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Posted 07/01/2021 in Category 1 by DAVID CHARLTON

May 2021: Mental Edge Round Up

May 2021: Mental Edge Round Up

In May there was a lot of fantastic sport to take in…

We saw 50-year-old Phil Mickelson defy time and produce a great exhibition of golf in the 2nd major of the year, going on to win the US PGA Championship.   Where interestingly he cited the power of meditation as a big factor in his success.  I recognize this,  incorporate it into my life, endorse it to my clients and can very much see why he says it was so important.

Manchester City won the Premier League (again!) and the Champions League, a big well done to Pep and his team, especially after overcoming a poor start to the season.  They certainly showed a togetherness and a collective mental toughness.

Leicester City won the FA Cup for the first time, also demonstrating the power of team togetherness. Though this wasn’t enough for them to gain a Champions league spot in the top 4 of the Premier League where they narrowly missed out finishing in 5th place.  What’s your opinion on this did they bottle it?  Did they crumble under the pressure or were they just not good enough?

A lot of content and some changes coming up

May also saw me create a lot of helpful content for listeners, viewers and readers in celebrating the fact that I’d reached 50 episodes of Demystifying Mental Toughness.  It was nice to get a lot of good feedback as a result of creating 14 podcast episodes and 4 blogs.

As a result of some feedback, I’ve also decided to change the way I go about the podcast.  On a weekly basis, it will continue where interviews are released on Fridays however on adhoc Tuesday’s I will be recording a short episode where I answer a popular question that I often get asked by clients, prospective clients, listeners, viewers or readers of my work.

I’d be grateful if you could get in touch and let me know who you would like to hear from and any other ideas for good content.  


For May this is the content that we’ve put together at Inspiring Sporting Excellence.


Sports Psychology Blog Content

  • 5 Ways to Create a Psychological Safe Sporting Environment

  • Focus on the Process

  • Do you try too hard on the golf course?
  • Mental Preparation for Bowlers in Cricket

Demystifying Mental Toughness Podcasts

  • Mental Strength Does Not Guarantee Success
  • Why Talking Matters
  • Getting Out of Your Own Way on The Golf Course
  • Why Mental Toughness is NOT a Male Macho Trait
  • The Importance of Effective Communication in Sports
  • How to Develop Mental Strength in Young Athletes
  • How Committed Are You?
  • What does Success Mean to You?
  • How to Cultivate Mental Toughness and a Growth Mindset in Rugby
  • Are You Your Biggest Enemy on The Golf Course?
  • Encouraging Mentally Healthy Environments
  • Why You Should Build Your Mental Toughness
  • Mastering The Mental Side Of Golf
  • 7 Reasons Why Golfers Should Visualise
  • How to Support Young Footballers

Sports Psychology Blogs

1. 5 Ways to Create a Psychological Safe Sporting Environment

Do your players often play it safe and choose not to take a risk? Whether it is on the pitch when passing the ball or selecting a shot to play many players retreat into their shell taking a safe approach. Some even play it safe in a group environment wanting to voice something but then retreating back and regretting it later.  

If these resonate with you, read on to know more about how to create a Psychological Safe Sporting Environment. 

2. Focus on the Process

Do you pay too much attention to the score or result? It can be very difficult to get away from the score, the leaderboard, or results. After all, that’s why you people often play their sport, for the competitive element – right? Read on to know more about how to support an athlete who is highly competitive and extrinsically motivated. 

3. Do you try too hard on the golf course?

Do you get caught up trying too hard on the golf course?

Do you then get frustrated and feel that you aren’t playing to your

You’ll benefit from reading this blog.

4. Mental Preparation for Bowlers in Cricket

Do you as a bowler get in your own way?  Does the pressure of taking wickets or keeping the run rate down make you doubt yourself?  

If any of these questions resonate with you, why not read this post which is set up to help you transfer your skills from the nets into matches.

Demystifying Mental Toughness Podcasts

1. Mental Strength Does Not Guarantee Success

This episode highlights some misconceptions placed on Mental Toughness where 3 leading authorities in the field; Doug Strycharczk, Professor Peter Clough MBE and Dr John Perry share insights into their applied work and academic research.

2. Why Talking Matters

Mental Toughness is not just about getting your head down and gritting it out, it’s more complex than that.  Simply talking about the situations that we find ourselves in, our problems or challenges can help people in lots of different ways, even if you are mentally tough.

