Sports high performance coaching and Sports NLP on Don MacNaughton is an internationally renowned high performance coach . Thu, 26 Jan 2012 18:49:50 +0000 en hourly 1 The 12 Hidden Laws of Olympic Performance /the-12-hidden-laws-of-olympic-performance-2/.php /the-12-hidden-laws-of-olympic-performance-2/.php#comments Thu, 26 Jan 2012 18:49:50 +0000 donmacnaughton /?p=2334 Law Two

Positive Thoughts Generate Positive Outcomes

It’s logical to assume that exfoliating your skin in winter can make it even drier. There really is such a risk, but this does not mean that you should stop using exfoliants in the cold season. Exfoliating the skin is important all year round – it helps to speed up skin starburst spielen regeneration and improves its absorption properties. In winter, you just need to use significantly less tough means. This would avoid irritation.


“If it‘s going to be, it‘s up to me… Success is a decision. Not a gift”
– Steve Backley MBE

There’s a saying, “What you think about, you bring about,“ and Olympic athletes recognise that it takes mental skill as well as physical skill to bring about a top performance in sport. Mental skills training, including techniques such as visualisation, allows an athlete to adopt and maintain a positive mental attitude at every stage of training and in competition. It helps them to prepare for success by effectively becoming the success they aspire to be, and to experience every aspect of a successful performance − both physically and emotionally − through their mind’s-eye.


Positive thoughts form the invisible architecture of success and former Olympic javelin thrower Steve Backley is an inspirational example of the phenomenal power of positive thoughts generating a positive outcome. Renowned for his dedication to mental skills training at every stage of his preparation for competitive events, Backley demonstrated the value of those well practised skills to the world in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. After a convincingly strong throw in the first round, Backley was clearly on top form. In the second round, this was confirmed when he set a new Olympic record − Olympic gold was tantalisingly close. However, in the very next round, his new record was instantly broken by his rival Jan Zelezny. In the space of one throw, Backley went from Olympic record holder to silver medal winner. His record breaking performance; his best performance ever, had not been enough on the day − how would that outcome have affected you mentally?

For Backley, it was undoubtedly a huge disappointment but it wasn’t “game over” or the end of the road. His mental skills training allowed him to learn from the experience and move on, taking the lessons learned forwards with him. And, his ability to maintain a positive mental attitude allowed him to focus on the positives of his performance, because there are always positives. The following year he was once again in a strong position in the Athletics World Championships. He was throwing well but two of his rivals were in the form of their lives, both throwing personal bests. Would the potential for another final round upset play on his mind and cause nagging doubts to surface? No! Backley threw his best throw of the event, beating the competition and winning himself the gold medal. That’s the power of positive thought. What outcomes are your current thoughts generating?

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The 12 Hidden Laws of Olympic Performance /the-12-hidden-laws-of-olympic-performance/.php /the-12-hidden-laws-of-olympic-performance/.php#comments Mon, 23 Jan 2012 21:33:49 +0000 donmacnaughton /?p=2302 Law Twelve

Champions Recognise the Champion Within

“Everyone has within them their own Olympic gold medal”

– David Hemery, from his autobiography “Another Hurdle”

It’s a popular belief that Olympic athletes are “naturals” in their sport, but it’s my belief that champions are made, not born; there’s no such thing as a “natural” in sport, pre-dispositions yes . You could also be forgiven however for believing that it’s having a wealthy sponsor that makes a sports champion, but it’s not money that makes a champion either – champions become champions from within.

Athletes who become Olympic champions are passionate about their sport and they are dedicated to becoming the best they can be. This is a message that former Olympic athlete David Hemery is on a mission to share with the young people of Britain today as part of the London 2012 Legacy. He says, “I want to find a way of inspiring our youngsters to be the best they can be in anything, using the Olympian virtues of excellence, respect and friendship, and the qualities all champions I have met possess – self awareness and responsibility.”

That’s the key right there: champions possess “self awareness and responsibility” – champions recognise the champion within. In sport, and in all other areas of life, champions know who they are and they know who they want to be. They believe in themselves and their abilities, and crucially, they believe in themselves as the champion they will become, no matter how far removed that may seem from their circumstances at any time.

Hemery became an Olympic champion in the 1968 Mexico Olympics. In the build-up to the London 2012 Olympics, he is touring around British schools to encourage youngsters to recognise their own champion within. He says, “Young people need to be inspired and have mentors. How many of you out there were ever told you were great at something when you were young? We are poor at that. There is greatness in everybody and we need to turbo charge those early years.”

