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My Journey

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

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

Will Durant

My time as a professional assistant coach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out what that was next time.

Categories
My Journey

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

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

Michael Jordan

When I got back home…

Something wasn’t sitting right with me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Has the quick improvement of an athlete intrigued you?

Would you like to know how?