Posts Tagged ‘consultant’

Have you (neurologically) Immunised your Athlete?

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

In a study compiled by the UCL Institute of Child Health and the UK’s Great Ormond St Hospital it states that: In 2002 89% of all UK children were immunised against the Measles, Mumps and Rubella viruses. This left only 11% of unprotected children exposed to the virus.

These impressive statistics are helping to drive Health practitioners and parents across many countries to immunise their children, as there is clear evidence it is smart, effective and responsible parenting.

So what is immunisation and what has it got to do with sport?

Immunisation is an orchestrated exposure that allows the body to learn just how best to manage and deal with the real thing.
It’s effectively training the body to cope under attack and strategises its defence.

Once exposed the Human body creates a blue print of how the intruder is constructed and how it is best defeated, before storing this vital information as a chemical recipe within the bodies cellular system ready for any potential invader.

So clearly immunising our bodies from potential threats is a responsible and effective form of risk management. And is something that could and indeed should be applied to many areas of our lives from a welfare and development perspective.

Yet we are increasingly exposing our athletes to potentially short and long-term psychological detriment from such invaders as physical and psychological fatigue, depression, poor self-esteem, unachieved potential, to name just a few and all without any form of effective ‘immunisation.’

If exposing our bodies to a controlled and specifically designed synthesised virus protects us from its potentially harmful origins by building our immune system data base – then surely why wouldn’t you utilise this same proven science to immunise your athlete’s mind?

By neurologically walking the athlete through their preparation, competition, training and emotional build-up we can help them build a healthy neurological immunity date base to protect against their potential negative effects.

This is achieved by allowing the athlete’s mind to take ownership of its journey through the athlete’s effective and fertile imagination – utilising visualisation training harnessed with hemisphere stimulation.

We are all aware that ‘practice makes perfect’ so why not ensure your athlete practices how they would deal with competition specifics, technical moves, skills, stresses, emotional situations, fatigue even pain.

All within a safe, nurturing and educational environment that creates a lasting and powerful blueprint for the athlete to fall back on in times of heightened physical and emotional stress.

Through deeply layered and carefully constructed visualisation we covertly layer available options into the subconscious, leaving efficient desirable strategies available to the athlete.

This along with specifically targeted hemisphere stimulation impregnates this into their neurology building effective neural pathways.
By specifically crafting the visualisation you can control and directly dissociate the athlete from the harshness of some issues yet effectively allow them to create a connection to the desirable outcomes on their own terms.

We know increased emotion depletes the body of oxygen and inhibits the free-flow of muscle action.

The athlete can then make their own associations on their own level and in their own time – creating long-term sustainability dissipating the emotional attachments.

This allows the athlete to explore the different strategies open to them without feeling manipulated and or pressured into an ill-fitting outcome. By allowing them a certain amount of creative and imaginative freedom an athlete will gain ownership to their journey.

This ownership will embed the strategies deep within their neurology ready for any potential exposures in the future just as immunisation does to the body.

Target Coaching

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Are you a coach, an athlete or maybe even an involved and concerned parent who wants to understand how to perform far better than you are currently?

If so, then you really must read on…

It will change the way you behave both on and off the competitive field, in the gym, in the pool, on the pitch and even within the dynamics of your family. It will change your perspective forever as you see things with greater clarity and finer direction. Just through understanding what makes you as an individual perform allows you to see things from a new and exciting angle, an angle of purpose.

Are you performing as well as you know you can? Are you getting the results others around you are expecting from you? Is there something maybe holding you back from achieving your full performance potential? Moreover, do you own the key to your sporting glory?

My guess is – probably not! Well, not yet anyway.

And why is that, do YOU think? Is it your physical condition, or maybe your internal and external stress levels in training and at competition? Or maybe you feel you just don’t get it, feeling more and more like your mind is being spun in a washing machine each and every time you turn up.

Does this sounds familiar to you? The questions you need to ask yourself are: what have I tried thus far to correct these concerning trends? And how has worked for me?

In a recent study amongst some elite athletes and their coaches at a US sporting high performance centre, it was estimated that only 22% of the coaches information and direction was being correctly retained and acted upon by the athlete at any given moment.

