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UK Coaching Team
Talent and Performance Developing Mindsets

Frank Dick: How Olympic Gold Medals are Made, Part 4 – Gaining a Psychological Edge

In this exclusive UK Coaching series, Frank Dick OBE draws on his vast experience as one of the country’s most pre-eminent sports coaches to offer a masterclass in how to maximise athletic potential and support athletes to achieve peak performance at the critical moment. In this final instalment, he tells Blake Richardson that incorporating the use of visual imagery, simile and analogy into your coaching will deliver profound performance benefits

Learning more about the connection between mind and body for optimal performance should be high on the list of every committed coach’s personal development plan.

The best part is you don’t have to be a brainbox or science boffin to grasp and implement sports psychology techniques that reap speedy and substantial rewards. In fact, we guarantee the examples in this article alone will make an indelible impression on those who are a little late to the party.

In the last chapter, we examined how emotions drive thoughts, thoughts drive behaviour, and behaviour drives performance.

In this chapter, we will show how visual imagery can play its own fundamental role in the behaviour cycle.

Imagery influences emotions, emotions drive thoughts, thoughts drive behaviour, and behaviour drives performance.

It remains a vastly underused and underrated skill outside elite sport, and Frank appeals to coaches to work on their use of similes, metaphors, analogies, storytelling and figures of speech, and enjoy discovering innovative ways to apply them.

One of the most important things, as a skill, that you have to learn as a coach, is the ability to find analogy, to find metaphor, to find simile, to create stories. Because if you can do that, you can change how people think,” says Frank.

Frank’s examples will bring these concepts to life in full glorious technicolour and leave you free to paint your own vivid pictures in the minds of your athletes. All you will need is a dash of imagination.

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UK Coaching Team