You’ll find in this episode, former professional footballers Peter Ramage,  Brendan Pearson and Julian Dowe vouch for this in this episode.  As the saying goes “a problem shared is a problem halved”.

3. Getting Out of Your Own Way on The Golf Course

Today, leading Sport Psychologist Gio Valiante discusses how to overcome fear on the golf course, European Tour player Chris Paisley chats about how he gets the most from your talent when you are not at your best and well respected putting coach Andy Gorman tells us about the key fundamentals to putt successfully.

4. Why Mental Toughness is NOT a Male Macho Trait

This episode shatters the myth that mental toughness is a male macho trait.  Three very talented ladies from different fields demonstrate that it is far more complex than this basic assumption that many people have.  Where Kate Mackay talks about embracing fear and Taz Bricknell and Natalie Hurdley share insights into the immense commitment levels that are required to thrive in professional rugby and powerlifting.  

5. The Importance of Effective Communication in Sports

An important element of mental toughness which is often not thought about is our ability to communicate effectively, both on a 1-2-1 basis and in groups.  In some individual sports, this skill is arguably not as important as it is team sports or in the workplace.  However, you will still be required to assert yourself with your coach or team on occasions so it shouldn’t be forgotten about.  In team settings it is an essential skill that can be developed and is critical if you are to fulfil your potential.  Today Jamie Forrester, Paul McGee and Mark Bennett highlight the need to have interpersonal confidence where different social situations that we find ourselves in are explored.

6. How to Develop Mental Strength in Young Athletes

You’ve got mental strength or you haven’t some people often wrongly assume.  Mental strength or mental toughness can be developed with self-awareness, from experiences, coaching or psychological support.  The upside then is an individual or a group of individuals are likely to make smarter decisions which goes on to positively influence their levels of performance and well-being.   

Today, I’m joined by three guests, John Fletcher, Natalie Henderson and James Maurice where we consider how you can develop different parts of mental toughness with youngsters so that they can go on to thrive, so that they can overcome obstacles and challenges more confidently and play their sport or live their life more fearlessly.

7. How Committed Are You?

Motivation is defined as “a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way”.   Where as according to Professor Peter Clough and Doug Strycharczyk commitment is “To what extent you make promises and the extent to which you will keep those promises.  In short, motivation is simply a desire for something.  Many individuals are motivated to perform better, however, what separates people is that only a small percentage are actually committed to doing the things that are necessary to perform at their best, consistently.

In this episode, Steve Judge discusses fighting back after a serious car crash when both his legs were crushed where he demonstrated immense commitment levels.  Paul Smith too, in his quest to keep a run streak going tells you about running for over 5000 days in a row.  Whereas on the flip side, Nick Grantham tells us about rest and recovery and why they are hugely important things that committed need to hear.

8. What does Success Mean to You?

Success is very different to everyone.  It can mean earning more money to some, medals or power to others, fame, getting fitter or even losing weight.  In this episode, we look at helpful ways to ensure that you set yourself up for success in whatever you do.  Robbie Thompson tells you about keeping in shape and losing weight and some key principles that can help you.  Penny Mallory describes the immense commitment levels required in becoming the first and only female professional world championship rally driver.  Additionally, Olympian Aly Dixon shares her wisdom when discussing running at an elite level, winning the world championship and breaking the world record for 50km. 

9. How to Cultivate Mental Toughness and a Growth Mindset in Rugby

If you have a fixed mindset, you believe that basic qualities such as your intelligence, skills or talents fixed. In other words, they are considered a part of you that cannot be changed.  However, the individual with a growth mindset believes that even basic talents and skills can be developed over time through practice and dedication.   Where do you stand? If you have a growth mindset you’ll likely “go for it” and have a CAN DO attitude.  Whereas if you have a fixed mindset you’ll be plagued by doubt, indecision and possible anxieties.  

In this episode, former international rugby players Toby Flood, Steve Hackney and Lome Fa’atau share with you how they have cultivated a growth mindset.  We also touch on different areas of mental toughness too.   We look at focusing on the process and making things happen, embracing pressure situations, working hard to overcome setbacks, learning from the success of other people and much more. 

