Had a great flight back from Dubai, went through customs and the baggage reclaim very quickly and then as I went to pick up my car from the Valet I had to wait an extra 30 mins. One day all elements of the journey will come together and I will be out of the airport in 20 mins from the time of landing. I then went straight into London to coach an executive and did a little hypnosis which I have not done for a number of months. Hypnosis is a mental state (according to “state theory”) or imaginative role-enactment (according to “non-state theory”).It is usually induced by a procedure known as a hypnotic induction, which is commonly composed of a long series of preliminary instructions and suggestions Hypnotic suggestions may be delivered by a hypnotist in the presence of the subject, or may be self-administered (“self-suggestion” or “autosuggestion”). The use of hypnotism for therapeutic purposes is referred to as “hypnotherapy”. The words ‘hypnosis’ and ‘hypnotism’ both derive from the term “neuro-hypnotism” (nervous sleep) coined by the Scottish surgeon James Braid around 1841. Braid based his practice on that developed by Franz Mesmer and his followers (“Mesmerism” or “animal magnetism”), but differed in his theory as to how the procedure worked. Contrary to a popular misconception – that hypnosis is a form of unconsciousness resembling sleep – contemporary research suggests that it is actually a wakeful state of focused attention and heightened suggestibility with diminished peripheral awareness. The use of hypnosis has produced outstanding results in helping people overcome addictions or fears and I have personally seen significant changes in a person’s self confidence as a result of a single session.
Tuesday was a day off, the first in a number of weeks but I was also playing catch up in a number of areas and had to work through quite a few projects. I then travelled to the North of England to meet with a young footballer and his family. We discussed how to enhance his performance in a number of key areas. His contract is under review and he is being assessed in a couple of months time as to whether he will remain on contract. His dedication to being a successful player is evident and I can see someone that is prepared to work hard to achieve his goals. It is so important to ensure that everyone in the support structure of a player/person understands what their roles and responsibilities are in the development of any individual if they are to become the World’s best. If the roles are not clear then parents can start to interfere with coaches and friends can become a distraction etc etc. The footballer had originally been seen in Australia by a football agent who was so impressed with what he saw that he managed to get the footballer across to the UK to be seen by a number of clubs and he was eventually given a start up contract for a year. He moved to the UK as a 16 year old as did his family. This makes the support system even more important as there are obviously increased pressures on the family from changing cultures, to trying to find employment, to him trying to perform at his best. The family were wonderful, well balanced and fully supportive (one of the nicest that I have met) of the way we are going to move forward. I am travelling back on Friday to work with the club and his coaches to get the full picture of his capabilities, strengths and areas for improvement before we officially start to work together. It will be fun.
The next morning I had to go to St Andrews in Scotland to speak to an elite coaching conference. The conference was about courage in performance and leadership, primarily directed towards the 2012 Olympics. I met some outstanding people and learnt something new as I always do at these events. I wish I had been there the whole time. There are only 89 Mondays until this event takes place and they need to ensure that if there are any action points to take to become a high performing group/team/individual then they need to have them in place now. I enjoyed the day and the audience was very engaging. Which also brings me back to the safety and security of the games (I recently ran an event to look at the current protocols that are in place to deliver a safe and secure Olympic Games). I hope that the lessons identified in the last conference are being instigated now.
After the conference I drove to Loughborough to continue with the under 19s cricket programme. This is getting better and better, the team and players are working really well together, today we had the players facing balls coming at them at 90 miles an hour. They were put into a pressure environment with consequences for failing. They really had to apply their mental preparation plans well. I spoke with one of the players at the end of a session. He had played well above average and he said “I now realise what you mean by being in the pressure zone, Floyd”. He also understood that he needed to ensure that he played in the same manner when he was practicing. We must always practice as if it was the real event. If we can do this consistently we start to become elite performers. This bodes well for the future of the programme and our target of being in the World Cup final in 2012.
One final point was that one of the individuals was really frustrated with his performance but was playing well. I spoke with him afterwards and he could only see the 5% that was going wrong. It is so important to realise that we will not be perfect every time but if I am in the correct place with all the tools and the correct mentality I will be correct 90% of the time. Do not forget what you do well, enhance these things first and the other elements will take care of themselves.
I had an interesting moment on Saturday morning when my room door locked itself when I was in the shower. There was nobody in the accommodation as all of the team had started their first session of training. I could not contact anyone to assist as my phone was also locked in the room. I had to walk across a main road, thru the University campus for about ½ mile and then to the National Performance Center for a pass key. This was all done bare foot and in a white towel. Fortunately it is obviously a normal occurrence as I was not stopped by security and only given slight acknowledgement as continued on my way. Student life must be wonderful? Today I am having a MRI scan on both knees to see what the new damage there is. Have a lovely week.