As I said I had a great experience presenting the Game within the Game Seminar in Bahrain. It was really fun working with the coaches, athletes and administrators there. I didn’t know it until I arrived that this was going to be the very first commercial sports seminar ever conducted in the Kingdom of Bahrain. I feel very honored to be the first guest presenter in sports, EVER. AS people often say you are often regarded much more by people further away from your home base. I just didn’t know I had to go that far (11 time zones).
Here are just a few pictures from the seminar. We started at 9:30am and finished at 5pm. that is 10:30pm Seattle start time finishing at 6am. Fortunately coffee and adrenalin work wonders. The participants were engaged and happy. I received a kiss from one of my volunteers. An Arab custom much like the French as a way of greeting friends. Had not expected that. I was introduced in Arabic by a wonderful woman. I talked with her prior to the start. She was a friend of the event manager.
A friend here asked me was it different presenting the seminar in Bahrain. The answer is not really. People are people the world over. Customs are different, but the thirst for knowledge and good presentations is the same. I hope I provided that. Are there things I would do differently. The answer to that is always. I always want to learn from a presentation to make it better. The biggest thing I would add would be more engagement within the tables. people were interested in talking experiences within their tables, but less inclined to share with the entire group. When I go back (and I have been invited back in May) this is the thing I will do the most differently. Please enjoy the pictures. I’m going to post one more gallery later of some of the extra things I did like the book signing.
What Team Building in Sport offers the Business World!
Great Sports Teams have always had great General Managers. Is your life ambition to be GM of the year? Then see what team building in sports will do for you. If you head a project, a business unit or the entire company, you want that title of GM of the Year, because it means your efforts are creating meaningful relationships, products and reputations.
I don’t often post about The Mental Game Programs, but I thought this one would be of value. I think many of the components of this program are critical to businesses and there are things that offer transference to the business world.
Team Building for Businesses, Non Profits and Direct Sales Organizations. Let me show you why the sports world offers you great insight into how your organization can function at the highest level even under pressure. Great teams and GM’s create an atmosphere that instills Cooperation and Cohesion even in a competitive work environment. Not every team starts with good chemistry, but every team can have it. Every wonder why people who played on sports teams miss them so much? What if you could create a corporate culture that no one ever wanted to leave? Let me help get your organization moving in the right direction. Respect, admiration, discipline, cohesion and even competition are all attributes of good teams. A competitive environment is not in opposition to a good working environment. Respect and Cohesion are easier to achieve when missions and goals are clearly defined. Learn how to utilize everyone’s emotional intelligence to further your organizations mission. The secret however is how to succeed through both cooperative and competitive environments. If you think about a football or soccer team players must work together to succeed while at the same time compete for playing time with their team mates. Good teams thrive in this competitive environment. In the corporate / business world employees find themselves working on projects or in teams where they must both cooperate and compete with others. Learning to thrive in this pressurized can have great effects on an organization. Every wonder why people that played on sports teams miss them so much? What if you could create a corporate culture that no one ever wanted to leave? Let The Mental Game help get your organization moving in the right direction. Respect, admiration, discipline, cohesion and even competition are all attributes of good teams. A competitive environment is not in opposition to a good working environment. Respect and Cohesion are easier to achieve when missions and goals are clearly defined. Learn how to utilize everyone’s emotional intelligence to further your organizations mission. These activities are fun, intellectually stimulating and can have a tremendously positive effect on your company or organizations direction. Events are flexible and designed to work with you mission statement and goals.
So if your ambition is to be GM of the Year, call me today and let me prepare an individualized program to meet all of your company or team needs. I will work within your budget to produce a memorable event with lasting meanings. Team Building by Mike Margolies and The Mental Game I have been helping build teams for over thirty years. I do team building events and presentations for all types of non-sport organizations. I have programs that will blend into your event or I can put an event on for you. Most Team Building workshops offer insights into how a team succeeds through cooperation and many organizations play down the competitive nature of the business environment, yet this is the reality for most organizations. Promotions, project selection and salary are dependent on being competitive. Building Competitive Cooperative Teams. These events can be Keynotes, 1/2 day events or full weekend retreats. Please check my SpeakerMatch Profile for other business programs.
