When we were children we all imagined
ourselves to be champions or leaders at whatever it was we did. We
always scored the FA Cup winning goal; we won the British Grand Prix with a
smoking engine; we always, despite all the odds, pulled off a last-gasp
victory. No one dreamt of ninth place or getting knocked out in
the quarter finals!
us still dare to dream and imagine. Others have had it "beaten"
out of them by a schooling system that forces us
to grow up and conform to ensure the meeting of artificial, meaningless,
If you're of a certain age and remember your school sports days (and
teachers) to be like that from the film Kes, then here's a route back to
thinking, acting and performing like a champion. If you're younger
and been forced to conform, here's the key to finding victory.
Champions Mindset I've
said it many times before and I'll say it many times again; delivering optimal race performance requires optimal
training and optimal pre-event preparation. Preparation of the
equipment, the body and the mind.
Here, Richard Evans, that's him in full on
time trial mode back in 1989, explains how influencing your mindset can
influence the outcome of many, many things, not just your race day
performance on the bike.
Keep an open mind, grasp the opportunity,
think like a champion and see where it takes you. What's the worst
that can happen?
Over to Richard...
Feel the fear... One of the difficult things about training and racing is the
fear of altering your training regime, for fear that things might go
wrong. So you stick to your tried and tested "safe" measures.
This may work, but as often as not it doesn’t.
Einstein once said that a mad person is someone who keeps doing the same
thing, but expecting a different result. Clever cyclists know this
and get a coach!! I always thought that the famous American quote,
‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ was rubbish. I say if it ain’t
broke, you haven't looked hard enough. Break it!
clinical hypnotherapist I help many people safely ‘break’ it. I help
smokers break the nicotine habit; fat people break their eating habits,
and athletes to break their old training habits. I can give
athletes the confidence to try different things to get different results.
believe in the British Cycling ethos of looking for marginal gains, but I use it
slightly differently. I understand that human beings see changes
as a mountain to climb. They often never take the first step
because they assume the task before them is too big to overcome.
them take small easy footsteps, one at a time, so that over a period of
time they achieve their goals with seemingly little effort. I’m
also fully aware that we are all bound, and often hamstrung, by habits
learned over many years. But I’m also aware that habits can be
broken easily, if the person has the self confidence, enthusiasm and
motivation to want to break them.
Find the reason to change On the day of the first London Marathon, I was watching it on
TV. When it finished I told my wife I was running it next year.
I stubbed out my cigarette and never smoked again because I now had
something to do that would be hampered by smoking. It was easy.
allowing my clients, through hypnotic trance, to access their
unconscious minds, I can help them see clearly what they already really
know. They begin to clearly understand what they really want and
what they really need. From that they identify the small changes they are required
to make to help them achieve their goals.
I really believe that it is all a question of self esteem and self
confidence. That voice in your head that says "I’m no good on the
hills", "I hate the wind", "my bikes not good enough"’, "that person
looks stronger than me" and so many others, is the voice of self doubt
put there to give us a reasonable excuse should we (when we) fail at our
chosen task. It allows us to say, "I just knew it".
Positive Screams Hypnotherapy can change the way this voice speaks to us.
We move from a negative stance to a positive affirmation. It may
for instance tell us "I have a weakness on the hills so I’d better be in
the first four at the bottom of the climb."
reasoning behind this thinking tells us that
"I'll still be in touch with the climbers when we reach the top and
I know I can out sprint them". So instead of, "‘Its all over because I’m
no good’ it now becomes "I’ve acknowledge my weakness but I'm in with a
chance because I have a plan to use my strength."
Champion's within us all
I don’t boast that I can turn everyone into a cycling champion through
hypnosis, as this would be untruthful and impossible.
however, help each person find their own inner champion. The
champion that lives inside all elite athletes and hides within all
weekend warriors like ourselves. The champion we are are looking
for every time we get on the bike to train or race.
people look for their own "achievable goals". It may be a PB in a
time trial, or to move up from a fourth to a third category rider.
I firmly believe that even though in competition we love to beat the
opposition, the first person we strive to beat is ourselves. Until
we give ourselves an achievable goal we will have no idea how far we are
able to go until we give it a try.
was a runner I used to imagine that there are probably ten million
people in the world who are physically capable of running a mile in four
minutes, but ninety nine percent of them have never tried running so
they will never know.
Nervousness or Calmness?
Some people perform better if they are super nervous and wound up like a
cuckoo clock before a race. Some people perform better when they
are completely relaxed.
