Staying on Track: Athlete Strategies for Big Competition Moments

elite athletes Oct 05, 2023


Competition pressure can have a huge impact on your ability to perform in those big moments.

Learning how to perform and what to trust can make all the difference. In this video, we look at how to push through the uncomfortable to perform when it counts:

  • Think of your performance as a railway track. The better you lay your tracks (skills and preparation), the better you can perform when the pressure's on.
  • Emotions can cloud your process, much like snow covering train tracks. The tracks are still there, you just need to push through the discomfort and trust your training.
  • Understand how internal and external pressures can affect your performance, and ensure they don't derail your progress.
  • Survivalist vs. Strategist Mindset: Choose to operate as strategists, not survivalists. The former involves assessing, collecting data, and making adjustments along the journey. The latter hinges on fear, looking for proof before taking action, or reckless trust without testing....
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Navigating Pressure Like a Professional Athlete

elite athletes Aug 17, 2023


Understanding the Drive

At the core essence of competitive athletes lies the constant pursuit of excellence. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting your athletic journey, there's a unique pressure that athletes impose on themselves to excel in various scenarios. This pressure can come from within or external sources, such as fans, coaches, or even the sheer desire to prove oneself.

The Nature of Pressure

Pressure situations can vary greatly in sports. They range from high-stakes competitions, nerve-wracking selections, and make-or-break tournaments to the challenge of mastering new skills.

One crucial aspect to acknowledge is that performing under pressure is highly individualistic. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to handling pressure, as each athlete brings their unique set of experiences, strengths, and weaknesses to the table.

Three Essential Ingredients for Pressure Mastery

1. Process – Our Blueprints:

One of the essential ingredients for...

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Cracking the Code of Pre-Competition Nerves

elite athletes Jul 27, 2023


Why Do Athletes Get So Anxious?

The brain of the anxious athlete – it's a feeling that's all too familiar to anyone chasing success. 

And that is precisely where the role of mental conditioning can be brought in to help athletes develop the tools they need to combat feelings of anxiousness. 

In this video we explore: 

  • Why those pre-competition nerves are not just normal, but a sign that what you're about to do is important to you – nervousness isn't a sign of incapability; it's a testament to your dedication towards your objectives.
  • What the dance party of dopamine, cortisol, and serotonin is doing in your brain and the part they play in shaping your anxiety and performance.
  • How our brain's incredible power of imagination can conjure up fears, magnify doubts, but also pave the way for innovative solutions and success beyond imagination. 
  • How do athletes deal with anxiety? What we can do right now to manage the balance between our...
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Beyond Talent: How Elite Athletes Design Their Success Into High-Performing Athletes

elite athletes Jul 13, 2023


Understanding the Journey of High-Performing Athletes

High performance can be tough; it demands consistency and dedication. Let's consider an athlete's journey: from amateur to competitive, to elite, and finally, to high performance. It's a rigorous process that requires intense commitment.

A study in the late 80s examined the top 1% of high performing athletes worldwide, across various sports. While some were indeed gifted, a significant majority achieved success through something else.

Genetics played a small role, and financial resources also had a limited impact. 

But the real game-changer was one singular thing. 

What they found was all high performing athletes had one thing in common: mindset

They built personalised programs, catered specifically to their strengths, skills, and determination. They didn't try to emulate others; instead, they optimised their own potential. They stuck to their tailored programs tenaciously, fine-tuning aspects when...

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Protecting Your Competitive Edge: An Old Mindset that is Killing the Performance of Today's Athlete

elite athletes Jun 29, 2023


The Alarming Impact This One Habit Can Have On Human Performance

We have done so many wonderful things to promote the development and evolution of our species.

However, there is one habit we have recently created that is causing a de-evolution of one of our performance strengths: our ability to perform and perform with confidence.

And as an athlete this could be catastrophic to our competitive future as it has the potential to jeopardise competitive prospects in the long run.

In this video, we unpack the one habit that, if you change it, has the power to significantly enhance not only your performance but also your consistency and your ability to respond under pressure

And it's not that hard to do!

So watch and learn what could possibly have the biggest impact on your sporting career in decades.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Beating Mental Blocks

Perform Like a Champion

Episode Transcript:

Hello and welcome back to Brain in the Game. Brain in the...