Since 1983 my practice has been called Sport Psychology Consultants. Not very creative, but back then it seemed to fit what I wanted to do.
In 2009 when I transitioned into the current century and built a website, my practice became, Sport Psychology Consultants @The Mental Game.com
For the last few weeks I have been posting about how mental training needs to be thought of as a necessity and not a luxury. I even wrote about how those of us who are applied sport psychology consultants are in fact part of the problem. I started talking about using mental trainer instead of sport psychology consultant.
Last week traveling with a friend we were discussing business and I had an epiphany. We were discussing my blog posts and it occurred to me that I was being hypocritical (well maybe not hypocritical, but perhaps stubborn). I was referring to an applied sport psychology consultant as a mental trainer, then how can I keep referring to my practice as Sport Psychology Consultants. Why not do business as The Mental Game?
So here I am making the paradigm shift. Back in the late 70’s I was considered a Sport Psychologist and my practice was Inner Sports. 1983 rolls around and it changes. I was a Sport Psychology Consultant doing business as Sport Psychology Consultants. Brilliant! Ha. So beginning this March I am a Mental Trainer and the practice is called The Mental Game. Website is being changed. Logo being worked on. Will it make a difference? Will this help bring about a change in the way people think about sport psychology? I hope so. I so desperately want athletes and coaches to understand that we who have studied sport psychology and utilize this science, applying it to educate athletes, coaches and others to discover something within themselves to achieve more want to be part of mainstream sports. We are no different than the other sport sciences which make up this marvelous thing we call sports. It has always been my contention that if you want the world to change, it has to start with you.
So here I am. Mike Margolies, an applied sport psychology something or other for 35 years changing the way he does business. Welcome to the Future!
So how do sport psychology consultants prepare to go work with a team? I thought it might be instructive to talk about preparing to work with a hockey team from my perspective. I think this is important to understand because there are no cookie cutter programs. Just as one of the very principles I work with athletes is flexibility, I believe that has to be the case with any program put together for a team of any kind. I’ve worked with lots of teams and I assure you it is always different.
My bags are packed and I’m ready to go!
First step is learning about the team. People who believe that sport psychology consultants, sports performance experts, sports hypnotists or any other name you can make up do not have to understand the game are crazy. Yes this is the technical term more of less banned in psychotherapy, but it is easy enough for everyone to understand. The first rule of counseling /coaching in any field begins or ends with rapport. If I’m a poser I will turn off the very people I am trying to help. Does this mean I have to be able to skate or for that matter Pole Vault, of course not. But I should be able to intelligently discuss not only athletic behavior expected but have a pretty good understanding of what it takes for an athlete to compete in their sport. The more I understand the language of a given sport, the better I will relate to a team. I once knew a sport psychologist that was making a presentation to a football team and talked about scoring more runs. I think you understand where I’m going. So it is important to have a good understanding of the activity. I certainly believe over the years being a coach and doing work in exercise physiology has been a huge help. Having been trained to teach 20 plus activities also doesn’t hurt. But I digress. (more…)
Last time I wrote about the overall contribution that Sport Psychology and Mental Skills Training can have on Jr. “A” Level Hockey Players. These are posts written specifically for JrHockey.com . It encompasses just a few of the things we are doing with the Cheyenne Stampede Hockey Club. This is Part II.
I talked about four important skill sets. Relaxation: Imagination/Visualization: Self-confidence: Concentration. Of course these are not the only skills an athlete needs to work on, but it was a good place to get started as they have great impact and the terminology is easy to understand. I don’t like to throw academic technical jargon around, so starting with two of the basics, I will take you through how an athlete can better understand themselves and use these important skills.
