Peak Performance in Sport


 'You can have the greatest technique; the greatest swing and the sweetest putting stroke in the world, but you will never play the golf that you're capable of if you have a poor mental approach' .. Tiger Woods.

Believing in you

The most potent weapon you can possess as a sports person is confidence and belief in your ability because that will keep you driving forward even when you are having 'one of those days'!

A recent survey carried out by the sponsors of the European Men's Golf Tour asked the top pro's what the most important element to their game was in terms of developing optimum performance – the top percentage was self-belief (74%) with being mentally tough coming second with 53%. And yet when asked how often they worked on their mental approach the percentage dropped dramatically which seems a bit mad frankly if this is ranked as being almost doubly more important than practice sessions which came in at 26%!

My own market research has shown that both amateur and professional sports people admit to 'trying a few things' to improve their mental performance and/or read a few books and then put things in to practice that may work for a while or just don't provide any positive changes and then drift back to where they were before! There are some great 'how to improve your sports performance' books out there but they can only provide general tools and techniques because they cannot look at you as an individual with your own unique experiences and ways of working so most of the suggestions need to be tweeked to fit your psyche with that very apt saying 'one fit doesn't fit all'.


Golfers
(Left to right) Karen with David Howell, Ken Brown and Bradley Dredge at the Welsh Open 2012


Working with both amateur and professional sports people they begin to understand that the brain is a muscle and needs exercising as much as we would other muscles in our body to stay fit and once I understand what makes you 'tick' then we can build effective mental routines in to your daily sporting activities and the positive results you are looking for begin to happen!

I know from my own experiences how easy it can be to get in to a negative loop in terms of performing well under pressure and even though you may have trained really hard, practiced and played a lot of matches you still manage to unwittingly sabotage your efforts to be positive by hidden fears and insecurities that may have been created by past experience and that dreaded 'what if' question that pops up in our mind such as:

What if I end up chipping the ball in to the water on the left like last time?

What if I double fault at match point?

Negative thoughts and emotions can combine to create doubt which can drain your confidence and take away the ability to make things happen.
Training your brain to perform at optimum levels must be part of your everyday programme and entwined within your training and playing schedule.


Can I help you achieve your potential?

If any of the statements below relate to where you are now, then I can definitely help you move towards achieving your goals:

•           I practice hard, I know I have the ability – just not quite getting the results I want
•           I play really well until the pressure is on and then I seem to lose focus
•           I set my expectations very high and get so frustrated if I don't achieve them
•           I cannot do anything that is less than perfect otherwise I feel like a failure
•           I keep thinking about what I'm not doing right and how I can fix it
•           I find it very hard to accept and learn from a bad performance
•           I am generally happy with my performance, but want to move to another level and appreciate that requires a tougher mental approach
•           I get really angry and frustrated with my game and I know this is not helping me

How to gain peak performance

My 'brain training' programmes concentrate on four key areas:

•           Confidence – a major factor in becoming mentally strong
•           Focus – being able to stay in the moment under pressure
•           Control – ability to maintain emotional control regardless of distraction
•           Commitment – motivation and willingness to work to agreed goals

My experience

I have always loved sport and achieved through a lot of hard work, playing county squash and golf. I am fascinated by the ability of some to have such a total belief in what they can do, even though they may not have all the skill set, to others who are very skilful but when the pressure is intense seem to become very negative.
Through my integrative training, I have learnt some very powerful techniques which help to achieve peak performance such as hypnotherapy, NLP, Sport and Positive Psychology. I have spent the last 15 years ensuring that my brain training programmes work through attending various brain development workshops and then giving the latest theories to my trusted panel of top sports performers who try out the latest techniques which are tweeked until we know they work under pressure because ultimately this is the real test to prove mental toughness!

In addition, my therapy training has helped many sports people get rid of a negative emotional loop that has dogged them from an early age and really limited their ability to reach their full potential. For instance, when you are 12 and told by your football coach that 'you are ok but are never going to make it', it can have a big impact on your psychological state later on in life and it doesn't matter how many times you try different techniques to develop a positive mind set, unless this embedded belief system is changed it will keep holding you back!


So if you want to:

•           Be calm and focused under competitive pressure
•           Believe in your ability to succeed through increased confidence
•           Switch in to the right emotional state for your performance
•           Have clear manageable goals and increased motivation

Then give me a call on 07590 195541 for a confidential chat about how I can help you.

Sports Therapy

The painfull road through rehab

On a much lesser scale than Andrew (Freddie) Flintoff, but still important to me – having my anterior cruciate ligament repaired and being unable to play golf or keep fit for a long time really had a negative impact on me. When I watched the programme fronted by Freddie Flintoff who talked about depression and interviewed a number of top sports people who had to retire due to injury I could really understand how when you have played sport at whatever level competitively to then not be able to do so either for a period of time or permanently can be mentally debilitating and stir up a lot of negative emotions.

From being the main focal point of your day to the goals and aspirations you aspire to, being injured can take its toll and often leads to:

•           Anger – loss of control, losing valuable time to practice
•           Anxiety – starting to doubt your ability to be able to get back and succeed
•           Denial – pretending that the injury is fully recovered and going back to soon
•           Depression – a loss of identity and the team/social contact that sport brings
•           Stress – which starts to permeate in to others areas of your life
•           Impatience – unrealistic goals and expectations

In addition, there is a lingering fear factor that the injury will re-occur resulting in a psychological barrier and a lack of confidence to get back into sport at the level you were at prior to your injury.

I work with you to build a programme to help you deal with the many emotional challenges that may come about and to maximise your mental recovery to enable you to return to performing as successfully and rapidly as possible.

My programme includes:

•           Building confidence and motivation levels
•           Replacing fear with positive thought patterns and self-talk
•           Setting realistic goals and expectations
•           Developing effective mental imagery for sports performance and recovery
•           Stress management and relaxation techniques

Give me a call on 07590 195541 or email me for a confidential chat about how I can help you.

 



 
Testimonials
From the moment I first met Karen, I felt at ease to express what tough times mentally I had been going through on and off the golf course in my Rookie year as an LET Professional Golfer. Karen is a very good listener and amazes me at how she asks the right questions to gain very valuable information. I have learnt so much from Karen about myself, my golf and life in general and that's all come from working with Karen – she really is amazing and now a good friend to go with it"
Hannah, Pro Golfer
 
"Self-doubt in my golfing abilities led me being introduced to Karen. She is such a perceptive person and so easy to talk to. She soon got to know my thought processes and how I reacted to good and not so good shots on the course. After some really helpful sessions, I was given a routine to keep me focused on what I needed to do. Next time out…wow...what a transformation! Karen's enthusiasm can't but help draw you in to want to learn more about the effect the sub-conscious plays in the game of golf and how it can be moulded to be pro-active. She is very skilled and highly qualified in her science"
Polly, Amateur Golfer
 
All names have been changed
to protect client confidentiality.