Gary 'Smiler' Turner's Blog

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Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Sports Performance Experts

I often work with a colleague of mine, Trix Wheeler, in delivering to our Sports Performance clients. We each have skills that compliment each other and contacts to be shared across our networks. Recently we were asked by a top level Strength and Conditioning Coach exactly what we do, how we do it and why we call ourselves experts. I produced a quick explanation, and here it is below. It is of use for anyone wondering the same, and also for any athlete or performer (media, stage, business or life!) to see possibilities and perhaps understand themselves better.

Of course, should you want to book in, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

“What stops you from being the best you can be? Gary and Trix work to help you remove any problems from your performances therefore helping you achieve your goals – ‘remedial’ work. This work centres on preparation, the event itself, through to post performance issues all as appropriate for the person. And in the same token we apply the same to elements of your game you want to improve – the ‘generative’ work – taking something that works, and helping you improve upon it.

You will not achieve any goals unless they are set appropriately, and you know the correct path to take in order to achieve it. Gary and Trix work with clients to ensure that they are setting the correct goals and making them ‘well formed’, and assisting the client to know every step they need to take to achieve it. In this way their client’s mind can ‘lock on’ to achieving that goal – coaching ‘empowers’ people to perform.

By helping you overcome problems, helping you do what you already do well but better, and by setting and helping achieve goals Gary and Trix work to ensure that you can become the best that you can be.

Of course, a whole lot more can be worked on, from core values, motivation, beliefs, personalities, team and leadership skills – Gary and Trix can work with individuals or teams to give the mental assistance to ensure optimum performance.


- Setting the goals and helping you move towards them, checking you’ve covered everything you need to – and if not, helping you get it in place!
- Correct planning and stages in preparing for an event.
(Coaching is not mentoring – with coaching you make the decisions, I give you the framework to ensure the right decisions and steps are taken. Obviously we are well placed to understand the choices that you are making too, making the coaching even more effective)

Remedial (‘problems’) – working on:

- Limiting beliefs
- Negative self talk
- Negative ties to past events
- Negative emotions
- Stress, performance nerves and anxiety
- Injury management
And more…

Generative (‘improvements’) – working on:

- Preparation for the event
- State management for optimum performance
- Efficient technical ability
- Behavioural change for application of techniques, optimum performance issues, overall performance
- Removing conscious reactions and allowing the far quicker unconscious reactions to come to the fore
- Maximise flexibility of the application of techniques – helping you perform the correct move at the correct time
- Increased sensory awareness
- Time distortion (speeds yours up so you see things and react quicker – think Neo from the Matrix – hard to grasp for most people until they try it!)
- Sticking to strategy
- Performing without hindrance from emotions, and correct utilisation of emotions for motivation
- Trusting your conditioning
- Listening and reacting to coaching
And more…

How do we do it?

What do you want to call it? Coaching? Therapy? Personal Change Specialists? Hypnotherapists? NLP Master Practitioners? Master Time Line Therapy? The choice is yours. We personally prefer the term ‘Sports Performance Experts’, as that is what we are – experts in performance in sport.

The techniques we use come from the fields of hypnosis and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), as well as skills from other areas. Gary and Trix work by utilising the correct tools from their toolbox as appropriate, at the right times, for the clients they are working with.

Hypnosis may be used covertly, conversationally, or in the traditional ‘relaxatherapy’ method you may be more familiar with. It is a tool we use to help talk directly with the unconscious part of the mind using this to help achieve the changes required at a deep level.

NLP is a system of modelling which has left behind a trail of techniques. By modelling excellence in someone finding out the ‘how, why and what they do’ that makes them successful we can replicate this in others. On a simple level hypnosis with NLP are the tools used by people like Paul McKenna and Anthony Robbins to assist people in change.

Linguistics is used heavily in our sessions utilising ‘transformational linguistics’, gently and covertly guiding our clients into their improved performances.

A high degree of change management is utilised in our sessions working from cognitive, humanistic, and psychodynamic approaches with individuals. This is complemented by a full understanding of teams, their development, and their effectiveness – and how to guide teams to the best performance through good leadership.

Gary and Trix also have an understanding of neurology and understand how they are lighting up the brains of their clients, guiding them to the performance they desire.

Of course, there’s always a simple explanation. One such explanation is to say that we have a strategy for everything that we do. Think of this strategy like a recipe for baking a cake. Follow that recipe the same way, you get the same cake. But if you change that recipe, you can improve upon it, make it different – or if required, not get a cake at all! So you can think of us like helping people bake the cakes they really want.

What makes us experts?

Gary and Trix are experienced at working with top performing athletes. Currently they are working with British Judo Team players, a former England goal-keeper, professional boxers, kickboxers, Mixed Martial Artists (MMA), wrestlers, golfers and mountain bikers and many more besides.

Trix has ‘modelled’ Gary, working out how he operates in order to perform at the highest level. Getting ‘inside’ Gary’s mind and processes has enabled Trix to understand at a core level how Gary has done what he has done, in return feeding it back to Gary for greater improvement. For Gary has literally practised what he preaches, having achieved thirteen World Titles as well as numerous other accolades. Gary has been World Champion at kickboxing, Thai boxing, and Sport Ju-Jitsu. He has been in British Teams for Judo, kickboxing and Sport Ju-jitsu. Gary still competes as a Mixed Martial Artist, kickboxer, and Thai boxer. Gary is a very experienced international competitor and in MMA has headlined two shows at Wembley Arena.

Gary also has a deeper understanding of performance having worked closely with key military personnel for the last few years. Gary was one of the Subject Matter Experts for the recent re-writing of the Combat Conditioning rolled out across the British Army. Gary regularly works and trains with personnel from the Army School of Physical Training and enjoyed a sharing of knowledge from this source. Gary has also enjoyed close ties with the British Army Boxing Team and the British Army Judo Team. Military personnel are regular clients for Gary, reporting issues for resolution from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder through to confidence and leadership issues.

Trix’s modelling of Gary has enabled her to have a key understanding of athletes and she continues to model her clients during sessions. Trix working together with Gary is a great partnership as they can now look from both inside the client’s mind, and from outside, all with a deep understanding of exactly how an athlete operates.

So it is this element of understanding exactly the requirements of top performing athletes, and having a background as one, which enables Gary and Trix to work as ‘experts’ in their field – helping athletes, teams and coaches perform to their very best.”

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