these tips resonate with you, please take action and give yourself the best chance of succeeding as a professional.

Stay safe

Mike

Categories
Uncategorized

Sports Psychology – Imagery and Visualisation

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While professional and amateur sports are shut down, these times are ideal to practice working on your mental performance because let’s be honest, how often, compared with your physical and technical performance, do you work on your mental performance?

I thought so!

Here’s a good reason to practice…

We are driven by our thoughts. Our thoughts lead to our behaviours.

A thought is made up of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic communication, meaning what you see, hear, say and feel affect your behaviour or performance in your sports.

“I can’t do it”

“They are better than me”

“The ref didn’t call that!”

The above are all negative examples of self talk.

How do you think you’re going to play when you think of these?

“I’m going to analyse them and figure out their weakness”

“I notice when they are off the ball, they get distracted. I can exploit that”

“I know when I hustle, I’m more likely to gain an advantage”

These are Specific positive examples of self talk as opposed to “C’mon!” and “Let’s do this!”

These are more likely to lead to a positive outcome.

Combining these audiable examples with visions or images of you playing well, will impact on your performance either positively.

What outcome would you rather have?

I messaged a footballer client a couple of days ago with the suggestion to practice visualisation and imagery as in the past he was overly critical of himself.

He tried it but there was conflict because when he tried to use imagery and visualisation he subconsciously introduced negative self-talk.

I suggested he work on creating positive self-talk by using submodalities to create a new ‘recipe’

Simply replacing the negative words and phrases with positive ones and when he is able to over-ride the negative self-talk easily, he can then introduce imagery and visualisation.

Are you overly-critical of your performance? Do you hold onto negativity for too long?

Contact me for a consultation by clicking here

Please like and share this to your network as you never know who can benefit from knowing these strategies.

Mike

Categories
Uncategorized

Pressure! Learn to make the right decision using this little trick

Those moments of pressure can engulf an athlete and no matter how much physical training they did, if the mind isn’t trained to deal with pressure moments, they are likely to make a mistake.

Learn this simple trick now to allow your mind to make the right decision

When you’ve watched the video, please subscribe for weekly videos and hit the notification button.

Stay safe

Mike

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Uncategorized

Take these three steps towards a healthier mind and body

Mental health issues are rising!

Physical health issues are rising!

Resilience and ability to overcome challenges are falling!

What’s going on?

Why are people struggling more with life than they were a few years ago?

Is the introduction of social media a cause?

Are poor eating habits to blame?

Is lack of exercise a problem?

I could share statistics and graphs to show you an increase in issues but instead I want you to look around you and listen to conversations around you, in work, in your social circles and in public.

Just today, I overheard people talking about leaving their jobs due to added stress coming from senior management.

I saw a mother stressed out with her young child in the supermarket and have had open conversations with people who openly spoke about their anxiety.

The NHS is struggling, creaking under the pressure of people being diagnosed with anxiety and depression, waiting times are on the increase and just a few weeks ago, targets were not being met.

“Something different needs to be done!”

I believe us humans have an inner strength many of us don’t realise we have.

But rather than focus on drawing out and nurturing that inner strength, that self-compassion and ability to look after our bodies and minds, we allow other insignificant people and situations drag us down.

We fail to give ourselves permission to say no!

We fail to give ourselves permission to say enough is enough!

Let me ask you this – Whatever is bothering you right now, are you willing to do something about it or are you tolerating it to keep the peace?

Has something been bothering you for that long, you know you’ve changed as a person but you believe a sign of strength is to get through adversity?

Fuck that!

You only have one life!

Doing something about it is a sign of strength and courage.

You only get one go at this life so if something is bothering you or you’ve been tolerating something for so long, it’s time to do things differently.

I was speaking with a friend earlier who suffers from nerves during her driving lessons. She’s had many lessons with the same instructor and feels she’s hit a wall. She felt stuck and thinks her nerves are stopping her from feeling ready to be put in for her test.

But here’s the weird thing.

When she consciously gave herself permission to think about changing instructors, she suddenly relaxed and had the best lesson ever!

Even her instructor said so!

Allowing herself to consider a new perspective, changed her mindset and therefore thinking which led to an improved behaviour.

Imagine you’re working in a job you tolerate, perhaps hate, and you’re tolerating it. You’re frustrated but you need to pay the bills. So you crack on but look for jobs.

Then you get offered a job!

That sense of relief can be an amazing feeling and can relax the mind in an instance, just be hearing the words “We’d like to offer you the job”

We have the power within us to change the internal dialogue that allows us to move forward and change for the better.

But very few people know how.

Professional sports men and women feel they have to tolerate situations because getting paid to play sports is all they know; especially footballers and because it’s so competitive, those who are suffering are fearful of opening up or talking about it in case they lose their place in the team or are ridiculed.

So they find themselves in a downward spiral, gambling, staying in their rooms during the day with the curtains closed and even worse…

I want to share with you three tips that can help you improve your situation right now…

  • Ask yourself “What do I want my ideal situation to be?”
  • Then ask “What can I let go of, or introduce to my life to take one step towards that ideal situation?”
  • And finally “When will I let go or introduce that thing to allow myself to take one step towards my ideal situation?”

One step…

One step…

One step…

Please comment with your thoughts and share this blog with your network as you may just help one person out today.

If you want help and advice #tellmewhatsgoingoninyourhead

Take it easy

Mike