#mental health

Mental Health and the NBA

A few days ago, All Star player for the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George opened up about his struggles with mental health

The NBA playoffs are currently taking place in Orlando inside “The Bubble’ creating a sense of isolation away from family and friends and that sense of normality we have all learned to appreciate just a little bit more

In the extract below from an article published in SB on August 26th, we get to understand more about his situation.

The Article

Paul George has spent the last week being the biggest punchline in the NBA. The Los Angeles Clippers forward was struggling immensely through the first four games of his team’s series with the Dallas Mavericks, becoming the first player since 1960 to shoot under 25 percent from the field in three straight playoff games. 

The jokes started to fly at George’s expense. The internet didn’t forget that he nicknamed himself “Playoff P” a few years back. The criticism was clearly getting to George. He posted corny memes to his Instagram account and disabled the comments. He said his knack wasn’t to score the ball. While the criticism over his play felt partially deserved as the series became tied at 2-2 on Luka Doncic’s immaculate buzzer-beater, some of it was starting to get ugly and personal. 

The Clippers needed George to be the best version of himself in Game 5 on Tuesday night, and George delivered. He finished the night with 35 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field as Los Angeles skated to an impressive 154-111 victory. This was the player the Clippers were waiting for

After the game, George opened up on his struggles and how life in the bubble was impacting him. “The bubble got the best of me,” George said. “I was in a dark place.”

George continued to elaborate on how he was feeling post-game, talking about how the constant feedback loop was affecting his mental health while he couldn’t escape to the outside world in the bubble. 

“I under estimated mental health, honestly. I had anxiety. A little bit of depression. Just being locked in here …. I checked out.”

It wasn’t until he spoke with a professional, that he was able to move away from the darkness

George mentioned conversations he had with the team’s psychiatrist that played a role in his “energy” and “spirit” changing.

What this means for other pro athletes

When you read or hear about a professional athlete open up about their struggles, another professional athlete can draw inspiration and confidence knowing that opening up and talking is an option to consider and because the outcome was productive and positive, the athlete can see the positive effects of opening up

Other athletes opening up

Paul George wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last athlete to face mental health issues. Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan are two other NBA players that have experienced issues and there are countless footballers (soccer players) that have also struggled with mental health)

What next?

If you know of an athlete or you are an athlete struggling to deal with the pressures and experiences professional sports bestow upon you, the message is clear – SPEAK TO A PROFESSIONAL.

Not only do you remove those negative feelings and emotions, but your performance increases almost immediately.


Basketball Players – OutSmart Your Opponent With This Simple Shift Of Perspective


There’s no better feeling than winning!

There’s no better feeling than getting an edge on your opponent and feeling you are getting the better of them.

You lock them down and limit their ability to do what they do best


What I’m going to tell you, some may find controversial.

Traditionally, basketball players when being taught defence are taught to focus on the chest area of the attacker because this is the only part of the body they can’t fake. That makes sense until you discover another perspective.

Another perspective that was born from experience, research, pilot schemes and live performance, will tell you that this traditional method needs to be left behind.


In a test, one former GB player, Devan Bailey was coaching on a camp I was also coaching on a few years ago in Bury up in the North of England. Devan is a quiet guy, humble yet intelligent and when I approached him with this new strategy to try out, he was open to it.

I explained the concepts to him and he took them on board. As a baseline I asked him to give me a number from 1 to 10 as to how in control and his confidence was in stopping the attacker, before the exercise and he gave me a number. After the exercise I asked him the same question and the number had increased! It also showed in his movement and behaviours.

His level of feeling in control and ability to stop the attacker had increased!

Just by shifting his perspective.


To outsmart your opponent with a simple shift of perspective, click here to access the academic paper and methods, for free.

The research included travelling around the North West of England, filming 200 players from amateur to pro including players from The Manchester Giants, Moss Side Tropics, Burnley basketball club and Bolton University.

Are you a professional player?

Are you a university wanting to improve performance?

Get in touch by clicking here

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Kobe Bryant – The loss of a champion

“who’s this cocky kid who wants to be like Jordan?”

This was my first thought when I first saw kobe play.

Jordan was my idol. He was the one that set the standard. Now this kid comes along copying his every move.

Put him in his place MJ!

But kobe was tenacious!

He wasn’t backing down!

If anything he was getting better and he was seemingly doing anything possible to be the best!

He teamed up with Shaq and won three NBA titles before their relationship turned sour.

Kobe went on to win two more without the big fella.

Just before I carry on I have to remind myself to be mindful…

Being mindful, this blog could easily turn into an MJ / Kobe comparison, I remind myself to focus on the purpose of this post which is to celebrate kobe after learning of his tragic death just yesterday. There have been plenty of comparisons and now isn’t the time.

I never met kobe but at the 2012 Olympics in London I was privileged to be sitting courtside as a Games Maker, absorbing his aura and watching his every move in the final versus Spain.

I analysed and watched intently as he weaved, cut, jumped and shot and helped his team to the gold medal.

There were moments, I appreciated like his uncanny ability to know what to do just at the right time.

He knew when he had to control that moment and give his team the best chance of winning.

It was this emotional intelligence that set him aside from others. It was this I came to respect.

I watched his final game on TV, the kobe show, and saw how much love he had from within the basketball community.

His competitive nature was on full view as he willed his team to victory with 60 points.

In retirement he won a Oscar for his animated short film, Dear Basketball, showing he was much more than a player.

He was engaging in the community and giving back to the game. 
He was embracing retirement from playing.

Then it happened

Not only has the game lost an ambassador for the game of basketball, but the world has a lost a decent human being. His 13 year old daughter was with him at the time and I can only hope they embraced with a deep love and understanding at the moment.

What now?

I’m still trying to come to terms with this loss and how it affects me as a person, as a player, a coach, a father…

The world still moves, basketball will still be played and there will be much love poured from the souls of those who knew of kobe.

His legacy firmly established in the basketball community, we all have our memories of this amazing player and person.

He was a true champion in the strongest sense of the word.

My head is full of swirling images and mini movies of his past. My inner voice is asking lots of questions I can’t possibly answer and my stomach has a knot that aches and this, about 24 hours after the event, is how I deal with the loss.

I can’t bring myself to watch highlights of his stellar career yet because it feels too soon, yet I do know the time will come when I allow myself to enjoy the moments this champion brought to us all.

Rest In Peace Black Mamba.