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Nathan Jay, Professional Ironman, on his Mental Performance Training

elite athletes Jun 22, 2023

Embracing the Uncomfortable as the Path to Performance Empowerment

In an interview with professional IronMan, Nathan Jay, we revisited our first season together. From grappling with consistency to finding mental resilience, our discussion dived deep into the mental performance strategies Nathan embraced this season, which transformed his approach to his sport.

We covered:

  • The importance of finding consistency in your performance to fuel motivation.
  • What’s on the other side when you break through resistance, it can be uncomfortable but empowering.
  • By transferring the knowledge acquired from mental drills in training, Nathan learned to trust his competition process.

And the most significant lesson Nathan learned from mental performance training which revolutionised his approach to competition season, and also to his daily life.


Interview Transcript:

Dave: Thanks very much for agreeing to spend some time with me today and just talk about the journey that you've...

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An Interview With Mark Simpson, From Ironman to Entrepreneur

coaching Jun 15, 2023

Building a Winning Team: An Elite Athlete's Approach to High-Performance Business Culture

I had the opportunity to have a chat with Mark Simpson, a former professional Ironman and an inspiring mentor to the next generation of athletes coming through the sport. Mark has not only excelled as an athlete but has also established himself as a highly successful coach and entrepreneur. 

Our work together started back in 2009. At that time, Mark had already achieved success as an athlete but had hit a wall trying to break into the elite group of his sport. Recognising the limitations of physical training alone, we embarked on mental performance training. 

In early 2011, about 18 months into our partnership, Mark reached a turning point where he realised the impact of mental training. 

Fast forward to today, and Mark has transitioned these skillsets into the world of business, leading multiple ventures from a swim school, an elite personal training gym and a surf craft...

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A Coach's Role in Managing an Athlete's Mental Block

coaching May 30, 2023


Grab the Mental Blocks Playlist:

If you'd like to hear more podcasts for coaches specifically around helping athletes with mental blocks, we have put them into a handy playlist for you.
Simply go to: and your on-the-go playlist will be sent directly to your inbox.
Click here for immediate access to the coaches playlist.


The Crucial Role of Coaches in Mental Block Management of Athletes

Managing athletes with mental blocks requires a coach’s immediate attention. In this episode 89 of Brain in the Game, we delve into what we can do, as coaches, to support athlete's experiencing a mental block by:

 Understanding the Causation: We discuss the ways to identify the root cause of the mental block, and how to find out whether it stems from a fear of actual consequences or if it's created through imagination – and the different approaches needed for each scenario.

 The Importance of Early Intervention:...

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Holly Harris, Elite Skater, On Her Mental Performance Strategies And Forging A Lasting Career In Sport

elite athletes May 25, 2023

The Longevity of Young Athletes

You can have a long career in sport with the right mindset and when you put the right people around you.

Holly Harris, elite skater and long-time client, recently returned to Australia for a brief visit. So I took the opportunity to have a conversation with her about travelling the world, training and competing in her sport. 

Holly, a champion skater in multiple disciplines, has encountered various obstacles along her path, but what stands out is her ability to not only overcome those challenges but also leverage them as valuable skillsets to propel her career forward. 

In our discussion, we delve into Holly's insightful experiences and discuss the strategies she has employed to navigate injury and setbacks, ultimately transforming them into unique skillsets that have enhanced her professional trajectory. 

Join us as we share valuable tips that can potentially aid you in your own sporting career.

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Jay Furniss, Professional Ironman, on the Difference Mental Performance Training Has on Him

elite athletes May 18, 2023


Jay Furniss, professional IronMan athlete, and I sat down for a chat as we wrapped up our first season working together. In this interview, Jay shares his journey, from struggling with consistency to finding mental strength. We delved into the mental performance strategies Jay adopted this season that changed the game for him, including:

  • The importance of believing in yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone
  • How collaboration in using these strategies with his other coaches and support crew can lead to remarkable progress.
  • Through exercises like visualisation and journaling, Jay gained trust in the process. 

Jay also encourages young athletes to tap into mental training early for consistent results.


Interview Transcript:

Dave: So, first of all, thanks very much for agreeing to have a bit of a chat with me. It's the end of our first season of working together, so what I wanted to do was give other athletes a little bit of a perspective on your...

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