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Professional footballers, don’t suffer, learn to thrive!

Making change when things aren’t working out sounds simple right?

But when you find yourself in a dark place or a place of confusion and doubt, making change should be the first thing you do.

Yet many people struggle to make that change, even when the situation demands it to happen.

This exact moment is where mental health issues are born.

They are born then reside in this place of uncertainty, and begin to grow when procrastination and an inability to make a new choice, fail to materialise.

People think they can handle it or think things will work themselves out yet this is often not the case.

I’m sure you can think of one case where a professional football player struggled to make change when things weren’t working outa and things didn’t go well for them?

Trying to deal with counter-productive situations, when you don’t have the right perspective and mental tools, lead to a change in behaviour and an inability to see what needs to be done, as the darkness envelopes and clouds the mind, leaving that person confused, unsure and a sense of lost self-worth and drive.

Let’s put this into context with professional football players.

Uncertainty, confusion and a loss of drive and self-worth will lead to their careers being cut short. Then what?

REAL FOOTBALLER PROBLEMS

Over the last few months, I’ve connected with and spoken in depth with former professional players that all had a story to tell me, and one player in particular hadn’t shared his story with anyone else and his situation happened five years ago.

If only at the time of his decision did he have someone to help him and think clearly, his playing career would have turned out a lot more fruitful.

His story is just one of many hundreds that are the reality for many former players and it’s this pain and frustration that, to me, doesn’t need to happen which is why I’m asking current professional players to talk to me so they don’t have a horrific story to tell in a few years.

My speciality is helping people see their situation from a new perspective, overcome procrastination quickly and make new choices that create opportunity.

YOU CAN HELP…

Do you know a premier league footballer?

Perhaps they are struggling, perhaps not, but it’s not your job to decide, but you can point them in the right direction.

Either way, by reading this blog or watching the video, may spark an interest in learning how they can help their career, help their family and friends and ultimately, themselves.

Let’s help and support them before it’s too late for them.

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Professional Footballers – The hard truth you need to deal with.

In the highly competitive environment which is professional football, there are some actions that will help you get noticed and there are some actions that will leave you on the bench.

That’s pretty easy to understand right, but there is a bitter pill that’s harder to swallow.

Sometimes things will happen out of your control that you don’t agree with, that don’t seem fair, that make you realise you fucked up and even seem unbelievable.

And when I say unbelievable, I heard one story from a former player, that blew my mind it was so wrong!

It made me realise that there are people in football that corrupt the game so they can thrive.

The players are pawns in a game of chess and at times can feel they have no control in what happens to them and the love for the game they once loved, is slowly withdrawn as they fall into a negative spin of deceit and uncertainty.

Then what happens?

The player gets moved around, lied to and left out.

Their mental health begins to suffer because as much as they try to find the answers, they can’t.

A player struggling with negative mental health is more likely to be left on the sidelines as they are considered a liability!

To me, that attitude is Bullshit!

When a player is suffering from negative mental health, the player needs to be find solutions fast with the support of someone neutral with only the player’s best interest at heart.

Did you know that a person can often overcome mental health quickly when a new perspective is given and accepted?

Did you know the performance of a player can quickly improve when a new perspective is given and accepted?

Did you know a player can thrive and even improve performance and therefore increase their value when they are given a new perspective and accepted?

Of course you didn’t because this simple way of helping players isn’t well known or accepted.

I really don’t care if you are a superstar or an unknown.

To me, you are a person first and people that struggle need help.

They need a new perspective to consider.

I believe we all have the capability to change perspectives.

I believe all people have the solutions inside their minds, if only they know how to access them.

Some players can figure it out by themselves.

But some can’t and it’s those that I am targeting with this post.

I’m an expert at offering new perspectives so a person can begin to thrive and leave negative mental health behind and begin to perform better on and off the pitch.

Do you know a player that needs a new perspective?

Please share and like if this resonates with you

Take it easy

Mike

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Mental Heath – Do these three things now to remove frustration quickly

We all experience mental health and when we are in a good place, our mental health is good!

But how do we get to that good place and what’s it like when we are there?

I researched many articles, spoke to many people and there’s three things I have found that lead to good mental health

Not worrying about what others may think about you or your decisions – In this age of social media, people’s resilience has been lowered as has self-esteem, especially in the Millennial population. We’ve become a society of hanging on to other’s judgements of us and wonder why people don’t message us back, even when the two blue ticks in WhatsApp appear! Be patient and know life is much more than what happens on social media.

