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Posted 11/01/2021 in Category 1 by DAVID CHARLTON

October 2021: Mental Edge Round Up

October 2021: Mental Edge Round Up

It’s autumn here in the UK, it’s the time of year for change. Trees are shedding their leaves, there’s certainly some beautiful coloured leaves, from green to red, orange, yellow or brown lying on the ground right now. Though many golfers probably aren’t thankful about that as they wade in the rough trying to find their golf balls!  The day’s are shortening here too and very quickly.

It can be a great time of the year for you to change too. For you to refresh your approach to make the most from your talent and efforts and set yourself up nicely for an exciting 2022. 

The Chennai Super Kings team and staff certainly got the most from the talent and efforts in the Indian Premier League recently, when they beat the Kolkata Knight Riders in the final as well as performing amazingly well over the season. I’m currently watching with interest what’s happening in the 20-20 World Cup being played out in the UAE to see if England can fulfil their undoubted potential.

It’s a period of change too for Emma Raducanu who made a very brave decision to axe her coaching team after her success at the US Open. It’s going to be interesting to see how she copes with the stardom and increased expectations on her, especially at such a young age.

On the topic of change, my football team, Newcastle United have dominated the headlines here for good and not so good reasons with the recent takeover. It’s certainly a time of change and an exciting time to be supporting the toon. Let’s hope the new owners make some smart decisions, invest in the right manner and bring in some top people behind the scenes. We’re available here on a consultancy basis to help instil some mental toughness and resilience in the playing squad and/or academy if any decision makers at the club are reading this!


Best of luck with your plans for November, please do read or listen to some of the content that we’ve put together in October if you wish to get the most from your talent. 


Sports Psychology Blog Content

  • How to Overcome Self-Doubt when You’re a Goalkeeper
  • Coach Development – Helping Athletes Overcome Fear of Failure
  • 3 Tips to Help You Overcome Setbacks
  • Case Study – Supporting a Professional Rugby Player Rehabilitating from Injury

Demystifying Mental Toughness Podcasts

  • Mental Toughness and The Leaders Mind
  • David on Being Tough Vs Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin – Part 4
  • Observations: How to Learn from Setbacks
  • From Professional Football and Goalkeeping to Physiotherapy
  • How To Play As Well As You Practice

Sports Psychology Blogs

• How to Overcome Self-Doubt when You’re a Goalkeeper

Can you be too hard on yourself when you’re in goal in a match or afterwards when assessing your performance? We are naturally wired to think negatively, yet too many of these thoughts are guaranteed to erode a goalkeepers confidence and make you start many games 1 or 2 nil down in your head. Being able to manage your thoughts is essential if you are to command your area and keep lots of clean sheets. Read on for some tips to overcome self-doubt…

• Coach Development – Helping Athletes Overcome Fear of Failure

Fear of failure is something I come across a lot especially with highly motivated athletes who have perfectionist tendencies. Athletes who end up fearing failure or choking can be spotted a mile away as they are characterised by low confidence, they may also look anxious and tense. The likelihood too is that they have an obsession with the scoreboard and outcomes. Some then go on to avoid mistakes and failure, perhaps hiding in the background not taking responsibility. They may even avoid playing competitively too or fake injuries. Fear of failure though can be avoided if the right conversations take place between coaches and athletes. Feel free to have a read of my most recent blog on the topic.

• 3 Tips to Help You Overcome Setbacks

How many times have you come away from a football or rugby pitch, a cricket ground or a golf course and played over and over in your head something that you should have done. When I speak to coaches’ they often think about key decisions they did or did not make in a game. Perhaps a substitution which went wrong.  Footballers often remember the great chance they missed or the poor pass they played when on a counterattack that meant a move and a great scoring opportunity broke down. Whereas the golfer might be walking off the course, cursing the fact that they couldn’t get the ball in the hole and missed many “holeable” putts. This is hugely common, where many people find that those experiences that they want to forget stand out in their memory more than the good ones. 

Top professional athletes and coaches are no different, they’ll relive those moments, however one of the reasons they’re so resilient and are able to bounce back so quickly is because they have effective processes in place to deal with such situations. These processes also mean they learn and don’t keep repeating the same mistakes. Read on for 3 tips to help you deal with setbacks.

• Case Study – Supporting a Professional Rugby Player Rehabilitating from Injury

 Injuries are part and parcel of contact sports with many athletes suffering serious injuries. During this time, their well-being can suffer as they’re unable to do the things that they love to do. As a sport and exercise psychologist, some practitioners are skilled in counselling athletes through this type of process offering emotional support whilst also helping the athlete focus on what they can do during this time.  

Rehabilitation and returning back to training and playing competitively can be fraught with challenges along the way. In this short article I describe how I’ve gone about supporting a professional rugby player during this difficult time. Feel free to read on to gain some insights.

Demystifying Mental Toughness Podcasts

• EP 084 Mental Toughness and The Leaders Mind

The latest episode of Demystifying Mental Toughness was fun where I had the pleasure of Dr Jim Afremow and Phil White’s company where we discussed a range of topics linked to leadership and mental toughness. Unpicking the All Blacks culture, how to land an aircraft when there is an engine failure the pro’s of adopting a stoic approach to life and sport. It’s highly relevant if you want to get the most from your talent and skills and has some nice timely reminders. Enjoy tuning in!

• EP 085 David on Being Tough Vs Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin – Part 4

This episode is all about helping youngsters navigate some of these challenges so that they grow up to be more comfortable in their own skin. It’s a solo episode designed for parents, coaches and teachers who have an interest in sport and supporting children where I share some practical tips and aim to challenge your thinking. Enjoy!

• EP 086 Observations: How to Learn from Setbacks

Are you someone who responds positively to setbacks, knowing that these types of situations provide an opportunity for personal development? In this episode I’ll be discussing these questions in more depth sharing some resources to help you learn from setbacks that you have come across in the past. I’ll also be discussing a range of example’s designed to challenge your thinking. Enjoy!

• EP 087 From Professional Football and Goalkeeping to Physiotherapy

In today's episode, I'm joined by Carl Bell who played football at Newcastle United’s academy from the age of 13 and progressed to reserve team level before injuries meant he pursued a career in physiotherapy. He is now a partner at Functional Intelligent Training and a sought after and very knowledgeable physiotherapist. We discuss the unique pressures of goalkeeping, his career now and the psychology around recovery and rehabilitation. Enjoy!

• EP 088 How To Play As Well As You Practice

In episode 88 of Demystifying Mental Toughness, I had the pleasure of talking to a former professional basketball player, serial author and entrepreneur Dre Baldwin. Dre has written 29 books, one of which is called ‘Playing As Well As You Practice’. Today we dig into this topic as it’s a common challenge many highly driven and motivated athletes, young and old, amateur and professional can struggle with from time to time.  Being able to compete “fearlessly” in a tournament or match, to have an aggressive mindset, when things aren't going quite right or when you’re out of form is a skill that can be learned as you’ll discover. Enjoy tuning in!


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.


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

JOIN THE COMMUNITY NOW - The Sports Psychology Hub

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

Have a great month ahead!

David Charlton

Tel: 07734 697769

Email: info@sport-excellence.co.uk

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