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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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Become who you want to be

Stop struggling as a professional athlete with this free download

You need a way to move from where you are now, to where you want to be and if you don’t have clarity or a system to help you get there, you’ll continue to struggle and be frustrated with yourself, with others and your situation.

But what’s the point in staying where you are?

You’ve realised you’re not in a place of value so why not start making that change now?

Many people who are stuck, fail to move anywhere because they are fearful of change.

They create scenarios around “What if”

What if i get treated differently?

What if they take the piss?

What if I’m not good enough?

What if i can’t do it?

What if I fail?

Not only have I moved away from feeling stuck, I understand you are unique and you are the only one who has lived your life and created the beliefs and values you experience.

But people who feel stuck, take comfort in having a system they can follow which is why I created the NEAT system.

I want you to have this system for FREE to give you insights on how you can become unstuck and begin to move forward.

But before you download the document you need to meet three criteria

  1. Have an open mind to learning
  2. Have a reason for wanting to improve
  3. Have the ability to take action with support

There are too many people suffering because there are fearful so please, allow yourself to remove that fear and begin to make positive changes.

Live with Purpose

Mike

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How Can You Help Me?

How I Can Help You In Your Moment Of Crisis

The very first thing you have to do is accept you aren’t in a place you want to be AND you want to do something about it.

Struggling and Tolerating

Many athletes struggle but think things will get better, things will change and struggling is part of the job. They tolerate and try to shoulder the burden and anxiety. They try to figure it out themselves or ask family and friends for their advice, which is nice, but unless your family and friends have the skills necessary to help you, the frustrations will linger.

Yet those few people who thrive, know differently.

They know a moment of crisis needs to be dealt with because if it isn’t the path to self-destruction isn’t too far away.

They know they need to do something about it!

You deserve to thrive again

Consider what you’ve been through to get to where you are as a professional athlete

You’ve spent hours, days, weeks, months, years, developing your physical and technical abilities to get you to where you are today.

You’ve challenged yourself, pushed yourself and lived a life, very few people on the planet can say they lived.

Perhaps you’ve had great sponsorship

Perhaps you’re very well paid

Perhaps you’ve won awards

Perhaps you’ve even won a World Cup and been number 1 in the world?

But something changed

Something isn’t right and when was the last time you had mental performance training?

Honestly….

I didn’t think so.

There is no club, NGB, college or university that trains you in mental performance coaching

Listen, I’ve spoken to current and former professionals and one thing they all say is they wished they had reached out sooner rather than later, or had someone they could trust, to contact in that moment of crisis.

You always have options. You always have other perspectives to consider, but most of the time, these choices and options are either hidden from you as others try to manipulate you, or you are that stressed out, you can’t see the answer, even it came up behind you and kicked you in the ass!

How Can I Help You?

I can help you by listening to you without judging

I can help you by understanding your situation

I can help you by understanding you and not using jargon that just confuses you

I can help you understand how to move forward quickly in a discreet and confidential manner.

Only you and I need to know what’s said between us because once you’re thriving again, others will benefit from your improved performance including your family, team-mates, coach and others who put their faith in you like the fans.

If you know someone who is in a crisis moment, and you know this by their mood change and poor performance, let them know you can help by asking them to read this post then click here to start moving away from stress and towards thriving

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What is a Specialist Mental Performance Coach?

What Is A Specialist Mental Performance Coach?

The Power Of Your Mind

Your Mind Drives You

Your mind is what drives you

Your mind decides whether you succeed or fail, yet many athletes don’t understand this, and it’s my job to help educate and support you to not only understand your mind, but how to think differently for improved results.

Why Am I A Specialist?

Why am I A specialist?

I’m a specialist in my field – mental performance coach for athletes around the world and please allow me to elaborate and share my experience with you

  • Voted by coaches as the best player in England on the England U19 basketball team aged 17
  • Voted by coaches as one of the top 20 players (All-Star selection) in the second tier of British basketball (At only 5′ 7″ I had to take a different approach to the game to succeed)
  • NLP Master Practitioner
  • Through a research project involving filming 200 players and analysing 1000 clips, I co-wrote an academic paper and developed the world’s first emotional intelligence program for football (soccer) and basketball players.
  • Mindfulness Practitioner
  • Training and development consultant for a National company
  • Assistant Professional coach for The Manchester Giants
  • Helped athletes in football, golf and basketball to improve performance quickly
  • Mental Health advocate
  • Degree in Sports Development
  • Voluntary Director of a National League Basketball Team

Does All That Really Matter?

Who Cares What I’ve Achieved?

In all my time of working, not one of my clients asked me to prove my experience or to see my qualifications.

Many people really don’t care what I’ve achieved, because all they care about is what I can do for them, so you can put aside my experiences and qualifications and know, you are at the centre of my support.

I don’t use jargon because I want to understand you and I want you to understand me. When we understand each other, great things will happen.

Move Forward Quickly

Move forward quickly

It’s your mind and your thoughts, that I’m interested in. The more I know, the more I can help and the more open and honest you are with me, the quicker we can move you from crisis to thriving.

