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NLP and the professional athlete

The picture suggests even in old age you can enjoy sports but I wonder of these two ever struggled when they were younger?

When you’re struggling, something needs to change

Change comes with doing something differently and thinking differently

What can we determine as needing to do things differently?

Drawing on my experience I’ve identified a few situations athletes find themselves in including

  • Losing confidence in ability
  • Losing a sense of purpose and identity
  • Cracking under pressure

When I write about creating change I have to acknowledge there are other ways you can get help. Sports psychologists, CBT are two examples.

NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming is a way you can overcome your challenges

What benefits can you experience with NLP? The athletes I’ve worked with told me

  • My wellbeing is 100% better
  • I won my first ever MVP
  • I’ve not had any anxiety since
  • I’ve never shot the ball this well

Each athlete I’ve worked with is unique and each had their perspective of what was wrong and what needed to change but with specific questioning and listening, the athlete was able to find the answers to the questions they dared not to ask before

I love NLP because there is no one size fits all approach. There is no one strategy that works for all athletes yet the outcomes are often the same – a sense of recognition that things will be OK and they should have done something sooner

It’s almost like they are different people! Imagine knowing you had a button but were scared to press it. But you knew if that button was pressed, your troubles and worries would disappear and your performance would improve

NLP gives you the confidence to press that button

As a former high level athlete and professional coach, I have an insight to the challenges you face and with the training in NLP and emotional intelligence, combined with being an introvert, my listening and observations skills are heightened, meaning I can create the perfect environment for a you to open up and allow me to guide you

No professional athlete deserves to suffer because your lively hood will be at risk in this competitive environment in which you can be let go or left to one side at the drop of a hat, so giving yourself the best chance to succeed is a no-brainer

If you have no idea about NLP and you’re struggling, my suggestion is simple

Reach out to people and find a solution that works for you

Now is the perfect time to consider coaching using NLP

We are coming out of lock down, competitions are starting up and you’ll be ready for your next competition

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mindset motivation Tips

Learn the secrets even the professionals don’t know!

In the ten years I’ve been coaching, there have been players that have learned more about themselves in the 6 weeks they work with me than they have in their sporting careers

Testimony

The testimony from a professional basketball player was evidence of this observation and now I want you to access the same secrets he was able to unlock in just 6 weeks. Click here to read his testimony

But there’s a bonus!

Quick results

The course is available online by clicking here and you can go through the content in a lot less than six weeks

But going through the course, listening to the highly informative content and making notes won’t be enough unless you take action

Your actions

Taking action is the one thing that will set you apart from those who like the idea of improving and those who actually improve

Reminder

Here’s another chance to access this course that takes the useful parts of personal development, removes the useless parts, (I hate wasting time) and gives you a unique course you won’t find anywhere else yet gets powerful results. Click here

Play with purpose!

Mike

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#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
mindset motivation

What is an elite sports mind?

This is my opinion drawn fromy years experience of playing, coaching and helping athletes and there are some commonalities and obvious things like working smart, earing the right food, training with purpose

But an elite sports mind doesn’t have to belong to an athlete that’s an elite performer

Of course the elite level is the best of the best but you don’t suddenly become the best

There are steps you need to take and you have to start somewhere

So where do you start? What do you have to know to help you create that Elite Sports mind?

There are many variables and factors that drive someone towards or away from building this mindset so let me share with you the three key variables that I believe helps anyone create that Elite Sports mind

  • Have a need or desire to improve
  • Have an open mind to learning new strategy and perspectives
  • Have the ability to put your new learnings into action

Growth occurs when you’re ready to grow

Growth occurs when you’re ready to challenge your current beliefs and values

Growth occurs when you come out of your comfort zone by thinking and acting differently

Have you got an elite sports mind?

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#mental health Inner Voice mindset overcoming challenges

Pro athlete improves wellbeing by 100%

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
1) The simplistic nature of the conversation, not using fancy words or over complicated explanations. 
2) His calm nature when speaking made me feel at ease even when before the call I was quite stressed. 
3) His availability, it’s something that goes under appreciated 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 in a 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.

Do you know a professional athlete who would benefit from this coaching?

Drop Mike a message and start a conversation

Categories
Inner Voice mindset overcoming challenges

What do you say to yourself under pressure?

What you say to yourself matters.  Henry Ford said:

whether you think you can or whether you think you cannot, you’re right. 

In sports there are 3 defining challenging moments you’ll experience – pressure losing and mistakes. It’s inevitable.  You’re not going to win every competition so knowing what to do in these 3 key moments will either propel you forward or drag you back. 

In this blog let’s consider handling pressure. 

Your mind drives your performance and actions. Imagine a finely tuned car, a super car ready to race and show the world what it’s capable of.  It’s shiny exterior and powerful engine is ready for action. 

But it needs a driver. It needs someone that understands the car like the back of their hand, someone whos in synch with the electronics and workings. 

But the driver is nervous. 

He’s cracked under pressure before and now with this brilliant car he feels even more pressure.  There’s expectations from the team owner, his coach, the sponsors for him to win.  