That’s a whopping 78% inefficiency on behalf of the coach and athlete. When translated into actual physical hours, for every 10 hours of face to face training that’s just over 2 hours of effective learning achieved. Not very efficient use of time and resources, is it? Would you pay for 22% of your meal and feel satisfied? I know I wouldn’t.

Furthermore, out of that initial 22% ‘effective learning’ it is estimated that only 65% was specifically targeted towards the individual athlete. What this is telling us is the vital information the coach is relaying isn’t being given and or received in an effective manner.

And this is from one of our more elite institutions, so what do you think the absorption and retention ratio is at our club level?

Being heavily involved within many sports on many different levels myself, I often observe current trends and goings on at both training and competition, and I do this covertly to ensure no external influence on the results.

What I have observed over the years is countless coaches around the world pebble-dashing their athletes with verbal information, not stopping to see if the information they have given has been taken on board by the athlete, let alone if it is actually relevant to their specific learning style.

We have all observed the armchair coach or the slouch master, these are the coaches who find a comfortable possy (Position) and yell morsels of information at the athlete, without any thought as to their interpreted messages effectiveness.

This is totally inefficient on the behalf of both the information giver and also the receiver. If the athlete is not motivated or stimulated they do not taking the initiative to seek the key information from within the message.

The athlete begins demonstrating the apparent inability to ask the right questions for their own clarification and can appear disinterested thus compounding the coach / athlete communication frustration and becoming perpetually destructive and even deconstructive.

As a former elite coach I used to spend countless hours learning the most up to date coaching techniques from around the world. I would spend many hours bio-mechanically dissecting moves, watching performance after performance of athletes and their coaches trying to pinpoint the magic bullet, seeking the one thing that would make the difference to me and my athletes performance.

Little did I know I already had it, it was staring me in the face the whole time. As a child I would often annoy the living begeebies out of my coach by constantly asking him what he meant by something he had said to myself or to one of my competitive peers.

Now with the benefit of hindsight and the magic of modern behavioural understanding, I realised it wasn’t totally because I wanted to annoy him – rather, I was unconsciously searching for clarity, I had a need to digest this information and turn it into my individual internal language.

Simply I needed to make sense of his message before I could effectively put it into action.

It wasn’t until I began studying human behaviour that I realised this was in fact what I was doing and how effective it really could be. As with everything if only I had realised this at the time I was competing I could have done more with it.

Realistically many athletes are lost and bewildered as to what their coach’s real message is and what they are actually being asked / directed to do. They are not always hearing the same information the coach believes they are sending, it may as well be in a foreign language lost in translation or a radio station slightly out of tune as the information becomes lost in the abyss.

Many coaches are an unbelievable wealth of technical knowledge, yet not all are skillful in art form of conveying their wisdom in an effective and efficient communicational manner.

Some choose to pebble-dash their athletes with masses of information in the vein hope some will actually stick, sink in and be effectively converted into a desired action. Others have one format and stick to this again hoping the athlete with convert to their specific brand of communication.

Now, just stop for a moment and think about someone close to you, maybe a brother or sister, mother or father, do they think, speak, act or even perform exactly as you do?

Of course not.

Even if they have been exposed to the exact same forces of influence whilst growing up as you they are individual, you have more chance of physically being similar than psychologically. What stimulates you is totally unique to you; it’s our unique neurological fingerprint, our own personal internal language, sorting room and identity.

So if we are so different how have we managed to evolve thus far as a species? The short answer is, its been rather hit and miss, the longer answer is we naturally fill in the missing information, make do and make assumptions based on the basic context of the conversation and our own interpretations of what should be there. This leads to a hybrid version of the initial message that can be ‘made’ to fit – sort of!

From a performance perspective, understanding a persons individual neurological fingerprint does allow a coach to ‘target teach’ that athlete effectively, converting the paltry 22% to a far more respectable and efficient 80%+. Think what you could achieve with an increase of 58%+ effectiveness in your performance.

So where do we obtain this elusive, vital and highly sought after information? Well, your first step is to understand the different individual contributing psycho-dynamics that go into making our personal blueprints. The pieces of the puzzle that go into making a whole, the filters and the buttons that play your tune.

This can be achieved by studying theoretical and physical behavioural psychology and it’s impact on learning and performance, or listening to someone who has!

Supporting this is one of today’s more effective and accessible tools, it is having your athlete psychologically assessed and a detailed ‘Behavioural profile’ compiled. This will give you as a coach a complete operators manual to your athlete’s mind.

