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UK Coaching Team
Developing Mindsets

Talk your Way to Success: Self-talk and the Power of Flexible Thinking

Sports psychologist of the England rugby union team and AFC Bournemouth, Dan Abrahams, tells UK Coaching's Blake Richardson about the benefits of self-talk as an easy to use and essential to embrace performance aid

The average person, I read recently, has around 70,000 thoughts a day. An endless invasion of random ideas, memories, reflections and reminders speeding through our minds every 24 hours.

Multiply that figure by seven for the days of the week, and then times the total again by 52. That’s an astounding 25,480,000 scattergun intrusions every year – give or take the odd million.

For anyone with a glass half empty perspective on life, I’d imagine an unhealthy percentage of these impromptu thoughts will have a negative slant.

A person prone to pessimism may spend many more hours still ruminating on their thoughts. When such introspection is directed towards the stresses of work, exams, money or relationships, these worries can manifest themselves as physical symptoms over time.

In terms of the sporting landscape, besides putting a muzzle on your mojo, broadly speaking if you have a pessimistic attitude to competition and a negative approach to practice, it is logical to assume it will stifle your development and prevent you reaching your full potential.

Turning things about face, it is logical to assume then that positive thinking holds the key to happiness and success. Right?

As with most things in life, it pays not to generalise. The picture I have painted, as it turns out, is far too simplistic, as leading sports psychologist Dan Abrahams explains.

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UK Coaching Team