Getting yourself in the ‘can do’ state of mind

posted in: Fitness, NLP techniques | 0

Anchoring is a technique for managing state. Whilst arguably we might all want this technique as part of our skill set, sports people need it in order to ensure they can control they performance. Imagine having an attack of nerves just before a big match or being distracted just as you need to make a crucial put. Sportsmen and women need a whole range of states at their disposal over the course of an event or training.

In sport you can anchor thoughts in players by reminding them of past experiences, a particular game, save, dribble, training session when they excelled. Sports coaches have the power and influence to create positive anchors but equally they can unwittingly create negative ones just as you can for yourself.


Being in the right state


Reminding yourself of missed penalties, poor tackles, misplaced passes can ruin an otherwise successful performance. For example, if you remember that last time you played Team X you missed a crucial goal or you missed a pass, you have anchored the team negatively and will find it hard to overcome this unconscious anchor.

Instead of dwelling on negative performance, use anchoring to turn your performance around. Anchor that great save, that amazing goal, that fabulous pass.

You can build up some great experiences as you play by noticing the good strokes or the good passes and shots, as you do something well, log it for later when you

can use it with your anchor. In this way you make your anchor stronger so that when you need to use it you have a huge store of great experiences backing it up.

If you are visual you may want to anchor an image such as receiving a medal or an award for your performance, the time you completed a winning race, the sight of your ball going in the hole.


You can




If you are auditory you may prefer to use specific words to motivate you or a piece of music that you can hum. Many sports people unconsciously anchor with sound based on the sound of the ball on their racket or bat. They know how a good shot sounds and can even tell from the sound on the other person’s racket where their shot will go. You can amplify the sound and anchor by saying to yourself, ‘good shot’ or ‘good ball’.

Lots of sports people are kinaesthetic, they enjoy being active and they are conscious of the feelings in their body. By making a conscious action with our physiology we create a mental feeling which in turn will affect how we physically perform. Increase awareness of your body stance, how does your body feel when it is performing at its most effective? Focus on breathing and controlling it to produce a calm state or an energetic, competitive state.


And this is the easy version…………..

posted in: Fitness | 0

I spend a lot of time on my own between client sessions, writing mostly. The time I spend with clients is quite intense as I listen to how they express their experiences whilst running, jumping, rowing or whatever their sport. I’m listening for words, choice of words, listening for those limiting beliefs, the ‘I can’t’ and the ‘away from thinking – thinking about what they don’t want. I’m watching and noticing body language and where their eyes go – to the left is remembering, to the right, visualising. It’s all about them from the beginning of the hour session until the end. So it’s not a social interaction, it’s therapy. So when I have time off, I like to focus on me and yet be with others socially so I tend to exercise in classes at the gym or with a trainer. I enjoy exchanging looks and banter with the other members in the class and sometimes it helps to see how they are doing a particular pose in yoga or what weights they are using in body pump.

The down-side of there being other people around is that there can be a tendency to compare ourselves with them. We notice maybe that we can twist further round, lift a heavier weight, run faster, cycle up the hill without puffing, or maybe we can’t. So then we maybe justify this by noticing that they are much younger, fitter, go to the gym more often and so it goes on. What we are not doing is focusing on our own efforts and how we can get the most out of the class.



In most of the classes I attend, the trainer gives us an easy option, more difficult, and advanced. Which do you do? Sometimes I find it depends on my mood. If I’m feeling quite confident and the move doesn’t look too bad then I’ll try the intermediate move but I’ll almost never do the advanced one because being over 50 and not the fittest in the class, I would mentally position myself towards the lower ability end of the spectrum. Sometimes though, I’ll choose the lowest weights and all the easy options. Why?

I’m possibly building into my training an element of success for myself so that I can’t fail because I’ve done the moves. But, I’m not pushing myself. I’m staying very much in my comfort zone where I don’t experience giving up or failing. I can justify doing the easy option because of my age and the fact that I’m not someone who goes to the gym and works out every day. It’s not what I do, just one of the things I do.

You can download my free app NLP Family where I post regular sports tips. If you’d like to book a therapy session email