The phrase ‘The MIND GAME’ is thrown around a lot these days and has become a ‘tag’ used by presenters and commentators in many areas. However its significance should not be overlooked, especially within the sporting world. As we move towards what can only be described as almost cloning of physiology within athletes. Their results will soon become the only significant difference between two athletes and these will be determined by the power and efficiency of their minds.

This is a clear indication that the elite competitor of tomorrow will have a far more strategic grip on the power of their neurology, than the athlete of yester year.

It will be commonplace to have a mind coach, it will also be part and parcel of your regular training regime to include mental conditioning, left and right hemisphere stimulation, visualization therapy and others far improved learning and retention technologies.

With so much at stake both financially and through personal achievement buried into today’s sporting career, mind management is the performance enhancement of the future.

Are you being left behind?

Take the first steps to better sporting performance and greater understanding.

Mind Over Machine

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Mind over Machine – “Book me in for a service!”

I hear the deafening thump, thump of my heart flooding my ears as I climb into my sleek, sexy racing car. I clutch the wheel tightly; my sweaty hands make it difficult to get a comfortable grip through my gloves. I hear my heavy breathing as I watch my breath misting my visor.

The deep rumble of the hot engine behind me is shaking my bones as I watch the lights intently… mesmerised – they turn amber, amber, green. The flag is dropped and everything kicks in.

Suddenly, I push the accelerator as hard and as fast as I can, releasing the clutch at the same time, watching the track and listening to the rev counter, shifting gears at lighting speed. “Left hand down, right, right,” I tell myself as a cluster of cars in front of me begin zig-zagging and jostle for position. I hear the engine screaming almost in pain and the smell of the octane fills my nostrils. And there in front of me – the finishing line – but it’s never a finishing line – merely an indicator that its onto the next race.

It’s just another day at the track. It’s just another day as a high performance driver. And I love it.

As I pull into the pits, the car is immediately taken away from me and plugged into a plethora of diagnostic computers, assessing and plotting the car’s performance second by second, inch by inch. They are like a team of ER trauma specialist working on my car. The bleeps on the computer screen replay the race again and again as the technicians try to live, breath and feel what the car could feel as they attempt to shave that elusive 100th of a second off the lap time, striving for mechanical perfection.

Historically, this is how motor racing developed: trial and error and eager technicians tinkering with the mechanical hardware as their greasy hand scratch their heads. It was and still is a secret world, one where great friends as well as archrivals refuse to talk about ‘their’ machine.

Today, however, the future of the sport takes a new step forward a far more scientific view by considering the driver as just another integral aspect of this intricate mechanism to be fine-tuned and analysed before and after each race.

And why not? Considering the human brain is arguably the most efficient and yet complex piece of hardware known to man and it wouldn’t matter how good your car is – if the driver isn’t performing then you are not winning.

As a high performance driver, you manoeuvre your four-wheeled rocket around tight chicanes and into a straight at 230 miles an hour at 4 Gs, your job paralleling that of a fighter pilot in combat. One wrong move at this speed and it may not only be the race you lose.

Now, as with all new challenges there is a new solution to the old problems associated with the trial and error method, this solution places you, the driver, at the cutting edge of neurological technology. This time it’s not mechanical advancements; it’s you and your brain understanding advancements!

You need that precision mindset to take your race to the next level, to match the increased performance of the machine, to get the most from the vehicle, the track and yourself. It is not just about wanting to win, it is about being able to win.

It is about training your brain to cope with the complex split decision-making and reaction speed required to be a top level high performance driver and live to tell your tail.

Let’s face it, your machine is just as good as the rest of the racing fields, the technology tweaking your car is tweaking theirs too – but are you just as good or are you better? Having a precision mindset on your side will give you the advantage of a finely tuned, well trained and maintained neurological weapon.

Having a tuned machine, fit body and sharp, instinctive mind gives you as a driver the perfect poll position – the next corner belongs to you as you react faster, precise and with confidence.

Dave Diggle, heads a group of international mind management specialists, coaching you to maximise the potential of your brain’s rapid response, enabling you to better understand the machine you drive, and the body you control.