Well, I couldn’t agree more! But here’s the great thing, it’s never too late to develop self belief and to recognise your own champion within. Hemery is on a mission to get children to discover their dreams and to discover what they’re passionate about in life, but it’s never too late for you to do the same. Champions become champions because they’re passionate about what they do; they love what they do and they do what they love. You have to have a dream in order to make your dream come true and it has to be your dream in order to be able to commit to doing whatever it takes to achieve it.

When you have a dream and you’re passionately committed to achieving that dream, you attract the people and the things you need into your life to help you turn that dream into your reality. So what is your dream? Who is your champion within? Believe in your dream and believe in yourself as that champion – you have within you your own gold medal.



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The 12 Laws of Performance: Your Passion For Success /the-12-laws-of-performance-your-passion-for-success/.php /the-12-laws-of-performance-your-passion-for-success/.php#comments Mon, 14 Nov 2011 19:46:52 +0000 donmacnaughton /?p=2284

If you dream of being successful in sport, do you believe it’s possible to be sure of achieving that success? Is it ever possible to be certain of anything in a sports career? One thing that is for certain is that achieving your dream only becomes possible when you believe that it is possible. To be successful, in sport or in any area of life, you must have an unshakeable inner belief that you can be successful. Without that inner belief, the only thing you can be certain of is that your dreams will remain just that, dreams!

Successful sportspeople are sure of themselves; they have self-belief. They know who they are, they know what they’re capable of, and they believe in themselves as that person. Their inner belief is effectively an inner power to become the master of their own destiny and it’s a power we all have within us. You already have the power within you to realise your dreams in sport and to generate your own success, but it’s possible that you just haven’t recognised it yet. Are you sure of who you are?

We are all who we believe ourselves to be, so who do you believe you are? Do you believe yourself to be capable of achieving sports success or are you carrying the hopes, dreams and beliefs of someone else? Successful sportspeople are passionate about their sport and it’s that passion that fuels their success. There may be no absolute certainties in sport but to achieve your dreams and ambitions, you must be sure that they are your dreams. To find your success, find your passion.



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Positive Thinking -Positive Reflection-Positive Actions /positive-thinking-positive-reflection-positive-actions/.php /positive-thinking-positive-reflection-positive-actions/.php#comments Sat, 10 Sep 2011 20:09:19 +0000 Donald MacNaughton /?p=2248
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Cover of The Greatest

Muhammad Ali is not only a champion boxer, he’s also a champion example of the power of positive thinking. Who can forget his famous “I am the greatest” chant? Certainly not those who faced him in the ring!  In sport, as in all areas of life, the way you see yourself inwardly influences the way you are seen by others outwardly and your inner thoughts about yourself have a direct impact on your outer world realities. Ali thought of himself as a champion and therefore he became a champion.

It’s a Universal Law that the way you think about your world affects your actual world. The way you see things in your mind becomes the way things actually are but unfortunately the same rule applies irrespective of how rational or irrational your thinking is. So, if you’re standing on a race start-line thinking, “I’m a real contender in this line up,” you’re going to put in a strong performance, but, if you’re standing there thinking, “I’m not in the same league as these guys,” you’ve lost the race already! Your physical abilities have not changed, only your thinking about your abilities. Without  positive thinking, it’s impossible to generate positive outcomes.

In effect, what you think about, you bring about; your thoughts about yourself and your abilities are self-fulfilling prophecies. The happenings in your outer world, or your reality, are simply a reflection of the happenings in your inner world, or your mind. If your mind is full of negative thoughts, the end result is that your reality will be full of negative happenings. However, with positive thinking, the end result is a positive reality. The bottom line is, if you want to be “the greatest,” you have to think of yourself and believe in yourself as the greatest.

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The 12 Laws of Performance-What‘s the Plan? /the-12-laws-of-performance-what%e2%80%98s-the-plan/.php /the-12-laws-of-performance-what%e2%80%98s-the-plan/.php#comments Thu, 18 Aug 2011 01:42:55 +0000 Donald MacNaughton /?p=2231
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“Just do it”

– Nike

Do you make highly detailed training plans? If you’re serious about sport, there’s every chance that your entire year is organised around a carefully crafted training plan designed to help you reach peak fitness for the big events on your competition calendar. In fact, plans are essential in sport. Without a training plan, it’s unlikely that your true potential would ever be realised, but, it’s not just having a detailed plan that leads to sporting success, it’s taking action on that plan.

