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Team & Group Dynamics

A Behind the Scenes Look at Mentally Preparing for the Olympics

The mental toughness training athletes undergo before reaching the Olympic stage is not typically well documented or understood. In this article, I will provide a behind the scenes look at the psychological preparation athletes go through before the biggest event in sport.
For the past year, I have had the opportunity to work as the sport psychologist to the Singapore Sailing duo on their road to Rio campaign. The coach explained that the team was talented but needed a boost in their mental training to perform consistently under high levels of pressure. If they could advance their mental game, he believed they could qualify for the Rio games and even have a chance at medaling.
When the team first sought […]

High Performance Workshop Series – Workshop 6 – Life Lessons

Guest Speaker: James Holbeck
Date: 24th August
Time: 7-8.30pm
Location: Queensland Sports Medicine Centre
Mental Notes Consulting has combined with their partners to bring you a series of High Performance workshops across South East Queensland in 2016. The series will cover topics designed to help you to reach your performance potential in sport, coaching, performing arts, school, work and exercise. Guest presenters include strength and conditioning coaches, physiotherapists, coaches, ex-athletes and staff with elite sport backgrounds and experience.
Each workshop will consist of two 45 minute sessions during which a guest speaker and Mental Notes Consulting’s Australian Sport Psychologist will present on high performance strategies.
James Holbeck is a former Australian Rugby representative with the Wallabies. His story is a realistic examination of learning resilience and […]

High Performance Workshop Series – Workshop 5 – Performers are People Too

Guest Speaker: Ashley Harrison
Date: 7th July
Time: 7-8.30pm
Location: Allsports Physiotherapy & Sports Medicine, Southport
Mental Notes Consulting has combined with their partners to bring you a series of High Performance workshops across South East Queensland in 2016.  The series will cover topics designed to help you to reach your performance potential in sport, coaching, performing arts, school, work and exercise.  Guest presenters include strength and conditioning coaches, physiotherapists, coaches, ex-athletes and staff with elite sport backgrounds and experience.
Each workshop will consist of two 45 minute sessions during which a guest speaker and Mental Notes Consulting’s Australian Sport Psychologist will present on high performance strategies.
Ash is a former NRL player whose career spanned 276 games at the top level. The clubs that served him throughout […]

High Performance Workshop Series – Workshop 4 – Lasting the Distance

Guest Speaker: Chris Brady, Specialist Sports Physiotherapist
Date: 20th June
Time: 7-8.30pm
Location: Queensland Sports Medicine Centre, Woolloongabba
Mental Notes Consulting has combined with their partners to bring you a series of High Performance workshops across South East Queensland in 2016.  The series will cover topics designed to help you to reach your performance potential in sport, coaching, performing arts, school, work and exercise.  Guest presenters include strength and conditioning coaches, physiotherapists, coaches, ex-athletes and staff with elite sport backgrounds and experience.
Each workshop will consist of two 45 minute sessions during which a guest speaker and Mental Notes Consulting’s Australian Sport Psychologist will present on high performance strategies.
Chris is a Specialist Sports Physiotherapist and a principal at Queensland Sports Medicine Centre.  He has worked for a […]

High Performance Workshop Series – Workshop 2 – The Winning Mindset

Guest Speaker: Murray Hurst – Former NRL coach & current QRL Welfare & Education Manager
Date: Monday 18th April
Time: 7-8.30pm
Location: Queensland Sports Medicine Centre
Mental Notes Consulting has combined with their partners to bring you a series of High Performance workshops across South East Queensland in 2016.  The series will cover topics designed to help you to reach your performance potential in sport, coaching, performing arts, school, work and exercise.  Guest presenters include strength and conditioning coaches, physiotherapists, coaches, ex-athletes and staff with elite sport backgrounds and experience.
Each workshop will consist of two 45 minute sessions during which a guest speaker and Mental Notes Consulting’s Australian sport psychologist will present on high performance strategies.
In the second workshop of the series, former […]

The ‘Big Moment’ Mindset

It’s grand final week here in Australia, a great opportunity to see if the best performers throughout the year can complete one last performance in what is an environment unlike anything else they have experienced during the regular season. There are no more second chances and no additional opportunities to redeem themselves the following week. Everyone is watching and individual and team performances will be judged mercilessly. The winner takes all. There is more pressure than ever before.
As a result, something special is needed. Players need a mindset that can withstand the pressure and can manage the uniqueness of the grand final lead-up and atmosphere without getting carried away or overawed by the enormity of the occasion. A ‘big moment’ […]

Resistance to Sport Psychology: Why should an experienced coach bring a sport psychologist into the picture?

“I know sport psychology” said the coach, the trainer, and everyone in between. We all have knowledge, experience, and thus opinions about people and what helps them to perform.
There’s no doubt that a top coach intricately understands the psychology of their sport. There are cases when an experienced coach has a stronger knowledge of the sport than the sport psychologist.  Most coaches have worked with an athlete for several years and feel they know them better than a sport psychologist ever could.

So why wouldn’t you bypass the sport psychologist and take the mental skills training with your athletes into your own hands?
Here is my rationale for why working collaboratively with a sport psychologist can lead to great outcomes for you […]

Train Your Brain Like You Train Your Body

Train your brain like you train your body.
This is not a new piece of advice nor is it particularly sexy, but it has merit when it comes to getting your brain ready to perform when it counts.
However, training your brain is something to avoid getting blazé about given the increasing body of knowledge about our brain’s neuroplasticity.
Whilst there are numerous psychological skills and strategies that we teach and loads of variety in the application of these skills, the basics still stick.
Basics in any field are worth remembering, and more importantly, fostering.  The basics apply for athletes of all levels, particularly if you are an athlete embarking on a career in elite sport.
Before getting into the basics there is a […]

Leading from the Front: Leadership tips from the sporting field

In my experience, there are two types of people – those who want to succeed and those who hope to succeed.  Over the years, a lot of athletes have started our work together thinking they don’t need to work on the mental side of their game, hoping that it will happen, only to realise that they have neglected their biggest asset because they have not been able to see the performance potential that is available to them.  So how do you realise that untapped potential in different areas of life?  The key is to be intentional.
The development of leadership skills is one area that is often neglected until crisis is reached.  Everyone has the opportunity to be a leader, in […]

Train Your Brain

One of my favourite sayings is, “If you can train your body you can train your brain.”  For me, this phrase sums up what we do as sport psychologists.  It was once believed that the brain could not be trained or changed; in other words, you were stuck with the brain you were born with.  The good news is there is now evidence that supports the idea that the brain can reorganise itself to think more effectively and can compensate for weaknesses or injury.

How do you train your brain?
Think of your brain like a muscle.  Neurons are like the muscle fibres of the brain and create pathways that contribute to thinking patterns and behaviours.  Pathways are developed over time […]