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.

A_Women_Working_Out_with_Dumbells_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_100223-132529-212053

 

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 judy@nlpsport.co.uk

Use anchoring for sport

posted in: 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. Anchoring the way they access these states.

“Sports people can often get themselves into ‘A right state’ before or during a big match or event. It is far more useful to be in ‘THE right state’. Jeremy Lazarus

“This can be done for all players. It can be done for the whole team. Do you think Harry Redknapp miraculously saved Portsmouth from certain relegation in 2004 by telling them about all their bad performances? He did not. He called them “fantastic”, every time he could. He reminded players how good they were.  That is anchoring. That is coaching. And that is motivation.” Ray Power

“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” Muhammad Ali

bolt

 

Here’s how to anchor for sport. Firstly find a quiet place to do this exercise because you need to establish your anchor before you need to use it rather than when you are already feeling anxious or stressed. Decide on what you want your anchor to be. The anchor is the thing that you will think of to remind yourself of the state you want to be in. We set up an association between the anchor and the state so that when you use the anchor you get the state. It can be an image in your head, words you say to yourself, an action such as squeezing your earlobe or a ‘thumbs up’ sign. Once you’ve decided what it will be, do it a few times so it becomes a natural movement. Remember that you’ll need to use your anchor while you’re playing your sport so make sure it will be possible. For example, if you are a right handed tennis player you need to use your left hand for the anchor action.

anchoring in sport

Now think about that great experience, the time you played sensationally well, the time everything came together in your performance. Get into that state by seeing it in your mind and hearing the sounds, seeing what you were seeing then, feeling everything you felt. When you are really in the state, use your anchor. Keep it there whether it’s a picture in your mind, a word you’re saying or an action until the feeling of being in that state subsides. When it does, take away the anchor because you only want the anchor in place as you are in the state so only the strongest positive state is associated with the anchor.

It’s a good idea to break state after doing this. That means you get up, walk around a bit and relax because it can be quite intense when you’re conjuring up the experience and anchoring it when you are first learning to do it. Repeat this a couple of times using other examples and experiences of great shots, great serves, hits, drives or whatever your sport needs, each time using the anchor at the strongest point.

The best way to test that it works is to use it! It could be that you need different states for different aspects of your game or sport so you’ll need to find different anchors for each. After all, the state you want for tackling in rugby is likely to be different than for scoring a conversion or a try and the same would be true for other sports. Notice Johnny Wilkinson for example how he adopts a particular stance before he takes a penalty kick. He knows that when he does this he will get his kicks on target.

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.

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.

Some players have ‘lucky’ charms, something special they wear or something they do before they go on court. They may have a lucky mascot in their bag or someone special in the audience who is their ‘lucky’ charm. These are all unconscious anchors. By performing a conscious anchoring process we do away with luck and equip ourselves with something we have access to wherever we are and isn’t dependent on something or someone else.

 

 

Anchoring enables us to consciously associate a great resourceful state using an action, image or sound that we can apply whenever we need the state. This can overcome our unconscious negative anchors that get in the way of sports success and affect our state and performance. Mind and body are one. By increasing our awareness of how each affects the other we increase our control and manage our behaviour by giving ourselves choices and flexibility. The person with the most flexibility controls the system.

This is an extract from ‘Secrets of the NLP Masters by Judy Bartkowiak. You can buy your copy on Amazon or a signed copy from the author here

Picture2 JBB

 

 

Do you have a question about anchoring or how to use NLP to help your sports performance?

 

What do you focus on when you are running?

posted in: Running | 0

I had a twelve year old client last weekend who wanted to perform better in her races. She had identified the problem and said ‘I want to stop looking round’.

 

We talked about the process of preparing for the race. Just before it her coach would say to her ‘now don’t think about anyone else, OK?’ Well all I would say to that is

 

Pink elephants!

Don't think about pink elephants!
Don’t think about pink elephants!

When I say ‘don’t think about pink elephants, what do you immediately think of? Pink elephants of course! Why? Because in order to process my instruction, you have to get an image of a pink elephant in your head so you know what it is you aren’t supposed to be thinking of. Yes, you’re right, by now you have already done what you were asked not to do and this is exactly what happened to my young runner.