There are two factors that are influencing you right now and keeping you from moving forward

  • Your perception of your reality
  • Your expectations of self and others

Your perception of your reality isn’t aligned with your expectations and it’s this misalignment that leads you to a crisis point.

But don’t worry. You will soon understand how to move on from the crisis point and begin to thrive and improve your opportunities.

Take Action

Take Action

When someone is experiencing crisis, one of two things can happen.

  • They won’t take action and the feelings of anxiety, fear, guilt etc will grow and manifest, leading the person down a dark path as they hope things will get better.
  • They will take action and see the light, not at the end of the tunnel, but closer. Those feelings of anxiety and fear will quickly dissipate, replaced with a new inner-strength and courage and talking of courage. Reaching out for help is courageous, not a sign of weakness, as many others will try to make you believe.

CLICK HERE TO BE COURAGEOUS!

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Uncategorized

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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Uncategorized

Struggling professional football players need to remove this phrase from their thoughts…

When was the last time you heard the phrase “What if…?”

It’s a phrase I use very selectively and only when I’m coaching and for very good reason.

If you’re a struggling professional football player and you find yourself asking the question “what if?” it’s time to reframe your thinking for your own benefit.

Why do I use this term selectively?

The term suggests there is another alternative to what actually happened.

Almost offering a get out clause from the reality by imagining how different things would have been…

“What if I had made that decision instead of the one I made?”

“What if the manager had just given me a chance?”

“What if I hadn’t been send off for that stupid foul?”

“What if my mind was clear, rather than clouded when I made that decision?”

“What if I had a better agent?”

“What if I had scored that goal?”

“What if…?

Many people get hung up on What If and get stuck in the past and blame themselves for those silly decision made in the past and allow the past to affect their decisions in the moment.

They struggle to move on from the past and that affects their mental state, performance and life off the pitch.

Here’s the thing…

We can’t change the past

The future has yet to happen

Yet so many people choose to live in the past or think too much about what may happen.

So our reality and the thing we can control and influence is what’s happening right now in the moment.

Some people call it being mindful, some call it living in the moment, I say it’s keeping it real.

Reality is our only way to improve quickly when things go wrong. Reality is our only way to adjust and choose to make different choices next time. Reality is our lives as we live right now. It’s how we feel, see and hear.

“Reality is where we live”

Allow me to coach and ask this question…

What if there was a way for a struggling football player to reach out in total confidence, to a neutral person, and find the right solutions in their times of need?

What if there was a way to quickly turn your fortunes around, whether it be to get out of a scoring drought, to be a better defender or even improve your life off the pitch?

Would you access that service?

The good news is this – it does exist. I’ve created it.

I created it because mental health issues are on the rise in professional football and 40% of footballers go broke after five years of retiring!

But I’m also aware because this is a new service, there is apprehension, uncertainty and doubt in people’s minds.

So what if there was a way to remove that apprehension, uncertainty and doubt because as much as you want things to change, you don’t want to be made a fool.

What if you could contact me, find out more and discover how to make those changes quickly?

There’s one way to find out….

Get in touch and let’s talk.

07946279135

Take it easy

Mike

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Uncategorized

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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Uncategorized

Two great pieces of advice from young footballers any youngster should pay attention to

Over the past few days I was honoured to connect with a couple of young football players as they had been reading my blog posts and found some value in the content.

These eager players gave me their permission to ask them a variety of questions and I want to bring your attention to the answers they gave to three questions.

These three questions cover three major aspects of football,

  • Highlights
  • Problems
  • How to succeed

The intention of this blog post is to help younger players understand the ups and downs of football so they can make adjustments where needed and live a life they deserve.

Question 1 What is your highlight of your career?

Player 1 said – “When I played against Barcelona, Villareal, Celtics, Bristol City lots of more”

Player 2 said – “My highlights was playing in cameroon ligue 1 in 2015/2016 seeing the strong level of players there and also played with the cameroon world cup legends of 1990/1994/1998.
Another highlight is winning the mongolian cup and league runner up in 2012.”

The answers to the next question got my attention.

Question 2 Do you know of any struggling professional players?

Player 1 said – “Yeah I’ve seen it and I’ve talk to few of them which also helped my mentality in my young age.”

Player 2 said – “Yes there are many pro players who are struggling and it affects their mental health as well. Football can be a cruel game and many people /fans dont see the other side of it.”

I’m very aware of the mental health issues players have and for a young player to understand this, tells me he’s got a caring nature and an observant attitude.

The final question that I’ll share the answers to was great to read and really gives me an idea of their mindsets when it comes to success.

Question 3 – If you could give advice to younger players, what would it be?

Player 1 said – “No matter if you play football or do anything else that can guide you to your future in good way and that’ll benefit you and your family, make sure you keep working hard, getting support from people around you also from yourself. Never never think to give up, set back and start thinking about solutions that’ll come from yourself, big commitments, high dedication, be positive and patience and confidence enough to keep moving forward as when things are against you and remember to not lose your smile”

Player 2 said – “My advice for youngsters is to keep having a positive mindset and the desire to be better and train harder. In football there is always someone training harder than u so to be better and keep up the food chain, you have to keep fighting. End of the day, its how badly you want it at all costs.”