A training plan provides focus, direction, and motivation but planning your training is not the same as actually doing that training! It’s important to create a plan that leads you from where you are now to where you want to be but you can’t get there without taking action. Successful athletes turn their dreams and ambitions into their realities by taking planned action. They formulate a step-by-step and goal-by-goal plan and then they take those steps and achieve those goals.

All good sports players have the potential to become great sports players and to realise their sporting dreams but it takes an action plan and planned action. Are you planning or are you doing? To realise your dreams, you need to do both, but that’s the key right there, it’s all about doing. A training plan is an action plan; take time to plan and then take action on those plans. It’s planned action that keeps you on track to actually achieving what you plan to achieve!

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The 12 Laws of Performance – Good Vibes /the-12-laws-of-performance-good-vibes/.php /the-12-laws-of-performance-good-vibes/.php#comments Fri, 12 Aug 2011 01:40:40 +0000 Donald MacNaughton /?p=2218
Ultra 12 Crowd Worships the Beach Ball

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Take Your Own Vibe With You

Have you ever arrived at a competition venue and experienced a ‘good feeling’ about the event you’re about to take part in? Or, have you ever experienced the opposite and felt a ‘bad feeling’ before an event? What is that feeling? Is it real or is it in your imagination and, crucially, can a good or bad feeling have any real effect, positive or negative, on your sports performance?

The simple answer is, yes! A ‘good feeling’ is the result of positive energy in the environment therefore a ‘bad feeling’ is the result of negative energy in the environment. It takes positive energy to generate positive results so a ‘good feeling’ lets you know that the positive energy you need is all around you and is yours for the taking. Feeling that positive energy undoubtedly has the potential to positively affect your sports performance. Of course, feeling negative energy in the environment has equal potential to negatively affect your performance. So where does the energy in the environment come from?

Everything in the world around you is a form of energy. Everything that you can physically see and everything that you know physically exists is energy but so is everything that you can see only in your mind’s-eye and everything that exists only in your imagination because your thoughts and your emotions are also energy. All energy in all its forms vibrates, so everything, thoughts included, creates its own unique vibration and it’s those vibrations that you pick up on when you get a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ feeling.

The thoughts and feelings of every individual at each competition venue generate the external vibe that you experience when you get there. But, your thoughts and feelings also generate your internal vibe so by simply learning to think positively, you can positively affect the outcome of every sports performance by taking your own positive vibe with you wherever you go!

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The 12 Hidden Laws of Performance /the-12-hidden-laws-of-performance/.php /the-12-hidden-laws-of-performance/.php#comments Wed, 03 Aug 2011 22:31:05 +0000 Donald MacNaughton /?p=2209
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Do You Have a Passion for Sport?

It’s not unusual to hear a sports commentator describe a sports performance as “inspired” or to describe a player or athlete as an “inspirational” performer, so what do they mean by that? What makes an inspired performance?

Inspirational people in sport can inspire other people to get involved in sport at grassroots level and they can also inspire good athletes to become great athletes at top level, but what makes them inspirational? More often than not, the people we describe as inspirational have achieved a dream that we also aspire to achieve. In fact, inspirational people are living their dreams, they have turned their dreams and ambitions into their realities.

So who inspires you in sport? And, here’s another thought for you, who do you inspire in sport? We all have the capacity to be inspired and be inspirational. The people in sport who inspire you may have successfully achieved an ambition that you share but your achievements may also be a source of inspiration for others who dream of achieving what you have already achieved – it’s all relative!

Inspiration comes from passion. Inspirational sportspeople have not only found something they feel passionate about, they have used the inspirational power of that passion to turn their sporting ambitions into their realities. To find your inspiration, you have to find the things you feel passionate about. Great soccer players don’t become great purely because they have great playing skills, they also have great passion for the game they play. Olympic champions don’t become champions just because they possess above average athletic ability, they become Olympic champions because they feel passionate about pushing themselves to their absolute limit and realising their true potential: they feel passionate about becoming the absolute best they can be. To find your success in sport, you must find your passion.

Discover your passion for sport in my new book! Click the photo below for details.