But he wants to give it a go. He says to himself this time will be different.  This time he will win. 

When we experience pressure one of two things will happen. 

You either feel stress and anxiety or you thrive 

Some people love pressure. They step up and take responsibility for what’s about to happen and can deal with the success or failure that follows. 

Some shy away from pressure leaving the decisions to others. 

When I was 15 a long time ago our school basketball team had come from 19 points down to tie the game in the national school final with just a few seconds remaining. 

I drove to the basket, jumped and was fouled and hit the floor. 2 free throws to come but as I went to get up off the floor, I couldn’t!  My legs were tight and I had no idea what was going on! 

Turns out I had cramp. I’d never had cramp before so I was panicked but after my assistant coach helped me I stood up and composed myself. If I missed it would leave the door open for the opponents. If I made them, we’d have the advantage. I went to the free throw line and nailed both go give us a 2 point lead which helped us win the game. 

This was my first experience with pressure and I was balanced calm and focused and carried that perspective forward ever since. 

Pressure is a perspective of your situation and those that thrive welcome those moments.

How do you perceive pressure? 

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#mental health mindset overcoming challenges

Limiting and Mistaken Beliefs – The Truth!

Before covid hit in January 2020 which seems so long ago now, a football player and I connected because he was at a cross roads. 

He was playing in the lower leagues and was thinking about giving it all up.  Here’s what he said:-

“My frustrations are the management staff not explaining why i’m not playing, bad man management, not making individuals more confident or not giving advice on how we can improve and generally not saying a word to a player but only a few key players.

A thought that distracts me every now and then thinking “am i wasting my time here”? Being a player that moved back to the UK just for this opportunity.”

He was down and wanted to make a decision. 

Although he loved the game of football he felt he wasn’t valued or understood by the manager which left him feeling uncertain and unsure about the value he brought to his team but also in his self worth. 

Football was his passion and because his self worth was low, he felt part of his identity was missing, leaving him confused. 

I know from playing and coaching experience what the relationship between a player and coach should be.  It should be one of openness, integrity and mutual respect where both can bring some value to the relationship. 

But some coaches aren’t aware of this and some players aren’t aware of this either which means when there’s something wrong, there’s a tendency to skip over the issue and hope things work out. 

But this player was ready to give up and our conversation was the last resort. 

From listening to him in depth, I explained in depth the relationship between player and manager and told him, through nobody’s fault, there was simply a gap in communication filled with assumptions from both sides. The player assumes one thing and the manager assumes something else and when you assume, there’s a good chance you’re wrong. 

When you assume you make an ASSume out of assUme and assuME.

So I came up with a simple sentence for him to ask his manager. 

The purpose of this sentence was to remove his limiting beliefs around what was possible and to remove his mistaken belief that the coach didn’t see him of any value, and help the player gain clarity but also allow the coach to understand his perspective.

Before I tell you the sentence, let me tell you what happened.

After a couple of false starts due to nerves getting the better of him, he managed to speak with the manager which released his frustrations quickly.  He felt energised and his self-worth improved almost immediately.  The coach’s perspective changed and a new line of communication was opened.

The love for the game was restored!

Sometimes we can hold in our thoughts through fear of being rejected or criticised and when we do that, the anxiety just grows and grows until the only solution we see is to get out of there.

But when you learn you have a choice and you can take back control quickly, things, like they did with this football player, can turn around quickly.

The sentence he used was

“What I can do differently to help the team?”

If you found some value in this post, I invite you to comment and subscribe for my weekly blogs, released every Friday at 10.00am GMT

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esports mindset overcoming challenges

How to manage expectations

I’d like you to consider the following tasks:

Run a marathon tomorrow

Hold your breath for 4 minutes

Do 200 pushups in 5 minutes

What thoughts and emotions did you just experience?

Sometimes in life and sports, others expect a lot more of you than you are capable of and when these unrealistic expectations are presented to you, one of three things will happen.

You will make an excuse not to attempt to try

You will half-heartedly give it a go

You will do it to the best of your ability

It’s usually those closest to you that set these unrealistic expectations and each person will have a reason to set us these tasks.  It could come from family, parents, your manager or coach because they want the best for you.  They want you to succeed and somewhere down the line they have heard a person can improve by being pushed to be better and as much as I agree to that sentiment to some degree, if the person isn’t ready to be pushed, those expectations from others won’t be accomplished.

When this happens, there is some trust lost between the two and fractured relationships can occur, therefore hindering any further growth.

So what can you do?

Putting those unrealistic expectations to one side, what do YOU expect of yourself? (Be selfish)

How far out of alignment are your expectations compared to those unrealistic ones, others are setting you?

There is something very powerful about setting your own expectations with the right guidance and I want to be clear on what that guidance is because if you’re a person who really wants to improve, you have to get it right.

If you took away your fear of letting others down and living up to others expectations, what expectations would you set yourself?

Write down three things you improve but make it realistic. As an esports pro you might want to get more sleep, eat healthier or improve your mindset.

Secondly, select just one of those things and tell yourself you’re going to improve in this category in so many weeks, by doing x more consistently.

Now all you do is begin to take action and this is where setting your own expectations becomes powerful.

