What's your energy source today?

What's your energy 'source' today?

What can you tap into to bring about the motivation to turn what might be another normal day into something more - particularly on a rather cold, grey, misty December morning!

I only pose the questions.

No answers, not for you at least.

Because your 'source' will be different to mine.

But in asking the question, at least we have to consider it.

For me, today, first and foremost it's that I reflect on the things for which I am most grateful.  My family, friends, health, work to name a few.  In just spending a few minutes with a world class 'attitude of gratitude' can bring a shift in mood and energy.

I've also spent some over the weekend re-connecting to the 'why' I do the work that I do, and when we re-connect with our deeper values and purpose this also shifts energy.

Not doing what I do out of desperation, because I 'have to'.

Not doing what I do out of rationalisation, because I 'should do it'.

But doing what I do out of inspiration, because I 'want' to do it.

In re-connecting with the 'why' I reviewed and tweaked the 'everyball' ethos, for perhaps the 20th time in as many years:

'We are committed to fight for everyball, to run down everyball and to play everyball with courageous purpose. We see everyball as an opportunity to explore, with curiosity and creativity, our potential to become all we can. We know that everyball extends beyond our sport as we learn the fundamental life skills & values of respect, responsibility, reflection and resilience that enable us to thrive in an ever-changing world' 

Fight for today, not yesterday or for tomorrow, just for today.

Make it a courageous fight, not seeking to be fear-less, but by overcoming our fears, particularly the four fatal fears:

  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of being wrong
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of emotional discomfort

Be curious and creative (going as far as you can using all you have got) as you seek to become all you can.

And when it all comes down to it, respect yourself by taking responsibility for 'every ball' that comes your way, and some time to reflect on the things that will help you to harness the energy to continue to 'bounce forward' and make today a masterpiece.

Have a good one ;-)

Leeds Captain Liam Cooper takes 'responsibility' head on as Chelsea go top of the league

Sir Chris Hoy's 3 non-negotiables (as described in his interview on the High Performance podcast).

1. Be on time

2.  Never refer to yourself in the third person

3.  No excuses - take responsibility

On the subject of no excuses and taking responsibility, I enjoyed listening to Leeds Captain Liam Cooper in his post match interview after their 3-1 loss to Chelsea yesterday.

Speaking after the game, Cooper said: “It was difficult and fair result in the end I would say.

“In the second half we weren’t at our best, we will go away and analyse that and improve in the next game.

“Chelsea are a good team, they will be up there at the end of the season.

“We are disappointed, I don’t think we got into the game as much as we should have and as much as we have.

“As a group we’ll stick together and look to improve next game.

The Whites did not manage to enforce their pressing game onto Chelsea as much as they would like.

When asked if he was unhappy with that part of the display, Cooper gave his thoughts.

“That’s something we will work on,” the captain explained.

“Chelsea have got very good players on the ball and sometimes it’s hard, they wait for you to come and drag you out then pop it off to the free man.

“We struggled with that and when we’re not getting there to anticipate the ball it’s always going to be difficult, because we put a lot into that, that’s a massive part of our game.

“They’re world class players, I’ve said it in the past and I’ll say it again, we’re learning on the job.

“We’re an honest team who will run and run, go to the last second but sometimes these teams have that extra bit of quality and Chelsea certainly had that.

“We’ve got to improve, we’ve got to be better and we know that.”

The 3 D's of learning - Sir Clive Woodward




Which then reminded me of the 4 'I' development process:

Immersion - Being deeply involved and engaged in an activity

Incubation - Step away completely from it and just allow things to incubate in the unconscious.  Often the hardest piece, particularly if you are a 'do-er'!  Lockdown might have presented such an opportunity?

Insight - Much like the distilling in Sir Clive's 3 D's, after a period of incubation you can draw new and greater insights into the activity you were so immersed in

Inspiration - The get back out there and 'do it' bit, inspired by the new insights you have gained

(Sorry, don't know who/where to attribute the 4 I process.  I originally read it as the 3 I's, but then added the inspiration to the equation)

Fountains and drains

Heard this on the 'High Performance Podcast' - The Shaun Wayne (England Rugby League Head Coach) episode.

Same concept as multipliers and dividers.

Adders and subtractors.

Is it time to explore getting rid of people who aren't good for you, the team, the organisation? Who drain you, who divide, and subtract. 

Be around people who fill your cup and be that person who fills their cup.

The room for improvement

That's the skill of the coach.  To discern what door the player/athlete/learner is presenting.

For we are all different.

We learn at different times.

In different ways.

At different speeds.

But can the coach discern what door is being presented?  

Because through that door is the 'room for improvement'!

Another definition of 'confidence'

'The uncontrollables don't terrify me anymore...that's another definition of confidence' 

(Jonny Wilkinson in his recent interview with Jake Humphrey and Prof. Damian Hughes in the "High Performance Podcast")

This got me thinking about the well-used phrase in sport psych of 'control the controllables' and as to whether this should even be the goal? 

I only pose the question as to whether 'control' and 'the controllables' are the most helpful words.

Don't worry, I 100% get the concept and have applied it many times in my work and my living.  Except that as I continue to reflect, I find 'control' less and less attractive.

Should we be seeking 'control' and who or what should the object of that control?

Or, could it be more helpful think about what energy sources or resources we can harness?

And what emotional 'states' we can access or explore or simply be more aware of?

And what 'influence' and 'shape' we can bring to our thinking and that will bring our emotions, actions/behaviours, and performances into more 'flow'. 

As Jonny said, 'when you are at your best you are liberated.' 

Just seems like liberation and control don't sit in the same family.  Or maybe I have to control something in order to be fully liberated?

Which set of words are you more attracted to?

Which set of words are you more attracted to?  And how do they make you feel?

Flow, intuition, feel, grace, possibility, joy, liberation, exploration, adventure, curiosity, engagement, choice


Work, intensity, strive, 'be perfect', gains, suffering, labour, command, control, pressure, demand, insistence, non-negotiable

The difference between self-belief and arrogance and The Donny Kruger effect

Over the last month I've immersed myself in 'The High Performance Podcast' with Jake Humphrey and Prof. Damian Hughes.  If you are yet to listen to it, I can't recommend it enough.  It brings you an intimate glimpse into the lives of high-achieving, world-class performers who have all excelled in their field with first-hand experiences and lessons to share (if you want to blow your mind, listen to the episode with Jonny Wilkinson!)...

During the end of series 2 round-up Jake and Damian had a fascinating discussion on the fine-line/difference between self-belief and arrogance.

Arrogance was defined as 'camouflage for insecurity' and often associated with blame culture and 'pointing fingers'.  Damian quoted the Donny Kruger effect as being a cognitive bias in which people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability. It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from the inability of people to recognise their lack of ability.

Self-belief on the other hand is more around building 'evidence' that you can do/achieve something.  

I guess that evidence principally comes by putting in the work, developing the necessary skill-set (ability) to achieve the task and by employing powerful visualisation and self-affirming 'inner talk' that always begins with the thought, 'I can do this!'....

No more important than right now as we come back to 'it' after this second lock-down.