Psychology studies and strength and conditioning studies may seem an odd mix to some, however I feel that in future you will see more and more coaches becoming qualified in both these fields. Having a psychology background does not help me understand or apply the technical aspects of being a strength and conditioning coach, what it does do is enable me to apply the art and skill of coaching.
Over the last 6 years of running the Ocean Performance Centre, I have been lucky enough to play a small role in the careers of some very successful athletes. In fact there has been two world champions plus numerous state and Australian champions that have gone through our ranks in recent years. To put this in perspective, I do not have a PhD or master’s degree, my facility at one stage was run out of a shed with nothing more than the most basic of equipment. The one element that I felt that I had in my favour, is I had invested time and money into the art and skill of coaching.
It is not just my studies that have provided me with opportunities to enhance my abilities as a coach, my life experiences have also helped in regards to that department. Many moons ago I was involved in a serious car accident that left me with a broken neck in two places. I have come from very humble beginnings and know first-hand what it is like to be at the bottom of the barrel. I also have a chronic auto-immune disease that has during the course of my life left me without the ability to walk.
Although these circumstances and events were not enjoyable when I look back on them now I realise they were the best things that have ever happened to me, out of despair and failure came massive personal growth. Every adversity carries with it the seed of equal or greater benefit.
My Mindset was what enabled me to get through these dark periods of my life. I had to practise what I was taught to preach. I had to take the knowledge I had learned and actually apply it on myself.
What I discovered was that nothing is impossible with the right mindset. I was told I may not be able to walk again on three separate occasions in my life, once when I broke my neck and twice since due to my auto-immune disease. Doctor’s advice was either to plan around not being able to do the things I wanted or in regards to my disease to simply deal with the symptoms by loading up on painkillers. I refused to accept this and proved the experts wrong, now I don’t believe in the word can’t, I don’t believe in the word impossible.
The mindset pathway I take my athletes through is methodical and scientific. Without going into everything in depth, my main goal is to impart a singular concept into my athlete’s way of thinking, which is, when you have an effective mindset, like I have proven to myself, you can achieve anything.
The moral to this story is simple, coaches and athletes alike must invest into their cognitive and emotional development if they want reach their true potential. If you are looking for somewhere to start this journey, I would highly recommend heading over to Brett Bartholomew’s website www.brettbartholomew.net and read his book Conscious Coaching. It is jam packed full of tangible and practical lessons on how you can improve yourself as a coach and as an athlete. It is also not an airy fairy type read, unlike others that recommend reading positive affirmations, uplifting meme’s and praying to the universe to deliver success is the key, Brett’s advice and guidance is backed one hundred percent by proven solid psychological principles.
Don’t wait until you have a crisis, injury or major disturbing life event before you take the time out to invest in your cognitive and emotional development. Do it now, reach your potential and realise that with the right mindset anything is possible in this life.