 

As our conversation progressed and by my noticing her language pattern and appearance, where her eyes went (usually up and to the right) I could tell my client was quite visual. She processed visually, that’s how she learned about her world, by watching, noticing, looking, imagining.

 

I also noticed that other people’s opinions and behaviour was more important to her than her own. It mattered a lot what her parents thought and how her friends and fellow runners were doing. She derived her self-esteem by what others thought of her rather than from her own performance.

 

So basically her externally referenced and visual programming was running this pattern of looking back to see how others were doing.

 

Of course, physically we would know that the movement of turning back would slow you down as your shoulders now point in the wrong direction taking hips with them. This will add minutes to your time and could potentially lose you the race. Indeed this is exactly what it did.  Then of course she realized  what she’d done and felt annoyed with herself.

 

So what solution did we come up with?

 

She needed to stay visual so what I did first was an anchoring exercise. We spoke about what her well-formed outcome was and she named it as ‘I want to win’. We then anchored this to the knuckles on her right hand of which there are conveniently – four.  We then talked about how she could notice (visual external referencing) everyone she passed in the race, noticing whether they were male or female, what colour top they were wearing, what colour hair, or something about them. She was to count them as she passed them.

 

Then we ‘future paced’ by imaging she was in a race. She counted on her knuckles of her right hand ‘I want to win’ and then imagined she was now running with her feet running in a stationary situation. I asked her to tell me the colour of the person she was passing as she counted them and then the next person and so on.

 

In this way she now had a strategy that was still externally and visually referenced but was now reliant on her looking forwards rather than ‘not looking backwards’ or ‘not worrying about the others’. So it was positively expressed and supported by the well-formed outcome ‘I want to win’, which had been anchored. Her reward was to be seeing the smile on her Dad’s face so she held this in her mind as she also imagined seeing her name in the top 10 for the next race.

 

I can’t wait to see how she does!

Girl running in track

Feedback from Mum

“Thanks for seeing X last week. I’m not sure what you did with her, but she ran today and was so much more positive. There was  no negative talk in the run up to the race and she was just a different child!! She came tenth, which was fab as she is still a little under the weather. After last week, she was back in the  mix and just so much happier with herself.”

Top 10 tips for ensuring you stay motivated whatever your New Year fitness goal

posted in: NLP techniques, Running | 0

I interviewed a local fitness trainer, Caroline Sellers from Legg Up and asked her how she motivates her clients, especially during the cold winter weather when we might prefer an extra half hour in bed.

 

  1. Break the goal into bite size chunks, small goals along the way to the bigger goal.
  2. Keep each chunk small, achievable and realistic. Imagine yourself achieving it.
  3. Set a date for the first one to be achieved. Put it in your diary or phone to remind yourself.
  4. Incorporate it into your daily routine like brushing your teeth or getting dressed. It is just as important.
  5. Push yourself just a little bit harder each day. When you think you can’t run any more, just add another 100 metres.
  6. Think about how great you’ll feel when you’ve done it. Picture yourself refreshed after your shower, sitting down with a cup of tea and feeling that you’ve done well.
  7. Notice your surroundings, get pleasure from where you are and what you’re doing right now – be fully present, notice reflections of lights, off the water, notice the trees and birds.
  8. Notice how much easier it is to move, how you are getting fitter each day and how you’re feeling more energized.
  9. You need to be puffed out after your exercise so as you breathe heavily and find it difficult to catch your breath give yourself a score out of 10 for your exertion with 10 being running away from a charging bull. Aim for 7/8 out of 10 and celebrate your hard work.
  10. Make sure you warm up before you exercise and stretch afterwards. Delight in how you are taking care of your body and improving your suppleness and performance.


run

Welcome to NLP Sport

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

To celebrate the launch of NLP Sport I am offering, as it’s Christmas, my most recent book, ‘Secrets of the NLP  Masters’, at the reduced price of £7.50. It will have appeal across all age groups and types of people because it covers the application of NLP techniques in the areas of sport, work, home and health.

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