Last week at the open Luxembourg one of our athlete and also client of mine had an outstanding performance. Gold medal in the weight class – 48. What was it that made him achieve his goal. While others in his team did not. One factor is stamina and the technical skills and combat skills he learned from our head coach, Soerin Jagbandan, who is one of the best, if not, the best Holland has to offer. The other part was the mental side. For me not to stand in the way between the head coach and trainer and the athlete I toke the position of being an supplement on the mental status of this outstanding athlete, Machario Patti. Mark my word, you are going to hear more from him. I did not go to the tournament, so I decided to have a long briefing over the WhatsApp messenger. We started off on the subject breathing which is the main topic which always comes back in each session. The way we breath is very important and especially for athletes in the martial arts it is vital. The various rhythm in combat can cause irregular breathing which resukts in an overal failure. 3 rounds in f 1,5 or 2 minutes are to much for an athlete. Compare it to jogging with intervals of short sprints. Your breathing must adapt to the extra power your body has to produce and in order to provide enough oxygen for your muscles your brains triggers you to breath quicker. In combat it is the same deal. Except in combat, we are not as relaxed comoared to jogging. There are so much details to look at. All your senses are set for a 100% performance, you tend to forget to adapt your breathing in the changes in the rhythm . Rhythm was my next subject in the session I had with my client. As an example I told him about all great martial arts fighter. Some of them already passed away. One of them is Bruce Lee. During combat I have noticed the changes in rhythm which can overtake the opponent. The difficult part is that excepts for the breathing, which I discussed extensively, your senses are under great stress. As each martial arts athlete knows that this is very exhausting. When attacking your opponent waits for you to make a mistake. When striking your opponent an athlete should bare in mind, the chances for an counter attack are there, so during your attack, you defensive skills are, or better said, should be ready to overtake your own attack and defend against an overtake by your opponent. This is what makes martial arts so beautiful. Like the hart beat, metronome, this game has a rhythm which is set by both athletes. Split second decide when you have made the right move or not. I would like to tell you more, but I cannot expose to many details. It is not a secret but I cannot give away everything which is in line with my work as a mental coach. Please feel free to contact me individually and we can discuss more if you have questions or would like to learn more. The contact details are mentioned in my blog. Cheers!
Yesterday I was watching a documentary about cyclist Thomas Dekker fron the Netherlands, who was a very promising cyclist to be belong in the top 10 in the world ranking. 3 months before the big Tour he received a phone call from the Swiss doping authority. He was found positive and was expelled for an extended time. According to Thomas he could not practise any sport. Meaning in competition. I noticed that this very young man was destroying his life. But before I go what I think of this young men is really irrelative. Most top athletes do tend to have a strange way of living. That should be ok, as long as they get the job done, because winning is all that count. Isn’t it??? The documentary was a report on his post expelled period of him being accused of using EPO. Al the people surrounding him who loves him were in it as well. Also his manager. Young guy with a lots of money, several houses and fame. It can be a deadly combination to people, especially young people. And watching the documentary I was hopibg to see someone who help him out with his training and physical comeback, no I watched closely to see if there was any mental coaching. Spiritual guider or whatever you may call it. Maybe there was and is such a person in his life, but I doubt it. Why? Because his physical comeback was disappointing. I believe with the right person at his side he would come back even stronger. This role should be the responsibility of his manager. I mean managing things is also taking care if things, isn’t it? Taking care of you investment and you income, means also taking care for the future and tackling all the problems a long the way. Mental coaching is so important and as long things go well, mental coaching is at the background, but we all now that life has it’s ups and downs. I wish Thomas the best and may he find someone who can really help him.