Thank you to the two players that shared their thoughts and I know they are working hard and striving to improve.

Are you a player with some value to share?

Perhaps you want to improve your situation?

Please drop me a message and let’s see what we can do.

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Uncategorized

IF YOU’RE IN A RELEGATION POSITION IN THE EFL, YOU MUST READ THIS

PREMIER LEAGUE – RELEGATION SPOTS AT THE TIME OF WRITING 21.43 SUNDAY 1ST DECEMBER.

SOUTHAMPTON

NORWICH

WATFORD

CHAMPIONSHIP LEAGUE – RELEGATION SPOTS AT THE TIME OF WRITING 21.43 SUNDAY 1ST DECEMBER.

WIGAN

STOKE

BARNSLEY

LEAGUE ONE – RELEGATION SPOTS AT THE TIME OF WRITING 21.43 SUNDAY 1ST DECEMBER.

MK DONS

SOUTHEND

BOLTON

LEAGUE TWO – RELEGATION SPOTS AT THE TIME OF WRITING 21.44 SUNDAY 1ST DECEMBER.

MORECAMBE


Now is the time to take four steps to give yourself the best possible chance to survive.

Decide on your vision. Do you want to avoid relegation, finish mid-table or something else?

Once you have decided your vision, you need to look at and accept your reality.

You do this by taking these steps

  • Create a safe, non-judgemental environment in which the coaches can openly discuss their ideas their concerns and what they can do differently from this moment forward.
  • Create the same environment for players and coaches, and allow each player, one by one, to express their ideas, concerns and examples of what can be done differently from this moment forward.

When you have your reality, you consider all the options and implement those that will fit best to support the journey towards your vision.

When you decide what options fit best, you implement them and so the journey up the table begins.

Many players, coaches and teams fail, not because they don’t have the quality players, but the players aren’t encouraged or treated like humans.

The thing is, when we are treated with respect and value, we find motivation to do well.

If we are treated poorly, we become defensive and lack the motivation needed to hope the team and help ourselves.

By simply listening to others then making change, great things can happen.

You don’t need a superstar to win, because any player can become a superstar with the right guidance and opportunity.

If you’re in a relegation spot, provide your players with these opportunities.

As a specialist in mindsets, I would invite you to connect and talk about your concerns and ideas as a player or coach and help you form your plan.

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Uncategorized

THE REAL REASON FOOTBALL PLAYERS GO BANKRUPT AND SUFFER NEGATIVE MENTAL HEALTH

There are two staggering stats I’ve come across recently:-

In an article written by Sid Lowe of The Guardian on 16th November 2019 he wrote…

“research suggested that two fifths of footballers were bankrupt within five years and a third had divorced inside a year.”

https://amp.theguardian.com/football/blog/2019/nov/16/preparing-footballers-for-life-after-final-game

The article goes on to highlight issues around mental health and the reasons why players experience these downfalls. The article touches upon the darker side of football but for good reason.

I, like you, know that becoming bankrupt and divorce are things we would want to avoid, yet so many players fall into these behaviours.

For these stats to be true, there are certain behaviours and actions the players are taking that are detrimental to their mental health and finances.

But no-one sets out to become bankrupt or divorce!

Logically, it doesn’t make sense!

But us humans rarely make decision based on logic.

We make decisions based on our emotions

A thought, leads to an emotion that leads to a behaviour.

Let me demonstrate…

Think of your favourite holiday destination.

Close your eyes if that helps and imagine everything you see, everything you hear and everything you feel.

Really absorb yourself in that place.

You’ll be feeling lifted, elated, excited, happy and you may break out with a smile.

A thought, led to emotions, led to an action.

When your thoughts are driven by a tough situation you find yourself in, you’ll experience emotions of fear, frustration, possible anger and revenge or even sadness.

From these emotions come actions and it’s these actions that lead to making decisions that are wrong for your mental health, finances and life.

Players like material things like cars, big houses, the flash clothes etc but for what reason?

In the article, the writer compares these behaviours to ‘keeping up with the Joneses’, yet happiness is never created from having external material wealth but it comes from creating your internal self-worth.

But professional football players find it difficult to connect with their self-worth when they are judged on their performance and value on the market.

So what’s the solution to lower the numbers of players going bankrupt and divorcing?

Discover and connect with their inner self-worth!

When a player realises they are a commodity and should maximise their value right now, this gives them a new perspective of what should be valued in their lives.

Players can have all the material wealth in the world and be unhappy because there is something missing. That something is their feeling of self-worth, often seeking solace in spending a large amount of money either gambling or something else.

I urge players to understand this perspective because your career can end in a moment.

I urge players to find a way to accept their true value lies within, and the amount of money, the pressure, the fame, the attention, doesn’t matter when it comes to being happy with yourself.

PLAN NOW FOR THE FUTURE!