Do more of what you love to do – What is it that you really enjoy to do but are afraid of doing more of, just in case someone may criticise you? What is holding you back from making that move into doing more of what you do? Our minds are very powerful and sometimes to our own detriment as we try to justify a reason for doing what we enjoy doing. When you understand doing more of what you enjoy, brings happiness you will embrace it. When you make that decision, you’ll quickly understand who your real friends are.

Find a balance in your life – Imagine you have learned to juggle three balls. You’re pretty damn good at it. Suddenly, someone throws another ball at you, then another, then another! What happens? You feel overwhelmed and frustrated because the things you do in your life have suddenly increased and you can’t balance them all! When you learn to drop things that don’t bring value to your life, you will quickly accept a more balanced life.

Do you feel overwhelmed and frustrated?

What one thing can you drop from your life?

What one thing can you add to your life?

What one thing do you worry about doing through fear of being judged?

As a specialist in helping professional football players overcome their issues, I’d like to share the same strategies I use with them for you.

Comment below if you want to change something in your life.

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THE REAL REASON WHY PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYERS SUFFER FROM NEGATIVE MENTAL HEALTH

Lack of honest communication between some managers and players

Dishonest communication between clubs and players

Poor management

Distractions off the field (You know what I’m talking about!)

Social Media attacks

Racism

A feeling of low self-esteem

Not enough praise

Too much criticism

Inability to express thoughts

Fear

Guilt

Lack of integrity…

I could go on but I’ve made my point.

Although this list isn’t exhausted, this is what I’ve found when speaking to former and some current players.

So why do players tolerate this negativity?

Let me tell you

Playing professional football is their livelihood. It’s their identity, in some cases it’s all they know.

So the thought of losing their livelihood, identity and only way of knowing how to live, would be more devastating than tolerating the list above.

Tolerating the above can seem the easier option and sometimes there’s a sense of “I’m a professional football player and these things should be tolerated”

Yet so many players do suffer from negative mental health because the choice to walk away is almost impossible for them so they tolerate up to a point before the cracks begin to show.

And when a player is showing cracks, rather than the club spending money and time into helping them, they put them to one side and look to replace that player as quick as possible.

They are now damaged.

The asset turns into a liability and in the quest to win, they dispense of the liability as quick as possible.

This is the state of football today.

This is what actually happens in some cases.

The thing is I understand why this happens.

Clubs want to win, they want the best players and there’s such a diverse market of players out there, any player can be replaced should they not be performing.

But I have a question.

When a player is struggling, rather than cast him aside and spend millions on a transfer or even selling the player as a liability, losing money and time in that quest to be a winner, what if there was a way to improve that player quickly and at least retain their value?


Einstein once said

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”.

All players have the potential to be genius’s with the right surroundings and support yet I believe many players are fish in a tree, put there, under false pretences.

I’m sure you can think of at least one player that’s played well for one club, yet as soon as they move to another club, they have played crap?

An article by Jamie Spencer that you can find here lists the worse 27 signings in the last few years.

Here are three that really interest me:-

Andy Carroll (Liverpool) – Liverpool had already broken their transfer record on winter deadline day in 2011 to buy £23m Luis Suarez from Ajax, but smashed it to pieces mere hours later to land Newcastle striker Andy Carroll for £35m.

The Geordie target man had only 18 months of regular first-team football under his belt at that time and represented a huge panic buy for the Reds. Carroll scored four Premier League during his only full season and was eventually sold to West Ham in 2013 for a £20m loss.


Angel Di Maria (Man Utd) – Angel Di Maria wasn’t the only one at fault for his dismal season at Manchester United in 2014/15. He was played out of position and often restricted by manager Louis van Gaal, while an attempted break-in at his house irreparably unsettled the Argentine and his family.

United fans thought they were getting a superstar when the £59.7m deal was completed as Di Maria had been named Man of the Match in the Champions League final for Real Madrid only a few months early. But after a strong start, he never looked prepared to put any effort in.


Winston Bogarde (Chelsea) – Winston Bogarde’s four-year spell at Chelsea is infamous because the Dutchman, who had previously won the Champions League with Ajax and played for Barcelona, spent most of his time at the club simply training and collecting lucrative wages, without actually playing.

