Triathlon Sports Performance - Sports Psychology Video Testimonial:

As I write this I can already feel my legs starting to seize up a bit from this morning's 6.30am bootcamp. As much as I love the feeling after I've completed it (because it's so blinking intensely tough!), sometimes during it I have to dig deep to stay focused and in the right mental space to keep going.

Anyone who takes part in a sport knows that their mind-set is just as important, and often more so, than their physical state. If you want to be able to focus, keep good technique, push through the burn and get the job done. Then there are times when you've really got to be in control of your inner dialogue. If you aren't in control of your mind-set then it's easy to give up or to think you can't do it or to let any other amount of negative mind chatter take over. We've all been there and the more fatigued you get, the more that little negative voice can start to pipe up.

It's something that, along with physical strength, I continually try and work upon in my own exercise, and it's something that I often help others with in sessions. Developing your sports psychology capability can have huge beneficial impacts on your sports performance and getting the most out of yourself when you want or need to.

The other day, Ashley popped into the office to record a short video testimonial about how his sports psychology sessions had helped him with his most recent Ironman triathlon performance. You can check out what he said about his sessions below.

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Sports Psychology: Trauma, Abuse and Injury:

I work with lots of sports people who are seeking to improve their performance or to bounce back after a setback. At the professional level, the benefits of sports psychology are well understood, and that recognition of the importance of mind-set and mental attitude is something that anyone who wants to improve and perform should be incorporating into their training programme.

Sports psychology can take many forms and will depend on the particular individual. For example, recently I worked with a triathlete who wanted to stop the negative internal dialogue that impacted on his performances. It was those pesky thoughts that can make us hold back and become lost in thoughts of potential injury or things going wrong, rather than focussing on what is actually happening.

I've helped footballers who wanted to get their motivation, confidence and self-belief back, horse riders who had become anxious and fearful after a fall, fighters nervous about competing, cyclists too anxious to ride and many others who knew that they would benefit from effective sports psychology help to engage in and enjoy the sport they love. Many of these have kindly gone on to give feedback on how their sessions helped and there are many, many more who preferred to just get on and deliver in their sporting arena.

And recently new research has again highlighted the importance of effective psychological help in sport. This research looked at the impact of lifetime sexual and physical abuse and trauma and its association with sports and non-sports injury.

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Reducing Anxiety in Sport and Increasing Performance:

Ahh Facebook memories, always there to remind me what I was doing on a particular day over the years (or at least those bits of my life I stick on there). Today I was reminded that on this day two years ago I was training for a road marathon and, judging by my appearance (have a look below), it was pretty hot that summer too!

When I used to line up at the start of a race, I would always have that curious blend of nervousness and excitement flowing through me. At the start, especially in the hanging around quite a bit waiting to get going stage, there's that balance to be found in having enough intensity and energy to perform to your best, yet not too much so that it impairs what you do. You don't want to be throwing up, freaking out or burning up all your energy before you even take a step.

The other day I had a great update from a triathlete I was working with as she conquered her open water fears and absolutely smashed her race.  Awesome stuff! 

And only just recently a clinical trial showed how mindfulness based techniques can help increase athletic performance and reduce sports anxiety in athletes.

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Sports Performance: Motivation and Mindset

I'm so proud to sponsor Cambridge United WFC's Laura Mills who scored an awesome goal recently in the Women's FA Cup as Cambridge knocked out another team from a higher league.

You can check out that goal in the video below.

It perfectly encapsulates the need to have the right mindset in sport which, when combined with ability and motivation, leads to wonder goals like this one!

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Supporting Cambridge United women's football team:

I'm delighted to announce that Dan Regan Hypnotherapy is sponsoring Cambridge United WFC player Laura Mills for the 2016/17 football season.

As a regular spectator, along with my daughter, of Cambridge United WFC, I'm really happy that I can help support such a talented player.

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One thing that often comes up when I work with clients to build confidence and overcome self doubt and anxiety, is developing the resiliance and capability to deal with challenges. 

Life is going to throw challenges at all of us, and how we respond to them helps dicatate whether we give in and get out or stay strong and move on.

And I love seeing self belief, resiliance and determination put into practice. Yesterday I took my daughter to watch Cambridge United WFC play in a cup match and found their tenacity, team work and resiliance to be awesomely inspiring.

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Sports Hypnosis and Hypnosis For Running:

Sports hypnosis can help you maximise your performance and get in the mental zone for peak performance.

After all, it doesnt matter how well you have trained and practiced if, when you need it in competition, your anxiety, low confidence and lack of focus stop you delivering. Or it may be that you need to rediscover your love of the sport and get the motivation, commitment and determination to perform.

And having recently completed my thirteenth marathon, it was clear to me how important this mental aspect is, meaning sports hypnosis can be the difference between success or something less.

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Could you use more confidence, self belief and motivation on the football field?

No matter how much time and effort you put into your physical and skills training, if your mind isn't in the right place then you may not be playing as well as you know you can.

Maybe you dwell on mistakes and it erodes your self belief, you may lose focus and concentration during the game or maybe you just find that your performances fall short of what you know you can deliver. And, whatever your position, not performing to your potential can leave you feeling frustrated, unmotivated and lacking the self belief you need.

And the less confident you feel the more it impacts when you play. Whether it's those negative things you say to youself before, during or after the match, or that feeling you can't be the real  player you want to be or perhaps it's like a block that leaves you stuck feeling bad.

So how can you improve your football with hypnotherapy so you can consistently perform in the zone? 

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As a running leader with Ely Runners, and being a keen runner myself, I love helping people improve their sports performance and that feeling of satisfaction they enjoy when they perform to their potential.

Whatever your level and sport, you can learn from the techniques of champions and Olympians so that you get in your best performance zone and enjoy the results of all your practice and training.

Getting in the Zone

Recently I was working with an athlete who would get very nervous on race day. Vast amounts of energy were being wasted just trying to hold the anxiety at bay and all the things that worked so well in training would vanish.

She would perform reasonably well but was left emotionally exhausted by the end of the day and was worried about losing her love of her sport.

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Recently I’ve been helping to run the first ever Beginners Running Group with Ely Runners. We’ve had 40- 50 people turning up each week which has made being involved in the group a fantastic experience.

One thing that you become aware of in a group like this is that everyone has their own goals and reasons for being there. It may be:

  • To get fitter and healthier