Now you have a choice.

You will either do it, or you won’t.

If you don’t reach your expectations, you overstretched your capabilities so you must reflect and make adjustments.

If you do reach your expectations, enjoy that feeling when you achieve because that is true growth!

Categories
esports mindset

Your Reality

We live in the moment, we exist in the moment, yet it’s easy to get distracted by the past or think too far into the future and I want to start with talking about the importance of recognising where you are because when you accept your reality, you can begin to set realistic and achievable goals.

I want to talk about goal setting because in sports, goal setting is important to help us gauge our growth and development and this gives us a sense of purpose and accomplishment.  How great does it feel when you accomplish a goal?  I’m right handed and remember practicing to make a left hand layup, a shot in basketball.  I was in the school gym with my mate in the lunch hour and it started off with a simple question, shall we practice left hand layups.  So we started.  Of course we sucked at them!  Hitting the bottom of the ring, missing the ring completely, but all the time we were adjusting and repeating until we eventually got one in!  And although we managed to make one and accomplished our goal, we instinctively wanted more.  Making one wasn’t good enough so now could we make three in a row.

We tried, we made one, maybe two before finally making three and again, goal accomplished.  But we wanted more.

The goal now was to be consistent.

After being consistent could we make them under pressure

Then could we make them in games?

Our reality was very much in the moment, and we didn’t assume we could go straight into a game and make left hand layups, we had to learn the basics and fundamentals before moving on and the recognition of our reality kept us grounded.

How often do you compare yourself to others?  How does that make you feel?

It’s easy to begin to compare yourself with others who are either more successful than you or not as good as you then begin to judge yourself based on your judgements of others which isn’t fair on you because their journey to where they are was very different to yours.

This unfair comparison can raise anxiety through thinking you’re not good enough, or bring a sense of complacency thinking you are so much better, but when you focus on your journey, your needs, your goals, improving becomes something you can control and feel at ease with.

Be proud of where you are, be accepting of your current level of ability and if you really want to improve set yourself realistic targets based on your needs.

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

Play with purpose

Categories
esports mindset overcoming challenges

Improve your communication with cake recipes

Esports and cake?

There is a link between cakes and esports and not the obvious one you might be thinking. We are talking about recipes and when it comes to improving performance, it’s all about the recipes, so let’s look at what you need to do.

Follow a recipe of course!

You’ve got your ingredients for a cake but now what do you do with them? How do you transform these individual items into something really tasty?

Unless you’re trained and have done it before, the likely hood is you’ll follow a recipe and a method that involves weighing, measuring, mixing and heating and if things go to plan, your cake will be completed, ready to eat (and share if you really want to) in the shape of an X-box or PS or something that you can enjoy

Recipe for your mind

Imagine for a moment the cake represents your ideal outcome. Whether that’s finding confidence, or improving performance or overcoming an issue that’s been bugging you for a while, you want a different outcome than the one you’re currently getting

Just like the recipe for the cake there is a recipe for the mind and the ingredients include how you see, hear and feel and when you learn how to mix them in the right way, your ideal outcome will be achieved quickly

The hard part is convincing yourself, you are ready to try mixing the ingredients up differently and this is hard because to do that, you must first understand how and why you think. Have you got the time and open mind to learn new perspectives?

Changing your recipe

Over your life you’ve created beliefs, values and habits, rightly or wrongly but somewhere down the line, you decided you want to change things; you want things to be better for you. Perhaps you feel tired all the time, perhaps you have had enough of losing or perhaps you want to try something new? whatever different outcome you want, you have to think and act differently.

The thought of changing can be enough to put some people off from trying, but it’s important to know changing takes courage and determination and will lead to different outcomes, and by coming out of your comfort zone for just a few moments, you will begin to feel a change. Then you ride that momentum and embrace what’s happening

New outcomes achieved!

Just like baking that cake of yours, getting the right outcome takes time to perfect. When I was younger, every Christmas I would bake a chocolate log, a Swiss role covered in chocolate. I’d make about five of them for my relatives and I was that skilled, I could do it without a recipe because I got into the zone and just did it. But to get to that level took time. Yes I made mistakes but quickly ate up the evidence before my mum saw

You deserve to find new outcomes if the ones you’re achieving now, aren’t providing you with what you need or desire, so embrace change, embrace your ability to do things differently and start to bake a new cake!

One FIFA pro I was working with talked about letting his team down, being distracted and wanting to finish the game quickly and score quickly which led to hasty decisions.  We talked about his thoughts and broke them down then reframed his thinking to create a new emotion which led to improved outcomes of winning game 1 – 0 or 2 – 0 and getting more wins.  He’s recently beaten two brilliant players, DullenMike the youngest winner of a FUT Champions Cup in the history of EA SPORTS FIFA and The Gorilla, arguably the GOAT of FIFA.

The point is this – When you have a need or desire to improve, you can change your thinking to fast track your way to improvements by changing your recipe, just like you can change a recipe from a chocolate chip cake to a strawberry cake, you make a couple of adjustments and off you go.  You might not get it right first time but you have taken the first steps to improving