Claudio Ranieri had been hired shortly after Bogarde’s arrival and didn’t want him. But the defender had signed a contract worth €15m over four years and didn’t believe he could earn as good a salary anywhere else. So he stuck around until 2004 to take every penny he was owed.


Let’s look at some contributing factors to these failures:-

  • Panic buying
  • £20 million loss
  • Played out of position
  • Restricted playing time
  • Previous man of the match in the champions league final but never looked prepared to put effort in
  • Never played a game

These decisions are not only stupid, but a waste of resources, money, time, and human effort.

In the quest to win, the people who make these decisions are blinded from making purposeful decisions and end up making stupid ones!


Winning clearly isn’t about panic buying, playing someone out of position or limiting someone’s minutes.

Winning is about having a clear vision and sticking to it.

So how about this for a radical idea –

Firstly establish your culture

Secondly find players that match your culture and support them through thick and thin to build trust and familiarity which in turn breeds a winning attitude

Thirdly don’t have your hand forced by others you want to please

The simple rule is this

“Treat your players well and good things will happen”

Players are not robots

They are not gambling chips to be used on a whim

Players will be at their best when they feel valued and understood

Players need support in tough times

The manager that understands this will do well

The players that play within this culture will perform well

The club will begin to win

If you are a #premierleague #footballer or a #championship player and you feel like a fish out of water, I need to speak with you.

I can help

If you are a manager with a player that isn’t performing as expected, I need to speak with you.

I can help

Now at this point, I’m sure you are creating excuses in your thoughts not to get in touch and if you are having those thoughts, let me ask you one simple question

If the solution to your problems exists, but you can’t accept the solution because you’re stuck in your ways, would you be willing to spend ten minutes listening to a new perspective that will help you believe the solution is right for you?

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THE REAL HIDDEN REASON MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVES IN FOOTBALL FAIL

Let’s first acknowledge that mental health issues are growing in professional football. We have to acknowledge this, because that’s the reality.

The Duke of Cambridge has an initiative, the FA have an initiative, just to name two and there are countless other sporting bodies trying to tackle the issue.

I’ve spoken to many football players in depth about their own issues and issues others have faced and there is a common theme as to why players are struggling more.

Let’s get straight into what I’ve heard from players…

A player is less likely to open up to their club, or someone associated with the club through fear of being ridiculed, exposed or tainted.

A player is less likely to open up to the FA because of the alleged incident with Mike Phenix (This came from a player that knew what happened)

Some Managers exploit players and manipulate their situation. Trust is lost in a moment!

Some players take the word of some people, but these people only have £ signs in their eyes and use the players as pawns

“I FOUND OUT THEY HAD TOLD THE TEAM NOT TO PLAY ME SO MY VALUE WOULD DECREASE!”

With all this bullshit going on, is it a surprise players are struggling?

So why do the initiatives largely fail?

The initiatives tick a box. They promote talking about the issues, yet when it comes to addressing the reasons, the real reasons are largely avoided.

Perhaps these organisations don’t know how to listen in the right way, perhaps they don’t want to rock the boat or perhaps, launching an initiative encouraging players to talk is enough for them?

Remember, I’ve spoken with players that have opened up their thoughts to me.

They have told me stories that would make a great story line for a Hollywood film!

The solution is simple, in my eyes at least.

Firstly understand each player is unique.

There is no one size fits all approach

Any player that’s struggling needs to encouraged to talk without the fear of being judged, criticised or made to feel useless. They need to be allowed to just….talk

The listener must be trained to actively listen, to listen without presuppositions and expectations. The listener must UNDERSTAND the tone of the voice, the unique way the player puts the sentence together and the specific words and phrases the player uses to verbalise their issues.

The listener must know how to help the player reframe their thinking; to look at the situation from a new perspective and allow the player to uncover their own solutions for when a player uncovers their own solution, the path to leaving issues behind suddenly feels easier.

The listener must ask questions that may seem strange, yet at the same time, creates a new thought process for the player.

The listener must be fully engaged without distraction, both internally and externally.

The listener must be discreet, demonstrate confidentiality and not be shared with any media outlet or social media outlet.

There must be an exchange of value for when there is an exchange of value, there is a sense of responsibility. Just as you pay a sports physio to sort out your body, you must pay a coach, to sort out your mental health.

This exchange promotes a sense of ownership and a duty to make change for the better.