Richard Evans ~ Still looking cool today
one of the former so if I didn’t feel sick with nerves I’d find
somewhere quiet and make myself so. On the other hand if, like
most people, you like to go into a race completely relaxed and full of
contemplation, may I suggest you try this method?
do this at home first, to make sure that it suits you, before you try it
before a key race!
River of Relaxation Sit down quietly with your feet flat on the floor and the
palms of you hands resting on your lap. Keep you eyes open and
take a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds and let it go. Take
another, hold it and as you let it go close your eyes.
listen to the noise or even the silence around you, and whatever noise
you can hear just imagine it getting louder and louder so that it drowns
out all other sounds. When you have done this just let it go, and
use the background noise to help you relax.
talking to yourself and tell yourself that a river of relaxation is
gently pouring from the top of your head and slowly covering your whole
body. Follow it and feel different parts of you body relax whilst
steadily breathing. When it reaches your feet just let your mind
drift and pay attention to whatever thoughts you may be having.
begin giving yourself some positive affirmations. Tell yourself
how good you feel, how hard you have trained, how excited you are about
the competition, you can even take yourself around the course and
imagine where you might be able to make best use your personal skills
lose yourself in a controlled (by you) daydream, where anything and
everything is possible.
Why not try it? The more you try it the better you will
become at it.
Living Proof I I have a friend, who is a golfer, and I got him to go out in
the mornings with an imaginary golf club, an imaginary ball and take
imaginary shots at an imaginary green.
was to make sure every shot was 100% accurate. I told him that
this would be better than going to a practice range because he would be
able to do it a hundred times a day anywhere he chose. He was
sceptical, but tried it. He is still too sceptical to think that this
worked, but coincidently his game has improved no end since he tried
need a little help to open the door and let the champion within yourself
come out you can contact me for a free 15 minute consultation by clicking on this link...
Living Proof II Back to me! In the 70's (just) and 80's I was a racing
driver. Racing with all the yet to be legends of the sport we know
today. Power of the mind is one of the key facets of racing cars.
It's got nothing to do with bravery, stupidity or cat-like reactions.
The last thing you want on the grid is an excited racing driver surrounded by 25
other lunatics who all think they're invincible and are going to be the
next James Hunt. Top man Nigel Mansell beat us all to it!
Now if ever there's a man who has (not had, has, he's still as stubbornly
competitive today) a champion's mentality then it is Nigel. One day
I'll tell you about it.
In the car, we all used a similar technique to that
described by Richard above. It's so powerful as a relaxation and
controlling tool that I once fell asleep
in the car waiting for the warm-up lap!
Even today (thirty
years later), I can still close my eyes, with a stop watch in hand, and
drive an imaginary lap of Silverstone and get within two seconds of my
"real time" racing lap. These things, once perfected, stay with you
Pay once, use for a lifetime. It's much better value than a carbon
If you want one final sporting example, have you ever
seen the ski-racers on Ski Sunday waiting to go in to the starting hut? Eyes shut, racing crouch,
imagining and feeling every twist, turn, gate, cut, curve and glide from
the top of the mountain to bottom.
Well all the winners do. Doesn't that tell you something.
The mind is possibly one of the most
powerful "muscles" in your whole performance armoury. Your head
isn't just somewhere for resting your helmet and Oakleys!
Be brave and dare to be different. The first
step to the podium is taken with your head. Think on...
Where Next? Hypnotherapy is a proven, scientifically sound application
that can access your unconscious mind. Through hypnotherapy, you
can influence and use your unconscious mind to turn negative feelings
into positive ones and successfully make the changes you want to your
performance, to your results and to your life.
Find out more about change through
understanding by visiting Richard's
website or reading his profile...
Think you're Bobby Charlton
not Billy Casper For the greatest step back in to nostalgia
for some, and a real window in to the past for others, here's the
classic scene from Kes.
The late, great Brian Glover was the epitome
of our PE teacher, Heffin
Roberts. Roberts was a huge 6' 4," red headed, rugby playing, Welshman, teaching in a
pre-dominantly Scouse school.
You can imagine the stick he got
with a name like Effin! This scene is a microcosm of every sports
lesson we ever had. Every game was a semi-final, and he (and his oppo, Mr Lee) used to physically and verbally tackle the crap out of us. Imagine that
Classic scene from a classic film that was
more like a documentary than a sad tale of life in northern
England in the 70's. Glover has the ultimate champion's mentality but watch
what he does to the kids; slackers "I've never seen such slackness".