Scientifically designed and individually tailored training programmes allow you to win the race long before you step out onto the tarmac, before the first vehicle is rolled off the truck and before the first engine is fired up. So before your competitors realise this is the next step forward, take action and book your Mind Mechanic, service your brain and tailor your training.

Don’t be left behind by standing still. Accelerate your advantage by getting that precision mindset.

Elite Athletes: Have we created a Monster

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

All elite athletes must have a desire to be the best, to be the number one in their sport – it’s a primal desire to compete and win. If they were missing this vital instinct they would not have the makings of a true champion.

Part of their psyche is to believe that they are the best, in fact untouchable, a class above the rest. They “value” winning above all else and so in their eyes and minds nothing else is as important.

It’s this belief that makes a champion and it has to be part of their makeup – if managed correctly it develops into a mindset that breeds success.

However it can also be the athletes “Achilles heel” their vulnerability – because if you believe you are “different” from the rest of society for long enough you’re “values” system changes becoming distorted and out of touch with that of your peers and of our culturally acceptable social standards.

For example if you take the current apparent break down in social structure  within the Australian football codes, some of the player’s behaviour appears to be Neanderthal, savage, even tribal at times. Yet you would expect this kind of mentality to have been stamped out of our society decades ago. It appears to be on the increase within certain sporting and social cultures. They certainly appear to have differing “Values” to that of the rest of our society?

So what is this “Values” system that appears to guide us through life and has such a big influence on our decision making, and how does it affect our lives on a daily basis?

A value is simply what is important to us. Values are one of the primary unconscious filters to the brain, through which we evaluate our environment and our subjective experiences. They determine what we sort for and experience in the world.

In fact it’s often referred to as our most unconscious filter system. That is, it operates well outside of our conscious awareness. A Value is a collection of beliefs around a certain subject. We all have them and they are as individual as our finger prints.

Beliefs are those convictions we trust as being true, like “the sky is blue, and the grass is green”? We have a way of coding and storing values in our bodies, where they are stored determines their importance to us. Our deepest values are often held well outside of our conscious awareness and are instantly accessible – (subconsciously) for reference.

Values provide the only form of sustainable motivation, as they are deep seated and totally logical to us!

Our Values system evolves as we mature and experience life obtaining an education and learning what is socially acceptable in our cultural environment.

If you think back 10 years ago – would you have made the same choices as you would today? Probably not. Why? Because you have evolved new sets of values that correlate to your experiences, culture and environment to date.

So if we think back to the behavioural problems experienced by certain football clubs, obviously the players who engage in these socially unacceptable acts have differing “Values” to you and me.

This is a situation that has partly been cultivated by the very people who have been given the duty to nurture and develop the profile of the sport and its athletes. And that is the clubs and their management teams!

The clubs take these young athletes, often who are struggling academically but who excel athletically giving them the opportunity of a life time, a large amount of money to “Play sport” as their career with national profiles, star like lifestyles and egos to rival some world leaders and chefs.

Making them hero’s and role models to others without ever really giving them the tools, education and coaching in how to manage this new found foreign lifestyle, this acquired stardom. Shifting their internal values system, teaching them that savage behaviour is not only acceptable on the field but necessary to be at the top of their game to be part of the “Pack”.

Society then expects them to make the mature and socially acceptable choices, making that differentiation between the field and the street.

Realistically they will no more make the right decision than they would drive a car perfectly first time without ever receiving driving lessons, its something that has to be taught and taught from a young age, nurtured if you like.

The other people who must accept some of the responsibility for this values shift in these young athletes are you and me! The very people who follow and support these clubs. Ultimately placing these “Athletes” on their pedestals, deeming their primal behaviour acceptable, if not openly certainly by continuing to support the clubs we are clandestinely doing so

So what can we do to “lift their game” to turn around this spiraling collapse of “Values” in some of these athletes?

In a one on one situation the sub-modalities of a person’s values can be altered, by identifying the neurological associations to the value and altering them or re-imprinting them with a more desirable value giving that person a different outlook and perspective! Positively influencing their filtration system, giving them more options when making decisions.

However if we want to change the “Culture” within the sport we have to look deeper at a long term education program, one that would incorporate all new and existing players, coaches, managers etc.

If our experiences determine our “Values” then if we expose these athletes to positive experiences and broaden their knowledge and education on life, cultures and society then their “Values” will also change.

“We must become the change we want to see.” ~ Ghandi