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Tips Uncategorized

Top 7 tips to improve sports performance

Being an athlete requires some level of dedication but dedication doesn’t necessarily equate to improving.

I see many athletes, going through the motions and ‘competing’ yet they don’t improve and I always ask the question why do they play, and over the years there’s some commonalities I’ve learned that stop a person from improving.

Here are my top 7 tips to improving your sports performance

  1. Have a need or desire to improve – I’ve learned some athletes are content being where they are and their current performance level and that’s fine. Each to their own so to speak but these people don’t have a need or desire to improve. They have a desire or need to stay the same and until that desire or need to improve, becomes greater than the desire or need to improve, good luck to them!
  2. Have an open mind to learning new concepts and perspectives – If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got, said Henry Ford, the automotive tycoon. When you go through the same training routines at the same level of effort, having the same attitude towards training and playing, you will always get the same outcomes. Improving involves pushing yourself to come out of your comfort boundaries which means learning how to think and act differently.
  3. Take action – It’s one thing to learn new concepts and strategy and a whole new ball game when you actually take action. I see some athletes learning new strategy then when the moment comes, they fail to take action. There are a few reasons why this happens
  4. Perspective; don’t fear the change, embrace the opportunity – When you learn a new concept or perspective, one reason that stops a person from taking action is fear. Some people don’t like change because it takes them away from what they know and what’s comfortable, yet no-one ever improved by staying comfortable in their own bubble. Change should be seen as an opportunity and with this opportunity comes excitement
  5. Know the power of self-talk – As we just realised, the perspective of approaching a new situation can elicit fear or excitement which ties in with the power of self-talk. What you say begins a series of thought processes and your synapses begin to fire which release emotions. When you talk about fear and negativity, your body and mind will begin to act in a way to protect itself, to keep it safe, but when you talk about opportunity and excitement, your mind and body will begin to act in a way that helps you grow and improve. But beware, if improving your self-talk is new to you, your old thinking habits may try to hijack you and drag you backwards. Stay strong and practice positive self-talk
  6. Know your coach probably doesn’t have the solutions to your need to improve – This harsh reality is common for many competitors and although there are some coaches that understand what it takes to improve, many are too focused on strategy, techniques and plays, leaving players frustrated. As a player you have a right to understand what the coach wants from you and it’s reasonable to ask your coach questions. Some coaches believe they are the be all and end all of communication, placing themselves onto a pedestal, creating an environment where the coach tells the player what to do and the player complies with their instructions. This style of coaching is becoming obsolete as a new breed of coach understands the value of listening to players and understanding their perspective. The question you can ask any coach to help you improve is “what can I do to help the team?” The answer will prompt a new thought from the coach and the answer he gives you will give you clarity on your next moves
  7. Don’t follow the crowd for the sake of it – To improve means doing things differently and if that means doing things that the crowd don’t do, then go and do it. As a younger basketball player I took on many of the tips I’m sharing with you now and at only 5′ 7″ in a game full of much taller, stronger players, I had to do things differently but it was this different approach that led me to be voted the MVP of the England U19 basketball team at a tournament in Etten Leur, Holland. Learn to be bold and set your own standards

BONUS

As you learn and grow, you will make mistakes but know a mistake is just an act that didn’t give you the expected outcome at that moment in time. Go again and make the necessary adjustments.

Are you ready to improve but want some support?

Here at Elite Sports Minds 23 we have created the NEAT System – a proven system that gets results. To find out more click here

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overcoming challenges

The Moral Of The Cyclist

Brand New Bike

Photo by Philipp M on Pexels.com

there was a man who wanted to do something new. He wanted to feel different as he realised he needed something to keep him motivated and after some consideration, he decided to get into cycling.

He was a well off man; plenty of money in the bank and when he researched bikes, he realised there was so many options, but his focus was on getting the most expensive bike his money could buy so he visited the shop that had five star reviews, found a bike, paid for it and took it home.

Action Time!