There must be an acceptance of their current reality for when this is accepted, you have the truth and only when you have the truth can you begin to explore real solutions

You have to identify your vision with clarity. There has to be an end goal, a purpose of leaving negative mental health behind.

Then you explore solutions. You pick, prod and probe all possible options including the option that many feel are out of bounds, because they are only out for themselves. One such option would be to walk away from the game.

And finally you implement action.

This is how a mental health initiative should work if you want to get real results.

If this resonates with you, then please comment, like and share with someone you feel may help.

I’m leading this initiative and I need your help. If you really want to make a difference in football and create something unique for the players and those up and coming players, I want to hear from you.

There is so much more to this in my bigger plans and I want to share with people who can help create change and disrupt the norm

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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

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#tellmewhatsgoingoninyourhead

How Do you Tackle Mental Health?

What Is Mental Health?

The thing is, we all experience mental health, just as we do physical health

We need to embrace Mental Health

Learn to do things differently when you are low

Celebrate the good times

Appreciate when you’re balanced

When Mental Health is low in others

Offer to listen and ask the question

“Tell me what’s going on in your head”

You don’t need to be qualified to help, just listen without judgement

When you have low mental health

Be Accountable

Know you have a choice…

To speak to someone who will listen without judgement

Please share, comment and use the Hashtag below

#tellmewhatsgoingoninyourhead

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If you want your team to improve in the new year, you must read this

Before the dawn of a new year brings in an anticipation of success and change there are a couple of things you need to know…

A team is only as successful as their actions.

Let me elaborate…

Every successful team needs a goal, a vision to strive towards.

I’m not just talking about profits if you’re in business or wins if you’re in sports.

I’m talking about the powerful actions that create real change!

When you don’t have a vision, your team will lose their purpose and motivation and when these two key components are lost, their actions will be detrimental to the team.

When a person feels they don’t have a purpose or lacks motivation what do they do?

That’s right, They quit or look for another team.

Are you part of a team lacking a purpose and motivation?

Are you a leader in business or a coach in sports and the results aren’t in your favour?

Then it’s time to do things differently.

Here are three changes of action you can do, starting in the new year that will change your purpose, motivation and therefore outcomes quicker than you believe!

  1. Don’t aim for the end result and expect to hit the end result. When you tell your team to hit targets or go get the win, you’re forgetting the most important rule when it comes to motivating people. People need to feel valued and have a purpose.
  2. People feel valued and have purpose when they are allowed to express their ideas and concerns. By creating a forum where ideas and concerns can be expressed without the fear of judgment or criticism, but rather expressed with encouragement, support and positivity, there will be a shift in focus and productivity.
  3. When people are allowed to express their ideas and concerns, not only do their value and purpose increase, but the solutions to the issues and challenges can be found

Are you unsure about this? Does this look like something you like the idea of but fear taking action to make it happen?

Perhaps you’ve forgotten what it’s like to feel valued and have purpose because it’s been so long?

When presented with something new there’s always a sense of the unknown and with the sense of the unknown comes non-action. All you will do is allow this idea to fall by the wayside and allow your current struggle to continue, hoping something will change and tolerating your situation.

Hoping and tolerating will only keep you in that stagnant, good for nothing, ‘what’s the point’ place of mind and action and as a human, you deserve so much more than that.

If you like the idea but unsure what to do, let me leave you with this…

THOSE WHO SEEK HELP AREN’T WEAK BUT SHOW COURAGE IN TIMES OF ADVERSITY

If after reading this and you recognise you are an individual or team struggling in some way, and you still can’t make a decision to improve, please get in touch. I can talk you through the process. It’s much easier than the thought you’re having right now.

If you’re an individual needing to make a change to your situation and you want results quickly, you can apply to join the fast track program by clicking here

Mike

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Are you a professional sport person, in the public eye or organisation with mental health on their agenda?

It’s time to take steps forward in the battle to tackle mental health.

After in depth research and experience, it’s time to look at mental health from a new perspective.

If you’re struggling with mental health or want to address mental health as part of your agenda, then this video is a must watch!

I invite you to leave your thoughts and ideas to create discussion around this topic

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Tell me what’s going on in your head

The issue and topic of mental health is one that needs constant attention because there are some people that have yet to understand what they can do to help.

In this short video, I talk about some ideas that can be implemented immediately to help those who are suffering.

Please comment and share with your community because sometimes there are people who hide their struggles well, and this may help them reach out.