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Confidence and the Power of the Sound of Silence /confidence-and-the-power-of-the-sound-of-silence/.php /confidence-and-the-power-of-the-sound-of-silence/.php#comments Fri, 29 Jul 2011 20:02:19 +0000 Donald MacNaughton /?p=2192

If you have self-confidence, you know who you are and you know what you’re capable of achieving. You know because you have challenged yourself and you have successfully met those challenges. In sport, challenges take the form of training goals and targets that continue to develop your skills and drive you forwards in pursuit of excellence. The skills that get you to the top of your game are both physical and mental and it takes dedicated practice to master them.

If you lack self-confidence, the biggest challenge you face in training and in competition is silencing the negative voice of self-doubt that creeps to the forefront of your mind when the pressure is on. The voice of doubt will tell you, “You’re not ready for this; you‘re not prepared; you‘ll fail if you attempt this.” Without inner confidence, you begin to believe what that negative voice is telling you and the more you hear it, the more you believe it. To be able to build your confidence, you must learn how to silence that voice by replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts. The first step is to question your doubts. You don’t have to blindly accept what the negative voice of self-doubt is telling you. Ask why; why does it believe you’re not ready and why will you fail? Are any of the statements you’re creating in your head based on anything that holds any water in reality?

Self-confidence grows as you learn to identify what’s real and what’s imagined and each time you successfully challenge your doubts, your inner confidence is given another boost, allowing you to keep moving forwards in pursuit of your true potential. When you silence the negative voice of doubt, the positive voice of confidence within you can finally be heard.

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Be a Confident Team Player /be-a-confident-team-player/.php /be-a-confident-team-player/.php#comments Wed, 13 Jul 2011 15:37:57 +0000 Donald MacNaughton /?p=2163

If you’re a team sports player, would you describe yourself as a confident team player? As a player, you no doubt have confidence in your sporting abilities but do you have confidence in yourself? Are you a player with self confidence?
When you have self-confidence, you are someone who is comfortable in their own skin: you know who you are and you know what you stand for, not just in sport but in your life in general. In team sports, it’s vital that team spirit develops and that players adopt an ‘all for one’ attitude but to be successful as a team, each player must also have self-belief and have confidence in themselves in their role within the team.

A team is only ever as strong as its weakest link and if a player lacks self-confidence, they will also lack confidence in their role within the team. A strong team is made up of individual players who all believe in themselves and their abilities but they also believe that they are stronger because they are playing as a team, and not as individuals. Unfortunately, when you lack self-confidence, your thoughts and actions are greatly influenced by the people around you and by those you believe to be more confident than you. This means that in team sports, the thoughts and actions of less confident players are potentially being led by those of more confident players.

To be successful, it’s essential that each player develops self-confidence. Each player must believe in themselves and in their abilities so that the thoughts and actions of others can never have a negative effect on their performance. Self-confidence can be described as a positive mix of self-efficacy and self-esteem, and the good news is that it’s a learned mental skill, therefore it can acquired by everyone.

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Growing Confidence From Doubt /growing-confidence-from-doubt/.php /growing-confidence-from-doubt/.php#comments Wed, 29 Jun 2011 21:43:28 +0000 Donald MacNaughton /?p=2140
Hermann Hesse in 1925

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Prolific and successful writer Hermann Hesse once said, “Faith and doubt go hand-in-hand, they are complementaries. One who never doubts will never truly believe.” Hesse may not have been a champion athlete but his story of success despite experiencing doubt is as relevant to anyone experience a lack of confidence in the sports world as it is in the world of literature.

It seems almost unimaginable that someone as successful as Hesse, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946, could ever have experienced self-doubt. However, his belief that ‘faith and doubt go hand-in-hand’ demonstrates that he did know what it felt like to doubt himself and because of that very experience, he also knew what it felt like to have faith in himself and to believe in himself.

What we can all learn, athletes included, from Hesse’s story of success is that self-doubt does not need to hold you back from achieving your sporting dreams and ambitions. In fact, by learning how to get doubt to hold hands with faith, you can effectively use self-doubt to generate self-confidence.

All athletes, at every level of competition, face moments of doubt in their competitive careers. You might imagine that the key to sporting success is to reach a point where you are beyond doubt but success is not the result of never doubting yourself, it’s the result of never letting your doubts go unquestioned. For example, if you’re doubting your readiness to compete at a major event, you must question why you feel that way. You must identify what your ‘fears’ are and then face them by challenging how real they actually are. Answering those questions and identifying what is real and what is merely your perception of reality allows your self-confidence to grow.

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