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Early that evening, the sun was shining, the air was still and he’d finished the last episode of The Last Dance for the second time. It was the perfect time to jump on the bike and head out.

Nervous at first, he set off slowly, but as he headed into the hills, his confidence grew and with his new found confidence, he began to go more off road (his hybrid bike was deliberately designed for both the road and off-road)

The Problem

Photo by Inzmam Khan on Pexels.com

Then out of nowhere a large sharp rock appeared out of nowhere! He lifted his front tyre to avoid it, but he wasn’t quick enough. He heard a loud pop, his rear tyre began to slide side to side as he slammed on his brakes. Luckily the soft grass softened his landing, but it was clear he had a problem.

Without a puncture repair kit his options were limited. What was he going to do?

The Moral

The moral of the story is this – Sometimes, it’s not the best that will get you through to where you desire to be, but your preperation and ability to overcome a challenge.

Where are you in your journey?

Are you just starting it, involved and enjoying it or have you had a puncture and now you realise you’re under-prepared?

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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 13

“Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.”

Tony Robbins

Is Material Wealth The Answer To Your Problems?


Did you find a reason to want to change from the last blog?

Having a reason to change drives you forward when things aren’t working but not everyone wants a reason to change. They would rather stay in the comfort of their own little bubble.

A Valuable Message

Last night I rediscovered a valuable message that I need to share with you.

This is relevant for people in sports, business and life so please share with people that might need a gentle nudge in the right direction.

Whatever your craft, whatever you excel at, you know you’ve spent hours, months and years honing that craft.

Your performance in that skill is unparallelleded and you’ve accomplished some great things.

This is what we call being skilled in Achievement. You took your time to learn a skill that has helped you get as far as you have.

You have become skilled in achieving something, be it sports, business or life. You may have achieved winning a league title, achieving a remarkable turnover of 5 million in a year or have achieved cool dad status!

Two Powerful Components

Success has two components

  1. Mastering The Skill Of Achievement
  2. Mastering The Art Of Fulfilment

Let me explain what this means to you

Your Achievements lead to external rewards – Money, houses, cars, fame just to name a few and in some way, having this material wealth can give you some satisfaction.

But this is short lived and can be taken away from you in an instant.

Just look how Covid-19 has changed the way people are living and earning a living. I know there are people out there suffering

The Misconception About Material Wealth

Many people with material wealth often have a sense of something being missing and they think they need more cars, a bigger house, more money to fill that gap and for a short period, the sense of something being missing goes away.

This only heightens their mistaken belief that having more material wealth solves their problems.

But the reality is that gap can only be filled with a sense of fulfilment but very few people know how to accomplish that.

Although they have Mastered The Craft Of Achieving, they have yet to Master The Art Of Fulfilment.

There is no blame to associate with this lack of knowledge because as much as we can assign importance to learning how to be fulfilled, schools, colleges and universities don’t deliver lessons on how to accomplish fulfilment, yet it is one of the most powerful arts and can be life changing in so many different ways.

I’ve researched and connected with former professional football players and talked about mental health and understand if only they had invested time, money and effort into mastering the art of fulfilment, many would have avoided the hardships they find themselves in now.

But a message to these players, it’s not too late! You can quickly discover a sense of fulfilment when you shift your focus away from you and onto others you care about. It’s easy to blame yourself, be critical to yourself and tell yourself what if, but this energy only drains your ability to feel fulfilled because you’re missing out on life as you focus internally on what you believe the problem to be. The problem is your perspective, not the situation. Shift your perspective and see what happens!

Being a professional football player has a shelf life and at some point, all that time and effort spent on mastering the skill of football suddenly becomes redundant as playing stops. You can no longer achieve on the field.

But being human lasts a lifetime so it makes sense to spend time on mastering the art of fulfilment because once playing football ends, you must find a way to fill that gap.

One of the most powerful ways to fill that gap is to give back. To take your skills and help others, either through charitable work for example.

