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Lessons from Hector

Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord is a funny, insightful, and interesting read for those who enjoy stepping back and becoming a spectator of life’s nuances.

I loved reading The Little Prince and The Alchemist, so it was no surprise to find myself smiling and nodding as I made my way through this little gem of a book.

Hector, a disgruntled psychiatrist, collates lessons whilst on a global journey, through his experiences with different types of people, places, and perspectives. He finishes with a list of some 20 plus lessons in his search for happiness. Here are some of the lessons he documented that I thought resonated with many of the performers we work with…

Lesson no. 1: Making […]

How to Make Success out of Failure

Football player Mia Hamm is often credited with the quote, “Success breeds success”.  On most occasions this principle is seen to be true.  If you are successful, you begin to think more confidently, feel more confident, and perform more confidently, resulting in increased likelihood of success, which makes you think more confidently…and so on.

But what about failure?  Does this principle mean that if you fail you are doomed to a never-ending cycle of failure leading to dented confidence, increased anxiety, and underperforming under pressure?

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.  Here are three ways to turn failure into success and short-circuit the cycle of failure before it becomes a habit:

1. Be optimistic
Optimistic people view […]

Improving Your Training Habits: Reviving your motivation to be the best you can be

THE CURRENT CLIMATE:
For the majority of swimmers and coaches in Singapore, the second quarter in the year represents a change in pace and training focus.  After a hectic first quarter of back-to-back meets and major events you may be feeling worn-out and needing time to reflect.

A small percentage of Singapore club swimmers have the SEA AGE Swimming Championships to look forward to, as well as the SEA Champs, and the Youth Olympic Games.  However, the majority of club swimmers will not have another chance to compete until next year and you may be one of the athletes who make up this group.

REFLECT:
Throughout this month, my chats with coaches and athletes have revealed some common themes:

A drop in motivation and […]

What will you learn? Psychological skills, strategies, & charactertistics targeted when working with a sport and performance psychologist at Mental Notes Consulting

What do we do?

One thing we do is we teach psychological skills and strategies to assist and optimise people’s performance.  This skills and strategies help to build psychological characteristics associated with success, health, and happiness!

When each of the psychologists was asked to put a list together of the ‘top ten skills they most often train’, this is what we came up with… It was too difficult to construct one list of ten for the team as we all have our own professional strengths and interests, so there are nearly thirty psychological skills, strategies, and characteristics!

Goal Setting | Commitment
Performance Planning & Reviews
Concentration | Attention | Refocusing
Arousal Management | Activation | Energisation
Optimism
Emotional Management
Self-Confidence
Value-Driven Behaviour-Committed Action
Cognitive Restructuring
Ideal Performance State – ‘A Game’
Imagery
Breathing Techniques […]

Rewire the Negative Thoughts Designed for Protection

Why do we have negative thoughts?  A recent TED presentation by Michael Merzenich, a neuroscientist, on the growing evidence of brain plasticity, shed some light on this question.  Our brain is amazing.  Did you know your brain was built for change?  Interestingly, Merzenich stated that our brain is born ‘stupid’. According to the professor emeritus of neuroscience at the University of California, there is little evidence of cognitive ability in infancy.

Brain Pruning
Does this mean though that our brain is truly born ‘stupid’?  This question relates back to the neural connections within our brain.  We are born with a whole set of neurons, and connections between these neurons form and they don’t die until the age of three.  So each […]

A Genius Worth Celebrating

A review of Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson
Despite receiving the hard copy of this book in 2011, the year that Steve Jobs passed away, I have only recently finished reading it.  Due to travel I reverted to the iPad version and left the rather large hardcover edition at home. So as I take another flight, finish reading the electronic version and tap its review on my iPad, while listening to a selection of beats on iTunes, I reflect on an extraordinary life of the one and only Steve Jobs.
Whether you are an Apple fan or not, this book is worth reading.  Walter Isaacson has provided an unbiased account of Steve’s personality with unmatched insight into his […]

Exam Performance: Take charge of your exam preparation

As performance psychologists, our expertise and knowledge base transfers across a number of different contexts.  That is, the skill set that works with athletes in getting them competition ready also works effectively with individuals getting them ready for exams.  We see a number of clients based largely on helping them perform in upcoming exams.

Whether they are in their senior years of secondary schooling or sitting career-defining exams (e.g., medical specialisation), it boils down to being able to get the best out of themselves, especially on the day.  This is where Mental Notes Consulting enters the scene.

One key similarity between an exam situation and a sporting competition is preparation.  To enable an individual to perform at their best, they need […]

Mental Notes Consulting has Launched its new Training Diary! Build your confidence with this great tool!

Check it out in our online shop!

Andrea’s Next Workshop in Singapore… Spread the word!

Lessons from the Floods

The entire world has been seeing some amazing images and hearing heart-wrenching stories coming from Queensland in the last few days.  It is likely that the tragic statistics will increase but it also very likely that the amazing and heroic stories will continue to be written.

When the waters finally recede there will be a lot to learn from these floods as there was from the infamous 1974 floods.  But for the moment let’s focus on what we have learned about the mental strength, the resilience, and the toughness of human beings from what we have already seen.
In sport we talk about toughness, about bouncing back, and about self-belief as being critical for success and achievement of goals.

Being glued to […]