10. Are You Your Biggest Enemy on The Golf Course?

In conversations with golfers I often ask them what their biggest obstacle is to shooting lower scores and playing better golf.  The following words are usually uttered, “I need to be more consistent”, I don’t hole enough putts” and “I’m erratic off the tee.”  Many golfers also come out with “I’m my own worst enemy.” 

In golf, as Jack Nicklaus once said “Success depends almost entirely on how effectively you learn to manage the game’s two ultimate adversaries: the course and yourself.”  Yet why is it that the last thing golfers want to do is look in the mirror and look to manage themselves better? 

For those golfers who do want to learn more about this area and the aspect of emotional control.  This episode is set up perfectly for you where 3 experts, Karl Morris, Alessia Bruno and Andy Paisley share some ideas on how you can stay present, why it is so important, what happens in the brain when you are unable to and how to overcome performance anxiety or the yips.  

11. Encouraging Mentally Healthy Environments

A lot of people don’t view mental toughness in the correct light.  Many have pre-conceived ideas that mental weakness is the opposite to being mentally tough so in this episode we look to get the point across that this isn’t the case.   Especially to those that then go on to connect mental weakness with someone who has mental health issues.  

Even the mentally tough are vulnerable to mental health challenges as I go on to discuss.  I also chat with Kieron Brady about how the culture in professional football back in the 90s de-individualised players.  David Jueno tells me about being bullied, living with ADHD, cocaine abuse and going on to lose everything.  Lastly, Dave Algeo tells you about what organisations can do to promote more mentally healthy cultures and environments.

12. Why You Should Build Your Mental Toughness

Today, I chat to a Mental Toughness expert, Paul Lyons where we discuss what mental toughness is.  The crossovers that exist from the sport and exercise domain that transfer into the business world. Paul goes on to share how he supports leaders, business owners and entrepreneurs to build the mental strength needed for their chosen fields and the type of benefits that his typical clients experience.

13. Mastering The Mental Side Of Golf

JJ Vallely, is a PGA Professional Golf Coach from Matfen Hall and an experienced coach who has supported golfers for more than 20 years.  In 2018, he was recognised by his peers as England Golf Squad coach of the year for his outstanding work with the England Golf North Region girls’ squad where a number of girls have gone on to excel in the sport.  He enjoys working with players of all abilities from those taking up the game to elite level and is very passionate about helping people improve.

JJ has forged close relationships with two highly esteemed mentors, based in the USA, Jim Hardy and Chris O’Connell, who work closely with Matt Kuchar and adopt the Plane Truth philosophy with golfers.  Tapping into such expertise has helped improve his coaching immensely.

14. 7 Reasons Why Golfers Should Visualise

In today’s episode I answer a popular question I get asked from golfers.   “I struggle with my confidence, overthink and can be indecisive on the golf course how can I put this to one side and play my best golf more often?” 

You’ll find I share an important tool to help in this regard, visualisation, and sell the benefits of using this psychological skill to help you shoot lower scores.

15. How to Support Young Footballers

If you’re a football coach, player or parent of a young player or simply a fan of football you’ll enjoy this.  I speak to Edu Rubio who has coached at Valencia and Chelsea and now works as a technical consultant at Crystal Palace.  The conversation flowed as we chatted about the challenges young academy footballers have and how to best support them.  We unpick Edu’s interest in Motivational Interviewing and how this has helped his coaching.  We also discuss the role of the coach and parent in having a positive impact on young footballers

You may also be interested in downloading a new resource that we’ve created THE FOCUSED ATHLETE CHECKLIST which highlights a range of excellent processes that athletes can follow in order to integrate mental skills training into their daily routines and habits.  By doing so, it will allow you to see where there are gaps and how and where you can improve to ensure that you get closer to reaching your goals.


If you are an athlete who is a little bit lost or overwhelmed.  Or you may know someone who has lost sight of their goals who needs to quieten their mind and get clear on chat what they need to do to progress.  This short 60-minute online accelerator course may be for you.  All for £49.


Our partners Kymira Sport are an up-and-coming brand that sells infrared sportswear clinically proven to enhance performance and recovery.


You can also join our online community – THE SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY HUB – for regular Sports Psychology tips, podcasts, motivation and support.

If you have any questions about our products and services please feel free to get in touch.

Have a great June!

David Charlton

Tel: 07734 697769

Email: info@sport-excellence.co.uk

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