If you’ve invested your money well during your time as a football player, you will have enough money to live on and perhaps you want to live a more fulfilling life by spending quality time with your family, building a business or perhaps becoming a wine connoisseur?

But you must start setting the foundation now. Don’t wait until the football ends!


Perhaps you want to chat about fulfilment and what you can do differently and I’m opining up my calendar. If you feel you would benefit from a chat, please book a time slot by clicking this link.

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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 12

“Growth is actually contagious, so if you want to reach your goals, you’ve got to get around people who are going in the same direction you want to be going, and you will catch the success.”

Dr Henry Cloud

If you’re not improving, what are you doing?


The player you are today is not the same as the player you were before Corona hit us.

You went from playing and training consistently, competing against your team mates and other teams, to training alone.

Your mindset shifted as your routine shifted.

But what does this mean for your future?

What does that mean to your ability?

Have you improved or lost a step? How do you know?

During the season with consistent training and playing, you gauge your ability based on how your opposition and team mates play and will rank yourself amongst your peers in various categories.

How fast you are, how tall you are, how skilled you are, how smart you are, how strong you are and so on.

You’ll have an idea of where you fit into the team.

Let me ask you a question.

Be honest with yourself

Before Corona locked us down, were you enjoying your time on the team?

If you answered yes, that tells me you were satisfied with your contribution and accepted your role on the team.

If you answered no, that tells me you want things to change.

You’ve had opportunity to improve during lockdown so what have you been doing about it?

Again be honest with yourself.

Have you stepped up your game and set a training schedule to help you

Or have you fallen into poor habits and been lackadaisical in your approach?

I understand through specific training in NLP, CBT, Emotional Intelligence and experience, you can improve quickly when you shift your mind.

For the uninitiated, this concept can seem unreal or pointless so little attention is paid to knowing more so let me try to convince you otherwise because you deserve to know how to improve.

It’s my passion to help struggling athletes understand the power of the mind, so they can improve their situation and continue to do well in the sport that allows their passion to thrive. Currently I’m helping three athletes, two from football and one from golf, to improve their situation.

To give you a taste of what can be achieved, let me share these tips:-

A simple conversation can break down mental barriers that are limiting your potential. One player was feeling anxious and lost but we created a simple sentence to ask his manager. This removed the anxiety and gave him clarity.

Your perception is only one perception of your reality but when you shift your perception, you can improve your ability quickly. You may be good, but I know you can be better. One player I’m working with has recently started a six week program of shifting perception to gain a psychological advantage over opponents and in the competitive nature of football, gaining an edge over your competitors is essential to your survival as a professional player.

Self talk or your inner voice will drive you to success, mediocrity or failure.

The lesson here is simple. Our behaviours and perceptions are learned from various experiences in our lives. The brilliant thing is because it’s learned we can unlearn these behaviours and perceptions and create more appropriate and purposeful ones.

The first thing you have to do to create change is having a reason to change.

What’s your reason to change?

If this blog has intrigued you and you want to know more, get in touch and I’d be happy to share more with you. Perhaps your curious to learn what it’s all about, how it works, what you can do right now and if it’s worth your time.

As a specialist coach, helping people like you improve is what I do best so allow me to help you be your best.


Are you a professional or amateur athlete wanting a new perspective on how to improve your situation? Find out more by clicking here

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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 11

“When people honor each other, there is a trust established that leads to synergy, interdependence, and deep respect. Both parties make decisions and choices based on what is right, what is best, what is valued most highly.”

Blaine Lee

The short message that had so much power

I’ve been let down in the past.

People have told me they can use my skills and abilities and the opportunity will happen soon, yet fail to produce that opportunity.

This has made me skeptical to offers. About four years ago I stupidly put my faith into one person who pretty much convinced me a new role had been created for me and it would be ready to start in September.

September came and went. He had no answers to me because the creation of the role was out of his hands and although his intentions came from a good place, the reality was, I had relied on this move happening and had mentally prepared to leave my day job. My respect for this person dropped immensely.

