A great day today, early start and then met with a team of crisis specialists to discuss a resilient leadership/crisis exercise that is being held later in the year.  The most important part  of the day for me was that everyone at the meeting was focused on the event and participated in all deliberations with open and honest feedback (no egos).  There were quite a number of insightful moments because of this.   All the comments made were looking to enhance the exercise rather than criticise the content that had been prepared prior to the day.  With a clear focus/energy/commitment we were finished within two hours and left with clear action points and people who are accountable for those action points.

I love meetings to have a focus and purpose right from the start.  I can never understand why people have meetings without a clear purpose on what they want to achieve. 

I have been ruthless on my time management for a long time.  As I wrote recently, you have 168 hours, can’t buy time, give it away or save it.  We are each born with roughly the same amount of time 650,000 hrs per life time.  So do not waste it in meetings that do not have a purpose. 

I managed to train for an hour and a half today due to the saving in time.  I have been working on a set program for the last week.   The program ensures that I stay in a number of specific heart rate training zones throughout the week.  I find that this stops me from dithering in the gym. 

After the gym I had a further short meeting on psychology, more to follow when I have tied down the detail of the conversation.

Arrived back at my friend’s flat in the late afternoon. It overlooks the river by Battersea power station.  Started to finish off a number of outstanding reports.  Was procrastinating on the reports until I got out my time management friend, an hour glass.  I turned it over and tried to finish before the sand ran out.  Just needed a little competition.

Just had a conversation about a recent trip I undertook and thought I would look at some of the key elements.

I have recently returned from a trip to Bangalore, Bangalore, is the capital of Karnataka state, it is one of India’s most modern and spacious cities, it has moderate weather very much like an English summer, little humidity and very warm. It has emerged as the centre of India’s burgeoning software industry.

We were in India with a group of cricketers to see how the mental toughness programme they were undertaking actually delivered when in real competition and not just practice.  The core programme principles and objectives were as follows:

Core Programme Principles

  • To learn to perform under pressure you must practice under high pressure / stress
  • You have to be exposed to the threat of loss during training to learn to manage it in matches
  • There are lots of distractions in international cricket so to learn to cope with them you have to practice in an environment full of distractions
  • Consequence is of central importance to the training environment

 

Objectives

Were to help them to thrive under pressure by developing their ability to implement skills learned during and between matches in Bangalore which include:

(a)  Psychological preparation and performance strategies / skills

(b) Physical preparation strategies

(c)  Batting against spin and short pitched bowling strategies

(d) Strategies for bowling consistently throughout and between spells

(e)  Training and practicing harder and for longer than normal between matches

I arrived early to look at the venues and ensure that everything was in place for the full teams’ arrival a few days later.  The weather was beautiful, plus 30 but no humidity.

Mental toughness is about understanding ourselves in comprehensive way so that we can deal with adversity.  The components of mental toughness according to certain research are courage, confidence, commitment, challenge.

We would put them in a position to test all of these elements.  For the training team it was important that we ensured they were prepared for adversity.  My belief is that with the correct training and influences everyone can push themselves further than they anticipated.  Our research at the end of the trip has proven this to be the case at least in this group of players (more to follow).

Of key importance to the programme is the element of consequences for not performing well.

We brought this aspect into the programme early on.  In simple terms those that did not meet the standards were subjected to extra training (with me in the gym) or an experience such as having to wash up, serve food and also dance in front of everyone else.  I also had to undertake this particular test on one occasion.  No it was not a pretty sight.

One of the key elements missing from society at the moment in time is a lack of consequences for not achieving something.  People do not have to push themselves that little bit further because there is little accountability for their actions. On this programme everyone participated, if you made an error, were late or failed to fulfil a task there was a consequence.

I have to take someone on an early morning training session so I will finish this later in the week.

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