Performance Psychology


Increase flow

Build mental strength

Reduce stress & improve focus

Consistently perform at high levels

Learn to get in the zone and stay there longer


"As much as we pump iron and we run to build our strength up, we need to build our mental strength up... so we can focus... so we can be in concert with one another." - Phil Jackson, NBA Coach.

It's commonly said that sports are 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. How much are you training your mind? 

"Good athletes play well when they feel good, great athletes play well no matter what they feel." - Jonah Oliver, Sports Psychologist


Why mental skills training?

Many athletes are turning to Mindfulness and mental skills training because often the difference between a gold and bronze medal can be a momentary lapse of focus, loss of confidence, or nerves getting the better of you. Mental skills training help you increase concentration, develop emotional control, boost your confidence, and help you stay committed to achieving your goals.

 

What is Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement?

Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement (MSPE) is a program designed and developed by Keith A. Kaufman, Carol R. Glass, & Timothy R. Pineau to optimize and improve your performance through the use of mindfulness techniques.

 

Why does it make a difference?

When we are in the present moment, and absorbed in our task, we perform at our best. Often, this can be hard to achieve, yet by being mindful this happens more frequently. For many athletes their reaction to stressful events triggers a destructive response. This response impacts performance greatly by impairing your ability to focus, depleting confidence, and can switch off the part of your brain that you need to perform at your best. Mental skills training teaches you to recognize when that is happening, and to control your emotions.

 

What does the program involve?

Each session is 90 minutes long. The program includes resources, downloadable practices, and handouts.

Session One: Building mindfulness fundamentals

Key Points:
Defining Mindfulness
Rationale for Mindfulness Sport Performance Enhancement
How to get off automatic pilot

Exercises:
Mindful eating
Diaphragmatic breathing
reathing mindfulness

Session Three: Stretching the body’s limits mindfully

Key Points:
Recognising the power of expectations
The body as a root to awareness

Exercises:
Mindful movement
itting mindfulness with a focus on the body as a whole

Session Five: Embodying the mindful performer

Key Points:
Achieving through non-striving
Choice in self-care

Exercises:
Sport mindfulness
Sitting mindfulness with a focus on breath, body and sound

Session Two: Strengthening the Muscle of Attention

Key Points:
Overcoming practical obstacles
Core performance facilitators
Developing Present Moment Attention

Exercises:
Body Scan
Sitting mindfulness with a focus on the breath review


Session Four: Embracing "What is" in Stride

Key Points:
Letting go of attachments
Acceptance vs Resignation

Exercises:
Mindful movement review
Walking mindfulness

Session Six: Ending the beginning

Key Points:
Ending mindfulness sports performance enhancement
Building an on-going practice routine

Exercises:
Body scan review
port mindfulness review

 

    Why work with me?

    I can help you:

    • Increase your concentration - Stay focused and be in the zone when it matters most.
    • Develop control - Maintain emotional balance in the heat of the moment.
    • Boost your confidence - Learn to get unstuck from negative thinking patterns, so you can learn to believe and trust in your abilities.
    • Commitment - I teach you ways to stay connected to and reach your goals, even when the going gets tough.
    • Psychological flexibility - Mindfulness helps you adapt and change to whatever situation you are faced with.

     

    Notable examples of athletes and teams using Mindfulness and Mental Skills Training

    Novak Djokovic - Winner of 62 career titles and 12 Grand Slam championships.

    Kobe Bryant - Youngest player in NBA history to reach 30,00 career points, and winner of 5 NBA Championships.

    Laura Trott - The most decorated female British Olympian of all time. She told Cosmopolitan magazine being mindful had proved hugely helpful on the track.

    LeBron James - Winner of three NBA Championships and two Olympic gold medals.

    Michael Jordan - Member of six NBA Championship teams, five times NBA most valuable player.

    Johnny Wilkinson - 2003 Rugby World Cup winning team member.

    All Blacks, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Seahawks, US National BMX Team, Golden State Warriors, South Sydney Rabbitohs

     

    What the experts say

    Mindfulness based interventions increase flow in athletes. Aherne, Moran, & Lonsdale, 2011; Kaufman et al., 2009; Schwanhausser, 2009; Scott-Hamilton, Schutte, & Brown, 2016.
    Mindfulness training is a favourable way to enhance both sports performance and the desired characteristics associated with performance. Sappington & Longshore, 2005.
    It is widely accepted that proper attention is essential for optimum sport performance. Boutcher, 2008.
    Mindfulness training can strengthen our attentional ability.  Chiesa et al., 2001; Schofield, Creswell, & Denson, 2015.
    Mindful athletes tend to have higher levels of positive emotions such as optimism, and lower levels of negative emotions, such as anxiety. Pineau, Glass, & Kaufman, 2012, 2014.
    Following mindfulness sports performance enhancement training, athletes have shown increases in positive emotions and decreases in negative emotions. De Petrillo, Kaufman, Glass, & Arnkoff, 2009; Kaufman et al., 2009.

     

    My Background

    • I have 25 years experience practicing mindfulness. This includes over fifty ten-day mindfulness intensives, as well as several longer intensives for up to two months. I have also trained with some of the most prominent mindfulness teachers such as Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein.
    • I have established mindfulness training programs for athletes and businesses focused on getting the best out of their performance. 
    • Extreme Kayaker for twenty five years which includes traveling to remote parts of the world, seeking out unexplored rivers. I also have represented New Zealand in the World Whitewater Rodeo Kayaking Championships.
    • I am a qualified counselor, clinical member of PAnzA and receive regular supervision. As I see ongoing training as essential, I am currently training as a Psychotherapist. One of my special interests is how we can use mindfulness and sports psychology to improve performance.
    • Trained in Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) with Dr Russ Harris.

     

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    What do I offer?

    One-to-one coaching - One hour sessions, $110 per session. I am available both in person and by Skype.

    Training - I offer a range of mindfulness and mental skills training. Courses range from one hour introduction workshops to more in depth training that covers the six sessions listed above. Please contact me for more information and to see how I can meet your needs.