History has a sense of repeating itself and about a year and a half ago, another person promised me a role and sold the concept really well but this time I was more cautious.

Although my hopes were raised, my eggs weren’t all in one basket and when the opportunity failed to materialise, I shrugged it off. But my respect for this person dropped.

Something had to change and for change to happen I had to identify the pattern so I could change it. There is a pattern that has three key stages

  • I reach out to others with my ambitions and abilities
  • They suggest an opportunity
  • The opportunity doesn’t happen

The feeling of disappointment when putting my faith into others, hurts and I had had enough.

I needed a mindset shift!

I had to shift from relying on others to make things happen, to relying on myself to make things happen.

This mindset doesn’t come naturally to me and the learning curve has been insightful and eye-opening and over the last few months, I’ve been having conversations with people that see the value in my skills, but rather than rely on them providing me with opportunities, I’ve been suggesting opportunities to them.

Mindset shifts are powerful and although I help others create mind shifts for improved performances, I had to reflect and have a word with myself to create change.

When people let me down now, I quickly put them to one side until they are ready, if ever, to prove themselves to me as that allows me to redirect my energies into my ambitions and growth.

After a phone call lasting about an hour, I learned we had a lot in common and what I offered would be beneficial to their cause.

I put something together based on our conversation and the direction they want to go in and popped it across in an email.

Later on that day, I received a message saying ‘spot on’.

That was all I needed to read.

You may be thinking this blog is a bit ambiguous and you’d be right.

One of the other lessons I’ve learned is to keep things under wraps until the I’s are dotted and the T’s crossed.

My journey to become the most sought after sports mental performance specialist is twisting and turning in new ways and I am practicing patience.


Are you a professional or amateur athlete wanting a new perspective on how to improve your situation? Find out more by clicking here

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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 10

“Most of us have grown up seeing the world as a place of limitation rather than as a place of inexhaustible treasures.”

Bob Burg

Improving My Performance quickly

We are still in lockdown on Friday 5th of June. I’m at home with my wife and five year old and have managed to sneak away for a few moments.

There are two major moves I made recently, ones I’ve put off because I had doubts in my head.

Something was holding me back from taking action and that something was caused by a block I created years ago so I had to reframe my perception of why I created that block and look at the idea from a new perspective, a perspective from wanting to become the most sought after mental performance specialist.

I realised I created that block when I didn’t really have a vision or direction and the time I would have to put into something I didn’t put much value into, was a waste of my time.

I was limiting my growth and potential

That was then.

My new perception is much more positive and has much more potential value because I now have a clear vision.

Marketing is an art form. It takes a clear and focused mind to create a marketing system that works and to create a marketing system that works involves making decisions and choices and learning from mistakes and celebrate the successes.

I’ve completed my Google Analytics online course and passed and have now integrated Google Analytics into my website.

I’ve launched a targeted Facebook Advert, a sponsored post to attract potential clients to my website.

So I’ll be able to analyse the traffic to my website to see what’s working and what isn’t and adjust when and if needed.

Let’s see what happens!

In sports when you feel there is a block stopping you improving, you have to understand that at some point in the past, you created a perception of a situation, an interpretation of a moment in time, and very quickly formed a belief.

That belief can become part of your psyche and acceptance that that’s just how things are so you navigate around it rather than deal with it.

But when that block is detrimental to your growth, you have to consciously allow your mind to explore what happened when that block was created and give yourself permission to look at that block from a new perspective, that perspective being the here and now.

Blocks can be created in the following ways:-

  • A coach verbally instructing you not to do something
  • A coach giving you a look of disgust or disappointment
  • A coach Losing their trust in you
  • Your inner voice telling you, it’s not worth it
  • Your inner voice protecting you from embarrassing yourself
  • I misinterpretation of an instruction (As my pro basketball client discovered)
  • A sense of feeling lost and unsure (A football client was stuck here)
  • Interpreting a situation where you placed yourself as not worthy…

These examples are not an exhaustive list and there are many other ways that can cause a block in your development, but when you remove these limiting or mistaken beliefs, the results can be amazing!