Relaxation: Here is a skill that, when lacking, frequently interferes with play. When a player is not relaxed, they lose the feel for what they are doing. It is difficult to yell at a player and get them to relax. It just doesn’t work. Instead, players can be functionally taught how to relax. Then, a simple reminder can help them shift their focus and use their training to calm down. When they are relaxed, they will have much more success with their touch, bringing the Game within the Game full circle. By being relaxed, they are able to focus on their touch and, of course, their self-confidence grows. One of the most important aspects regarding athletic performance is that of self awareness. Relaxation training is how I address this from the start of the journey with an athlete. An athlete discovers that they can recognized the differences in muscle tension, then mental tension, this progresses towards a better self awareness of everything to do with their sport. They begin to understand their thoughts better and can rationally understand the direction they are headed. Athletes are less affected then by negativity because of this increased level of self awareness. It begins with a simple clinching of a fist.
Have you ever wondered how an athlete can control their bodies so well? Have you thought that they can do incredible things and still look like they are relaxed even under high pressure situations? The truth is that many athletes have a phenomenal capacity to remain relaxed and control their bodies during competition. For many it is just something they learned along the way.
Some athletes have learned this process through things like yoga or meditation, but for most of them it has really been part of the process. Yet many still search for other ways to learn how to control their minds and bodies during practice and competition.
For many the secrets of relaxation have eluded them. Others have found it by accident. What most have discovered was that this process could be learned and rather simply. It can’t be that easy, I’ve heard again and again. The truth is that it is easy. It takes a little practice, but anything worth doing takes a little work.
The answer to the relaxation response athletes have been learning for 70 years is called progressive relaxation. Athletes learning this skill can better understand their bodies and also relax within minutes into a deep state of relaxation. They can notice tension in their body immediately and get rid of it. It gives them control. The point is that relaxation training is for all of us. It leads to great self awareness and this is primary to success in sports. I’ve been making tapes/cds/mp3s for athletes for over three decades to make the learning process faster and easier. (more…)
Lecture and Hypnosis Demonstration for the Issaquah High School Psychology classes. History and use of hypnosis and how it is applied to sports. As I have been mentioning I recently made fourteen Hypnosis / Guided Imagery for Sports mp3s for a company called Best in U. I’ve already written that my involvement in hypnosis goes back maybe 40 years. I have used hypnosis with athletes and others individually and in groups. But until two weeks ago I never had done an active demonstration with an audience. So here is the story.
The day before Thanksgiving I did a lecture and demonstration for the Issaquah High School Psychology classes. My son is in the class and I have known the teacher for 10 years or so. This was the first time that I had volunteered to come into his class. I wanted to provide the students with something interesting that would get them thinking about how important psychology is to sports and other types of performance. I knew from talking with my son that this would be of interest to his class. His teacher Josh Moore was excited to have me in to provide a real link to his students on applied psychology. I asked him if as part of the presentation he would like to be hypnotized.
He had seen stage hypnosis before, but had never had a directed experience. I thought I would be just coming into class one day and do a short demo. Instead Mr Moore asked me to come in on a short day prior to Thanksgiving. This gave him control of time and place. So instead of meeting in the classroom he set it up that I would do the lecture in the brand new Issaquah High School Theater with three sections of students instead of one. Instead of 40 minutes I would have 90.
This was interesting for me as I said because with all of my experience I never had an occasion to do a stage like show using hypnosis. This was going to be fun, and in truth a trip for me into the unknown. Could I do a rapid induction on a single subject in front of my sons friends? Just have to see I guess. So here is the rapid induction.
If you go to my YouTube channel you can see more, including the teacher laughing, singing and demonstrating other aspects of hypnosis. My YouTube channel is SportPsychConsult . Just click on the link and like magic you are there.
This is of course only the demo. The first part was a lecture on hypnosis with class participation so they understood important concepts like relaxation, suggestibility and concentration, all critical aspects in performance success in sports and life. The video is grainy because we were negligent in asking someone to light the stage for video. We ended the session with a great Q & A session.