The 4C's of Mental Toughness and our Kit

August 22, 2016

The Kit develops mental toughness.  Research into Mental Toughness has identified 4 aspects to mental toughness and the Kit develops all of these within school children.  These are Control, Commitment, Challenge and Confidence.  All of the aspects are essential to develop and promote in young children. These can also be applied to the Building Blocks and Principles I outline in my self published book; the Journey.


The ability to remain in control is key to be being successful in any endeavour.  Your focus has to be on the things you can control, the things you can influence.  This is becoming increasingly difficult to do for young people with the distractions that are available in the modern world with advancements in technology.  Developing mentally tough children will allow them to maintain focus on the things under their control so they can  get things done and remain positive.  The Kit allows children to have control over the task at hand so they develop problem solving skills to complete the task.  They have to use skills under their control like communication, positive outlook, teamwork to complete the task and remain positive.  


The ability to set and commit to a goal is important.  You have to be able to focus on the important steps to achieve the goal; this develops confidence.  Developing commitment also prevents children drifting through life.  Commitment gives the focus to see things through.  The skill of setting goals is a complex skill and often overlooked or not done correctly.  The Kit allows children to set goals correctly to remain focused, work hard and then accomplish these goals. 


The ability to challenge yourself relates to being able to extend your comfort zone, deal with risk and adversity, push yourself into uncomfortable experiences to test your ability.  It is important to challenge children so they extend their comfort zone and learn to take risks so they develop a positive view of challenge by viewing challenges as an opportunity to test, be creative and innovative as opposed to a threat.  This will develop confidence as well as other important skills like creativity, being innovative and risk taking.  The Kit challenges children on every level, extending their comfort zone and forcing them to take risks with tasks that are challenging, engaging and interesting.


To be successful you have to have confidence in your ability to deal with challenges.  You have to able to maintain control and influence others.  Confidence is linked to self-belief and it is this belief that is shown in confident children.  The Kit allows children to develop confidence and in turn their self-belief in their ability to manage and deal with risk involved in successfully completing challenges.  It gives them the confidence to set a goal and then commit to achieving this.  




Framework of Freedom

May 3, 2016
I heard this recently in an interview with Burnley FC manager Sean Dyche and I love the term.  For me, the term encapsulates how you should taylor your preparations to work toward your objectives and goals.  I often call this setting “semi flexible” goals.  This means that you have a target and set course to achieve it but how you achieve it and how you get there isn’t as important.  You have to trust the process that; if you do this the goal will take care of itself.  It means that you...

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Musings from Envisage Conference 2016

May 1, 2016
Recently I attended the first Envisage conference around exercise and fitness.  The first speaker was Dave Hembrough, who is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Sheffield Hallam University and a thoroughly top guy who, when you chat with him, always gives you things to take away and think about.  He gave a great talk around 10 lessons he had picked up from 10 years as an S&C coach working in elite sport.  He has worked in a number of sports including boxing, table tennis and volleybal...

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Kobe Byrant and Hard Work

August 29, 2015
Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest basketball players ever to play the game (some will argue he is one of the greatest in any sport!).

What is the reason?

Why is Kobe Byrant so good?

Is it innate talent?

It's based on an incredible work ethic.  Kobe Byrant understands the importance of HARD WORK. There are lots of stories around Kobe's work rate and work ethic but this story I found on the addicted2success website (the link is below) blew me out of the water.  There is a chapter on hard work in m...

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Sean Dyche and Mentality in Football

August 25, 2015
A couple of weeks ago I came across this interview (see link below) with the Burnley manager Sean Dyche.  Dyche is in the process of negotiating the transition from Premier League football to the competitive Championship. Despite this, Dyche maintains a consistent philosophy around the mentality of the club. The interview highlighted this philosophy and reinforces some of the Principles and Blocks Blocks from the Journey. These being the Building Block of belief and the Principles of Control ...

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The Importance of Specific Focus - Sir Bradley Wiggins + Chris Froome Example

August 19, 2015
I have come across some examples recently of the real importance of focus and goal setting within different aspects of sport and life and the very real impact focus can have on your chances of success and winning.  

The examples that spring to mind are the world record for the hour by Sir Bradley Wiggins (what an amazing feat and gripping to watch, despite it being essentially just a man cycling around a track for a hour). Sir Brad Wiggins, during his interview for Sky during the coverage emph...

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Belief – New Scientist (4 April 2015) Commentary –its links to the Journey

April 19, 2015

Last week I saw the cover of the New Scientist and a brazened across the cover was BELIEF.  I had to buy a copy and the article (by Graham Lawton, titled Beyond Belief, pg. 28 – 31) highlighted some important characteristics about what Beliefs are, how they are formed and how they influence the things we do in everyday life including sport and business.  The content is really pertinent to the section of the Journey (my book which is available here) on Belief.  Lawton emphasized that beliefs...

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Make it Happen

March 10, 2015

Last week I had a good catch up with a good friend of mine over the phone.  During the conversation the building blocks and principles of the Journey (my new book) were highlighted.  If I had to summarise the conversation with one phrase it would be “make it happen”As individuals, we can’t wait for things to happen or hope that someone pushes us along on our Journey.  It’s our Journey and so we have to take responsibility for it so if we want things to happen we have to “make it ...

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Ryder Cup and Social Cohesion

September 27, 2014

The Ryder Cup is really showcases the importance of group dynamics to winning teams.


The Ryder Cup is a co-active sport where excellent individual participation is needed but aggregation of total team performance decides the winning team - Social cohesion is of paramount importance to achieving a win.


A team’s performance on the day will be shaped by the social process operating within the both teams and between individual members and the extent they get on with each other on and off the co...

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What is needed to win in the Ryder Cup?

September 25, 2014

The Ryder Cup starts tomorrow and this sporting spectacular is going to provide lots examples of the importance of the mental side in winning a major golf tournaments.  I am going to present the importance of the mental skills and qualities needed for a player to be successful in the Ryder Cup.  These elements are outlined in a book I have written (to be published very soon!) on the elements needed for success and winning so what better place to be successful and win than one of the biggest e...

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The Journey: The Elements for Success, Winning and Increased Performance in Sport, Business and Life

David Harrison Using sport psychology principles and performance psychology strategies from elite sport and business this blog highlights the elements needed for success, winning and increased performance. Whether lacking motivation, struggling to manage pressure or loss of confidence; the posts in this blog can help.

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