Your beliefs will drive your thinking and perception of the world so for example If you are a fan of a team that play in red and that team is doing well, you may associate the colour red to success and positivity.

These limiting or mistaken beliefs can occur in life, sports and business so if you feel stuck, frustrated or you’re underperforming, it’s worth finding out what the source is and address it.

I’m about to have a call with a person that has a lot more experience than me in a field I need to learn about. This call will expand my learning but lift me to a higher place of value in terms of giving back to the community, therefore allowing me to learn from the community.

I’ll let you know more about that soon.


If you’re like to know how to improve your game quickly, please visit me by clicking here

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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 9

“On some dimension or other, every event in life can be causing only one of two things: either it is good for you, or it is bringing up what you need to look at in order to create good for you.”

Deepak Chopra

Coping with Covid

Life has certainly changed!

Personally I feel it changed for the better as I now have more time on my hands and I spend more time with my family, although at times I wish my son was back at school because a five year old is very demanding of attention! Of course I’m joking, but my skills as a parent to deliver homeschooling is severely being challenged!

But with the extra time, I have time to spend deliberately and purposely and try new things that give me leverage and experience towards my goal.

It’s strange being in lockdown as other people are also locked down including all sports across the world so I have to be flexible in my approach because right now, spending money on life changing services isn’t on the minds of the people.

In May 2020, I’m helping four people within Achology, I have two football players I’m helping, three e-sports players I’m supporting and started up my Facebook group called Live With Purpose, a small community that I offer insights and support for people wanting change for the better. All in all I have 9 individual clients and 11 group members.

All in all, I’m very busy.

It’s in May 2020 when I decided to start writing this blog, because I have to keep my mind active and I’ve found reflecting is a great way to re-engage with my self-worth and the value I can offer others.

One great thing coming out of this, albeit a coincidence is the weather. It’s never been as hot meaning I’ve been able to get out on my bike for some quality rides in the countryside.

I’m surrounded by valley’s and hills and lovely countryside and it’s a great feeling cycling through the villages and through woodland enjoying the world around me. It’s therapeutic and relaxing and allows my mind to settle down, something I’m really appreciating.

But I’m also aware some people are struggling and I was told a story earlier about a healthy fireman aged around 30 was struck down by the virus. He and his wife, a nurse, felt they would have a strong immune system because of their active lifestyles yet it seems the virus doesn’t discriminate, sending the fireman to intensive care.

My parents have self-isolated for months and being in the 70’s they have been classed as vulnerable yet my god mum who does no exercise and has dementia caught the virus and shrugged it off at the age of 90!

There doesn’t seem to be any patterns or consistency which can make it even more worrying.

There are three things I’d like to offer to people at this point and although lockdown may have relaxed by the time you’re reading this, the tips will help you in your daily lives

  1. Know you are vulnerable and appreciate those you care about and let go of those who bring trouble or stress to your life
  2. You are worthy of a great life. You have opportunities around you and if you are feeling stuck, now is the perfect time to try new things and discover your true potential
  3. Find a balance within your life that works with you. You are allowed to let things go that feel too heavy or burden you in some way. A balanced life is one of appreciation.

Join me next time to see what developments have occurred and I welcome your thoughts and comments.


If you’re like to know how to improve your game quickly, please visit me by clicking here

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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.

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My Journey

The Journey To Become The Most Sought After Sports Mental Performance Specialist Part 7

“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.”

Terry Pratchett

The death of a player

The basketball community is a tight knit one and in 2017, one coach I knew, hinted at the suicide of a junior player.

The death of anyone is a sombre experience but when someone takes their own life, I feel the pain of those connect with that person. I have no idea where this emotion came from because I don’t know anyone that committed suicide so perhaps I see it as a waste of a life when I have learned there are always other choices.

But I have to remind myself, the person that died, in that moment only knew of one choice. They couldn’t see any other way to deal with the situation they found themselves.

