For any athlete who stands on the starting line, as much as 70% of the race outcome is shaped by the mental aspects - Sally Gunnell OBE (1992 Olympic 400m hurdles champion)
More and more people are recognising the power of the mind in achieving great sporting results. Rather than simply physical qualities and technique, it’s often the mental aspects of sport that make the difference between being a champion or not. In fact, understanding how to use your mind effectively can help you with your technique and physical performance in ways you might not imagine. As performance coaches, we work with sports people of all levels, including leading UK athletics clubs, professionals and young athletes; helping them understand the difference between the conscious and unconscious functions of the brain and how to use them effectively together in sport and through transition.
Combining performance coaching techniques with approaches from the art and science of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), we will help you to develop your strengths, achieve clearly defined short and long term goals and identify opportunities that you perhaps would otherwise have overlooked – we will help you program yourself for success!
How can my mind affect my performance? There is no doubt that a huge array of internal and external factors can contribute to any sports person’s state of mind; impacting both positively and negatively on training, performance in competition and even the amount and quality of rest you get. Professional athletes have told us of once great rivals who even went to the extreme measure of quitting their sport due to a lack of confidence or other life distractions. Others have difficulty replicating what they achieve in training when they perform in competition. These are significant issues that can easily be coached through. But, how your mind affects you may be more subtle than this and can easily go unrecognised to athletes who haven’t developed self-awareness through coaching. By taking control of how different factors influence you, you can control your performance. We are all unique and we delete and distort information according to our own filters, often making great generalisations. These processes often serve us well and can prevent us being bombarded with so much information that our brain becomes overloaded. However, these processes can also contribute to us filtering out or deleting vital information. Moreover, we can hold on to beliefs or negative experiences, which could undermine our confidence in our own ability – particularly when recovering from an injury.
Our personal performance sports coaching, will help you identify which filters you apply to your sports and your life and how to make those work best for you. We’ll challenge your mind and where it brings you negative results, help you cope with restricting influences and work with you to develop techniques that put you in the best state of mind for your performance.
More athletes should get this type of coaching. Sam is right in her understanding that the mind has a very important part to play in sport – Mathieu Gnanligo, Olympic 400m sprinter
Medical experts KNEW it was medically unsafe to run a mile in less than 4 minutes until Roger Bannister broke the barrier and proved it humanly possible. A great single achievement, but what could then account for the barrier being broken a further 30 times that year? The change in athletes’ perceptions and beliefs about what the medical experts really knew! It brought about an instant and mammoth change in results!
I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. The mental toughness and the heart are a lot stronger than some of the physical advantages you might have. – Michael Jordan, known as the greatest basketball player of all time