5 years on from my last marathon in the same race — Berlin 2018, Reichstag.

1pm, CET on Sunday the 16th September, I find myself laid out on a makeshift bed in the medical tent by the finishing line of the Berlin marathon. An hour and a half earlier, Eliud Kipchoge crossed the same finish line covering the 26.2 mile distance quicker than any other human in history in 2:01:39. I’m a good 3300 places behind him.

Where he jumped for joy into the arms of his coach and manager, I crossed the line, stopped my Garmin, then had to lay on my back on the same spot as the searing pain of cramp hit…

Happy new year and all the best for 2018! Have you made a resolution in the last few days? Maybe you’re back at work today and been thinking about making a positive or different change in your life? I work with ambitious people in sport and business who set themselves regular targets and goals but for some reason the new year also seems to bring a need make EVEN more challenges! …

It’s Sunday morning. 11.30am, and an hour beforehand I had finished the Manchester half marathon in 88 minutes. I’m sat on my foam roller, forcing down a bacon roll my girlfriend has kindly made me. Excuse the swearing, but I’m fucked off to high heaven. My legs sting, ache and are tight. I’m emotionally drained as well. Feeling under pressure at work for the past month, the one thing that is ‘mine’ and I thought I was in control of, has slapped me on the arse in no uncertain terms and told me otherwise.

Ok. Let’s get to the first…

CREDIT: Unsplash

Originally this article was written for Mental Health Awareness week in 2017, but the lessons within are universal all the time. Hope the guidance comes in handy.

In the U.K. there is currently a lot of media coverage for Mental Health Awareness week (8th to 14th May 2017). In the last few months there has been more media attention on improving the nation’s mental health, from the Royal Prince’s Heads Together campaign, to the Conservative party pledging 10,000 more NHS staff in their General Election campaign.

Dealing with everyday and chronic stress

The advice here is that though we ordinarily…

Or ‘Everything you wanted to know about therapy, but were afraid to ask…’

Should I stay or go? (and get my head looked at!)

I read a great piece from this week’s Independent, which tried to address and dispel the myths about going to therapy: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/therapy-expectations-outcomes-myths-want-know-questions-faqs-cbt-ocd-anxiety-depression-a7641376.html

I’m really impressed. It sums up well why I recommend people should seek support in developing their thinking, emotions or behaviour. …

(AKA: The power of reflection!)

So yesterday I posted up a great article by Sarah Robb O’Hagan on ‘How athletes beat failure’ — the essence of the article being how to overcome disappointing results in a chosen activity (e.g. a race, triathlon, a match) by using such setbacks as mental fuel to take more risks in preparing for future endeavours and reaching for greater goals in order to put extra effort into your training and preparation to avoid such disappointments again.

The honesty that Sarah advocates (and personally includes in the article!) is key to putting more effective and specific…

The gaffer — Prof Steve Peters

If you work as a Performance Coach and Psych, for professional development, you are required to maintain the quality of your work by getting it reviewed by a Supervisor. In my case, I’m fortunate that my Supervisor is Professor Steve Peters. We’ve worked together for coming up to 4 years now and along with a number of other mentors in the field (Caroline Marlow, Matt Buman, and Dave Alcock spring to mind), through the supervision process, I’ve developed as a practitioner to better understand human behaviour, how to be more empathic and effective as a practitioner and how to take…

Where does the experience of Elite Sport transfer to the Business environment?

In the World of business in the 21st Century, companies are looking to embrace novel approaches in order to gain competitive and performance enhancement over rivals in their field. We’ve heard about how tech companies motivate and reward employees from providing free breakfasts and lunches, pool and fuss ball tables, to the ‘Friday fridge,’ and lunch and learn sessions. As well as aiming to provide a happier workplace, such perks and work environment inducements can help entice and retain staff.

Cynical or a well thought out approach?
A cynic…

FC Athletic Psychologist María Ruiz de Oña & my colleague Carlos Taboas Lorenzo at Lezama discussing Academy team preparation.

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about how Athletic Bilbao aim to generate and live an ideal ‘learning environment’ for their players and coaches. I wrote about how the restrictions at the club (both self imposed via their ‘La Cantera’ policy and by the lack of riches to be found at the likes of Barcelona and the 2 Madrid clubs) enable the Academy to breed a philosophy of trying to improve their players ‘inner game.’

What to me appears unique about the…

Last week I was lucky enough to be a guest for 2 days of María Ruiz de Oña, the Psychologist based at Athletic Bilbao FC Academy in Spain. She calls herself “responsible for the personal and professional development of players” in the Athletic set up in Lezama, their training ground about 5 miles outside the centre of the city, set in green rolling Basque countryside. The Academy is also the training base for the Athletic first team, but she mainly focuses on work with the Coaches in the Academy system from 11 years old up to the first team.


Stuart Holliday

Performance coach & sport psych providing emotional skills in business & sport to help minds get fitter & healthier. https://wakelet.com/@stuholliday

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