I do know people that have been taken to the edge and looked at the chasm beneath but decided to give life another go.

I believe it takes more strength to walk away from the act than to actually follow through with it but what message does that say to the loved ones left behind? I don’t have personal experience about the topic so you may ask how I can have such a strong view and you’d be right to ask.

What I’ve learned is each person lives their own unique life and very rarely will even the closest person, know what’s going on in their mind, which leads me to promote the importance and value of understanding one’s mind, so you can build resilience and strength so when challenges present themselves, you know how to think differently so you can act differently.

The teachings of the mind is something that needs to be taught in school because stress and anxiety in teenagers is rising for various reasons that I won’t go into here but suffice to say, I’ve listened to professionals in education and as someone working with disadvantaged youths, I hear a lot about anxiety.

In February 2019 The rate for suicides between children and young people between 15-19 is now three per 100,000 in England, whereas ten years ago it was one per 100,000. Click here for more information

I know an NLP Master Practitioner up in Scotland that delivers sessions to secondary school pupils and it’s my personal opinion, he should be asked to do a lot more to promote NLP in schools because learning the stools and strategies helps young people understand, their thoughts in a positive way.

With the death of the player, I chose to create a CIC or Community Interest Company and offer clubs the opportunity to get the tools to help coaches empower and raise the confidence in their players/humans so the rate of suicides in basketball teams doesn’t increase but self-worth does increase.

I delivered a pilot scheme with one of the local junior teams, but with little interest in continuing the program and a change in coaching personnel it faded. Disappointed I put it to one side. I had yet to master the skills needed to market and promote services in the way to attract the right attention. I allowed myself to become distracted which led to me shifting my focus to football.

I began to reach out to people in football to find out more about mental health and build some connections, speaking with former professional players, coaches and managers. One former player from Manchester United, agreed with what I was trying to do with the CIC and my other work, as did other former players and some of the stories I heard about the treatment of players left me flabbergasted! I was learning more about the professional football game from those who had experienced it first hand.

The program doesn’t just help raise the issue of mental health, but it creates a safe environment that players are encouraged to share their ideas, concerns and examples of what they can do differently with purpose and without being judged, around any topic from mental health to training to meals.

It uses a model called The Inner Circle model, derived from principles from Harvard Business School, NLP and emotional intelligence and if you know any coach wanting to improve the performance and culture of their team, they need to sign up and access the resources.

The program is player centric and right now any coach can find out more here

It’s at this point I need to recap my work all of which I’ve delivered for no personal monetary gain:-

  • NLP Practitioner acquired
  • Helped a pro basketball player improve quickly
  • Designed and delivered a research program based on an Emotional Intelligence program, Evaluating Truth and Credibility.
  • Successfully helped a former GB basketball player understand the concepts and improve
  • Helped a football (soccer) player in New York improve so much she won an MVP and began teaching her academy kids the principles
  • Worked and achieved a degree in Sports Development
  • Founded a CIC called Youth Sport Solutions (I really need to do something with this and if you are involved in a sports academy or a youth team please get in touch)

Around December 2018, I was contemplating bringing a National league basketball mens team back to Bury. The thought was sparked from a conversation I had with a friend about his idea that didn’t materialise, so I had to make a choice. Do it or don’t do it.

I chose to do it and after finding two other people who wanted to help, the three of us became volunteer directors of a National League basketball team. We won the league in our first year, attracted high calibre players through my strategy.

We were on target to win the league (mathematically, no-one could catch us) and then Covid-19 decided to show it’s face.

In November 2019 I scratched an itch I should have scratched back in 2011 after my NLP Practitioner course, and embarked on my NLP Master Practitioner course, partly to prove to myself I could still study and learn and also to give myself more credibility as I felt I was gaining some momentum in football.

I joined a community that gave me hope, that allowed me to connect with like-minded people and instil hope in others.

In my quest to become the leading Sports Mental Performance Specialist, I had the experience and confidence, I just needed one break…

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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.